Don’t Want To Talk Politics, but…

This isn’t going to be a space where I talk about my feelings on politics. At some point we all need to get away from it. But this is really a sad story.

The USDA for years has been keeping a list of reputable dog breeders in the US. They’ve also made notes of people who claim to be breeders and are not. And what’s wrong with that? A lot. The first thing that comes to mind is a dog I worked with many years ago. He was not even a year old and had so many health issues. My client was of Korean descent and I believe the “breeder” took advantage of her English which wasn’t perfect. It became more than obvious as Chewy’s story unfolded that he had been a victim of a non licensed, greedy dog breeder. My best guess his that he over-bred the mother until her puppies began to show signs of illness.

This story about what the Trump administration has done is equally awful. We need to have good access to the list of puppies and their breeders. Not by a written request that can take months, we need that information at the click of a mouse.  Like it was two weeks ago. Please, call your congress men and women and tell them to get this list reinstated.

Thank you, I’ll get off my high horse. It just really makes me mad after what dogs like Chewy went through. And will now continue to go though.

Zoe 2008-2014

It was a stunningly clear night on the coast. During the summer after the sun sets, the fog races in and blankets us in much cooler temperatures. But on some nights, such was this, not only were the skies crystal clear, but we also had a full moon. The kind that is so big and bright you can make giant moon shadows. It was a peaceful, gorgeous night. But I had a sudden chill. I immediately thought of Zoe. My little feral kitty who had considered me her main food source for over five years. From the beginning we had a deal:  she would have a safe meal at my home every night, but I would never try to trap or even touch her. Reluctantly I agreed.

She was dumped here during some very cold weather in 2009. A neighbor saw Zoe dragging herself towards her bird bath. The water was frozen so my friend had put out birdseed for the birds. Zoe wasn’t going for the birds, she was trying to share their meal since she was starving. It’s not the first time we’ve had to deal with animals being dumped here on the coast, left to fend for themselves. Many city folk bring their animals back to nature. Mainly because they aren’t cute and little anymore, but I digress….

We chose a vacant house that was several houses away where we had found her. I sat and told her one afternoon (from a safe distance) that her food would be placed somewhere new the following day. The original set-up wasn’t working. So in my mind, I sent her a mental picture of where in the neighborhood her food would be. The next day she showed up at the house I had showed her and enjoyed a quiet meal. This worked out great until the house sold and we were notified that we’d have to move Zoe again. But again, after a talk from a safe distance away, she showed up the next day on my front porch where she’d enjoy her meals once a day for the next 5 years. Some days I would forget and realize suddenly that she had waited sometimes for hours for me to feed her. She rarely announced herself, just patiently waited until I noticed her. But we stuck to our deal. She would trust me to feed her, but I never touched her, or cuddled with her. She had some really serious trust issues that I chose to respect those rather than trap her and terrify her in some well-meaning human’s home. And why is that a bad idea?

She had some really serious trust issues that I chose to respect, rather than trap her and terrify her in some well-meaning human’s home.

We have many coyotes that roam the back neighborhoods and even the downtown area in the early evenings and early mornings, searching for a “quick meal”. The kitties who live with me may go out during the day but never at night because it’s not “if”, it’s “when”. And if you live almost anywhere including the city anymore, you too are at risk for this trauma.

On that moonlit night in the summer of 2014, her bright white beacon coat shining in the night, after years of fighting the elements, escaping from the animals wishing to do her harm, my sweet aloof Zoe chose to give her body for nourishment to the coyote. It’s the predator/prey agreement. I know this in my head and let’s be real. It also totally broke my heart. And it was the cause of the sudden chill on a beautiful summer’s night.

We discovered after losing Zoe, many other neighbor cats also went missing. Since no one heard a sound, we believe it was a lone coyote. But I also think Zoe was tired of her daily fight. Her life was filled with anxiety, feeling only comfortable when sleeping in our back yard in the sun.

She had some really serious trust issues that I chose to respect rather than trap her and terrify her in some well-meaning human’s home. I chose instead to let her live her life the way she chose. zoe_blue_1 I worried about her out in the stormy weather and in the snow. And of course I worried about the predators. It’s a scary world for many animals whether they’re cared for very well, or if we have to make some adjustments for the way we love them. For Zoe I believe I made the choices for her (the few that I could) in a way that made her happy. I know I am blessed to have had her in my life. It gave me yet another angle for working with animal clients and their humans. There are those we love without a home. Yes. But for some, these are better lives. We need only listen to their choices and follow their leads.

I’ve rarely advocated for all an outdoor cat. It’s simply too dangerous, where ever you live. But if an animal comes to you young enough, there is really no problem with having an indoor/outdoor cat. But for some cats that are filled with too much fear – well we just work around that problem as humans.

Eddy 1997-2015

In the spring of 1997 my husband John asked me to marry him. It was a very exciting and unexpected moment. My world had suddenly changed from living together with the love of my life, to The Big Step. I said “yes” of course. A few days later a teenage mama kitty and her baby showed up at our kite shop.  They had been dumped and Breeze (the mama kitty) had made her way to our door. At the time we had a cat, and for those who’ve read my blog may recall  Bart.  Introducing two eddy_7_13_a new kitties into the mix, just wasn’t going to work. Instead our kite shop became the home of my “identical girls”. When they first showed up, a neighbor suggested that Eddy was male. She was only six weeks old and had markings that indicated that she might be a he was possible.  I named her after a style of kite. An eddy kite is a diamond that doesn’t require a tail.  She was adorable and very young. It soon became apparent that she was also very shy. She eddy_kittenwould allow only her mama Breeze and me to be around her unconditionally and she imprinted on me right away. For the next ten years I would travel the five minutes from my doorstep to our shop in order to feed the girls and let them in or out.  Many times Eddy refused to come in for me. We have coyotes that visit frequently so I’d stubbornly spend several hours trying to coax Eddy out from under the shop and safely into her home. It got so frustrating that I called an animal communicator.  I was nervous about leaving town because she wouldn’t come in for anyone but me.  And even that sometimes took awhile.I had never worked with an animal communicator and was fascinated with everything she correctly told me about not only Eddy, but my other two kids as well. I was amazed. I was also very curious and thus began my personal journey. I would learn that I too was able to speak with animals in a clear and detailed way.  I’ve always been grateful to Eddy for introducing me to this rewarding career.

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After Bart went to spirit, we brought the girls home for retirement. They spent ten years showing guests around our shop and building their own fan club. But at the age of ten, they were ready for a change. Imagine their surprise and delight to discover beds, quilts, pillows, and the new treat of sleeping with mom and dad.  Eddy never did really take to John. He adored cats and tried his best to encourage her to sit with him but she rarely did. She was a mama’s girl.

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In the spring of 2015 John was admitted to hospice. He had a long battle with cancer and requested he transition at home, with me and our kitties. Breeze left us several years ago and Eddy never really recovered. We got her a kitten (as suggested by Breeze) but around us, she seemed miserable with the young male. But I watched her teach him how to navigate the woods. She sat on the deck and I eavesdropped as she instructed young Jack where was a good place to hunt, hide, or simply watch over the yard. She’s been the shy girl all her life but also took her role as The Elder Kitty seriously and tried to teach Jack what she had learned.

Sometimes in life we have to do things we think are impossible. And somehow we pull off the impossible. I know I did the right thing for her, but it still breaks my heart.

By the fall of 2015, it became obvious that Eddy wasn’t very  happy. She had health issues and insisted on being fed constantly. And the way she asked was a loud shriek that would make anyone with in hearing distance jump a mile. She shrieked day and night for food. But I realized too that she was insistent on helping me with my tough task of caring for John. She was going to stay in her body until I was ok and John had transitioned safely. It was too much to ask of her. So, on my birthday (not fun) I sent Eddy to be with her mama. I still feel guilty that I chose this route. I never thought it was something I could do. But ultimately this was the best decision for her. I was crushed. But Eddy?

The morning after she transitioned, I awoke to little giggles. Yes giggles. I heard my girls and they were sending me the message that all was right in their world. Reunited again, the two of them continue to send messages…… and giggles.

I still struggle with my decision to send my sweet girl onto her next journey. It was a really rough time for our family and I know I made the best choice at the time. She has no resentment towards me, in fact she’s very happy to be with Breeze again. I always thought of them as one soul in two bodies. And I think of it as making that soul whole again.

Sometimes in life we have to do things we think are impossible. And somehow we pull off the impossible.  I know I did the right thing for her, but it still breaks my heart.

She lived nineteen good years with me, as my little shadow. My shy sweet girl who lit the path for my animal communication journey.  My Eddy.

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Saying Goodbye: Part One

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As I think back it’s stunning. Truly stunning. I’ve experienced a lot of loss. For the past two years, I’ve been saying good bye to many friends and loved ones, all close to home. I pwant to write a series on my journey back to wholeness. I want to share the sad moments as well as the magical gifts I’ve had since, for there is a lot of love beyond the grief.

Although he didn’t leave the earth for me chronologically, Zeke (2003-1015) is the one who has had the most impact on my animal loss. He crossed suddenly, didn’t say a word to me beforehand. He quietly slipped away one night in his sleep. I have been to our special beach  exactly once, alone, on a quiet afternoon. He was very present to where I could swear I saw him running along with me as I walked. The hardest part being true for us all, they are with us anytime we call on them, but their physical presence is the part that we miss so much.

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One thing I’ve finally learned is that each day is a gift. Each day with our animal friends, is an amazing gift. And although that would be a lovely greeting card – it really is true. Their lives are much shorter than ours. We know that.  We fall in love anyway. And in the end it’s  always worth it. Every minute of every adventure. Zeke’s all over this blog as I proclaimed my love to the world for him. He was, and always will be my dog. My dearest friend. He’s happy where he is too. No promises of coming back to the earth plane anytime soon. And I get it, and it’s fine

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About a year before we lost Zeke, Big Al (2000-2014) was finished with his long life here. His big old body was done, but he’d eat a cookie if offered, right until  the end . Unlike Zeke, Al called to me a few times (as some of my elder animal friends do) and asked to be sent home. It was a lovely late summer afternoon. Many of Al’s “flying friends” were about to pay their respects. Those of us who he loved the most all spoke quietly with him. We took turns and had some special words with him. He was a friend to all animals and a presence for humans to work around. As much as I loved Al, he was breathtakingly large. His eyes showed distrust of strangers and most would back way off. It made me giggle because under that mask was a little old man who was set in his ways. It’s a good reminder that the “packaging” of an animal or a human for that matter, has little to do with who is inside. Al taught me so much. He and Bart were the first to help me learn animal communication. Their love and loyalty are still with me today. Your animal friends who you don’t think are near – are really a call away. I will always love and remember you “Big Guy”.

“It’s a good reminder that the ‘packaging’ of an animal or a human for that matter has little to do with who is inside.”

But there was a moment on my first walk with Zeke in his energy form, that let me know he was there.zeke_agate Our beaches are thick with sand right now. The changes from El Nino to La Nina have wreaked a little havoc and after each storm, the usual goodies are harder to find. But as I was nearing the trail for my hike off the beach, I heard a distinct voice say “You like shiny rocks…don’t you.” It was a statement more than a question and two steps later I found this beauty. I  walked to a backdrop of rocks to shoot a photo and show its beautiful distinct qualities. But I found it in dry sand. That’s never happened before. The question followed by an agate? Yes.That has happened to me before.

It is the magic that is helping me to move forward. There is much more to my story. But as I start back  I’ve been truly blessed by knowing these two great dogs who played such important roles in my life when they walked the earth plane.

An Angel in Skin

DSC00929 I met “the Kitty Angel” many years ago. Fascinated with her work, I offered to be a “side-kick” of sorts to learn more. I wanted to know what and how she does what she does so well. She knows more about cats, their habits, and their needs than anyone I’ve ever met.

The Kitty Angel is what I call an “Angel in Skin”. Angels in Skin are humans who work quietly on the planet in order to make life better for another, be it children, animals, or the thousands of homeless we never hear about. The Kitty Angel is an Angel in Skin. Without her, many kitties would be housed in shelters and eventually put down because there simply aren’t enough homes.

“The Kitty Angel is an Angel in Skin. Without her, many kitties would be housed in shelters and eventually put down because there simply aren’t enough homes.”

Angels in Skin can also appear to you disguised as a human, delivering a message you really need to hear, or they can be humans like the Kitty Angel, who are called by their guides to work on a specific project that keeps their heart space full.

Many times, she will have more cats in need of homes than places to house them. So she has set-up a place for a kitty to live – in her car. It’s a full kitty-condo, complete with toys, a litter box, and food.I have never smelled “cat” in her car. She parks out of the sun so that the kitty will be safe. This also accomplishes two things. 1) there is always a loving kitty in her traveling kennel on display, and 2) gives her more room for her homeless. She makes sure that even if she’s going to be parked in one place for a while, she visits the passenger often, giving them the love and attention required for a kitty waiting for their forever home. Her home can be filled with the homeless that she dotes on when she’s not out rescuing, visiting shelters, or doing a vet call. While the cats are with her, she learns their needs so it will be easier for her to place them.

Her husband has been more than patient over the years with her passion. He is to be honored as well.

Most of the cats have been abandoned in this economy. As an animal communicator, I frequently receive a text message from her with the following line: “Lost of Dumped?” I can quickly determine if the kitty in question has a home but can’t find it, or if the cat has been unceremoniously dumped. The places to dump kitties in our county are numerous. And some people simply don’t think twice about dumping their animals. They dump and run. No love lost there apparently. I believe these unthinking, unloving people who have the gall to dump a cat or dog – should simply be put out of OUR misery. After all, if they dump an animal, what else are they capable of?

Caring for these cats isn’t cheap. Each cat (depending on their needs) can cost hundreds of dollars for spaying, a flea infestation, and shots required in order for them to be ready to find a suitable home. And she has brought joy to countless families who are willing and able to love a kitty who needs them, as much as they need kitty. When a home is found, it’s a win-win for all. So for the ones she places (and again, there have been countless homes found) there is a whole new love filled journey for kitty and human. Adopting a kitty who is so in need of love, can be a great experience for you and your family. So her work DOES pay-off. It simply takes the right family at the right time.

Years before I met her, she attended school to acquire a job that would bring in more money for her mission. And most if not all of her paycheck goes towards the feeding and vet care of the cats. But it’s never enough, because there are always more cats in need. She’s had calls from British Columbia to San Diego from people who assume she’ll just swing by and take a cat off their hands.

This angel (I’m not using her name intentionally, because she can’t help everyone) is an amazing soul. She does all she can for whomever she can. I watch it break her heart to say “no” since she can’t help them all. I know how hard she tries – but there are simply too many kitties and not enough homes. And every minute she is not at her job, she is working for the cats. She puts thousands of miles on her car each year. Whether it’s to show a prospective new home a kitty, or helping a shut-in with their cat’s needs, to visiting shelters to take “tough cases” off their hands.

What can YOU do? Well obviously, make sure your cat is spayed or neutered. One female cat can produce over 50 kittens in their lifetime if they aren’t spayed. This math pulls into account the offspring and how many kitties they might have. It’s staggering how many people don’t alter their animals and then throw their arms up in the air when they have yet another litter. If your argument is you can’t afford it, there are many organizations who will help you with the cost. You can. You must. It’s called: the humane thing to do. A female kitty can have a litter of kittens when she is 6 months old.

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This is how we found our new kitty. And there are no words to describe the joy he brings us. He’s a terror alright, but when I called the Kitty Angel with my special request, she knew exactly where to find him. She took me to the home, and while we were there, made arrangements to transport our kitten’s mom to the vet to be spayed. This was her third litter and the Kitty Angel was going to personally make sure there wasn’t a fourth. That’s what she does.

If you are interested in making a donation this Christmas, consider the Kitty Angel. She works hard each day to provide a better life for many kitties. And as you consider your donation, remember that on Christmas day, she’ll be working with a kitty, somewhere to find him/her a better life. Donations? Please use my contact page.

Let their be joy and happiness in this holiday season. Remember: There is joy in everyday, we simply need to recognize and be thankful for it.

Bart’s Messsage

I can’t believe that it’s been four years. Seems like yesterday that I had to say good-bye to my best friend Bart. He taught me so much. He loved me so much. I loved him very much. But yes, four years ago tomorrow I said my final good-bye to my much beloved cat. If you’d like to read the tribute I wrote for him, please go here.

A lot has happened in four years. Not just in our household, but in the Universe. So many changes that people are either very aware of, or not aware of at all. But it has affected each of us and our animal friends. And those who live behind the veil have a much better view on these things are and how they’re affecting us all. So for this reason alone, Bart is very helpful to me. Most of my clients know that Bart helps out with our sessions and greets all those I ask him to as they make their transitions.

This morning I sat in meditation and let Bart’s energy in. I spent some time with him and rather than our usual talk, Bart had a message for all humans. The animals want to talk. They have messages for us all, and they want to share them. And this got me to thinking.

With the economy in rough shape, people who really want to hear from their animals can’t afford it. It feels like a luxury when it should be something we all have access to. So I came up with an idea.

From now until the end of the month, I will be offering a special for readings from your animal friends. They can be in body or in spirit. But if you’re curious as to what your animal wants to tell you, please write me. Tell me your story and what you’d like to know. Bart helps me with all my animals in spirit, but they don’t have to be.

The animals want to talk. They have messages for us all, and they want to share them

I hope you enjoy and take advantage of our gift to you. This will only last through the end of December and my calendar is filling up. If you’d like to pass it on as a gift to a friend this can be arranged too. This is for you, it’s all in what you want. Remember, this is a time when the animals want to share their message. I will be lowering my regular regular rate, please write me for details.

Bart, I miss you my dear friend. You know that and you are giving me yet another gift to pass on to humans. Thank you, thank you.

Take advantage of our offer. Listen to your animal friends whether they be in body or spirit. You can learn a lot about yourself or your animal friend. The offer has no limitations. Just that you take advantage of it.

Lisa and Bart

Here is how to reach me:

http://www.animalisa.com/contact.php

My Sweet Girls

E&B_a1One spring morning I was living my life as usual. I had opened my store and walked to the bakery in front of our shop for coffee. And there under the bakery were two kitties. A mama and her 6 week old baby. Someone had cruelly dumped them and they were living on their own. The excited group of locals watching these sweet two convinced me within minutes that I should take them to our kite shop and they should live there. I don’t think I’ve ever made a faster decision in my life. Within 15 minutes I was headed back to my shop with coffee and 2 young kitties.

I would find through talking with the mama the trauma she had been through. She had been dumped on the busy highway with at least 3 kittens. She was only 6 months old herself and had a huge task at hand. A man, she told me, left her and her family sitting by the busy road that runs along side our town. She decided to try and move her babies, one at a time, from one safe place to another. Once they were hidden, she hunted in order to produce milk to nurse them. Sadly, while trying to move and keep the babies safe, she was outnumbered by predators and lost two of her precious kittens. So by the time she reached town, some 1/2 mile from where she was dumped, she only had one kitten left. And she wasn’t about to let this one go. E&B_b

Moving into our shop was a tough sell. I spent most of the morning with the tiny kitten inside the store, and the mama in the bushes outside. She growled at us, hissed, and was so overwhelmed with PTSD that she was terrified of humans and what we might be doing with her kitten. I finally picked her up and gently but firmly brought her into my office where her baby was waiting. I had set up a box for them to settle into. And FINALLY mama felt safe and relieved. They slept most of that day. Mama would wake occasionally to eat some food I had put out for her. One didn’t need to be an animal communicator to feel her slowly melt into the love and warmth of my office. I had two new kids.

So by the time she reached town, some 1/2 mile from where she was dumped, she only had one kitten left.

One of our helpful locals assured me that the kitten was a male. Turns out “he” was a “she”. I will say she has interesting markings back there. But by the time I took them to the vet for a health check, I had already named them. The mama I named “Breeze” and her “son” we called “Eddy”. They knew their names, so we didn’t rename Eddy. She loves her name even though it confuses everybody else. Continue reading

Al wants a puppy: Part One

This is my friend Al. He and I have been walking and talking together since I first learned I had this ability. Whereas a lot of animal communicators learn as children, I was late to the party. And I had a lot of catching up to do. A veteran animal communicator Annette Betcher offered to mentor to me. This proved invaluable as I was on a speed track to learning and she would validate or correct the things I was getting. She told us that Al wanted a puppy during a conversation with him. We all thought that this was rather odd. He was a giant Shepherd mix, a no-nonsense kinda guy. And none of us could figure out why he would want a puppy. So I decided I should find out why.

It took hours of walking and talking together for me to get the story. Al didn’t always want to discuss it. Animals will typically tell or show you something once, and then they move on. Dogs live in the moment. And sometimes on our treks to the beach there were far more interesting things to smell, roll in, or talk about other than this puppy. But he never swayed from his goal. He wanted a puppy. One day I decided to try and ask in a way that he would explain to me, why it was he wanted a young dog. We all know what puppies are like, so why did this large in tact male dog want a youngster?

I was surprised and fascinated with his answer. He finally told me the story of his brother in spirit. They had traveled together in many lifetimes. He showed me the last one in which I saw a mutt who was medium sized, black and tan, with a heavy build. I saw next to him a beautiful Irish Setter. The two were riding in the back of a jeep. I could see the back of the driver’s head and he appeared to be a rancher or possibly a farmer. I didn’t recognize the landscape, but I knew it looked nothing like where we live. I thought that this was possibly in the Midwest somewhere. The two dogs were farm or ranch dogs. The Setter was beautiful, and the little bulky dog looked all muscle. I understood that they were loved by this man driving the jeep and went everywhere he did.

“That was us” Al explained. “I was the small dog and my brother in spirit was the red dog. I want a puppy because this will be the way I’m assured that he comes back to live this lifetime with me.” I was sure I hadn’t heard him right. At this point in my experience I had never seen or heard anything like this before. So I decided to run it by Annette.

She told me that Al was right. That there was a brother in spirit waiting for the right body for him to come into. I had no experience with animals in spirit then, so Annette did a lot to help bring this about. If an animal wants to return to a specific human (or in this case: dog) there is a better chance that a puppy will agree to the exchange since it has few attachments to the body its occupying. The animal in spirit negotiates a swap with the spirit of the young animal in a body. If there is an agreement, the young animal will return to spirit, and the animal in spirit will take its place in the young body. If an animal in spirit is sure that it will be born close to you, they will come in that way as well. I know this sounds a bit out there, but I’ve seen it happen many times now. The new animal will not be a clone of the animal it once was, but it will have many recognizable characteristics of the animal you knew before.

Annette spoke with Al’s brother and he too was eager to return. They had already decided that in this lifetime, Al could be the “handsome one” and his brother would be a mix. There is no doubt that Al is a beautiful dog. He takes your breath away when you see his massive size. He has a bit of a quirky personality, but is loyal and protective of those he loves. He had been the little mixed dog I had seen in the jeep and his brother in spirit had been the beautiful Irish Setter.

Annette went on to say that Al’s brother had two requests. He wanted to be two colors, (his words: “I think it would be kinda jazzy”) and that his name stay the same as his spirit name. We all have spirit names and then promptly forget them when our parents name us something they like. We remember them again when we return to spirit. So this brother in spirit wanted to be named: Zeke.

Al doesn’t live with me. He lives with my dear friends who’ve helped me on this journey. Without their support and occasional tests, I don’t think I would be the animal communicator I have come to be. So I told them the story of Al’s puppy. They already knew he wanted one but once they heard why, they agreed to get another dog. They agreed to find a dog that was two colors, and they also thought Zeke would be a good name.

The search was on for a two colored puppy named Zeke.

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“My name is Bozo”

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This is my good friend Bozo. He was a neighbor for many years, and not only does he look a lot like Bart, he has some of the same idiosyncrasies. For example, Bart insisted on drinking water out of a dripping water faucet – so does Bozo. I have never known any other cat that does this although I’m sure there are few others. We used to get calls from the city that we had a water leak, but it was simply that Bart insisted we leave a steady stream of water running for him in the bathroom. Bozo’s mom turns it on and off for him. (she has better boundaries than we did)

And Bozo was Bart’s only friend. One day I spotted the two of them sunning together at on a vacant front porch. Had Bart seen me, he would have instantly turned on Bozo and the 19 year old warrior would have tried to have a brawl with the surprised younger and stronger kitty. Bozo has a sweeter nature than Bart did. This is where they weren’t alike. In fact in the photo of him here, he’s asking me to rub his tummy- something Bart would never allow.

When I first met Bozo, I was a little put off by his name. Who names their cat Bozo? Typically we name our animal friends with a nice noble-sounding name, and then proceed to use a variety of nicknames instead. Those of us who love our animals are reduced to puddles of love when it comes to our animal friends and silly nicknames come with that connection.

So I was really surprised that this wonderful mom who is Bozo’s human would choose such an odd name for such a great cat. She’s a writer for several of our local newspapers and asked me one day if I would interested in an interview. In preparation for the article, she wanted me to talk with Bozo – get an idea of how animal communication works, and learn a bit about his thoughts.

One of her questions was: “Do you want to be called ‘Uno’ or ‘Bozo'”? His given name was Uno, and I was anxious to find out the answer to this too as I had been calling him “Zo” for over a year. I couldn’t bring myself to call him Bozo.

I was surprised by his answer. He told me that he preferred the name Bozo. He told me proudly: “I like the name Bozo. That’s my name!” It was then that I realized that *I* was the one who needed the reality check. Bozo is a cat. He has no idea of the connotations of his name. He doesn’t know who Bozo the Clown is. He’s a cat who likes the sound of his name when humans address him. He’s proud of it.

A friend of Bozo’s mom had nicknamed him. He was flattered and felt very loved by this human. It brought a special connection between them and he liked the name Bozo better and wanted all humans to call him by this name.

Right away I felt what a snob I had been. Here I was feeling all defensive for him, when in reality he loved the feel and sound of his name. And to this day, I have never called anything but the name he prefers.

It’s a good lesson for us all. Animals are wise beyond what humans realize. And they’re not judgmental. We all have spirit names too. Animals and humans. We’re rarely given that name once we’re in a body. An example though is my good friend Zeke. He asked while in spirit that when he came into a body that he retain his spirit name. We all agreed. His name fits him and he loves it.

Now I often cat-sit for Bozo when mom goes on vacation. We have a great time and I look forward to spending time with this little sage, who taught me such a huge lesson.

Blessings of 2010

We’re not unlike a lot of Americans in that we’ve struggled financially this past year.  But I’ve found that there are things that bring me joy instead of anxiety. When I’m not dealing with that reality, I am out on adventures with my best pal Zeke. He’s 4 legged, covered in thick black-reddish fur, and always at the ready to head out. Don’t know what I would do without him.  We have the beach and the woods close by and we often take advantage of it.

We spent a lot of time in the woods this summer.  In our small tourist town, the woods is the only place to escape an area that is swollen to capacity with humanity. So Zeke and I hiked up to our favorite stream, always finding ourselves completely alone.  We waded carefully in the cool waters – looking for rocks. I have a new found love of rocks – especially agates. Zeke is excited simply being with me in the outdoors on a quiet sunny day, listening to the birds and other animals alerting each other to our presence.. He watches over me and makes sure I’m within his sight at all times. He has a game he loves to play. He’ll hide from me in the thick ferns and pop out when I call his name.

Walking in the stream is very grounding for me – or anyone for that matter. Maybe walking in freezing water isn’t your thing.  But being in nature is a great way to center yourself and having someone to share it with – like Zeke – is even better. It’s a wonderful escape from paperwork and the problems of the planet.

We hiked in the woods all summer, sometimes bringing human friends along, but mostly just the two of us. The beauty and the peace I find behind my home makes me feel I am in another dimension. Timeless. Just my dog and me, playing in the water and discovering new things as we walk through the woods. I believe we all need a place that is timeless and away from all that “defines us”.  Zeke has known since he was a puppy that I can understand his words and wishes, so spending time with him is not simply my dog and me on a hike.  It’s also discussing the issues of our very different worlds. And Zeke always has something  profound to say. He’s a wise old soul. But he keeps it simple and sometimes that’s exactly what I need.

We also spent a lot of mornings on the beach. I love agate hunting and was gifted some beauties by the sea this year.  Zeke and I like to head out on a spring or summer morning at dawn. This way we are sure to have the beach to ourselves. In the winter, the tides are wild and will pull the sand back making large holes full of rocks in the middle of the beach. This is where we sometimes find our best treasures.  Zeke’s gotten so used to me slowing our walk that sometimes he simply lies down in the sand and waits. If I take too long, he heads out alone. If he could, he’d wave me off with his paw in disgust – but I love hunting for rocks and shells and our home is filling with the things I have found on the beach.

I have found some special agates this year.  I know there are people around here who are better than I at finding these treasures, but I’m grateful for the things I find. More timeless moments of joy. This is the beauty I found unexpectedly that was lying in the sand.  I have a few fish bowls that are filled with agates. Their golden shine when they’re wet from the rain or the sea is amazing. I’ve been walking the beach for years and this is the first time I’ve discovered agates!

Special rocks and dogs are not the only blessing I’ve received this year. I have a new kitty named Zoe. She prefers to live outdoors, even in the cold weather, and visits me twice a day for a meal. We started out hundreds of feet apart, but now she’ll sit confidently a few feet away when I put out her food. Someday I hope to in-cooperate her into our home, but for now, this is her preference. She lives by her wits and she’s really good at it. I am not sure why Zoe has chosen me or why she’s in my life. But everyday, at times we’re both accustomed to, she arrives for her meal. She’s pretty feral, but her sweet personality and picky eating habits make me smile.

Having animal friends, be they yours or on their own, who you can share your time is what life is all about for me. Zoe and I have been warming to each other all year. Hopefully someday she’ll walk though our door and unpack her satchel.  My two cats aren’t terribly thrilled she dines here, but they put up with her.  Maybe someday they’ll let her join our home. And maybe someday pigs will fly!

I’m also grateful for the new and true human friendships I’ve made this year. Many are far away, some live here in my town. But I asked at the beginning of 201o for some real people in my life, and they have certainly appeared!

My friend Michael once said to me “whenever I see Lisa, I know I’m going to hear a great story.”  It’s a huge compliment since Michael was a successful published author. He had a wonderful laugh, a quick wit, and a huge heart.  He went to spirit at the end of the summer this past year. I lost many friends this past year, but Micheal’s passing has been an interesting transition for me. I will miss him in body, but this animal communicator never thought she’d be having long conversations with a human in spirit.

I don’t make New Year resolutions. I just try to stay aware and follow the path I’m on. And 2011 looks to be exciting.

For Michael


who crossed “the day of the Dragon flies” Sept. 2010