Animal communication, at its core value, is best summarized as "inter-species translation" And animal communicators do just that. And although labels can be cumbersome, over the last few months, it's become very obvious the label doesn't fit. More appropriately, it's just too small.
Every once in a while, a client comes along who re-defines the scope of this job description, and who shakes everything up, in a good way. This week, it was a sweet, senior Golden Retriever.
The client requested a session to determine what, if anything her dog would eat, and was offered the next available appointment in person, which was a week out. When she replied that she was concerned that the dog may not be with us that long, a phone session was immediately scheduled. It was a warm fall afternoon, and the dog lazily slept on the sidewalk as her owner described the situation. The old dog refused to eat anything that was offered, and it was concerning. So concerning, in fact, that the client had called for a vet appointment. The receptionist, not sensing any urgency, offered her one a few days later.
As the communication session evolved, I began to experience an immense pressure in the dog's chest, as well as an overwhelming sense of lethargy. The client continued to describe her dog's general weakness and change in demeanor. She was distraught by her pet's change in behavior, especially her lack of appetite. And then, an intuitive thought led me to ask her "can you please raise your dog's lip and tell me what color her gums are?" There was silence for a moment while she checked. And then the answer.... "they're um, white". I sucked my breath in. "White? Or just pale pink? Are you sure they're white?" I tried to not sound panicked. She checked again. "Yes, white. What does that mean?"
Calmly, I explained her dire need to call the vet. Now. "But they said I could come tomorrow afternoon". She hesitated. I explained that tomorrow may be too late, and then tried to prepare her for the possibilities. There was never a diagnosis implied, but more of a need to help this woman understand that her dog was in dire condition. White gums could have several medical implications, none of them good. This was no longer animal communication. It was a hybrid service that I still struggle to put a label on. It's never intended to be anything but supportive of professional veterinary care, a champion for pet ownership, and sometimes even coaching services to help clients through big pet-medical confusion. There is absolutely no need for a super hero cape on this end- honestly, just a better understanding of this service, so it can be explained to others.....
I asked that she try to stay calm, and try to prepare for decisions she would be faced with. The most important thing, right then, was getting her an appointment to be seen. We talked about the right language to use when talking to the receptionist, including those "white gums". I encouraged the woman to take her time to think through things that the vet said, once she was there. In my heart, I felt that this dog was tired... and that the news would not be good.
Most importantly, before we hung, up, the session reverted back to communication. "I want you to know your dog feels very loved, and has loved her life with you"..... She thanked me, and we said good-bye. Within minutes, I would be assisting clients in the vet clinic, so for a few hours, had put her Golden in the back of my mind. Later that evening, an email came through thanking me for being insistent that she go to the vet right then. The client had to say goodbye to her Golden companion that afternoon, after the vet said she likely had a large tumor...... and that she may not be here tomorrow.....
So grateful that the Universe directed our paths to cross......
One of the benefits of frequent travel is the ability to shop at my favorite stores- including Trader Joe's. Last night, after appointments, I raced to make it to the Easton store before it closed. Score! Trader Joe's has more of the foods that I can eat, and special healthy treats that my kids enjoy. Plus, we don't have anything like it in our area.
In record time, I had filled my wish list and made it to a register within four minutes of closing. Now had this been Walmart, there would have been no conversation. But the pastel-teal haired man that rang me out was more of a comedian than a cashier. And I loved every minute of it.
So I stood there in a shirt that clearly said "Animal Communicator". And that never came up. Who knew? However, I mentioned that I had an hour drive home, so the cold stuff might melt.... And he gasped.... "An HOUR???" I must've looked surprised. "yes", I answered. "An hour, and I didn't want to miss a chance to stop here". He looked puzzled. "So you live where there are cows... and stuff?" He asked
I laughed. "Yes. Cows. I have cows. Ben and Jerry. For real." He obviously never in a million years thought I would say that. Or maybe thought that I was pulling his leg. So the tables were turned on this cashier/comedian, who didn't know what to say next, other than "you really have cows?"
So yes, I have cows. And a pony, chickens, turkeys, rabbits, dogs, and cats. The hens make breakfast for us each day, and we enjoy our morning coffee watching grazing deer in the fields nearby. I wouldn't change it for a concrete life any day, though I respect those who choose an urban dwelling or a subdivision.
What's the lesson here? Be open to new things, and talk to people. You never know what you might learn. Above all, don't judge. We have alot to learn from each other. Have you ever had an experience like this? Stepped out of your comfort zone?
Decision making is super hard for some people. They fret for days and weeks over what seemingly is a simple choice. What if they make the wrong decision? Since it's their journey, it's not our place to judge. However, there are better and less stressful ways of making choices. I remember clothes shopping with a friend once. Seeing her agonize over choices quickly make me realize why it took hours for her to put together an outfit, and why she has weekly returns to the store.
A person doesn't have to be intuitive to embrace a phenomenal metaphysical tool. When making a decision, simply ask yourself: "Does it make me feel open and expanded, or closed up?" If the answer is "open and expanded", then the right choice it to go with it. If something makes you feel closed down, it's usually better to move away from it.
Obviously, the person has to be willing to tap into their feelings and be able to be honest about how they feel. Curious? Try it with a small decision, such as ordering food from a restaurant menu. Then, build up to bigger decisions and see how it works for you. Have you tried it? WHat was your experience?
Every single day, I get calls to help find lost pets. Sometimes it's an accidental door opening that allows for a sudden escape, but in other cases, it's a dog bolting from fear. Recently, client Chris told me about this amazing product that she found for her dog. It's a light up vest that you see Tally modeling in the photo.
The vest is manufactured by Noxgear, and is called "LightHound". It is light weight, can be charged on your computer (micro-USB), and it's machine washable! I was impressed by the range of colors the product offered, as well as the color combinations that could be made. There are six flashing illumination modes, allowing your dog to be patriotic, in rescue mode, and more!
Think about this though- with incredible visibility, not only would it be easier to locate your dog, it would make for overall greater safety. Even with double coated breeds, the illumination is intense and easy to see- even in the rain!
The reviews of the product are amazing, and the price is very reasonable. Here is the link to the LightHound vest: https://www.noxgear.com/lighthound
This is an unpaid and non-endorsed post, but the possible applications for this product could really help all of us. A client has a senior dog, for example, who has poor vision, and becomes forgetful in the yard. The vest would allow him to be seen and monitored at night. The sizing appears to be reasonable. Tally is a Portuguese Water Dog, and she is wearing a large. The XL is recommended for Danes and other large breeds, but it's unknown if the XL would fit a Leonberger or Newfie.
Check out the product- it's too good not to share. If you've tried it, please leave a comment so we know what your experience was. The only drawback so far appears to be that it's manufactured in China. Bummer.
Some of the best questions that people ask often come from my students. Recently, I was asked "how do you know if what you're hearing is from the animal you're connected with?" What she was referring to is "how do you know you're in the active process of communication, and not listening to your higher self, or intuition?" This is a great question!
The answer lies in the technique that is used to communicate, and what state you're in during the process.
Communicating with an animal always starts with a meditative-like state. Quieting the mind helps to shut off potential distractions, and aids in strengthening the heart connection with the animal. I like to use a photo when doing distance communication, and one that shows the eyes is most helpful, such as this one.
Distractions and extra information DO happen, but with experience, shutting them off becomes easier. I like the process to watching bubbles float away. Once in this meditative state, extending your heart energy to the animal's, and forming an "energetic bridge" is the common ground for the communication exchange to take place. Always remember to energetically protect yourself to avoid energetic interference from other animals, etc.
It's helpful to remember that the information you receive via animal communication may be in the form of pictures, smells, words, sentences, or feelings. Intuitively or verbally, you may now pose questions to the animal you're working with, and wait for the response. Patience is rewarded.
So, how do you know if the connection is authentic? Or if the information you're receiving is from the animal you're communicating with? Try these steps:
1. Ask yourself if the information "feels right". If not, you may need to build a stronger connection.
2.Ask the animal the same question but re-worded. See if you receive similar information. Make sure your questions aren't too complicated, and can be answered with a few words.
3. Verify the answers you receive with a pendulum, if you're comfortable using one.
4. If you're getting conflicting information, ask the animal to "show you" more. Stay in the meditative state, and pay attention to the visuals that come forth. This is extremely helpful!
5. Try again another day if you need to verify the information that you've received. Detach from the previous answers and see if the new information is consistent.
Remember that the ability to communicate with animals lies within all of us. Practice really helps, and the rewards are very worthwhile!
It's hard to believe that in less than 24 hours, we start a new year! As part of my coaching practice, I often hear about fresh starts at the beginning of each new year. Unfortunately, many of these goals and fresh starts are abandoned by about March, and we find ourselves back where we started. I wanted to share some practical tools for you that will help with making changes as we enter 2016.
The first step to creating change is identifying what it is that you want to be different. Keep in mind that this may be something material, or it could be something that involves relationships, training, or even confidence. Look at what things are working really well in your life, and write them down. Next, write down the things you want to change. If you struggle with this part, ask a good friend or training partner to help you. Sometimes, the best clues are found in what we complain about, or what makes us feel frustrated. The very best tool that I ask my coaching clients to employ is used in decision making. Does something make you feel open and expanded? Or does it make you feel closed down? If it's the later, it needs to either change, or go.
A big part of what you need to consider for potential change is human relationships. If someone in your life is impacting you in a negative way, not respecting boundaries, or taking too much, then they need to go. Likewise, in training situations, you need to surround yourself, and your dog with positive. If you have a classmate or training partner that is making you feel closed down, it would be best to move away from them. The important thing to note is that the Universe will keep bringing us the lesson until we get it right. Part of getting it right requires that you identify what it is that you want, and what you will no longer tolerate.
Next, you're going to focus on your ideal outcome, and write that down in the positive present tense. Put it somewhere where you'll see it each day, such as on your bathroom mirror. An example is "My dog and I are surrounded by supportive, friendly, knowledgeable training staff and students". Ultimately, statements like these become your truth and your reality. What to do when doubt creeps in? Shut it down. Hold up a mental stop sign,and re-read your positive affirmation.
It's very important that you identify with and embrace your individual identity. You aren't what people say about you, you aren't your fears, and your dog believes in you! Don't lose sight of your goals and the things you want to change. Stay true to your commitment, and give change a chance. There is a great saying that I'd like to close with. "Change is scary. But know what's scarier? Regrets.".
Now let's make 2016 the best year for you and your dog!
This week in the United States, we celebrated Thanksgiving. For many people, this holiday represents a time to express gratitude for the abundance in our lives. We gather at a table, enjoy a huge meal, and partake in hearty conversation. Stories are shared, information exchanged, and plans for the future discussed. In parallel, many information exchanges happen daily and without much thought. What makes the holiday different however, is the neutrality that the Thanksgiving table represents. People are there for a common reason, without a hidden agenda.
The quiet mini-conversations around the table provide good reflection on how we handle day to day communication, interaction, and relations with people and our dogs. Couldn’t so much more be accomplished without a hidden agenda? If we showed up with our dog “just to have fun?” Several things have occurred this month that proved to be a good reminder that we ALWAYS have a choice.
Every human interaction expends energy on the part of all parties involved. Communication can be positive, challenging, negative, or uplifting. Knowing that some people literally drain us, or approach us with a hidden agenda reminds me that we need to be wise with our energy expenditure. Why on earth would anyone want to interact with someone who drains them, or has a hidden agenda? What message does that send to yourself?
A good indication that it's time to reevaluate your personal relationships is that drained feeling after spending time with someone toxic. Maybe they are constantly taking from you, and never giving back? Or criticizing you and your dog? Giving unwanted advice? You get the idea. In the worst case, it's someone who takes so much that they literally make you sick.
Consider spending time with people that make you feel good, and be accountable for the energy you bring to the interaction. Strive to maintain the balance of giving and receiving, and above all else, don't get taken advantage of.
It is perfectly okay to move away from people and relationships that no longer work- and towards those that do. There is no need to remain stuck, or get someone's permission to move on. If we put a dollar amount on your energy, would you reconsider what you're giving?
This Thanksgiving, I express gratitude for the wonderful friends and clients in my life. I am grateful for the freedom to align with those who have my highest good in mind. What are you most grateful for?
Today is the last day of October, my very favorite month. I’m sad to see it go! It seems like a good time to share some of the things that I’ve learned over the last four weeks. Many people wonder what life is like as an Animal Communicator. And while I can’t speak for everyone, it might be interesting to learn a little about the work, from my perspective.
Early in October, someone sent me a link for two other well respected Communicators in opposite corners of America. What they wanted me to see was, in comparison, the clearly delineated limitation of services, and the rates that were triple of mine. Sure, communication can be exhausting, but I struggled to understand the pricing, and the lack of a long term relationship between communicator and client.
By the second week in October, I began to consider some of the advantages, possibly, of the clearly delineated “session”, and limited relationship that these Communicators offered. My phone continued to receive texts well after midnight, and then again, starting at 4 am. Sleep became short, and I really reflected on the boundaries that probably needed to be set. These texts were from clients, many who know that I am never away from my phone.
Unfortunately, the critical nature of my client’s pets continued, spilling over well into the third week in October. Serious emergencies, end life decisions, and injuries that halted agility careers, required immediate attention. Those animals needed a voice, and someone to coach their people through crisis. It was then that a clearly defined difference in my role emerged, as compared to other people who do my “job”. Your pets are like my own, and my commitment to them, and to you is serious.
Make no mistake, I will never diagnose or prescribe. I will however, communicate with your pet, verbalize their needs, and coach you through your darkest days, and your biggest triumphs. Saying goodbye to your fur-family member is like saying goodbye to my own. Yes, there probably are boundaries that need to be set, in time. Honestly though, on this last day of the month, I wouldn’t trade the commitment for more sleep. It’s an honor to help you and your fur family.
My limitations as a “one woman band” became clear this month. I’m looking at going back to online scheduling, an easier to maintain web platform, and same day emergency services. In the meantime, I have so much gratitude to express to each of you for allowing me to love your animals as you do. For trusting me to help with those big decisions, and for feeling comfortable reaching out in a time of need.
In October alone, I have done over 200 sessions. That milestone speaks testament to the sudden and sometimes critical nature of needing to communicate with an animal in distress. But as we look to tomorrow, November 1st, there is much gratitude in my heart for not being “just a Communicator”. There is so much more beyond the label, and beyond the relationship.
The beginning of each session with a new client usually starts with me asking them if they’re familiar with how animal communication works. Most new clients have had some input from others who have encouraged them to experience a session for themselves. At core value, I explain that animal communication is very much like translation. It’s no different than working with foreign languages, although animals don’t speak English, or your native tongue.
Animals communicate using visuals, but during the translation process, words may be included in a way that I can understand. Animals may also provide sounds, smells, and even, taste. All animal communicators work a little differently, so it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself by asking questions, before a session starts.
A few basic things to consider will set the tone for success and also give you more value for your money:
I’ve been conversing with animals since I could talk, and it wasn’t until my teenage years that I learned not everyone hears their voice. In my case, animal communication is both a gift and a blessing. We all have the ability within us to develop this skill, and you can learn how in one of my classes. Many people ask if it’s exhausting, overwhelming, or mind-jarring to hear so many animals talking at once. The answer is, it could be! It’s much like walking into a party and hearing many small conversations taking place. Fortunately, by raising my vibration, I can “tune out” the chatter, and establish a quiet space in my mind.
This “tuning” is an essential part of how humans can hear animals communicating with us. Much like dialing into a radio frequency, the technique relies on quantum physics. When the human vibrational frequency is adjusted to that of the animal, the wonderful world of animal communication becomes possible. This technique is how I communicate with animals from around the globe- simply by using a photo.
Jen Ortman, owner of Holistipet (LLC) is a Professional Animal Communicator, Animal Reiki Master Teacher, author, and speaker.