Have you hugged your pet today?

It’s 3pm, have you hugged your pet today?

If you recall some TV ads from the early 1980’s – they sounded a bit like the above line, but had nothing to do with pets and everything to do with children. However, be it 3pm or 3am, the idea of hugging your pet is a good one.

You’ve had a long day. You’ve had a great day. You’ve had a stressful day. You’ve gotten a lot done today. All great reasons for hugging your pet! The fact is you have a furry friend (or two, or even more) waiting for you at home, wanting your attention. That little hug or even a few nice pets between the ears or on their shoulders can mean a lot – and not just for your pet. By simply spending just a few quite moments with your pet, you’ll find a sense of relaxation and calm – for the both of you. If this isn’t the case it could mean that your pet is picking up on some stress and doesn’t want to relax with you. Your fuzzy little cat or dog could actually be telling you to slow down by not curling up with you for some hugs.

If the idea of hugging your pet, or just carving out some time to be with your pet, sounds a little “out there,” you may want to simply consider why it is you have a pet in your home. They may have fur, but they still want for attention. Pets are much like young children. The rewards of having a pet can also be greatly beneficial too.

All too often we take our pets for granted. Couples spend countless hours with their pets then have children and find that their best furry friends have taken a seat in the back, there’s less time for them, and less attention. It’s a very common situation which can be easily cured. Make the time for your pets, just like you did before life took some changes. Try the “one pet hug a day” experiment and make sure to give your dog, cat, or rabbit a nice little hug or pet each and every day. It doesn’t have to be hours of play time at the park, just a few special moments every day can prove to be true therapy for you, and your pets.

For more information about pets and the benefits of being a pet owner check out: Pet Therapy Holistic Online and Animal Reiki Source 

Animal Energy

I’ve always been “mom” to one canine or another. For some time, I was also a “horse mom,” “cat mom” and even “rodent mom.” Animals have always been a part of my life. I wouldn’t have it any other way. My husband shares my philosophy, and maybe that’s why we have five dogs and two cockatoos.
As a pet mom I’ve learned so much – about myself and them. My dogs, and other animals, have ways of communicating that aren’t always easily understood by everyone else. However, more recently, I’ve made a great discovery. It’s nothing new, but it’s something that I understand a lot better now. The fact is that everyone CAN understand how any animal communicates, you just have to pay attention. Look at them, what are they telling you? Listen. Watch them. Observe with all of your senses.
By simply allowing yourself to find the quiet, even with the ferocious barking of the chiuhaha, you can find a source of communication. It may not be the “norm,” but it’s there – and pretty amazing too.
As you may already know, show fear and get fear. Any animal can sense fear, and they’re fear is “fight or flight,” – some dogs will become aggressive while others may flee, if they sense fear.
Last month we took my daughter to the zoo. There’s a wonderful bear exhibit there. They have lots of space and it’s a beautiful park for them. There’s also a large plexi-glass door where you can stand and watch them. The two bears were simply playing with some food and left over snow. It was beautiful to see them so close up, just a few inches of plexi-glass away! The three of us stood and watched in awe. It was truly beautiful. I could almost feel their calm and playful energy. In came a couple who also wanted to observe them. They had two small children. The two bears quickly moved in new directions and left their cozy  area by the window/door. After a bit, the family left, the bears returned and we continued to observe and watch in awe, and fall in love with them.
My daughter is three, and children, in particular, have a very keen  sense of energy when it comes to animals. Animals, of course, feel this too. Our bear friends understood our calm and loving energy. They also understood the frantic energy of the other family who entered and so, they moved away. It doesn’t mean that this other family was running around and banging on the plexi-glass door – they weren’t. In fact, they “appeared” to be observing the bears just like we were, but their energy was sending different signals.
For those who have never had pets, it’s important to learn and understand how animals behave, but, at the same time, it’s also quite simple. I like to think of it like this: you get what you give. Does it mean I’d go out and hug a bear in that zoo? NO way! I’m not nuts! What it does mean is that my calming energy will allow that bear to remain doing what he wants to do and be where he wants to be. It means I can look at my 11 yr old terrier mix and know that he’s aging and getting a little confused and needs more patience from us. It means I can hold Walter, our 4 yr old cockatoo and know he just wants some new words to learn, something to challenge him.
I’ve had the role of “pet mom” for over 30 years and it has taken the better part of 20+ years to get to this understanding. It’s worth it too.  There truly is more out there than just a yippy little Yorkie. They’re saying something. That quiet little snake is saying something. Allow yourself to listen and watch, you’ll be amazed at what you hear and feel. You’ll learn something about yourself, and your pet, you may have never known.

My Pets, My Teachers…

I don’t think I’ve ever been without a pet in my life.  As a child, my parents had dogs. I was five or six when I was introduced to my first “shelter experience.” That was something that would never leave me. That day, we ended up adopting an adorable puppy mix breed. Frisky, as I called her, lived to be 14 years old and saw me through three changes of address and my high school days.  She was a wonderful little dog and I still feel her presence with me at times.

Maybe it was Frisky, or Yoda, Axis or Jonathan (our first house cat!) that drew me into working with animals. Then again, maybe it was just the chemistry I found with animals to be so fascinating. Just listening to our pets can teach us so much.

Today, many a dog, cat, bird, horse  (and even llama!) later, I’m certified in the ancient art of Reiki healing, and, I feel a full-circle effect. My numerous experiences with animals have led me to understand that working with them is a calling and has been since I was a child. The full-circle effect feels so similar to what I felt as that 5 yr old at the shelter so many years ago.

Children and animals share a very common bond, an understanding that adults, very often, can’t see. It’s because children and animals are closer to a world that we (the adults) once knew very well too, but slowly, moved away from. The world is that of simply listening and being present. Learning from what is taking place now. Learning from playing.  Learning from observing.

How many times did you sit on the curb and watch friends play? argue? hug? cry? You remember those moments, you were present for them. Your childhood holds a number of geniune memories such as those because of how you lived your life at that time.

Back to our furry friends, who, at times, also need healing. Reiki is an ancient art which emphasizes the use of different hand positions on an animal (child, adult or even plant) and aides in directing energy. It deal with the various chakras. Combinging my love for animals, my listening and years of experience in working with so many, I have found that Reiki can work wonders on our four-legged friends.

If you’re not schooled as a professional Reiki Master, it’s ok. You can try a simple excercise with your pet at home. Reiki also works as a calming method for many animals as well. Simply sit with your pet (dog, cat, bird, etc.) in a comfortable and familiar area. Rest your hands lightly on your pet’s back or shoulders.  Feel where your pet may be tense. Listen. Move your hands until you find an area where your pet is beginning to relax and feel a sense of calm.  If you have a young dog, you may find that this may be a short session. If you have a pet with special needs, you may find yourself doing this more and more often. Whatever the case, practice makes perfect. Take some time each day to work with your pet. You may be surprised at what you find. You may also find yourself to be “healed” a bit too.