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.


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.

Provide for Your Pet’s Animal Nature

One of the best ways to ensure your pet is healthy and happy is to understand and provide for their needs as a specific species or breed. When people hire me for pet psychic readings in order to better understand their animals, they often have big “ah-ha moments” when I share what needs their pets have as an animal. While our pets are bred in captivity and they adapt well to living with humans, their DNA still holds generations of the wild characteristics of their breed or animal type. And understanding and meeting the needs of that animal nature is one way that pet parents can help their pets naturally relax and thrive.

Help animal companions thrive because you meet their breed and individual needs.

Ronnie, a seven-year old Australian cattle dog, was incredibly smart and incredibly strong. His family had called me for a pet psychic reading to find out why he got into mischief so often. During the reading, I explained that Ronnie was typical of cattle dogs in that he has a naturally high energy level. High energy plus high intelligence in a companion animal is a combination that necessitates pet parents consistently provide a lot of mental and physical stimulation. This manages a pet’s energy and prevents boredom and acting out. Ronnie wasn’t getting his energy out on with regular walks, so he used that energy plus his intelligence to get into mischief instead. When I explained that he needed a 45-minute walk twice a day as well as an agility course now and then, to help manage his energy, his pet parents were relieved to know he was a happy dog otherwise and that something as simple as regular exercise could help him stay out of the trash and forbidden food.

Several dogs breeds, like the Australian cattle dog, have high energy levels, and regular exercise helps them manage that. Photo by

Several dogs breeds, like the Australian cattle dog, have high energy levels, and regular exercise helps them manage that. Photo by

Help animal companions thrive by treating them like the animal they are rather than as a human or another animal.

I learned this first-hand when I adopted Lucky, a 12-year old African gray parrot who had spent most of his life around dogs. I quickly realized that Lucky considered himself to be something between a human and a dog. He was more comfortable walking around on the floor than perching. He had no concept of playing with bird toys. And he felt like being in or even on his cage was a punishment rather than a place to be safe and play. But I kept him on a consistent schedule with the other members of my flock, introduced him to toys, gave him time to get used to his cage, etc. I treated him like a pet bird.

And he flourished.

Within 2 months, he played with toys, his feathers grew back and he’d stopped plucking his feathers out. He perched nearby as I worked and began taking to his cage on his own for downtime and playtime. He grew used to the other birds and began to understand that he’s one of them. He adjusted beautifully. And while I don’t feel Lucky’s previous family did him a disservice by treating him differently than I did, when he came to me he was able to thrive as a bird because I treated him as one.

Treating Lucky the African gray parrot like he was a pet bird rather than a human or dog, helped him feel secure and stop plucking his feathers.

Treating Lucky the African gray parrot like he was a pet bird rather than a human or dog, helped him feel secure and stop plucking his feathers.

Not sure what your specific breed of companion animal needs? Check with reputable sites, such as Animal Planet. Or book a pet psychic reading with me.

Boredom Busters for Pets

Pets need food, shelter and companionship to stay happy and healthy, but they also need mental stimulation. This keeps them from getting bored, which can lead to them becoming anxious or acting out. You’ll notice pets being bored in behavior such as

  • Inappropriate urination or defecation
  • Excessive grooming or vocalization
  • Being disobedient or slow to obey
  • Destroying your home or yard
Bored pets often can act out, destroying your home.

Bored pets often can act out, destroying your home.

Providing enrichment or stimulation through the methods below can meet your pet’s mental needs and bust any boredom he or she may experience.

Teach your pet tricks. Aside from learning obedience, teaching your dog to sit or your parrot to step up helps stimulates a pet’s mind, keeping him or her from being bored. Be sure to reward desired behavior with treats and praise.

Provide playtime and exercise. Pets let off steam, learn to interact and have fun when they have regular playtime and exercise. Try using a fun chasing toy to play with your cat or throwing a ball to or tackling an agility course with your dog. Give your parakeet a swing or ladder to explore in her cage, or drop a ping pong ball in the aquarium for your beta fish to chase.

Regular playtime helps pets' minds active and busts boredom. Photo by

Regular playtime helps pets’ minds active and busts boredom. Photo by

Give your pets regular social interaction. Interacting regularly with people or other pets helps keep your pet’s mind active. Taking a trip to the dog park, having the kids play with the cat, etc. helps your pet bond with you, feel good and learn the rules of proper interaction, engaging his mind.

Supply toys that stimulate the mind.  Aside from playtime toys, to abate boredom you can provide mental stimulation to your pet through toys that challenge them. For dogs and cats, hide a treat in a puzzle toy or maze toy to challenge them to retrieve their treats. Foraging toys provide a challenge and reward for animals that are naturally foragers in the wild, so attach a foraging toy to a parrot’s cage or drop a moss ball into an aquarium to keep fish, particularly beta fish, chasing and grazing.

Foraging toys like this one challenge pets to keep boredom at bay. Photo by Drs. Foster and Smith.

Foraging toys like this one challenge pets to keep boredom at bay. Photo by Drs. Foster and Smith.

Try these tricks to keep your pet mentally stimulated. If you’re still puzzled by your pet or need more insights to help him or her, feel free to book a pet reading with me.