My Dogs, a Surprise on the Beach and The Angel

This is Al and Zeke. I call them “my dogs” but truth be told, they’re not. They belong to my good friends. But we have certainly had many misadventures together.
0304091526a Al is now a bit elderly and can’t walk the beach the way he used to. There is an interesting story about how Al brought Zeke to us, and I wrote about here, so you can catch up on how these “brothers” came to be together again. They have had more than a few lifetimes together, and once Zeke was fully grown, they put me through many adrenaline rushes.

As an animal communicator, I’m frequently asked by clients and friends if I can make their dog stop barking at every little thing. The answer is “no” because when dogs turn into “dog”, there’s not a lot I can do about it. All dogs, from Pomeranian to Great Dane will roll in dead things on the beach of in the woods because it’s a wolf trait they still carry. Wolves will roll in dead animals and take the scent back to the pack. This is a way other wolves know that there is food nearby. But I digress. The point is, as an animal communicator, I can’t convince your dog that rolling in dead animals is not OK. They do what they want to when they are in “dog mode” and like us, they have free will.

But several years ago, I had a rather terrifying experience when the boys went into “dog mode”. We were on the beach taking a morning walk. There was a section of the beach where I was trying to train them to walk on a leash. I wanted Zeke in particular to learn this so I could take him into town, or get him away from danger. Well needless to say: he hated it. He would whirl and spin, scratch, and turn into a drama star. He didn’t like the leash at all, but I tried to explain to him why I was doing this. He didn’t get it back then, but will walk on a leash with me now. Repetition and treats pay off.

We had arrived at the place where I would walk them one at a time on a leash. I did it with Al too although he didn’t really mind this unless he got excited. In his prime he weighed close to 120 pounds and trying to stop him while on a leash was not only nearly impossible, he would really make my shoulders sore after he’d win the battle pulling me in the direction he wanted to go in.

It was mid-February, and I had Al on the leash as Zeke explored up by some beach debris. He began barking “at a log” I saw lying on the beach. I thought it was just Zeke’s “puppy energy” and didn’t think anything of it. Knowing he was about to be set free, Al sat patiently waiting to be set free. So I called to Zeke to come back to me, which he did, and I set Al free. He too went up to the log and began barking at it. And then……the log blinked at me.
gearh_babyfurseal I looked again and couldn’t believe what I was seeing, it was a baby seal who had been left on the beach by its mother while she went to seek food in the surf. It’s not at all uncommon for Mama Seals to do this. They take their babies to a safe place while they return to the sea for food, then they retrieve them later. But I was in a heck of a mess. I had one dog, very excited and pulling very hard, and the other barking and circling the pup with a lot of enthusiasm. The pup was terrified, kept blinking and said “help me” in a quiet voice.

I had one dog, very excited and pulling very hard, and the other barking and circling the pup with a lot of enthusiasm.

I was really in a bind. I was alone, no one else on the beach, and had this “situation.” Zeke was pulling hard now wanting to join his brother torture the baby seal. Al was getting more excited by the moment, and was circling the helpless baby. And I knew if I tried to walk Zeke over and grab Al, it would be all over for the baby seal. They would kill it. They’re not vicious dogs, but the excitement would turn into something awful if I let them both near the baby.

I had recently read a book called “Messengers of Light” by Terry Lynn Taylor. In the book she talks about angels and how they are always nearby to help us with anything we might need. It had worked for me before, (nothing as scary as this) and left with few, no options, I chose to try it again.

So I yelled out loud “If there’s an angel within the sound of my voice, turn that dog around right now (please)!” And it was like magic. Within seconds, Al turned from the baby and trotted over to me. Then the three of us left.

I didn’t know what startled me more, the “blinking log” or the helpful angel who I quietly thanked over and over again as we headed back down the beach. To the dogs? It was like nothing exciting had happened. They acted as if there was no baby seal and we returned to my car all unscathed. Especially the sweet baby seal. And I never connected with the Angel. She was there and gone.

I haven’t seen any more babies on that beach since that day. I don’t think the mama seals drop their babies there anymore because it has become a more popular beach. But this is a normal practice. And should you ever come across one, leave it alone. It has not been abandoned, it has been left in a safe place (typically beaches where there aren’t many humans) so mom can get some food in order to feed her baby.

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I’m Back!

 A few months ago it became evident that I needed a break. I was being pushed and pulled in many directions. So I gave up the one thing that I most love – my animal communication. Although I thought it was a permanent change, I had no idea how much I would miss my animal and human clients. However, Spirit has a way of not letting us fully “detach” from our path. And make no mistake, this IS my path. 12_3_g Even though I was not taking jobs professionally, Spirit showed me a few things about wildlife I never knew.

Two owls have built a nest near our home and at night I could clearly hear them calling to each other. At first, I listened with delight as I’ve never heard them before. Soon I found myself eavesdropping on their conversation. One owl would stay in a tree and be the “listener”(Owl Number One) while the other would call out as to whether or not he had found food, or the “Caller” (Owl Number Two). Owl Number Two was always calling from a different location and it confused even me, let alone the prey. Each time he called out, Owl Number One would respond. Soon the calls would come closer together, and then they’d call out simultaneously. Then the woods became still again. I realized this is how they hunt, and once prey has been located, the agreement has been reached with the prey, the Owls feast. Really interesting (and really a good idea to keep your small animals indoors at night).

I had no idea that giving up what I love most – helping humans to understand their animals – was the wrong choice to make.

The animals are such pure hearts and souls they will always be on my List of Offerings, but after the first of the year, I will have a big announcement. I’m waiting until I can bring my website into this blog, I want to write a little more, and then I will be ready.

New to my Business: I am now taking credit cards through my own processor. My fee for working with your animal (here or in spirit) is $75 which includes a follow up if you would like one. For more information, please visit my website here. I’m doing readings a little differently now too. Instead of writing emails with the answers to your questions, I’m calling clients back with the information I receive. This has proven most beneficial to the client. So write me via the form on my site, leave a comment here, even if you have questions on how this works. I look forward to hearing from you!

Oh – and why beach photos instead of Owl photos? Because it has been stunning here and I thought I’d share them with you. It may be really cold, but wow, nothing like the winter sun on the ocean!

Love and Light

Lisa

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Paw prints in the sand

These are my boys.  Al and Zeke. We’ve been hunting the beach and woods for years. Both have very different in personalities, but they are brothers and they’re a pack.

The very first thing they do when we get to the beach is to sniff out paw prints left by other dogs. They can tell when a dog has been there, if the dog is still around, and more information about the unknown animal through their keen sense of smell. As we start out on our walks, I keep an eye out. Mine are two of the sweetest dogs you’ll ever meet. But they don’t mess around when they come across a new dog. They have a routine and I know it well. People mistakenly believe that since I am an animal communicator, I can talk with them and ask them to behave in a certain way. But once we’re on the beach, they are dogs and I am human. They tune me out and do their dog thing.

When we meet up with a new dog on the beach (whose paw prints my boys have already detected) the dogs will posture. They stand and look stern as do the new dogs. Then Zeke, the smaller one will make contact. Al will follow and they begin the introductions. It’s interesting for me to watch.  If the humans with the new dog (or dogs) are relaxed, tails will wag and all will get along fine. I know my boys and know they’re friendly once they’ve been properly introduced.  Then it’s sniff time with the new canine, to make sure they all know who is the alpha: Al. He’s daunting because he’s so big, but inside that large body is a very sweet shy dog.

But if we come across dogs whose humans are uptight, then all the dogs will immediately break out into a brawl.  This used to scare me and *I* would become uptight. But how am I (one human) going to break up a brawl of 3-4 large dogs? I found the best thing for me was to simply keep walking and ignore the noise. After all, that’s typically what these fights are: a lot of noise  Once my dogs see that their efforts are being ignored, they leave the fray and follow me quickly. No leashes, no fuss, no yelling – we simply walk away.

No matter what the size or shape of your dog, they are all descendants of wolves and they have  to posture and fuss because it’s in their nature.   But when my dogs return to me after a dog meet-up, I always remind them they are good boys.  With those two words, they know I love them – in spite of their sometimes unruly behavior. Because this is what dogs do. They all need introductions and it’s up to us as humans to socialize them. Our reaction is what determines their behavior.

Not all dogs are as lucky as mine. As an animal communicator I have many clients who are uncomfortable with walking their dogs because they are worried about what might happen. “Dogs on ropes” as Zeke calls them, feel at a disadvantage when they come across another dog off lead. Coupled with their human’s fear of the unknown, a docile dog can become aggressive and this will turn into a pattern with a dog of any size. Small dogs are dogs too. As their human when you walk your small dog, let them sniff everything, let them smell the “paw prints in the sand”, and introduce them to a new dog, with no fear. If you are confident, the dog will be confident. Everybody wins.

“Paw prints” are left here on my blog . I want to thank all of you who have followed my experiences, been loyal clients, and left comments on my bog. I can see who you are and when you’ve been here and I really appreciate the return visits. Thank you.

And since it’s Christmas, I want to end this with a beautiful message Al once gave me. He was born “accidentally”  when his mom mated with a Shepherd up the road. His mom was a Husky and was set to be bred with their dog – his dad’s favorite dog of all time: Bob. Sadly, Bob died before Al was born, so Al was the chosen one out of the litter to live with the family. He knew from Day One that his dad could never love him as he had loved Bob. He loved his dad anyway, did as he was asked as he grew, and became a much beloved member of the family. But there was always that distance between Al and his dad. Al wasn’t Bob.

Through my animal communication, I taught Al’s dad a lot about Al and the things he had to say. Al was nothing like Bob but his sweet nature is irresistible. With his giant frame, there is a heart as big to go with it.

One day we were walking the beach and Al was at my side. He said to me “My dad loves me now like he loved Bob.” I replied “Really Al?, That’s great!” and he said “Yes, and all I had to do was be myself.”

May we all be reminded daily of Al’s message: to love others as we leave our “paw prints in the sand” and are loved by others:  simply by being ourselves.

 

**this is a family I am very close to. I am an honorary member of the pack and spend as much time as I can with Al and Zeke AND their other two dogs.

Angels

Until a story was published about me in a local paper a few years ago, Norma had no idea animal communication was possible. But she and her husband Ed contacted me so that I could talk with their dog Hannah. This is her pictured on the right. She had some health problems, she was blind with cataracts and had bad infections in her ears. Ed and Norma wanted assurance that she wasn’t in pain. This beautiful girl with the sweet smile was not in pain, though the daily medication treatments stung her ears a bit.

They took her to a vet that told them that a surgery was possible, but risky for a dog Hannah’s age. Also it couldn’t be done in our area and Hannah would be in pain after the surgery. It was a very tough decision and a hard call for anyone to make. But Hannah had lived a good long life so Ed and Norma did what was best for Hannah. Rather than put her through the ordeal of a painful surgery to help, but not cure her ear problems, they chose to send Hannah to spirit. It was the best choice for Hannah.

Not only were Ed and Norma heartbroken, but Buddy their other Cocker and Hannah’s soul mate was devastated too. He told me he’d rather be in spirit with Hannah, he was so grief stricken. In their last few years together, Buddy had helped Hannah navigate their world. She had such trouble seeing because of her bad vision, that Buddy had been her, well, seeing eye dog. He missed her very much and wanted to be with her. This is not unusual. I’ve seen healthy animals either have accidents or die suddenly when their mate goes to spirit.

So shortly after Hannah left them, Ed and Norma went to the shelter and adopted Bugsy.  He was a Boston Terrier who was in the same place they were. He had lost his human and was awaiting adoption by a new family. Bugsy had some health issues of his own because he too was an “elder dog”.  He had cataracts that really distorted his vision.  Bugsy literally had no future until Ed and Norma found him.

Gradually, everyone worked through their grief and got to know each other. It took some time, but Buddy and Bugsy began to really have a good time together. Buddy told me they were “a couple of old guys kickn’ around” – a line that has always made me laugh. Both “old guys” had arthritis in their hips, so Norma and Ed took them to the beach daily for a walk. And Bugsy was just what this family needed. I suggested a good supplement for the boys and their hips got stronger. Today they are very good friends. Bugsy has a loving home again, Buddy has a friend to knock around with, and Ed and Norma’s family is once again complete.

Buddy has not forgotten Hannah, nor has anyone in this family.  I often wonder if Hannah was the catalysis who “urged” Ed and Norma to go to the shelter that day and find this wonderful guy. Bugsy told me he helped to heal his human that is now in spirit and now he’s helping to heal the hearts of this family. I think he’s done his job and earned his new life.

This is a story that is special to me.  Hannah will always hold a special place in my heart. She was so kind and loving and never even let on to me if she was in pain. In fact I don’t believe she suffered at all. For one, animals don’t feel pain as humans think they do and two, well, Hannah really is one-of-a-kind. But then, so are Ed and Norma.

As for the old guys? They’re still enjoying daily walks on the beach that I know keep them younger and younger. These two are pretty great guys themselves.  And they have their angel Hannah watching over them as they enjoy a second life together. Both of these dogs had decided this was the end of the line for them. But this new found friendship has changed everything. And it’s keeping everybody young.

I titled this post “Angels”  because I believe that everyone, human and canine are all angels.

My best friend

You may have seen him before. Well yeah, he’s right up above here in my banner. His name is Zeke and he’s my best bud. We try to go to the beach at least once a week. We experience different things on our walk, even though we’re walking together.

I’m currently working out some issues that are tough for me. The fresh sea air clears my head. The cool wind keeps me present. I always notice that the sea and the beach are different. Though we’ve walked this beach hundreds of times, maybe thousands, it feels like a fresh place each time we go. It might be new driftwood that washed up the night before, could be that sand has been removed or brought to the beach by the angry night sea, or simply that the light has changed from the last time we visited. It’s always a different day on the same beach for us, every time we go.

I wish I was a stats person. If I was, I could tell you how many more smells  Zeke notices than I do. To me, it’s simply the fresh sea breeze and beach I notice. But to my best friend this is a treasure trove of smells. Dogs have well, a lot more smell senses than we do.  They have sensors in their mouths as well as those keen noses. So when we go to the beach, the salt air is just a backdrop to all the other interesting smells. Canines that have visited the beach before us, food that has been stashed carelessly behind by folks having a meal on the beach, or sea birds that have left their bodies for the other side  (another way of saying “dead birds”), all of these smells are of intense interest to a dog. If the tide hasn’t washed it away, chances are, he can smell it. So his walk is like mine. It’s different every day.

We occasionally have east winds that gust from the land. I used to hate these days when Zeke was younger. The good news was that east winds mean clear weather. Sometimes warm, sometimes cold depending on the season. But they also mean bringing smells from the land. Even I with my wimpy sense of smell have noted the musky scent of elk as we walk the beach and so has Zeke.

When he was younger I would watch him (very carefully) as he’d run along the tree line that meets the beach, looking up for a place to spring up an elk trail. A place to start the chase. Some days I’d lose him and his brother for a few frustrating hours. I’d worry about the road that he’d have to cross in order to stay in pursuit. And then what? How would a dog who pales in comparison to these giants capture their “prey”? Bark them to death?

Those days are mostly over since his brother has sore bones, he doesn’t rise to the occasion too often for the hunt. But now that I know what I know about dogs, I wish I hadn’t been so hard on them. I used to scream, yell, stamp my feet, get all bent outa shape. Threaten them with no walks. All to no avail. And for what? Being angry that they were simply being dogs doing what dogs do? Having fun? Nah, the stamping, yelling, and screaming never worked.

And Zeke isn’t my dog. He lives in another pack of which he considers me a member. Maybe because I picked him from the litter. He fell asleep in my lap on his ride to his new home. He took his first walk with me on the beach. And then his second, and then (just keep adding them in here). He may not live with me, but Zeke’s my dog. He calls me “mom”, he calls to me when he’s in trouble, and he has an adorable sense of humor.

Yeah my guy is in his prime now, a few more years will tip him into his elder years. I don’t think about that though because that would be going against the grain of dogs. For dogs, like we humans should, live in the moment. We’ll be walking the beach and Zeke will remind me that I’m not staying with the moment very well. I’m “off” somewhere in my head which does us no good. We need to stay present, he reminds me, or we might miss one of these interesting smells. Or simply the pleasure of being together on the beach.

I love my guy. I know he loves me too. And it’s the kind of love that doesn’t shift and change. It’s not complicated love. It just is.

Wish I was a stats person.  Then I could guesstimate how many others out there have Zeke’s and know what I’m talking about.  It’s what life’s about. The fact that two beings can take the same walk, have totally different experiences, and still be blissfully happy at the conclusion of their time together.

That kind of friendship. That kind of love.

My Pal Al

My dear friend Al is getting up in years. Not that he’s old – let’s say he’s led a full, fun, some-what hard-on-his-body life. Al’s head is the size of two 5 year old’s. He’s a very large dog. He takes your breath away. One because of his size and two because he’s stunning. He’s one of the most beautiful dogs I’ve ever known and I’m proud to say he’s one of my teachers.

One little thing that separates me from other animal communicators is that I wasn’t the little girl that loved all animals. I didn’t want a pony. I never brought home strays. No quite to the contrary. We had a dog. I acknowledged him and he loved me. I wasn’t “that kid”. I wasn’t waiting for my 18th birthday so that I could make a home large enough for all unwanted animals. And in fact, before I knew I could communicate with animals, I was scared to death of Al. I would sit in Al’s driveway, (after all with his size it is HIS driveway), and throw dog biscuits out the slit of window I had unrolled. Then I’d call Al’s mom on my cell phone to ask her to please come and escort me past Al. Now I find this quite funny. Because now he’s one of my best friends.

Not only did Al teach me that he wouldn’t hurt a fly (unless the fly was threatening me) but he also taught me a lot about animals. After we’d gotten over the fact I had been afraid of him, we began taking long walks together on the beach. Al would run along the rocks, sniffing things that dogs find cool, and I’d listen to his long monologues about, well, dogs.  He told me long and interesting stories of his past life, his soul mate, and why he wanted him here with him in this life. (that’s another story for another day) He told me why dogs do certain things that we humans find fascinating, and he taught me how to train dogs.

Later I would read a book by a woman whose information about dogs I already had learned – from Al. She also said in the book it was impossible to communicate with animals. I thought this was funny since I had learned all her information from a dog. But he’s a pretty amazing dog and a very good teacher. In fact I don’t know anyone that knows him, that doesn’t love him.

One of our favorite things to do (naturally) is to go to the beach. It’s a bigger group now. Al, me, his dad, and Al’s two brothers. Sometimes we’re joined by his mom and his “human litter mate”. We all traipse down to the beach early on weekend mornings. Rain or shine. And even though is showing visible signs of slowing, he wouldn’t miss our walks for the world. Sometimes we have to stop and turn and see how far behind he’s lagged. But mostly he stays pace with us pretty well.

I found out about and ordered this great product to help him with his sore hips. Most large dogs over the age of about 8 start to slow. But these supplements are really helping to put a spring in his step. I’m linking to their site here because I think their product is so great. They concentrate mostly on horses, dogs, and humans. But Al’s found a new way to keep up and it’s called “having these supplements with his dinner”.  They’ve really helped him a lot and I would recommend them to anybody with a dog of any size who has started to slow a bit.

We love our big guy. And we want him along for our walks for as long as he feels like coming. And I’m just guessing here, but I think that’s going to be for some time to come.

Of course I guess I could just ask him……

Wind Tunnel

windymax1We tried an experiment on the beach today. How long CAN a small dog stay seated in gale force winds? The answer is: until the cookie is dispatched. Then he’s on his way again.

This morning when getting ready for our weekend walk on the beach, it was sunny and clear at my house. But just 2 miles south it was a different story. Of course. The wind was blowing. Of course. But to make it even more fun, we had hail and lots and lots of rain. By the time we got home my ears hurt from the wind (even with my hood up) and my undies were soaked through my jeans, sweatshirt, long sleeve shirt, etc.

Max here had a great time. He isn’t a little coat wearing dog. No siree. He can withstand just about anything. His two brothers who are much larger were off exploring when the first of the cookies were handed out. Max ain’t no dummy. He stuck around and waited for his treat.

And now of course that I’m home, dry, and getting on with the day – it’s sunny and not nearly as windy. Such is life at the coast. If you don’t like the weather? Wait 15 minutes. And sadly, that really is true. Of course so is the flip side. If you have your sunglasses and shorts  on and are ready for the beach – take a rain jacket with you. Just in case.