Thursday, December 19, 2013

Bonding with Bobby

When you live with a dog, things can go from good to bad as quick as a shot, with no warning.  If I'd forgotten that, I was reminded of it today by Bobby, the impish Cocker Spaniel who's a bundle of cuteness and mischief.

The first time I saw Bobby on Petfinder, I fell in love.  It wasn't hard.  He was adorable and winning and it was hard to imagine that there could be anything but sweetness in that doleful face.  I hadn't lived with a Cocker Spaniel since I was a young child, but having shared my life with Springer Spaniels for almost 20 years, I figured I knew what to expect.  I was wrong.

Bobby was a doll during the long ride from New York to Massachusetts on the warm September afternoon that I met him and brought him home.  He was coming with a rap sheet, so I had entered into our adoption contract advisedly.  Through no fault of his own, he'd landed in a kill shelter, but had been miraculously rescued by Pamela Schechter of Companion Critters, who cuddled him and coddled him and gave him a spiffy haircut so he'd make a good impression.  Bobby had lasted at his original adoptive home only 48 hours, having been asked to leave after he bit his adopted "father" as he tried to collar him when he fled from their fenced yard.  I was cautious, but initially undeterred.

After only a few days, I was ready to bring Bobby back.  His fascination with my cats bordered on mania.  They were terrorized, spending their days quivering under my bed while Bobby strutted his stuff.  I couldn't believe what I'd done to them; I had been assured that Bobby liked cats, but he sure didn't show any respect or affection to Neil, Glenda, and Django.

Not only that, but I discovered that Bobby's name should have been, "Mr. Into Everything."  After having lived with several mild mannered Goldens and Springers for so many years, I was completely unprepared for a dog who not only surfed counters but regularly safaried into kitchen cabinets, waste baskets, and purses, eating everything in his path.  He was a seven-year-old in a seven-month-old's body.  I hadn't signed up for that.

But instead of relinquishing Bobby, I decided to take him on.  A few sessions of training were only marginally helpful.  The trainer thought she could use conventional methods to bring Bobby around, but none of them worked on a little guy who wasn't used to being told what to do.  I tried EFT and though for 24 hours, Bobby didn't flinch when he spied one of the cats, the magic quickly wore off.

It finally hit me that Bobby was like no other dog I'd ever had.  I had to learn his rules, and play by them, if we were going to make any progress.  That meant lots of sweet talk and encouragement, and never trying to grab an item of contraband from his mouth, lest I become bite victim #2.  I praised him and loved him and even when he exasperated me, I forgave him.  Again and again.  And he forgave me.

I became the student, and Bobby, the teacher.  As I softened, so did he.  We grew closer, in spite of myself.  Even the cats noticed the difference, gradually gaining the confidence to mingle with Bobby without fear.  On days when I spend hours bent over a computer, Bobby's little face peeks up from under the table as if to say, "Take a break.  Pet me."  And I do.

Yet I hadn't understood how much Bobby meant to me until this morning, when somehow, he scooted away as I opened the door to retrieve a just-delivered package.  Perhaps because his mostly white coat blended with the snowy driveway, I didn't see or feel him go.  It was only when my other dog, Tennessee, tried to push the door open as I was closing it, that I realized something was amiss.  I turned around expecting to see Bobby waiting in the hallway behind me, but he wasn't there.  I rushed around the house, frantically calling him, but then, in horror, I understood that he'd bolted.  My heart sank.  I could feel the adrenaline rising as I flung open the door and screamed, "Bobby!  Where ARE You?!"

And there, sitting quietly as though nothing had happened, was Bobby.  Not a fugitive, but just a little Cocker Spaniel who, after more than a year, understands that this is his home--a place where he is loved and appreciated for who he is.  A place where he belongs.

Friday, October 25, 2013

A Dog Beckons from the Beyond

I received an amazing note from a dear client of mine, Seanne Moulton, recounting an experience she had a few days ago during a mediumship demonstration conducted by Francesca Kimpton, a psychic medium from the UK who now lives in California.

Seanne wrote:

"Francesca was talking to a gal in the audience when she stopped and asked, 'Does someone have a dog who just recently passed?  I mean, very recently?  Because there is a dog here who keeps running back and forth in front of me.  He seems so happy.'

A woman raised her hand, and Francesca immediately knew it was this woman's dog.  She said the dog was running up to all of the spirits who had come through and had been rolling on his back for a belly rub.  The dog couldn't stop talking about the new tag his 'mom' had purchased for him, just before he passed.  The woman confirmed that indeed, she had just bought her dog a new tag, right before he died.

The dog kept talking about how proud he was of that tag.  The woman confirmed that he had been parading around, showing off that tag like he was at a beauty pageant.

Then, the woman's father came through and tried to pick up the dog, saying, 'Come on, all these people didn't come here to listen to a dog!'  But the dog responded, 'Oh yes, they did!'  He said he just wanted his mom to know she was the best mom he could ever have asked for.  He said he always heard her when she talked to him, and he knows she has been crying a lot since he died.  He wanted her to know that he still lays on the pillow with her, just like he used to.

The woman's father chimed in and said to the dog, 'She cried more when you died than she did when I died!'  And the woman confirmed that yes, that was true.  Her dog continued to lick her father, and then rolled on his back for more belly rubs. . ."


If you're fascinated by the idea that we can connect with our animals after they've been released from their bodies, you won't want to miss The Conference on Animals in the Afterlife, on Sunday, November 3rd in Boxborough, MA.  Psychic Medium Joanne Gerber will be doing spontaneous spirit readings, and we hope that just like the dog in Seanne's story, departed animals will be among those who come through.

Register today to get the early bird rate of $149 for the whole day.  You can join us for the afternoon, to hear Kim Sheridan's keynote and be part of Joanne Gerber's gallery, for just $99.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Why I Wait

When we are in the grips of grief after the death of a beloved family member, our first impulse is to try to maintain a connection with him, in an effort to blunt the stark reality of his passing from this earth.  Because we can no longer touch or kiss or caress the person who has just left his physical body, we become desperate to find other ways to connect.

It's no different when we lose our treasured animal companions.  We want some confirmation that they are okay, that they didn't suffer in the process of making their out-of-body transitions, and that they know we love and miss them terribly, even if it's only been hours or days since they left our loving arms.  We ache to know how they are doing, and we feel we can't wait.

But when it comes to scheduling a consultation with an animal who has just died, I suggest that my clients do wait, at least for a few weeks, to allow the torrent of tears and torment to abate a bit, and to give the animal's spirit the space and time it may need to acclimate to a new reality.

And so I was interested to learn that respected Medium John Holland says the same thing.  I've been reading his book, Born Knowing, in which he says:

     "Until you've dealt with your bereavement, you shouldn't think about
     making a connection right away. . .I also believe that the newly arrived
     spirit needs their own adjustment time before they're ready to send
     any messages."

John is speaking about people, of course, but I think the same advice applies to our animals in spirit.  The healing and comfort you can receive from a session in which they paint vivid pictures of their earthly memories can bring healing and comfort even if you wait, just a little while, before you ask me to make the connection.  The animals with whom you joyously shared your life will still be there for you, no matter how much time has gone by.


You'll have an opportunity to connect with departed animals and people at  the upcoming Conference on Animals in the Afterlife, when Joanne Gerber will be doing live, spontaneous spirit readings for members of the audience.  You won't want to miss it.

Friday, September 06, 2013

What Animals in the Afterlife Know

In celebration of her new book, Speak Woof & MeowRonni Ann Hall of The Designing Fairy invited several animal communicators--including me--to submit guest posts for her blog during the month of September.

I was grateful for Ronni Ann's invitation, and delighted to participate.  My piece, entitled "What Animals in the Afterlife Know," was published today.

"In my experience as an animal communicator," I wrote, I've learned that animals who have left their bodies behind can continue to stay involved in our lives in wonderful and sometimes magical ways.  They know what we say; they see what we do."

If you'd like to read my account of the verifiable information that was shared with me by Dawson and Sophie, two amazing animals in spirit, please read the post on The Designing Fairy blog.

Among the other topics that will be featured there through the end of this month are "communicating with feral cats," "hearing animals telepathically," and "how to help your animal transition."  Ronni Ann will also publish excerpts from Speak Woof & Meow on September 24th, as part of this series.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

The Guns of September

Every morning during the month of August, I delighted to see dozens of Canada Geese lazing in small groups throughout a verdant hay field in Holden.  I would try to count them, but there were so many, I couldn't.   On some days, there had to be 60, or more.  They were relaxed and happy and peaceful, and my dogs and I nodded silently at their beauty and majesty as we passed the flocks during our daily morning walk.  The geese felt safe in that field, with no thought of danger.  They've been coming to this same haven for years.

On Friday, they were gone, without a trace.  I assumed they'd started their fall migration, and wished them well.  But then on Sunday morning, I heard the familiar sound of honking hordes, and saw 20 or 30 of them circle the field, and then land.  Were these the geese of August, or a new battalion, stopping to fuel and then continue their southerly journey.  I didn't know.

Yesterday, it happened again.  A V-formation of geese suddenly appeared in the sky and then gently floated into the quiet grass, in slow motion.  I was awed at their precision.

But this morning, everything changed.  Dozens of geese flew so low that I could hear their wings flapping as they passed overhead.  As I watched them veer in search of a soft landing, I was horror struck at the simultaneous boom of guns and the gut-wrenching sight of one, two, three geese felled from the sky, without warning, by greedy and blood-thirsty hunters who had been hiding in wait.

Perhaps a half-dozen of the geese had already landed--their fate unknown--but the ones in flight immediately understood that something was terribly wrong, and wafted out of reach as fast as they could.  I felt sick, and heartbroken as I spied the three hunters, almost literally smacking their chops, hungry for more.  The blood of the geese they'd already spilled wasn't enough.  They'd wait for the flock to return, as they knew it would.  I complained loudly and bitterly to the men, but they just sneered.

My heart stopped as I saw the huge flocks circle back to where some of them had been shot down.  Here we go again, I thought.  I couldn't bear to watch the continued carnage.  The geese were heading in my direction, and I could hear the hunters cock their guns behind me.  With all my heart, I said, "no, no, go back, go back!"  It felt like I was watching the rerun of a violent movie, and I braced myself for what was to come.

But then magically, the geese somehow realized that if they continued on their intended trajectory, the formerly welcoming pasture would become their killing field, and as one, they turned away, beyond the guns' reach.  I don't know how they knew, but I was grateful that at least for this morning, no more geese would fall from this sky.  They remain at risk through September 25th, and I cringe at how many more will be brutally shot down throughout this Commonwealth, all in the name of sport.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

On The Couch

Sometimes I feel like an animal psychotherapist.  So often, something magical happens after a consultation, just because I've made a heartfelt effort to deeply listen to an animal's complaints, concerns, or fears, and sincerely acknowledge them.  Those fears might seem silly or inconvenient, but I take them seriously.  And in doing so, I've honored and respected the animal I'm talking to, letting her know that she has a right to her feelings, whatever others might think.

This is what happened with Maggie, a magnificent Hanoverian mare with whom I've had the privilege of communicating on several occasions over the course of more than a year.  Maggie is a brave and talented eventer, and it takes a lot to scare her.  But of late, she'd been showing signs of stress when she was turned out in a large, lush pasture bordered by tall trees and woods.  Rather than relaxing in this green paradise, Maggie had been anxiously pacing the fence, as if begging to come in.  No one knew why.  To our human minds, it made no sense.

When I connected with Maggie, I mentally put myself into her body to see what it felt like to be out there in the expansive grassy paddock, alone.  I could immediately feel her sense of vulnerability:  there was something unseen looming in the woods beyond the field and Maggie worried that it might spring forth to pounce on her.  A hawk flew overhead:  it, too, felt like a threatening presence in a wide open place where there was no place to hide.

I let Maggie know that I understood why she might feel worried, and gently suggested that she had the power to flee, to run if danger should appear.  She said she might be happier in a smaller pen, closer to the barn, and I passed that on to her dear person, Polly.

That was yesterday.  This morning, Polly sent me this photo of Maggie happily grazing out in the big field alone, showing no signs of care or stress.  Same field, same woods, but something had shifted.  There may be many explanations for Maggie's new-found feeling of comfort in her surroundings, but I believe that as soon as she knew her fears were validated, she let them go.

Monday, August 19, 2013

I Hear You

There are times during a telepathic consultation with an animal that information "just flies in."  I start getting images, impressions, opinions or feelings that seem random:  neither the animal's person nor I have asked about them, but they often reveal something important.

It happens all the time.  Most recently, I was talking with a handsome Irish Sport Horse, Quinn, about issues related to his training.  Before I could even broach the questions his rider had submitted, Quinn interrupted me to convey that his hay seemed dry, with a lot of twigs and indigestible stems.  He said he really didn't care for it, and asked whether it could be dipped in water, to make it more palatable.

When I mentioned that to Quinn's person, Sarah, she confirmed that the barn had recently received a shipment of hay that a lot of the boarders felt was too dry.  In fact, Quinn had experienced a bout of colic shortly after the hay had arrived, and Sarah had been wondering whether the stray-like forage was the culprit.  She thought it was intriguing that Quinn had mentioned it to me; she'd never thought to ask him about it.

A few days later, I received a photo depicting a corner of Quinn's stall that made me realize that I'd definitely been talking with the right horse.  It showed a fresh pile of manure neatly placed on top of the offending hay.  In case anyone hadn't gotten the message, Quinn wanted to make his assessment of the forage perfectly clear:  it would do for bedding, but definitely not for eating!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Newly Redesigned Website Showcases New Animal Communication Offerings

I'm really excited to announce the unveiling of the new Animal Translations animal communication website!  It's been months in the making, and in addition to spiffy graphics, crisp design, effortless navigation, and updated content, it offers prospective clients a host of reasonably priced options for telepathic consultations aimed at remedying behavioral problems,  answering end-of-life questions, and bringing comfort to people whose animals have recently transitioned into spirit.

In honor of my beloved cat, Casey, the "Casey's Legacy" program underwrites reduced-cost sessions for cats with cancer.  And to help horse people who have adopted recently retired thoroughbreds, I'm now doing consultations for those horses, colloquially known as "OTTBs" (Off-The-Track Thoroughbreds) at a special, lower rate.

Emergency consultations are offered on a same-day basis, and website visitors who just want to browse can sign up for my periodic eNewsletter, What's Up With Animals?, with stories about intriguing cases and news of upcoming events and opportunities.

I'm pleased that I've been able to hold the line on fee increases, in an effort to make my services accessible to everyone who wants or needs them.  The $75 rate for a standard consultation remains the same, as does the $60 charge for a full-service followup session within 90 days of a prior consultation.  The cost of emergency consults has gone up slightly, from $85 to $90, and while the "Cats with Cancer" fee is still discounted, it's now $50, up from $45.

The "Meet Maureen" section of the site includes a link to my recent interview, "The Wonders of Animal Communication," with Alexis Brooks of CLN Radio.  Alexis will be one of the featured speakers at the upcoming Conference on Animals in the Afterlife, to be held at the Holiday Inn in Boxborough, MA on November 3, 2013.  Conference details and registration information are available for the first time through this website rollout, too.

I hope you'll take a look!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Popsicles for Blazey

It was on one of the hottest days of the summer that I communicated with Blazey, a 15-year-old dark bay quarter horse with whom I've had the pleasure of conducting remote conversations before.  While we talked, Blazey wandered aimlessly around his paddock in Rhode Island, while I sweltered in front of a fan in my office, an hour away.  Telepathy fueled our connection.

Blazey was chatting amiably about his accommodations, freely sharing his opinions about the quality of his hay, the cleanliness of his water buckets, and the neatness of his stall.  He doesn't hold back his assessments, and though we've never met, I've long been enamored with Blazey's facility at long-distance communication.

Our last session had occurred more than a year ago, when his person, Joan, had asked me to tune into him because he'd been injured.  I didn't know how, when, or why, but those details turned out not to matter, because Blazey promptly let me know that something terrible had happened to his left front foot.  He reeled off what looked like a show-motion movie, in which I could see that he had torn off a shoe while he was running in his paddock, and as a result, his foot was being soaked, and had been wrapped in some type of boot.  He showed me that he'd been confined to his stall, with hand-walking his only exercise.

It turned out that not only had Blazey's shoe been sheared off in the incident, but with it, a weighty chunk of his left front hoof.  His injury was quite serious and it was only through the intervention of a team of expert equine veterinarians that he made a miraculous recovery.  Equally miraculous was the accuracy with which Blazey had conveyed to me the particulars of his accident and his daily aftercare, down to the smallest specific of his rehabilitation regimen.

And so I was a bit puzzled this time, when, as part of our exchange of thoughts and feelings, Blazey showed me what seemed to be a picture of popsicles.  I assumed that perhaps he'd seen barn people taking frosty bites of the colored ices-on-a-stick, but wasn't quite sure why they would have made such an impression on him.

When I shared the popsicle puzzle with Joan, she laughed, confessing that she regularly brings Blazey a special summer treat, in the form of frozen carrots.  Of course!  They look a lot like popsicles, sans the sticks!

My trust in Blazey's telepathic abilities was renewed.  Like so many horses, he's consistently been able to communicate by telegraphing vivid color pictures of the world around him.  We can all learn to "see" what they are saying, simply by closing our eyes.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Conference on Animals in the Afterlife

After months in the planning, I am pleased to announce the opening of registration for The Conference on Animals in the Afterlife, which will be held at the Holiday Inn in Boxborough, MA on Sunday, November 3, 2013.

I've grown increasingly interested in exploring this topic since I read Kim Sheridan's ground-breaking book, Animals and the Afterlife several years ago.  It's with immense pleasure that I can tell you that Kim has agreed to appear at the Conference as its keynote speaker.  In a gentle and fully believable way, Kim tells reassuring stories of spirit animals who have been seen, heard, and felt, by people who wondered if they could possibly be real.  They were.

My own work with animals in spirit has amazed me and brought comfort to my grieving clients.  Again and again, these animals have been able to convey cherished memories, show me graphic images of treasured times with their people, and relate specific details that could not have been fabricated.  I will be sharing some of their stories during my conference presentation.

The other featured speakers include Jeff Belanger, the intrepid paranormal investigator, who will describe ghostly apparitions by paranormal pets, and CLN Radio's Alexis Brooks, who will expand on her compelling article about the phenomenon of animal reincarnation that was published in last December's Conscious Life News.  Alexis will discuss her own experience with the reincarnation of her beloved cat, "Paws," who reappeared in her life in the body of her new cat, "Clover."

The gifted psychic medium, Joanne Gerber, will mingle with conference attendees and the spirits of their departed loved ones--including, we hope, their animals--in a dramatic finale to what promises to be a thoroughly amazing day.  I wrote about one of Joanne's gallery events in a previous post that chronicled her uncanny accuracy to bring forth not only the friends and relatives of those present, but their deceased animal companions.

Whether you come as a skeptic or as a believer, you'll leave this event knowing that these afterlife connections are possible for you and the animals who have meant so much to you, no matter how many months or years it's been since you said good-bye.

More information about The Conference on Animals in the Afterlife, including the agenda and registration forms, is available here.

I hope you'll join us.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Flower Essence Gifts for Animals in Honor of Valentine's Day

It's that time again!

For the fourth consecutive year, clients who request a telepathic consultation with me during the month of February will receive one of the 22 flower essences from the Green Hope Farm Animal Wellness Collection as my special gift.

I often recommend flower essences to help support animals who are exhibiting separation anxiety, jealousy, neediness, inappropriate spraying, physical or emotional pain, or who are suffering from conditions associated with the aging process.  The essences are a natural complement to my telepathic conversations with animals, acting as a form of "aftercare" to support behavioral adjustments.

I love the purity of Green Hope Farm's alcohol-free formulations because there is never any risk that they will interfere with medications or treatments that may have been prescribed by an animal's veterinarian.

I usually charge $90 for a consultation that includes a flower essence, but in February, all clients will receive an essence of their choice at no charge when they pay for a standard $75 session.

New and current clients can request a telepathic consultation for one or more of their animals by visiting the Animal Translations website.

Friday, January 18, 2013

An Alternative Approach to Veterinary Care

Dr. Kevin Landau doesn't prescribe medications for his animal patients, nor does he vaccinate them.  He doesn't X-ray them or inject them with steroids or painkillers, either.  Yet this holistic veterinarian has achieved remarkable results in treating cancer, ulcers, enigmatic lameness, lyme disease, liver failure, seizures, and a variety of ailments and diseases that often resist conventional medicine.

Armed with wispy thin acupuncture needles, a pharmacy of time-tested Chinese herbs, expertise in chiropractic, and knowledge of diagnostic techniques based on Traditional Chinese Medicine, Dr. Landau makes a big difference in the lives of his equine and small animal patients from a base in Pelham, MA, in the heart of the Pioneer Valley.

"When you're working with animals," Dr. Landau explained, during an informal seminar at the Equine Essentials Tack Shop in Oxford, MA on January 17th, "it's important to walk in without a huge agenda.  It's a give and take process between you and the animal."  A member of the Board of Directors of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, Dr. Landau's approach is designed to complement, rather than compete with his patient's primary vet.  "I'm trying to be part of the team," he said.

Rather than simply treat symptoms, Dr. Landau probes for the root cause of an animal's distress, using his holistic training to identify and interpret "patterns of point sensitivities"--those places in the body where the flow of beneficial "chi" may be blocked, creating dis-ease.  Interestingly, an ouchy point in one area may reflect problems in another.  Horses that have stifle pain, for example, often have an imbalance in the stomach meridian.  And there is a point behind the withers--the "wither pocket"--that is very painful in horses who have ulcers.  Dr. Landau uses herbs to "quiet the stomach fire" and by inserting acupuncture needles in the appropriate points on affected meridians, he can often clear the syndrome that is creating the pain.  In addition to applying dry needles, he sometimes injects points with Vitamin B12 or even with an animal's own blood--a process that can stimulate an immune response.

Among the difficult medical cases for which Dr. Landau has created good outcomes are seizure disorders in dogs and horses.  "I can't say that I achieve 100% success by using acupuncture and herbs for seizures, but I can say that I've been able to help my patients a lot," he said.  He's used the same prescription--coupled with nutritional therapy--with horses who have lymphomas and small animals plagued by various forms of cancer.  The tools of his trade--acupuncture, chiropractic, laser, and herbs--are designed to improve the circulation of blood and energy in an animal's body, while decreasing pain and inflammation.  Like conventional veterinarians, Dr. Landau is out to maximize the health, comfort, and performance of his patients.  But he goes about it a lot differently, always enhancing--and never impeding--an animal's natural ability to heal himself.