Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Earthquake Safety for Pets

In light of the recent earthquake activity here in Southern California and around the world, some people may be wondering what the animals could possibly be thinking with all the shaking and rumbling going on. Since a client of mine contacted me this week about this very topic, I'd like to share my thoughts on what our pets may be experiencing during these moments.

Generally speaking, animals respond much like children: they look to their "parents" for ideas about what to do in certain situations. In Human Development terms, this is called "social referencing." When a parent is insecure or lacking confidence about something or someone, the child (and in this case, the pet) will pick up on this and follow suit by also displaying insecurity or discomfort from the situation. So, my advice to pet owners during times of natural disasters, or any other unnerving situation, is to stay calm, find the best place for safety, and always have an emergency plan in place. Many of us Californians have been told time and time again to be prepared and have a good supply of emergency items, such as a first aid kit, extra clothing, a cordless radio and batteries, food, and water. The same holds true for our pets: it is critical to also keep on hand extras of whatever your pets require (food, water, animal first aid kit, etc.).

To find out what the animals felt and thought about our recent earthquake, I decided to "interview" some animals. A beautiful 11 year-old horse--whose owner was with him during last weekend's EQ--told me he thought he was going to fall down, but he knew he'd be safe because his "mom" was with him; he also mentioned he had a dream that night about being swallowed up by the earth, but he knew he'd really be ok. My own dog, who is usually extremely sensitive to his environment, responded with: "what earthquake?" While many pet owners have witnessed an animal's nervous behavior prior to an earthquake, there are other animals who accept it without concern.

If you do find your pet acting strangely--and only you as a pet owner can distinguish what would be "strange" for your pet--I'd like to suggest that you observe and wait a bit before jumping to conclusions. Remember, the more frightened you become, the more your pet will feel cause to worry.

If you have further questions about this topic or other safety issues with pets, or if you have related stories to share, please feel free to contact me.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Adding a New Pet Into Your Home

Most of us animal lovers can't seem to get enough of that wonderful unconditional love we receive from our pets, so how could having more of that be bad, right? Not always so right, unfortunately. I have had several consultations with pet owners who ask for help when they've brought a new cat or dog into the home where a cat or dog already lives. Every now and then, I do get a call before a new pet has been added, which really does make the difference.

One of the best places to start when considering introducing a new pet is to ask the pet currently living in the home how she/he feels about this. Surprisingly, in my experience, there are a few who really don't mind. But that's it--just a few. Most animals do not want what comes with a new pet: less attention from "mom" or "dad" or less quality time(which is, of course, anticipated in their minds), and the chance that this new "sibling" will eat their food (remember, dogs especially have that pack mentality). Most of the time, the answer to the question "Would you like a little buddy to play with?" is......no; sometimes it's even an emphatic NO! When asked if they're lonely, which is a projection from pet owners, most of the time the answer is no. It takes a certain personality in a dog or cat to accept another furry family member...but also taken into account is age, gender, and how long the current pet has lived in the home.

The most difficulty usually occurs when two cats are brought together: cats are much more selective (as any cat owner would agree) and have very different views about their position in the home than dogs. If a new cat comes into the household, without asking the current resident cat(s), you could be facing a very challenging situation that may or may not ever be resolved.

Based on the many pet owners who have consulted with me about adding new pets, I strongly recommend, first of all, that you ASK the current pet(s) -- through the services of an Animal Communicator -- and to seriously consider the possible consequences of changing the present hierarchy--and please know that there is one; if the new pet arrives without the owner(s)having heard from the other pet(s), there may very well be a chance of agreement. Only time will tell. But, fear not, there are some things pet owners can do to try to make the transition go more smoothly. The most important thing to consider is to respect all the animals involved.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Pets with health issues

When pets get older, it's very common for them to experience certain kinds of discomfort, illnesses, or even organ failure. But one of the most common health-related occurrences I've witnessed in animals has to do with their emotional health, unrelated to aging.

Many of you may know that animals are here on earth to be our teachers and guides; but another aspect of their involvement in our lives is to act as a mirror to our own experiences. I've met with clients who say that their pets seem to be feeling what they themselves are feeling...in other words, the animal "mirrors" back physical -- or emotional -- conditions such as aches, pains, stress, or some illness. One of their roles in being part of our lives is to show us where we need to pay attention. The problem is most people don't notice that their pets are just trying to tell them something, to realize that it's important to take care of ourselves.
My friend in the photo above began barking excessively shortly after his "dad" passed away. His mom, now a widow, asked me to speak with him about this, and it turned out he was simply being protective due to the loss of his "father figure." He only wanted to keep his mom safe; now that there was no longer a man in the house, he took it upon himself to be her protector.
So what seems to be a behavior problem is actually a loving and concerned pet trying to get a message across to the family.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

What does your pet really want?

What could our horse/dog/cat/ bird (or any other pet) possibly want when we give them a loving home, yummy food to eat, and plenty of toys to play with? As you may guess, the answer to that question varies with the type of animal and life he/she leads.

Many pet owners I have met tell me that they believe their pets are "spoiled" and have pretty much everything they want. But, in my experience, the bottom line for any animal is unconditional love -- to give and to receive. What, then, does "unconditional love" really mean? With my professional background in Early Childhood Education, I have learned that fulfilling children's needs are based on love through respect and understanding. It is no different for animals! You may wonder, how would we give respect and understanding to our animals--they don't know what that means! Guess what? They certainly do! Animals of all kinds are highly intuitive and "get" so much more than many people might imagine.

What about the family dog who starts "looking depressed" when the suitcases come out for an upcoming vacation? Or what about the cat who suddenly stops using the litter box when a new pet is brought into the home? Has anyone thought to tell their pet about the changes taking place in the home? Usually--no. I strongly urge my clients to keep their pets informed and "in the loop" about what's happening in their homes. Just like any other family member, it's important to let your pets in on what events will be taking place, who's coming or going, etc., and that they are a valued member of the household. Acknowledgment can be so powerful--even to the animals.

Talk to your pets! Tell them your plans! Believe me, it matters!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Will my pet ever come back to me?

Many people ask if their pet who has crossed over will "come back." As an Animal Communicator, this is not an easy question to answer. Why? Because each animal's soul is so unique, and there are no hard and fast rules. Reincarnation is a complicated subject in and of itself; explaining to pet owners that their beloved pets will indeed return, in the form of a similar animal, is possible but not always what the pet owner wants to hear.

My suggestion is to investigate further into the topic of reincarnation, to completely understand the term and how it works. Read more, discuss with others, and, of course, utilize someone like me to communicate with the animal in spirit.

One comment I'd like to make is this: from my studies and research, it has been stated that people and their animals stay together throughout many lifetimes. However, the cat someone just lost may or may not return as a similar cat, or even as a cat at all. Being open to all possibilities is a good way to go. The soul of an animal, personality, and characteristics have been know to remain unchanged. You'll know when it happens to you.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Dealing with the loss of your pet

As an Animal Communicator, one of the most common requests I receive from pet owners is how to handle the impending death of a beloved pet.

Losing a special animal is indeed one of the most difficult experiences we'll ever have . Having been through this myself with my own dog, Corky, 7 years ago, I completely understand how deeply the impending loss affects pet owners.

I'd like to add that, first and foremost, no matter what our pet's condition, I believe it is of utmost importance for us to be respectful. How? By believing that animals do have feelings and thoughts they'd love to share! I also believe they are here for one main reason: to teach us about unconditional love. There is no doubt they teach us many things in life, but love is the bottom line.

Some of the questions pet owners generally ask when their pets are ill are: Is my pet in pain? How much longer does my pet have? Is the medication really helping? When I telepathically communicate with the animal, I get the answers simply and directly, because animals have a very open attitude about passing on. While the responses are never easy to hear, it always seems to provide some comfort and relief to the pet owner to hear exactly how their pets feel and think about what's happening. One very crucial point our pets have to make is that, more than how they feel about their own health, their concerns are for us, their people, and how we're feeling.

If you are facing this situation and would like to have me speak with your pet regarding his/her feelings and thoughts, please contact me. I would love to be able to offer some support, understanding, and comfort to you at this difficult time. I invite you to check out my website www.bonnietaplin.com for further info about me and my work. You can also reach me at (949) 636-5500 (local or long-distance readings available).

As difficult as it is to say goodbye, clients have told me that they have indeed found some relief in hearing what their beloved pets had to say.

Bonnie Taplin, Animal Communicator & Healer