Quality?

It has been awhile.

Lots of shake up and movement going on and all of that has me moving back to New Mexico on Nov. 9th.  The whole process took time and focus to get me to the place where I knew what I had to do, so writing got put on the back burner.  Then this morning a topic that keeps popping up grabbed me and here I am.

I hear over and over from people when I am working with them and their animal the concept  “quality of life” comes up in regard to their animals life.   Very often “quality of life” gets factored into the decision on whether to put an animal down or not.  I have a lot of animals yelling in my head, I am fine!

What is “quality of life”?  Who determines that?  What determines that?  Where did the idea come from?  What does it look like?  I have no clue what the answers are to those questions.  I can, however, tell you animals have no concept of “quality of life”.  From their point of view, if they are breathing they are alive and have life.  They live in the moment.

Recently I worked with a dog who could no longer get up on his own.  His human felt since he had no “quality of life” it was time to put him down.  The dog was very clear he wanted to stay in his body.

This dog had a very strong will and the experience of not being able to get up under his own power was an opportunity to accept help.  It was also an opportunity to learn his will could only do so much which he did not accept for a year.  He was blessed with a human who was able to care for him for a year, giving him the time to work it out with his will.

Just before he died on his own he showed me that his will could only do so much and that there was a bigger movement then his will.  This was a huge growth experience for him.  On the surface he had no “quality of life” yet his lack of mobility was a catalyst for him to figure out his will could only do so much.

This example is an extreme and I used it to demonstrate the concept “quality of life”.  It is not a straight line or black and white.  AND, I am NOT making some point about not putting animals down.  I am simply giving some food for thought about this concept of “quality of life”.

This work I do with animals has totally changed how I view life and it allows me the opportunity to share what I learn.  I share and you get to make up your own mind on what works for you and your animals.  It is so individual to each human and animal combination.  There are no blanket statements or one size fits all.

The adventure continues and it will be very interesting to see what unfolds in New Mexico.  Head em up, move em out!

Middle of Night Shakes

Last night I woke up at 3 A.M.  my mind filled with fear.  My fear was about Hurricane Irma and her visiting here.  I decided to stop using the word hit, visit is less ominous.  I realized my attitude of fear was affecting me and the animals in my care.  I was not being a strong leader for them.

Fear wants to control.  It wants to dictate and have things be it’s way.  The fear did not like the idea that it could not control being touched by Irma.  I began to see this as a lesson in surrender to the higher.  The higher attitude is; be aware of what is going on, take actions to prepare and keep my attitude accepting of what is.  When I did these things I felt calmer and I could see the animals were calmer.

As things happen I am learning to ask what does this have to teach me?  Rather then get caught up in the fear and drama.  What is there to learn about seeing things from a different point of view then I normally do.  Being aware how I am and how it affects everything around me.  If I get on the doom and gloom kick and place a lot of negative attention on Irma then I am contributing to the disturbance of her.  I am connected to everything around me.  Being higher or lower ripples out and it especially ripples out to the animals.   They do not understand my upset, all they know is the human is upset and they think they did something wrong.

There are people and animals facing much worse south of here, so I told my fear to get over itself.

What a time to be on Earth.  I am being given the opportunity to be more then I ever thought I could be. There are bumps and the bumps are gifts to evolve and grow.  Wow.

What can I say? 2

Yesterday I realized, with a lot help from the animals, that I did not mention them in my post on the 25th.  They reminded me how our upsets affect them and how vulnerable they are.  I have written about this in past posts. 

In the post on the 25th when I said “And how I am does have an effect on everything around me.”  I should have mentioned animals specifically in the everything.

Me remembering I do affect the animals around me, with how I am, will help me to be more aware of what I am doing right now.  It makes it less general and more real and closer to me.  It is not something out there, it is right here.

I am glad they brought this to my attention as it is important and I feel very foolish for forgetting to include them.  Maybe it is better this way as they get there own post. 

They remind me frequently what a stupid human I am.  With them riding herd on me I don’t have to worry about getting a big head.  Thanks guys. 

What Makes a Strong Leader?

This morning I was finishing a session with a client and her dog.  The dog showed me his human is a strong leader for him as he nears the end of his life.  His human is staying out of his way, allowing him to work through the issue of his will not wanting to let go. He is totally free to work through this in his way and time.

The ahaa that came to me as we were about to finish is; strong leaders are in control of their emotions.  There is emotional stability, their emotions are not driving them and they are in the drivers seat which puts them in a place of clarity/calm with the animal.

Now does this mean they never loose control emotionally?  No. They do, though, recognize when they are in an emotional state and that it is not a good time to work with their animal.  They know when to remove themselves, get themselves centered and once centered they are back in a calm place being clear with their animal.  Back in strong leadership.

Our upset emotions clouds things,sending distorted energy to our animal which confuses them because we are in a confused state.

Now does this mean we beat ourselves up?  No.  Something I do when I get emotional is I stop and take 3 very conscious breathes.  I wrote about this awhile ago. I also will not work with an animal when I am in an upset state.

I never made this connection before between strong leadership and an upset emotional state.  When I am working I talk to clients all the time about leadership.  Now when I am working I will include being calm as an important component to strong leadership.

I love it when something comes out of the blue like this.  It is an ongoing process of understanding how things work.  I needed this cause I was really, really lost and stuck.

The Story

The story we tell about our animals is energy and as such has the power to affect..  Every time we tell the story we enliven the event again.  We are putting the past into the present when we repeat it.

This is a dove tail to the post on pity.  Pity is often a part of the story. I am amazed at how much time we put into these stories.  We put a lot of energy into keeping them alive. In doing this we hugely affect our animals.  Like I said in the post on pity, we vomit a low vibrational energy onto an animal when we pity them, it is the same when we tell the story.

Most of the animals I work with come from a shelter.  Many of them were in not the best circumstances before they arrived at the shelter and that is the story. Yes these things happened and do we really want to keep them alive?  That is what happens every time we repeat the story, we keep it alive. The why we do it does not matter, that we do does.

I have people ask me all the time what can I do to better take care of my animal.  My reply is stop the pity and stop telling the story of what happened to their animal before that animal came to them.  It is over, it is the past.  If we keep the past alive then that is what we live our present from.

How do I know this?  It is what I am dealing with now myself.  I have been telling my story and keeping the past alive and surprise it is affecting my present.  Yah think?

None of us, animal or human are victims.   What happens in our lives is what we agreed to experience while here.  It is what we DO with the experience that matters.  Choose to be a victim or use the experience to learn something about ourselves and grow from it.

The next time you start to tell the story, stop and think, is this how I want to affect my animal?

Pity

The animals are pushing me to write about what it is like for them when we pity them.

I hear over and over, I feel sorry for or I feel pity for, when I am talking to humans about their animals.  As soon as these words are out of their mouth, I feel an immediate drop in the energy of the conversation.  Instant down.

Then I immediately have their animal showing me how they get slammed with this low vibrational energy.  It is being vomited on energetically, not a pretty picture nor does it feel good and animals do not like it.  No one likes it.

When we feel pity or feel sorry for, we are automatically saying that animal is a victim in their life.  And more often then not, that animal has to be rescued.  Which makes us feel pretty good about ourselves.

Oh I know about feeling pity and rescuing.  I was the queen of pity and rescue up until about twenty years ago when I started hearing animals and they started kicking my butt around the block..  A very humbling experience.

What I started to see, it was a way of not dealing with my own garbage.  If I was meddling in someone else’s life I did not have to look at my own.  I did not have to look at my choices or be responsible for those choices. It was always someone else’s fault.  Not.

So the next time you find yourself feeling pity for an animal, stop and step back.  Take a moment to think, if you continue, you are vomiting energetically on that animal.

It was only because I felt so bad about myself that I pitied others.  The world starts with me and how I choose to be in it at any given moment.  It is a work in progress.  That is why the Universe has me write about it.

In Their Eyes II

I want to build on the last post.

When we look into our dog’s eyes, we are looking at them through our filters, our beliefs and our emotions.  It puts a spin on what we see.  No judgment, it simply is how we see the world. 

My writing the last post was to bring the animals side or point of view to the table.  By having both human and animal point of view on the table it allows for a fuller picture for all of you to look at.  We see our side easily, it is the animal side that is harder to see and understand. 

All the animals are asking is for us to take a look at their point of view.  In seeing both  points of view it opens the door to see a meeting place in the middle.  There is no right or wrong, it is simply point of view. 

The outcome between the human and dog in the last post was; the human listened to her dog and decided not to put the dog down, at that time.  She was relieved not to have to make that decision and to know her dog was ok.  It was just a misunderstanding. 

My writing was to give all of you an opportunity to stop and ask yourself what am I seeing here?  If we can stop and step back it allows us a resting place to see the bigger picture where there is more information.  With more information we can make wiser decisions. 

In Their Eyes

What are people really seeing in their dogs eyes as the dog is nearing the end of its life?  I hear so often from people that their dogs eyes are sad, or their dog’s eyes are telling them it is time to be put down. 

In a case I recently worked on the the human was convinced the look in her dog’s eyes said; it did not like its life anymore and he wanted to be put down.

What the dog showed me immediately was he was picking up from his human that the human was not pleased with him and was going to kill him.  They have no fancy words like euthanasia or be put down. 

What the dog eyes were really saying was, what have I done and why do you want to kill me?  He was doing his best to do his job so he could stay in the pack. 

He made it clear he was far from ready to go.  Actually what he wanted was to be allowed to go in his own rhythm or to die on his own with no help. What his human saw in his eyes and what the dog was saying with his eyes were two different things. 

I am writing this as I see so much misunderstanding.   It is not as cut and dry as we think it is.  Maybe, if we stop for a moment and put our way of looking aside and look at it from the animals side, we will see something different. 

What is really in their eyes? 

Calm How Do I Get There?

While feeding the ponies this morning I realized as I write about how much it helps our animals for us to be calm, the question came up, how do you get calm?

I want to offer a simple technique I learned 30 some years ago. It is the three breaths.  You start by taking a slow inhalation and then a slow exhalation. This is one breath.   Repeat this two more times for a total of three. Really simple and amazingly effective.

What the three breaths does for us is slow down our thought process.  You can’t focus on your breath and think at the same time.  So basically when I talk about getting calm with your animal I am talking about slowing and calming your thought process.

If you look at lead animals either in a horse herd or dog pack, those animals are calm and quiet.  A flick of an ear or a look gets the message across.  If we are busy both in our mind and body our animal is not going to see us as a good leader.  Someone has to lead this is both herd and pack law.

I suggest start doing the three breathes as you go through your day. Think of it as a mini time out it takes just a moment.  Start to notice how you felt before you did the three breathes and how you feel after.  You will start to notice that afterward you feel a little calmer and quieter, more focused a little less stressed.  .

Three breaths.  Is a gift to your animals and ultimately yourself.

More Calm

After the last post a friend called to tell me what just happened with her older dog.  He slipped through the upright posts on a stair landing and fell 8 feet hitting his head.

She said the first thing she did was calm herself before going down to him.  Then she went to see if he was injured.  As she was checking him I opened up to him.  It was interesting what was more important to him in that moment was his leader was calm. Her calm radiated to him and he relaxed.  As he relaxed his body could take stock of itself easily without stress.

As he does not see or hear very well her calm helped him to orient himself to the space around him again. He stood up and shook himself and started walking.  He took a couple of stiff steps and then walked normally.  He showed me he was ok and he had a strong calm leader which really made it ok.

Her husband was already fixing the railing making it slip through proof.  It has been an on going unfolding of making changes to keep this little guy safe yet allowing him as much freedom as possible.

This really drove it home to me one more notch that staying calm with an animal when something happens is a huge benefit to them and ourselves.