May Remembers

May Remembers

May

I was taking care of my neighbor’s animals for a few days while they were away camping and decided to walk through the pasture to connect with the horses.

The little dog, Firework tagged along. He was a young dog and sometimes wandered while following the distraction of enticing scents amongst the tall grass along the irrigation ditch. I brought a leash, intending to prevent a frustrating search in the event of his disappearance. To my relief, he stayed close enough to assuage my worry and I walked towards the grazing horses with him tagging along.

I greeted each of the two horses in turn, giving them a pat and letting them sniff my hand. However, the third horse, May, didn’t allow me to approach her. She was notoriously hard to catch and usually wouldn’t let someone walk right up to her. Since I was still carrying the leash, she was especially wary of me. She must have assumed I was there to catch her, potentially taking her away from her enjoyable occupation with the lush grass.

As she walked away from my first approach, I veered off in a different direction so I wouldn’t make her feel I was pursuing her. Pausing for a few moments, I saw that she had resumed grazing in a relaxed manner. I tried again, walking towards her a second time. She waited until I was almost close enough to touch her and she moved off, just out of reach.

I decided to take a different approach since all I really wanted to do was connect with her and give her a pat. I wanted her to understand my intention and not feel she had to be wary of me coming close to her for any reason. I stopped and took a deep breath, feeling my body come to a quiet stillness.

I closed my eyes and made a clear picture in my mind of me walking up to her shoulder and scratching the underside of her neck and her chest. After a few moments of visualization, I opened my eyes and looked at her.

She had her head down and was nipping off the grass. I started walking towards her and she kept grazing, allowing me to walk right up to her shoulder as I had imagined.

I scratched her neck and talked to her in a soothing voice, still holding the leash in my hand. She stayed with me while I petted and scratched her all over, not making the slightest attempt to walk away from me. My mental pictures had been stronger than the physical evidence of the leash I held in my hand. After a few minutes of soft connection with her, Firework and I walked back to the house together, the leash now stuffed away in my pocket.

Several years had passed, and after moving away and not interacting with May at all, I went out to the pasture recently to take some photos of her for this blog. There she was, grazing with two new horses. I stood outside the fence and said hello to her out loud, even though she was too far away to hear me.

Noticing my presence, she pricked her ears forward with curiosity and began walking directly towards me. I climbed through the fence and snapped some photos as she approached.

After sniffing my hands, she turned and positioned her body at an angle; a gesture that clearly invited me to put my hands on her shoulder. I then recalled that she had recently cut one of her legs on the fence, but it had mostly healed and she wasn’t limping. I didn’t know which one it was and casually asked out loud if she would show me. To my surprise, she lifted the leg nearest to me and I saw the grayish scab near her hoof!

A tingling discharge of energy suddenly ran down the back of my body as some residual trauma energy from the injury released. That must have been all she wanted because she turned and walked away, standing nearby in the sun; remembering my hands from another gentle encounter. 

Bird Company

Bird Company

BirdCompany

I am appreciating the companionship of birds today. They land on the silent branches of the sleeping apricot tree outside my window. They have come to eat the seeds I’ve filled the feeder with; the apparent generosity really a formal invitation for their feathered company. They are House Finches after all.

 The females appear similar in their humble brownness, subtle markings indistinguishable as they flutter about. The males with their flourish of orange are easier to identify in their flashy uniqueness. One has a band of orange above his beak which extends around the sides of his head like a bold racing stripe.

 Another has two thick puffs of orange feathers on his forehead like misplaced eyebrows, since his little round eyes are actually on the sides of his head. A third has a cap of orange covering his head with what appears like a bald spot in his feathered orange hair, brown feathers showing through on the top of his head. Or perhaps his little knit cap is simply in need of mending.

 A Meadowlark suddenly proclaims the brightening day from some unknown perch, the song of it calling out to beckon spring. 

A shiny Red-Winged Blackbird alights at the table of birdseed, joining the other guests. They enjoy the morning feast and then depart to the welcoming depths of the Spruce tree to chatter together and wipe their beaks. Whenever I feel glum in these last clinging days of winter, the cheerful happiness of these song full creatures lifts my spirits and centers me in unquestionable knowing. Spring is near.

Breakfast with Chipmunk

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Sipping tea in my car while bundled against the morning cold, I had the perfect vantage point for viewing the chipmunk who came to explore my campsite. After sniffing under the picnic table and finding nothing of interest, she sprang up onto the top where she found the empty container of cashew yogurt I had hastily eaten before retreating to my car. She tipped over the container and stuck her head in, popping it right back out to stare at me, but now with pink splatters of strawberry yogurt dotting her little brown face.

I burst out laughing as she continued to poke her head in and out of the container, aware that I was watching her and always taking a look at me before ducking her head back in.

She had turned the container so the clear bottom was facing my direction. I could see her tiny red tongue deftly flicking the remaining yogurt off the bottom, circling around in increments as if carefully washing a dirty window. When she popped her head out to look at me, she would lick her lips with satisfaction. Finishing the first course in her unusual breakfast, she scampered to the end of the picnic table where she found the bright green and black caterpillar I had put there the night before. It had seemed out of place on the bare ground, it’s colors contrasting with the dark soil instead of camouflaging it’s presence. I had picked it up to avoid stepping on it. Clutching it in her delicate paws, the chipmunk began eating it. I could see it’s goopy moistness stretching from her mouth like melted cheese as she nibbled it.

After enjoying the plumb caterpillar feast, she scampered to a patch of dandelion greens and yanked several large leaves out, folding them over neatly and then methodically stuffing them in her mouth while chewing rapidly. Undoubtedly a bitter aperitif to help digest her rich and unusual meal! By this time I had finished my tea and my heart was warm with the laughter brought by my bold and hungry visitor. And she didn’t seem to mind being my delightful and surprising guest.

My Friend Fillmore

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It’s such a delight to encounter my favorite walking companion, Fillmore. He lives about a mile away and I never know if he’ll be in the yard or out on the porch when I walk by. I can’t help but laugh when I see him! He comes running to greet me, his eager brown eyes peering out from under his charming mop of hair and his whole body bouncing with enthusiasm- including his tongue. He leans into me affectionately as I pet him and ruffle up his tangled coat, which hangs in yarn like tendrils from his sides.

He is always in various stages of cleanliness. He had accompanied me home a few times before I met his kind person, who told me that Fillmore routinely visits other neighbors and I needn’t give him a ride home anymore; he knows his way around! So, I simply get to enjoy his endearing messiness and his enthusiastic companionship on my walk home along the ditch.

The tips of the Cottonwood trees lining the ditch path now have gleaming golden leaves and the weeds lining the path have reached their full capacity, creating a tangle along the edges. Fillmore likes to trot alongside me with his nose to the dusty path, sniffing everything and then falling behind my steady strides. I hear his pattering feet thundering to catch up and he passes me, a mess of flying hair and scattering dirt. He always stops not far away, turning to look at me quizzically. He wants to make sure I’m coming, his eyes catching mine under the fringe of bangs. I smile. “Yes I’m coming.” He likes my company too.

I love how the ends of his twirled hair swing back and forth like a dusty skirt as he trots along. He must be impossible to keep clean. Soon he needs a drink and simply pushes himself down through the weeds, alighting in the ditch and doing a little swimming while lapping up the water. Of course, when he gets out he stands right next to me to shake off his sopping wet coat of muddy hair! No matter, he is gleaming with infectious happiness. We wind along together in content silence towards my house, the sun warming us both. It seems like such a simple thing to walk together, but my friend Fillmore gives me a gift every time he accompanies me. It’s the gift of having my heart opened to irresistible joy.

The White Horse

At the place where I turn around on my walk and head back towards home, there is a pasture.  And in the pasture lives a White Horse.  He grazes here and there and when I walk by he raises his head and looks in my direction. One day I stopped to connect with him.  He was fairly close to the tall deer fence where I was standing.  I don’t know his name to call him and I had no treats to temp him, so it must have been his curiosity that drew him closer. I closed my eyes and imagined scratching him.  Just a simple picture in my mind of my fingers rubbing and scratching the itchy places he must have on this warm spring day while still wearing remnants of his winter coat.    I stretched my hand through the square openings in the metal fence as he came over to sniff my hand.  I began scratching his chest and his neck vigorously and he positioned himself right alongside the fence so I could reach his back and withers. I scratched all the many itchy places he showed me by positioning his body under my hands, which was rather convenient owing to the tall fence with its mesh-like openings. I couldn’t move my hands much, so he moved his body. It was a delightful interaction and I stroked his freckled face and cupped his soft nose in my hand before saying goodbye and continuing on my way.  The next time I walked his direction was a few weeks later.  I was happy to see him in the pasture and I stopped by the fence.  He was all the way on the other side, grazing contentedly.  He raised his head.  I closed my eyes and imagined scratching him, just like the last time I connected with him and using the same imagery. He began trotting in my direction, crossing the pasture swiftly and coming directly towards me!  His enthusiasm made me smile and it warmed my heart to know he clearly understood my intention. He came right up alongside the fence so I could reach him and again showed me all the places he wanted to be rubbed and scratched.  Such simple and pleasant interactions, yet they illustrate how easy it can be to experiment with animal communication. Use your imagination the next time you are with your animal and see what surprising things happen when you hold clear pictures in your mind. And the fun ending to this story is that I got to meet him up close without the fence in the way and learned that his name is Seamus!

What is it About Scruffy Dogs

What is it About Scruffy Dogs?

I have always been completely smitten by a face full of coarse whiskers, wispy eyebrows and hair that will not be tamed. 

Maybe it’s simply the endearing messiness of the look that is so disarming. 

Perhaps secretly it’s something we wish we could get away with in our tidy civilized lives! 

Can you imagine being able to leave the house in rumpled clothing with our hair protruding at odd angles and actually being completely enthusiastic about the laughter and delight of strangers who want to connect with us? 

As an animal communicator I don’t have to think about my own “scruffiness”, since I work remotely and don’t need to leave the house. In fact, a dog’s cute appearance can actually hinder my work! 

Having a strong visual sense makes it hard to connect to deeper levels of quiet awareness. I have to shut my eyes and go within, but instead I’m distracted by the crazy hair, the shiny black nose, and the soft, friendly eyes. So irresistible! This is where I have had to learn to connect with and hone my own natural strengths and tendencies.

My visual sense allows me to absorb the details of an animal- the cat’s shiny coat and beautiful markings or the horse’s relaxed lips and flowing mane. Or the dog’s wiry hair! It doesn’t allow me to drop beneath that incoming information to connect with the essence of the animal and to access the energetic information that lives there. Knowing this about myself was the doorway into learning to be an animal communicator.

In the mean time, the endearing messiness of a scruffy dog will always make me smile and I’m fine being the tidy person that I am.

Transparent Thoughts

Transparent Thoughts

Are you aware of your thoughts and intentions as you approach your horse with halter in hand?  Our thoughts are incredibly transparent to horses and having an awareness of them can help your interactions with your equine friend. A story might help illustrate this more clearly.  My own horse, Copper, likes to eat the loose hay on the ground in my small hay shed.  I sometimes just put a halter on him and let him walk up the hill on his own to the hay shed.  

This particular day I had gone to check on him as his foot had been sore after stepping on a rock.  Putting the halter on him, I was thinking about him walking up the hill and eating the hay.  But as I stood with him I could see that his foot was really bothering him.  I didn’t think Copper would be comfortable walking up the hill, so I took his halter off and dismissed the idea, forgetting the clear picture I had in my mind of the whole scenario.  

As I stooped to look at his foot again, Copper began nudging me with his upper lip.  He rubbed it back and forth on my leg, my hip and my jacket and then even took the collar of my jacket in his teeth and pulled it gently!  This was highly unusual behavior for him, being of a polite nature.  When I reached for his foot, he pawed the ground vigorously a few times, keeping his foot out of my reach.  I couldn’t figure out what he was trying to tell me in such a demonstrative fashion!  

I went back to the house feeling baffled by the whole interaction. Much later it dawned on me that in fact my mental picture had been so clear to him that he was urging me to reconsider letting him out! I took the other horse out of the paddock and let Copper choose to come along without a halter.  He had no trouble going up the hill where he enjoyed eating up the loose hay.  I had to consider how deliberately he had tried to communicate with me that he liked my idea and wanted to go along with it.  I wonder how many other thoughts swirl through my head unconsciously as I interact with the horses! Certainly this was a lesson in paying more attention to them.