Awareness in Animals

Beyond the things we can see about our companion animals–their personalities, habits and even their quirks–is something we may not understand: an energetic awareness. Animals are aware of energies such as our emotions, which is why they scurry when we’re angry or stand by us after a bad day. And they are aware of the energy around us, from the general atmosphere of our home to the people (living and dead) who visit us to impending natural disasters. That energetic awareness helps animals’ heightened instincts deal with and prepare for different situations that can occur. And sometimes it even helps them prepare for their own deaths.

This is a lesson I learned through a sweet, spunky Bourke’s parakeet named Lollie. Because she was sick with multiple infections when she came to live with me, I spent the first 6 weeks worried that Lollie wouldn’t survive. After various medications and lots of Reiki, Lollie recovered well, but our tenuous beginnings and the fact that she was so little and old (10 at the time) made me extra careful about her, wanting to make her last years comfy and healthy.

Lollie-2013_sm

I protected Lollie, the Bourke’s parakeet, when she came to my flock, but she protected me too.

Two years later, Lollie seemed just fine when I took her in for a routine beak trim between Christmas and New Year’s. So I was surprised and grief-stricken when her heart stopped and she died in the middle of being groomed. I blamed myself, worried I hadn’t done enough to protect her so she could live longer. The fact that it was the holiday season made her passing harder, since that time is supposed to be happy.

But as I tuned into Lollie’s energy, it became clear that she had been not only aware it was her time to die, she’d been ready for it and had chosen the moment of her death perfectly. Feeling her purpose was to keep the other birds in line while I went on a trip, Lollie waited until I returned from that trip and could spend a few last days with her to pass away. She also waited until there were people around I’d trust so I didn’t have to face her death by myself. While I had felt a purpose to protect Lollie in life, her awareness of her of impending death showed her love for and protection of me. What an amazing gift!

I’m definitely not the only person to lose a beloved companion animal during the holiday season. In fact, shelters and veterinarians report an increase in pets passing away during this time of year, whether they pass naturally at home or need to be euthanized due to advanced illness or injury. And while many of those are accidents, much of that can be attributed to our companion animals’ keen awareness of the energy and emotions at this time of year. Just like Lollie, companion animals are aware that we won’t be alone and that there’s an atmosphere of celebration during the holidays. If we’re surrounded by loved ones, we’ll be able to lean on them for support if our pets pass away. And if we have festivities to concentrate on, it can ease the pain of their passing.

While losing pets is difficult at any time, understanding that animals often have an awareness that often extends to their deaths can help us find more peace.

Connect with Pets that Have Passed Away

The passing of a beloved pet is never easy, no matter what the circumstances are. We miss and mourn the loss of our companion animals, who truly are members of our families, and we often wonder how we could have prevented our pet’s death or prolonged his or her life.

The poem “Rainbow Bridge” gives comfort that our companion animals are happy in a realm beyond, but it’s often difficult to find peace and settle into life in this realm without them. We long for questions to be answered so we can have peace of mind and move forward.

Rainbow Bridge

Pet psychic readings can give you the answers you seek. By connecting to the spirit of your beloved animal, I can communicate and get questions answered for greater peace of mind.

Denise* experienced this first hand. After her beloved Pekinese, Oscar, passed away suddenly, Denise came to me for a reading to get questions answered. Oscar had passed away from eating tainted pet food that was later recalled, but Denise had no idea that it was harmful when she purchased it. She was haunted by a feeling of responsibility for Oscar’s death and wanted to know if he forgave her, as well as if he was in a great deal of pain when he passed away.

Oscar may have been a small dog when he was alive, but during the reading, I felt his big spirit come through strongly. He had a strong sense of love and protection for Denise as well as the other dogs in the home. His experience passing away had been sudden for him, and he hadn’t felt as much pain as a large sense of fatigue and confusion about why his body was no longer working properly. And he didn’t hold Denise responsible at all for his death. Oscar knew Denise loved him and wouldn’t intentionally harm him. I was glad to be introduced to this little guy’s spirit and to be able to give Denise some comfort about his passing to help her move on.

Pet psychic readings can connect you to pets that have passed away, giving you peace of mind. Photo by Roger.

Pet psychic readings can connect you to pets that have passed away, giving you peace of mind. Photo by Roger.

If you are looking for answers or to connect to a loved one that’s passed away, I’d love to help. Book a reading with me to communicate with your beloved pets.

*Names all changed to protect client anonymity.

Good Vibrations: Energy Work & Animals

Because animals live in a world of senses, they feel and respond to the energy of people, activities, words and interactions. Sensing this energy helps animals navigate life well. If they sense a predator’s presence or an impending natural disaster, they can flee. If they sense that people have good intentions, they will walk right up to them–or avoid those that don’t. Companion animals can sense our moods, like Molly the Quaker Parrot did when I had a bad day; she’d cuddle up next to me to let me know I wasn’t alone. And some dogs have been known to bark when their people are arguing to call attention to it and help break the tension.

Because animals naturally sense and respond to energy, they respond well to energy work practices such as theta healing and Reiki. These modalities help increase relaxation, reduce anxiety and pain, and even ease the transition when dying. As a Reiki practitioner since 2005, I’ve seen this non-invasive technique–that originated in Japan more than 100 years ago and is now practiced worldwide–benefit many animals, from pets to livestock to exotic animals. This simple, effective tool particularly helps animals who are rescued or adopted feel more at ease as they transition to new environments and learn to trust new caregivers.

Because they are sensory beings, animals respond well to energy work.

Because they are sensory beings, animals respond well to energy work. Photo courtesy of loveofanimals.ca.

In my own life, I’ve seen energy work benefit a cockatiel named Nacho. It wasn’t long after I’d taken guardianship of this feisty, whistling charmer from a rescue organization that we discovered he had liver failure. When antibiotics didn’t cure the issue, and the stress of multiple vet visits seemed to leave him more ragged than healthy, I faced the inevitability that Nacho would pass away soon. I decided to help his last days be as comfy as possible, full of favorite treats and peace and quiet at home. I also decided to try giving him Reiki treatments to increase his comfort.

Reiki with Nacho was simple and effective. When I put my hands up to share energy, he got very calm and seemed to enjoy the comforting Reiki energy as well as his time with me. And while I expected Nacho would pass away after a few months, I was wrong–he lived another three years. He had some low times, but he’d quickly perk up with a Reiki treatment. I truly believe that Reiki, along with his feisty nature, is what kept him alive so much longer than I’d expected.

Nacho the cockatiel responded very well to Reiki treatments.

Nacho the cockatiel responded very well to Reiki treatments.

Animals of all kinds respond well to energy work to help relax them, clear energy blocks and more. To try energy work as a tool to help your companion animal, contact one of the great organization that share Reiki with animals, including Reiki Fur Babies, Animal Reiki Source and Shelter Animal Reiki Association or schedule a reading with me, which includes Reiki as needed.

Read more about Nacho’s journey with Reiki by reading Jennafer’s article, “Reiki to the Rescue” in Pets in the City Magazine’s March 2013 issue.

Mentally Communicate with Animals

As I mentioned in a previous article, because animals live in a sensory world, it’s natural to them to send you mental images to visually communicate what they want. Aside from the energy they carry, words don’t mean much to animals, so it makes more sense for them to send you a picture of them playing outside than to send you the words, “hey, I want to go outside”.

Sending images to communicate can work in reverse, too–you can communicate with animals by mentally sending them pictures. When Tika, a love bird in my little flock, refuses to return to her cage periodically, I calmly send her mental images of her flying into her cage and receiving a treat. This method of communication has been much more effective than calling to her or chasing her around the house till she complies. (Trust me.)

Peach-front love bird Tika responds well to communication via mental image.

Peach-front love bird Tika responds well to communication via mental image.

Sending mental images can be very helpful if you’re not near your companion animal or for animals that you aren’t able to calm through touch. When I was to care for a friend’s iguana for two weeks while she was on vacation, I sent the iguana mental pictures of me feeding and gently petting him, which helped him warm up to me more quickly. And when a porpoise at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium was distressed because her calf was temporarily separated from her for a routine checkup, I was able to help calm her by sending mental pictures of her and her calf swimming together happily.

It’s not hard to communicate in pictures with the animals in your life. Try it: a few moments before you intend to spend time with your pet, send him or her a mental image of you two playing together or cuddling. Or, the next time you need to leave for an appointment or trip, send your pet images of you returning home so he or she knows it’s only temporary. This calm way to communicate can bring you and your animals closer together.

Picture That!

Most animal communication that we humans understand comes through an animal’s behavior. When a dog wags his tail, we understand that he’s excited or playful, and when a cat purrs, we know she’s content. We understand that a bird is feeling territorial or stressed if he nips when we get near his cage and that a fish may not be feeling well if she’s not eating. You get the idea. I’m sure you can point to many ways that your pet’s behavior communicates to you.

But there’s a more subtle way that animals communicate with us as well–they send us visual images or pictures to convey what’s on their minds.

Illustration by Stacey Reid

Illustration by Stacey Reid

Think back. Have you had a vision in your mind’s eye of your dog standing at the door to the backyard so you suddenly knew he wanted to go outside? Or seen a small video in your mind of your bird happily devouring a sunflower seed, letting you know he wanted a specific treat? Visions like these often come from animals to communicate what they want or need. It’s easy to dismiss them as your imagination, something I did the first few times that Pippin (a sun conure) sent me pictures of him contentedly perched on my shoulder. It took a few times of him sending that same image for me to realize that he was telling me he’d rather be with me than with in his cage. But it wasn’t my imagination–and images like this may not be yours, either. It may just be messages from an animal.

Animals live in a sensory world, so what they see, smell, hear, taste and feel is truly how they experience things. Sending visuals images is a natural way for animals to communicate, because words don’t really mean anything to animals, except for the energy with which they are said and the behavior they learn to associate with them. So instead of sending you a “hey, I want to go outside” sentence, they send pictures of them darting through an open door and cavorting in the grass.

When I’m doing readings with animals, they send me pictures, rather than words, to communicate. I asked Marley the kitten about his favorite toy, and he sent me a picture of a mouse on a string. And when I asked Ruby the dog about her past owners, she showed me a succession of pictures of her being tied up in the yard for long periods of time, so I knew she had been left alone a lot. A picture really can be worth a thousand words.

It’s not just domesticated animals that send images to communicate, either. As I was leaving a late-night fundraiser at the zoo, I stopped by the rhino enclosure and one mentally sent me a few pictures in a row of him falling asleep and then being awoken by people talking or music playing nearby. I was able to understand from the pictures he sent that all this partying was keeping him from sleep.

Animals definitely communicate in pictures! So the next time you suddenly get a picture in your mind about an animal, don’t dismiss it. Think about what the animal may be trying to communicate in a way other than words.