Gifting Pets for the Holidays

The holidays are the season of giving and many families will add a new family member, a four legged fur baby. I wrote this article to help you better understand the huge commitment which is both financial and emotional and includes a change of lifestyle, before you take the plunge into becoming the guardian of a dog, cat, rabbit, hamster and the list goes on, especially if this is your first venture into adopting a pet.shutterstock_164747567

Pets bring so much joy into our lives. I have been crazy about animals my whole life and without them at times I would have been totally lost. My dogs have seen me through so many stages of my life: the loss of my mother as a child, hard times through my teens, finding my way into a world that didn’t always appreciate my “special talents”. When I first became a mother my sweet German Short Hair Pointer, Molly, would lay howling at my feet as I rocked my colicky baby for hours. Molly was my constant support. My dogs have always been there for me more than I can describe.

Cody Brody, my beloved Jack Russell Terrier, was a real terrier-terror and was a real challenge with his marking addiction. His habit led me to replace many carpets and comforters. Anything that was left on the floor was subject to a quick spritz or a total hosing depending on his mood. I loved him with all of my heart for nineteen years. Even though we had our struggles, I never once thought of rehoming him. I became an expert on dog urine removers.

These days my constant companion of seven years is Lilly, a rambunctious Pit Bull who knew she was coming home with me before I even knew. When I failed at finding a foster home for her she became our forever dog. Lilly has filled my family’s hearts with her exuberance and playfulness. She has taught me so much about dogs and unconditional love.

I have taken in dogs that proved to be too challenging for others. Molly was a shredder and destroyed her previous owner’s paper portfolio; destroying her artwork. The owner raged and I took her home with me to live another fifteen years.

A couple of months ago I helped a client adopt a puppy. I warned her about all the pit falls of adopting a baby dog and her response was that I mentioned everything but the plague. My job as a communicator is to make sure animals don’t fall into the rescue system. It is a promise I made to myself when I first started volunteering at the SPCA in 1970. I witnessed practices that no child should have ever seen and that no dog should ever suffer.

When you adopt it should be a joyous occasion, but unfortunately sometimes the best intentions can fall short, leaving everyone heartbroken. Animal rescues are flooded with pets after the holidays, often because people didn’t realize what a huge responsibility pets can be; they didn’t know that their son Max was allergic to dogs or that a Border Collie would need so much exercise, they thought they could train their active puppy, but they simply need more tools and they can’t afford a trainer.

A successful pet adoption that will ensure you and yours, years of love and companionship requires research and several visits to make sure you are choosing the right pet for your home and family. A family who lives in a small apartment may want to consider a smaller dog or maybe a cat. A person who doesn’t live an active lifestyle should stay away from high energy dogs. A runner or someone who wants to do agility will make a perfect guardian for an active pet. All dogs need exercise, but some are happy to be couch potatoes. An elderly person who wants to adopt a pet may consider adopting an adult dog or cat; one that has been house trained and doesn’t need as much exercise.   A lot of people don’t realize that cats need exercise too! Cats that aren’t exercised can develop behavioral issues. They need to expend energy or they can get cranky. Cranky kitties can bite, mark, or act out against other pets.

Research the breeds of dogs you are interested in adopting before you bring them home. Make sure the mannerisms will fit into your life style. Consider if you or your family is allergic to dogs first. Some dogs are considered hypoallergenic, but I have known people who will still have allergic issues. Will you have the finances to have your long haired dog groomed? This will help prevent mats and keep your dog allergy friendly.

Just like with people, a healthy diet is required for a healthy pet. Cats that are fed corn based diets without wet food can suffer from bladder diseases. They can become overweight and very cranky. I have worked with cats all over the country and when their food is shifted and exercise is added to their day, they lose weight, feel better and stop marking. The special diets that veterinarians suggest for most illnesses are corn based. Corn based products are mostly GMO. I suggest you Google what the ramifications can be when you feed corn based foods. The pet food market is changing daily to include high quality foods that exclude corn, corn gluten and wheat. Cats that eat corn can develop diabetes in later years. Save money and improve quality of life for your pets by spending a little more for high quality foods.

If you travel a lot make sure you have pet sitters in your area or boarding facilities.  Do you have a family member in the area that will babysit in your home or theirs? Make sure that if you choose a kennel that your pet will get supervised exercise and will be fed your kibble. Once you know your newly adopted pet you will be able to outline their needs for your pet sitter. Write everything down. You don’t want it to be a guessing game for the care taker.

I urge you to adopt locally. Tens of thousands of house pets, in New York State alone, die every year in shelters. Go to your local shelters; if you fall in love bring the family to meet your potential forever pet. Some animals that have never been exposed to children will require some training to help them assimilate into your home. This can take time for a dog that has never seen a child or whose last family had kids that were never taught any boundaries.

Children in either case may seem very scary at first for this dog or puppy, but with tender, love and care, a dog can learn to love all children. It may require some help from a trainer, but it is possible. You will be socializing your dog not only with your children, but with your children’s friends. As an animal communicator, I have talked with many dogs that haven’t been socialized with children as youngsters. They often see kids as little crazy people, who pinch and make loud scary noises. In a dog savvy home these situations can be overcome, but they will require management and training, which can be fun for the whole family.

Adopting a rescue dog from out of state or out of country can be very challenging. You won’t be able to court your new dog or get to know him/her first. Often times there is little background information. Out of state rescues are shipped to you via an animal transport and this can be very stressful for any dog. Oftentimes the shipped dog can be traumatized and sick by time it reaches you. If you fall in love with a picture try to get as much information as possible before you adopt, make sure the rescue will be there for support if you need it.

Please stay away from pet stores. These are factory-bred dogs that come from the worst breeding practices. Their parents are abused and used as breeding machines, some never leave their cages and suffer dearly. These poor dogs suffer the cold in warehouse situations or worse, live outside year round. They have no vaccinations and are inbred. My heart goes out to each and every one of them. Please support your local SPCA’s; their animal cruelty officers are doing their best to help these dogs but are underfunded and shelters are often not equipped to handle the hundreds of dogs who come in from these busts.

If you live in an apartment or are renting a home, please make sure you are allowed to keep pets. I can’t begin to count how many pet surrenders happen because the landlord found out, after the new pet came home. This situation can be avoided by making sure it is okay to have a pet.

So this holiday season, please follow your heart and adopt a pet, one that will fit into your family, one that will stay for the rest of his/her life. I give thanks to you for adopting and giving pets a forever home that will be filled with love.

Sending love to you and yours, and wishing you Happy Holidays!







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Harness Health and Healing with Reiki

I want to attune as many people I can to Reiki and have a Reiki 1 class coming up September 8-9 at my West Hurley, NY clinic. I have been working with energy for most of my life and I know how incredibly healing and soothing Reiki can be.

I have helped people and animals in all stages of life to heal and feel better using the most simple of tools, loving intention and universal energy. One of the greatest things about Reiki you don’t even have to touch someone. I can beam my hands at someone from a distance and share the Reiki in this manner. I can send the Reiki long distance in the form of a prayer. It has been documented in medical studies that people who are prayed over tend to heal faster and more fully.

I share love through the Reiki in my hands.  I want to help everyone develop their own healing ministries. I want to teach people how good they can feel by giving themselves gentle, loving reiki energy everyday.  It is my intention to help others heal that fuels my practice. It is my dream to help the world to heal.

In my people practice I have worked with people in all stages of life in a variety of situations, from infertility to helping mom’s deliver babies. I have helped people to pass away peacefully and everything in-between life and death. I do this by gently laying my hands on and allowing the energy to flow through my hands and to go where it is needed for people’s greatest good.

During a treatment, people get so relaxed they go right into a deep sleep. This is wonderful when I am working with people and animals that are very ill and are having a hard time sleeping. I lay my hands on and I can see the stress leave their faces and then my clients drift off into a restorative slumber, people and animals alike. There is no difference.

A Reiki 1 class doesn’t involve learning lots of complicated techniques. It only requires your intention to help yourself and your family with universal energy. I often say that Reiki 1 is learning to channel the love from your hearts into your hands. In this day and time we all need tools to help us to find peace and calm in a loving and nonjudgmental way.

I have worked with surgical clients for many years and they all heal very quickly, whether they have 2 legs or 4. I have been in the operating room, I have helped clients in the recovery room and I have been there when they come home. If I can’t be there I can send the energy long distance. It simply works.

I invite you to help me live my dream to make the world a better place for animals and their people by learning and sharing Reiki. I will be teaching Reiki 1 September 8-9 and have a few spaces available. Send me an email at for more details. We are all unique and we are all loving beings and when we come together with empathy and compassion we help each other to heal.

Peace love and healing always,



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Trusting Your Intuition











Animals speak in different ways. Some dog’s converse in thoughts, others in feelings and in Willies case in pictures, or as I like to call them snap shots. Then there are some dogs who converse in thoughts, feelings and snap shots.

Willie was a 5 year-old pug at the time. I met him at a street fair. I love doing quick readings and this fair was so much fun. I had a line of dog owners down the street. I had loads of fun talking to all the dogs. Willies’ owner, Jackie was not a believer in animal communication and it was written all over her face.

Her friends all had their dogs read by me and everyone was thrilled with what their dogs had to say. Willie’s mom was giving into peer pressure, it was her turn and she wasn‘t buying into it. She walked into my tent with perched lips and a wrinkled brow sporting an “I can’t believe I’m doing this” expression that was written all over her face.  Sometimes if a dog’s owner is a non-believer the dogs will be tougher to reach. This was not the case with Willie.

Willie was sitting happily on Jackie’s lap when we started to talk. His tongue was hanging out the side of his mouth and his eyes were big and bright. I could see he was a happy and relaxed little guy.  I started out by asking Willie what some of his favorite things to do were. This technique is great for getting the ball rolling. He quickly showed me a picture of his head sticking out of a car window with his purple tongue hanging out of his mouth. He then said through thoughts and a disappointed feeling, “I’m not allowed to do this and I’m not happy about it.”

Jackie who is a responsible dog owner got very defensive. She said in a slightly raised voice, “Its way too dangerous to let him hang his head out the window of a moving car. He could have his eye put out by a rock or a bug.” I agreed with her and told her that it was very dangerous. When I turned the conversation back to Willie his simple reply was, “But, I’m allowed to hang my head out the window on the boat!”  She was so very surprised. I thought she might fall out of her chair. How did I know she had a boat? Willie was a boating enthusiast. Next to rides in the car, the boat is one of his favorite activities. Willie showed me a picture of himself with his happy face into the wind as they cruise down the river in their boat.

She confessed that they did often take him on their boat and he was allowed to put is nose into the wind.  She then stated flatly, “That’s very different!” I tried to explain the difference to Willie but he wasn’t having it. To him having his nose in the wind was his favorite thing.

When I’m reading animals I have to trust the information I get from them. Now had I dismissed Willie’s thoughts about the boat thinking that pugs aren’t boating dogs, I would have missed the entire point of his story. I trusted what I heard Willie say and as a result I was able to relay his message to his owner. No matter how I tried to explain the difference between riding in a boat or a car Willie was stuck on, “It wasn’t fair.”

Willie’s mom got up abruptly and left my tent. I think she was upset that I could actually talk to Willie! You just can’t please some people! LOL! Willie was one cool little dude.

This article appears in Healthy You Magazine May/June 2014

To find about classes with Cindy Brody, click here.

To book an appointment in person or long distance with Cindy, contact us here.


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Finding the Dog of Your Dreams, part 2: The Trainer Connection

Please enjoy part 2 of this 3 part article to help you find the dog of your dreams!

Part Two: The Trainer Connection

Even the smallest and sweetest of dogs need to learn their manners alphabet. They need us to help them learn that we are kind and benevolent leaders, that we will keep them safe. They need to know that most strangers are friends. They need to learn to trust that we will protect them and guide them with love. They need to learn not to jump on people and how to be a good greeter.

Dog trainers all have their different philosophies. There are reward based trainers, and then there are no reward based trainer. There are trainers that use force and shock collars and there are trainers that use behavior modification based on mutual respect and structure.

I have seen trainers create worse situations for their clients. Research and ask around before you hire someone to train your dog. Ask your friends who they used. Look at websites and videos and if you feel comfortable with the training techniques and the dog’s responses, then call and set up an appointment.

If the trainer’s philosophy is different than yours then DON’T hire him or her. Your dog is a family member and some trainers can be abusive. This can undermine your training program. A successful training program is one that you will follow, one that you commit too. A training session is typically only an hour, and if you don’t do your homework your dog will not learn his lessons.

Jangles is a Boston terrier and a very dear friend of mine. He was a rescue and found his perfect home with Julia.  She loves him beyond words and their relationship has continued to grow over the last year and a half that they have lived together.  He is Julia’s constant companion.  He laid next to her as she fought breast cancer and would never leave her side.  His gentle snores helped to calm her and there were days when she needed him more than he knew. When you look into his eyes he will show you the depth of his soul.

He has been her “little man”, and sometimes he can be a little bit of a macho dog. He still has some insecurity from his rough start in life.

Julia has a store and Jangles job is to go to the store and be a good boy. Most of the time this is an easy job for him. He lays curled up in his bed and is a very pleasant greeter dog.  There is only one problem, –Jangles doesn’t like other dogs.  The terrier in him comes out as soon as someone attempts to come into the store with a dog.

One Sunday afternoon an old friend of Julia’s came into the store. Joe, a famous dog trainer has trained dogs for movies.  He is very successful and travels all over the country training dogs. Joe said he could “FIX” Jangles’ problem in a minute.  Julia agreed because she worried that Jangles could someday get hurt with his macho response to other dogs.  Joe left the store and came back an hour later with his famous German Sheppard.  Julia felt uncomfortable but she trusted her old friend.  Joe is a dog expert.

As soon as Jangles saw the bigger dog he went into his routine, “I am Jangles the great protector of this store” and at that very moment Joe slapped Jangles in the face. It did stop Jangles for the moment, but within seconds he was winding up again, and once again the trainer slapped him on the nose. Jangles quieted down instantly. As he started to wind up again, Joe raised his hand and Jangles ducked his head to avoid the slap and stopped barking. The German shepherd sat and watched, he did not move.

Julia was very upset and was so uncomfortable with this training method.  She ended it with her sweet Jangles cowering by her side. In her heart she knew that the trainer was wrong and she was so upset with herself for allowing this scene to happen.

When I saw Jangles in my office he looked worried and as I went to pet his head he ducked his sweet face away from me, he was hand shy.  Every time I would go to touch his head he would flinch and close his eyes. He had started a new habit of nervously marking all over Julia’s house.

When Julia would get upset, little Jangles would feel terrible about himself. He would immediately get submissive and lower his head.

Jangles and I talked about the dog trainer. He said he couldn’t help himself, that when he’s around the other dogs it’s just how he reacts.  He said he was trying to be a good dog.  I assured him he was absolutely a good dog and that we would help him.

Helping him required managing him and not putting him at risk.  Julia no longer takes Jangles to the store on weekends when there is a lot of traffic through the store. His bed is no longer by the front door.  There is a big sign that says, “NO DOGS, PLEASE” when Jangles is in the store.

When at home, Julia exercises Jangles in the backyard playing ball. He also gets longer walks and never a harsh admonishment when he slips up and pees inside. He has been doing much better and you can see it in his soulful eyes. The worried look is almost gone.

Jangles needed to be managed, not smacked in the face. It took months and lots of TLC for Jangles not to duck when people would go to pet him. He did recover fully from the training experience. Love, better boundaries and respect helped Jangles to become the best dog ever.

Once your trainer leaves you with a lesson plan, you will have to do your homework to make the training successful. If you disagree or are uncomfortable with what the trainer has you doing, you will only confuse your dog making the transition harder for all involved. A family who argues over training techniques creates conflict over the dog. Trust me, your dog will feel the conflict and his/her behavior and self-esteem will suffer. It is always more successful when the whole family is on the same page when training a dog.

-Stay tuned for Part Three!-

To find about classes with Cindy Brody, click here.

To book an appointment in person or long distance with Cindy, contact us here.

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Finding the Dog of Your Dreams, part 1

Please enjoy part 1 of this 3 part article to help you find the dog of your dreams!

Finding the Dog of Your Dreams

Part One-

I recently had a client ask my opinion on her adopting a new dog. When I finished telling her an extensive list of my concerns she said I left out the plague. Her feelings were a little hurt, but I always spell it out purposely so that people can get the dogs of their dreams. I want to save some poor dog at no fault of their own, from ending up in a rescue. Re-homing a rescue dog is also very hard on the adoptive family. I don’t want anyone to suffer a broken heart. It is better to know what your needs are and adopt the dog of your dreams, whether it is from a breeder, shelter or rescue.

When you decide that the time has come to add a dog to your family, there are so many things to consider.  What are your needs? Do you live in a building that allows dogs?  Is there a breed restriction in your building, or neighborhood or state? Is there a size restriction? Some apartments and condos dictate that all dogs have to be less than thirty pounds. Some apartments say that you can only have two pets. Is it written in your lease that you can have a dog? If you get a dog can you afford it?  Will you need to pay an extra deposit for each dog?  Will it increase your rent? I have seen so many animals surrendered to rescue because of a misunderstanding between landlords and their tenants. If you are getting a dog and your landlord agrees that it is okay, you need to get this agreement written into your lease. You also need to decide if you are staying in that rental for an extended period of time. Finding another apartment that allows dogs in your price range may be tougher than you think.

There are many other important considerations when adopting a puppy or a dog. Is anyone in your family allergic to dogs? If you are in a relationship and you own a dog together, what happens to the dog if you break up? Can you afford the dog on your own? Will you be able to afford to rent an apartment that does allow dogs on your own?

Are you adopting the right dog for your family? Have you researched a breed that fits into your lifestyle? If you live in an apartment and you’re not a walker, are you willing to hire a dog walker for the sake of your dog’s happiness? All dogs need exercise and leash walking is a great way to train a new dog.

I recently worked with an older woman who adopted two min pin puppies, a female and a male. She loved the puppies but couldn’t keep up with them. Her yard was not fenced in and she was having a hard time walking. After a year she gave up the female because the two puppies were fighting. A few months later she brought the male to me because he was biting not only people that came to her door, but he was biting her as well. He had taken over the house. I gave her lots of help and he was much better, but in the end she couldn’t give him the life he needed and deserved. She had to find him a more suitable home for him. She was heartbroken. The new family was much more suited to his needs. They will be able to give him the exercise and socialization that he deserves.

If you work long hours will there be someone that can walk your dog while you’re gone?  A puppy needs to go out all the time. If they don’t get out enough they will be harder to house train. An adult shelter dog may need to be house trained all over again. If you live in the city and you adopt a dog from the country or from down south it may refuse to poop and pee in the street. I have taught many dogs how to pee on the street and a few others that had never peed in the grass.

One of the dogs, Tess, had spent the first eighteen months of her life in a crate as a breeding prospect.  The breeders decided not to breed Tess and put her up for adoption. When Marilyn brought her to me for help we went for a walk. Tess had never peed in the grass. She would hold her urine and only pee once a day until she became desperate to go.

When she was outside her sensors went into over load. She would look all over and not concentrate on all the wonderful smells. She was nervous and afraid of everything and everyone. Every time she even looked at the ground I would stop and say, “Go pee.” She would the get distracted and I would lead her to a well-marked tree and repeat, “Go pee.” while imagining her doing just that and voila she peed.

I will never forget her face the day she learned to pee in the grass. You could see the relief in her eyes. Ahhhhh!!!!  We praised her and the look on her face was one of confusion and then it shifted to pride. She had to learn to poop in the grass as well. She knew nothing of sniffing the ground like a regular dog. It took some time but Tess learned to be a regular dog with the love and help of her human mom. She learned to love people despite her rough isolated beginning. Tess went on to become a certified therapy dog at her own request. She inspired me right up until her dying day. Tess was an incredible dog that grew emotionally in ways that seemed impossible.

She came to me as one of the most fearful dogs I have ever met and with the love of her mom Marilyn, who became my student, she lived a great trusting life using CinergE, communication, Reiki, positive based training and lots of love.

If you have roommates or family members that live with you is everyone on the same page when it comes to adoption of a dog. Is this dog going to be a shared responsibility? Is everyone going to be involved in choosing the right dog? A dog needs a supportive family.

I recently worked with John who adopted a high energy shelter dog, Bill. He shared his house with a roommate that liked the dog, but played really rough with it while John was at work. When John would come home from work the dog was often so riled up that it concerned him.

One day Bill was overly excited when John came home. Bill was jumping all over him. When he reached down to push his overly excited dog off of him, Bill fell to the ground and peed himself. This was a new developing behavior. His roommate was way too rough and when the dog would get over stimulated. The roommate would harshly discipline the Bill causing him to exhibit submissive behavior.

John quickly found a new roommate. If your adoption is going to be a success everyone in the house should be on the same page when it comes to your new dog.

Can you provide the exercise it requires to have a high energy companion?  Or would a quieter breed be a better choice?  Perhaps an adult dog would be better? Do you have a fenced in yard? Do you travel a lot?  Will you have someone to care for your dog when you’re away?  Can you afford boarding your dog while you’re away?

Can you afford the veterinarian costs? Yearly exams can be quite expensive but are important for your dog’s long term health. Keeping a dog healthy can be expensive. Can you afford health insurance for your dog?

Feeding a high quality food is very important for your dog’s health. Grain free foods are much healthier for your new best friend, but they can be more expensive. Raw diets are great but require keeping the food frozen. Can you provide a good diet? I have found that dog’s that eat junk food have more behavior issues and suffer from health issues and obesity just like people.

If you have never trained a dog you may need help. Can you afford a trainer?  Dogs that are in rescues sometimes need lots of love and boundaries. It’s so sad when a client comes to me with a dog that has no manners and they are at the end of their rope and don’t have the money for a trainer. It takes a village to raise a healthy dog!

If your dog turns out to be a barker will it bother your neighbors? Sheila and her family had lost old Jake to cancer and they were ready for another dog. Lucy, a beautiful mixed breed caught their eye and it was love at first sight. Once Lucy was home the family was a bit surprised by how much work she was to train, but it didn’t matter because they loved her so much. With the help of a trainer things were getting easier, except for one thing -Lucy is a barker.

Sheila has a beautiful fenced in yard and Lucy loves it. Unfortunately she loves to run the fence line and barks at everything. Her neighbors are very upset and they have called the police. Sheila is now working with their trainer on barking. Her family is committed to helping Lucy however they can but, it has been a real journey. They love Lucy and feel she is worth every dime they have spent on her. Even though it has meant cutting back on other discretionary things, she is worth it to them.

If you’re not sure what kind of a dog you want, why not volunteer at a local shelter before making the pet plunge.  You can volunteer to walk the dogs, play with them or simply sit with them and just love them.  Spending time with shelter dogs is a win-win for both you and the dogs. The dog of your dreams may be there just waiting for you.

If you fall in love with a shelter dog keep visiting the dog and get to know her before you take her home. Ask if you can take her for walks as this will help you get to know her before the next big transition of taking her home. Bring the whole family and your other dogs to meet the dog. Know what you are committing to and don’t make an impulsive choice. There are too many lives that will be affected. If you have cats, make sure your new prospect is a cat lover. Dogs can learn to love cats, but it can take a lot of time and energy.

Adopting a dog from a rescue is a major transition for all involved and is one of the most rewarding experiences you can ever have with the right dog for your family.  These dogs so deserve a happy life and can make the best family dogs. It is up to us to make the transition easier so everyone involved will be happy. So often we are so excited by the prospect of adopting a dog we may overlook some of the important details to help make the transition easier. We are filled with the thoughts of how great it’s going to be and can sometimes forget that we can run into difficulties.

If you choose to buy from a breeder you will need to research carefully. There are great breeders out there, but you will need to find the one who is honest and stands behind their dogs.  Ask your veterinarian for a referral.  If you know someone who has a breed of dog that you love and their dog is a great example of the breeding program, ask who the breeder is.

Finding a local breeder is the best choice for you and the puppy.  Shipping a puppy on a plane and picking it up at the airport is incredibly stressful for a young dog. Flying can be very stressful for people, so can you imagine what it can be like for a puppy that’s just lost his/her mother?  I have worked with many fearful dogs from great out of state breeders and the one thing they all have shared was being shipped by plane from out of state. If you choose a dog from out of state why not consider a driving vacation to pick it up? Remember that just like children, puppies get car sick and not all hotels will give you a room with a dog in tow.

I transported a pit bull rescue from Florida to New York. It was her last chance for a good life. She was sick and her time was running out. I was exhausted by 10:30 driving through at night in Georgia. I was in the middle of nowhere and I couldn’t find a hotel off the interstate that would let me sleep with my rescue.

I was so tired, but determined to get this dog to a safe haven. I finally found a trucker hotel. They let me bring in my dog, but it was scary. The safety lock on my hotel door had been ripped off, the room was dirty. I propped a chair under the door knob and slept in my clothes with the sweet pitty girl tucked into my side. The second night was no easier. I found a Best Western in a very bad neighborhood that took us in.

I never for a second questioned my choice of saving this dog. She was taken to a rescue where she was nursed back to health and adopted out to a wonderful home. She deserved a second chance.

When you buy from a local breeder you can visit the puppy while he/she is still with the mother. Ask them for personal references from other people who have purchased puppies from them. Also ask to meet the father, or other siblings from different litters. Remember like father, like son.  If you feel people are being evasive of your questions about the parents then trust your intuition and keep looking.  When you use your intuition it can save you and your family from heart break later.

In the beginning, your new family member will require lots of TLC, time, and devotion. Some dogs who have been in rescue bounce back and forth from one home to the next making the transition that much more difficult.  They may have separation anxiety. “He was so cute we didn’t think he was capable of that kind of destruction.”  It is our responsibility to make the relationship work by setting it up for success.  Can you plan a to be home for the weekend so you can be there to ease the transition and be there for your new dog? Trainers are suggesting to not take extended time off from work when you adopt a new dog. The transition is much tougher after your new buddy has had a week of your undivided attention. It is a setup for separation anxiety.

Joe the boxer mix came from Georgia to New York on a tractor trailer transport filled with thirty dogs and cats. His new guardians saw his picture online and fell in love. When they picked him up they were given no information about him. They didn’t know he had severe separation anxiety. The first time they left him, he went on a rampage and tore up their recliner and couch beyond repair. They are working hard to make it work but they are unsure they can help him. He may need more help than they can give him.

-Stay tuned for Part Two!-

To find about classes with Cindy Brody, click here.

To book an appointment in person or long distance with Cindy, contact us here.

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When Death Comes as a Surprise

As an Animal Communicator, I often work with animals that are sick and sometimes dying. It is an aspect of my work that I love. Through CinergE I can teach people how to help ease their beloved pet’s pain and suffering.

Often times a dog that is getting ready to die will have so much to say to his people. He will give last minute advice on what their beloved two legged mom and dad need to work on. Mom needs to start painting again, dad needs to make more time for exercise. Don’t worry so much about the kids are things I hear so often from dogs that are leaving us.

Other times it seems like death comes without a warning and these are the passings that are so hard for us to except. Last spring I had a dog come to my office with his family. He was suffering from severe back pain and was under the care of a wonderful veterinarian. His mom brought him to me to see if I could help. He was a funny little guy, even though he was in pain.

He spoke about his family and it was clear how much he cared for them and how much they loved him. He was a part of the heartbeat of their family. He was very attached to mom as she was to him.

I worked very gently with him and taught his family what they could do to help him. They were great students and I could see they would bring comfort to their boy. It was a lovely session. I asked them to bring him back in a week for a follow up.

The next week came and when they brought their sweet little guy to me he was feeling so much better. He walked around with a bright eye and was even a little fresh. I loved his little man, big man attitude. He spoke of his family and was as always very much in tune with them. I breathed a sigh of relief that it looked like he had a good life ahead of him.

I gave his mom more instruction on how to help him with his back and hoped someday she would come and study with me. It was clear she had done her homework as the little man was feeling fine. He never once said to me he felt like he was dying, but he was to leave us shortly.

I just found out about his passing and I wonder how I could have missed it. I replay the sessions in my mind and I see a little dog feeling better on his second visit. I sat back and meditated on this story and I think I have some peace of mind about it now.

Dogs live in the moment and when they are feeling good they don’t worry about tomorrow, like us humans. Maybe he didn’t want to burden his family. As I reflect back, he really did have messages for everyone in his family, just like other dogs do in their final days. He just didn’t appear to be as sick or in as much pain as most dogs who are getting ready to pass over the Rainbow Bridge.

My job is to help ease suffering and I think we were successful with easing this dog’s pain and making his last days a little better. As I send energy through a client’s body it is always for the greater good. Sometimes the greater good is the ending of suffering and the great release into the heavens.

His family knew how he felt about them and what he wanted them to know about how they could help themselves, through his little angel eyes.

I do believe our animals are angels sent to help us navigate through this beautiful but sometimes brutal world. I give thanks every day for the love that they bring to their families and to me.  I do have the best job. Sometimes, not very often, I’ll lose a client and it is a surprise, but it’s best to trust in the law of nature and God’s will. When it is our time to go, it may come without warning.

I recently spoke with an animal that crossed over and she said it was brilliant! She said she was twirling through the air with her sister who had left a couple of months earlier. The vision was so beautiful it was so much like my own near death experience. It was like wisps of fog swirling together, or snow whirling with the wind through an open field.

We fear death more than anything, for ourselves and for our loved ones. I have to believe that thought forms never die, because I’m very good at talking with those who have crossed over, thoughts are energy and energy never dies. I have always said that death is a great release for a soul, but painful for those of us left behind. I feel very certain that we will all be joined again in energy and thought forms with our loved ones, whether you call it heaven or another realm, I do believe our energy lives on and that our angels watch over us as we walk this earth and if we are lucky enough our heart dogs will be returned to us. I now really believe in dog reincarnation.

I give thanks for the happy little dog that came to my office with such joy and friskiness. I send his family healing energy for the loss of their loved one.  I will continue to bring love and healing to all my friends four legged and two legged.

To find about classes with Cindy Brody, click here.

To book an appointment in person or long distance with Cindy, contact us here.

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Getting some help from the “Crazy Pet Lady”


We are featuring guest blogger, Emily Burke, as she shares her story of first discovering Cindy’s work as an Animal Communicator. Emily describes how Cindy went from being a “Crazy Pet Lady” in her mind, to helping her misunderstood cat Mushu feel better and aided in repairing their relationship.


“… If you’re like most normal human beings and don’t believe in weird psychic shit like I do… that’s okay… because even just *imagining* your pet saying all these things will bring some clarity, some laughs, and some tears ;-). The very first thing animal communicator Cindy Brody said was…”

Click here for the full excerpt. 

If you and your fur babies can use some Animal Communication help, reach out to us here. Tell us a little bit about your situation and someone will be in touch to help you setup an appointment. Click here to learn more about CinergE Animal Communication and Healing. 

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Does My Dog Love Me: The Happy Dog Therapy

C.Brody-9775LR If you enjoy this article, learn more by signing up for a clinic with Cindy Brody! NEW Happy Dog Therapy Clinic, Sunday, July 9th, 2017 in West Hurley, NY Click here for more information and to make a deposit to hold your spot!

Does My Dog Love Me: The Happy Dog Therapy

There are 3 Massive Mistakes that rescue dog owners make that keep them stressed out by their dog’s constant anxieties and insecurities, and can lead to their dogs barking and nipping at people. The Happy Dog Therapy builds confidence for all dogs and their people.

In my work as an Animal Communicator and CinergE practitioner one of my favorite groups of dogs to work with is the shy and nervous dogs. So many rescue dogs come through the shelter system not knowing which way is up and because of this their fears can create behaviors that can make them hard to place. They have been through so much that they can be terrified by things that are completely normal for other dogs.

As a child I volunteered in our local shelter. I was appalled by the way dogs were handled. The fearful dogs didn’t stand a chance. They died. I made a promise then that I would do something to help change the world for them. Here is a gift for your dog, from my heart to yours and from your heart to their amazing hearts.

What is the problem with nervous dogs?

  1. Dogs had no early socialization and little to no basic obedience.

Dogs that are worried, frightened and anxious can often become fear nippers and can bark so much that you think you are losing your mind. They never learned their self-confidence with people ABC’s as a puppy. Often people were mean.

These poor dogs were never successfully taught basic obedience. They are actually self-comforting themselves with their nervous energy lifestyle. Their default behavior is to control their environments with their insecurities. It is what they know.

What are the ramifications?

Dogs that have been insecure, sometimes for many years, get themselves into big trouble. This is what they are comfortable with. When we get so frustrated with their behavior that we lose it and yell at them we are feeding into their symptoms. People with anxiety are considered ill. They are put on medications or taught to learn to control their symptoms with cognitive therapy. Sometimes it’s a combination of both.

Lots of nervous dogs are medicated, but they are not taught to be brave or to trust people. The anti-anxiety medicines prescribed for them help, but they do not cure the illness. They mask it.  When the medications don’t seem to be working they are increased. I feel for these dogs as they walk around sometimes feeling like zombies. Sometimes I call it the “Eeyore syndrome” from Winnie the Pooh. They walk through life saying, “That’s okay, my tail doesn’t need to wag. I’m nervous, it’s just who I am.” These dogs don’t act out as much, but their anxiety isn’t the only thing being leveled.

You can help these dogs to feel better, to let go of their fears by talking with them. Through my hands on approach, CinergE for Dogs, you can help to physically and emotionally heal them.

…like in this STORY: Jesse’s Challenges

How does implementing basic obedience help immediately?

When dogs learn basic obedience it builds up their self-esteem. Basic obedience is truly animal communication. We are communicating confidence and they are begging for us to help them build their confidence.

When we teach them the simple confidence building exercises to sit, stay and look at me, we are teaching them a new healthy lifestyle. We are teaching them to trust us. Once they begin to trust us, they begin to have healthier self-esteem.

When we ask them to control their own behavior through simple ego building exercises they learn to control their anxiety. They can let down their guard and from there they can learn to trust people. I call it stuffing their scared personalities back into their bodies, by teaching them to self-calm with simple positive commands.

When a dog is in the red zone with fear he is no longer aware of himself, he is out of control. It’s as if he has left his body. This poor dog is ready to get himself into big trouble. His people are frustrated. They are becoming fearful of what their dog might do and are feeding right back into the problem with their own fear, now that he feels he has to protect them when people come to the door.

He needs your help and you can change his life. By putting him through ten minute basic obedience drills at least four times a day, you can change your dog’s life. Make the training a fun game! You can help your dog heal! We all know dogs just want to have fun.

When people bring me their fearful dogs they are amazed that within a few minutes their dogs are working with me. The dogs are waiting for me to tell them what to do. It is a huge relief for them. I always have amazing treats that are very hard for them to refuse. Fearful dogs may be to afraid to take a treat so make sure you’ve got the tastiest treat you can get your hands on. Dogs like food and it can help them to learn to be brave.

I start out by having the dog sit. If I get no response at my request and the dog is cowering I will start out tossing food at him with little to no eye contact. Once they start taking the food, I will get up and move around the room tossing food to them.

As they start to relax I will engage them in conversation. I will tell them they are good dogs, brave dogs, the best dogs, every time they take the treat. This is energy work. Words are energy workers, bad dog makes them feel bad, good dog makes them feel good. I will keep telling them that I love them and that I am proud of them.

When you do this exercise with your dogs you’re really communicating! When your dogs respond by wagging their tails or looking happy they are talking back to you in a positive way, they then get a treat. I also have other types of conversations with dogs and they are intuitive. I do this by listening to their inner voices. It is a skill we all have, but some of us need a little help learning to listen carefully. I also communicate by watching the dog’s posture. Every dog tells their story by the way they walk and the look in their eye. The more you study these obvious signs, the easier it will be to learn intuitive communication.

Every time a shy dog’s ears perk up in interest or their eye gets soft while I’m working with them, I say in a soft firm voice “good boy.” Once they start to trust me I will ask questions intuitively. With this information coming directly from the dog I can develop a program for his people family to continue at home. Everyone gets homework. As much as I would love to wave my magic wand, it’s not going to work that way.

Sometimes once a dog has told me his story, he will simply relax and the changes are swift and permanent.

In their fearful little hearts they want to please their people… they just don’t know how. Many have never learned how to trust people. Many were never socialized as puppies. Puppy mill dogs also known as “Pet Store Dogs” are often generations of dogs that have been neglected, unsocialized and abused. They have not learned their healthy emotional ABC’s.

When a dog’s self-esteem improves through learning basic obedience and playing doggy games, they are happier and less worried. They start to listen to you differently when you speak with them. When you call them they know something good is going to happen, because learning to feel brave makes you feel good! The dogs develop a positive recall when you call them and they come. When they come running with ears up and tails a wagging, excited for the next lesson, you will know that your dog is healing. They are not as submissive, frightened, and anxious. They are becoming proud and brave.

When I work with dogs I find out what they are feeling physically and mentally. As an animal communicator I can find out what the family dynamic is that feeds into the behavior. They will often tell me that they are yelled at, or forced into a bedroom when visitors come. They tell me that they want to be good dogs but they just don’t know how. They tell me that they are called names. The tone of your voice when you are calling a dog sends many messages. Practicing CinergE, I can help the dog to release physical pain that has a huge effect on the poor dog’s nervousness.

One of the best thing you can do to help heal your nervous dog is to find a great dog trainer, one that is experienced in reward based training. As your dog learns how to have great boundaries, he has less to worry about, because you become the pack leader. When you leave it up to him to pick and choose how to behave you create a nervous nipping dog. He needs direction. When you are the kind and benevolent leader, your dog doesn’t have to hold the weight of the world on his shoulders. He does not have the life experience to help him be calm, cool and collected. He needs to learn that from us by playing training games.

  1. Dogs get no exercise.

What is a couch potato dog?

For a nervous dog that lives a sheltered life inside the house, finding the comfort of the couch sometimes is it’s only refuge. These dogs may become very possessive of the couch. You may believe that the couch builds self-security, but it doesn’t because the dog is now resource guarding it and possibly you as well.

I’m not saying throw Muffy off the couch. I am saying Muffy’s world needs to grow and that Muffy needs to be asked to get on the couch. It’s also good when Muffy learns to sit next to you, not on you. This teaches her self-confidence. She doesn’t need you to help her to be calm, she must learn to self-calm. There is a time to sit on your lap and a time to sit next to you.

When a dog’s life is sedentary you may think it is being protected from the world, but this not teaching your dog stress management. It adds to the lack of socialization your dogs are already suffering from.

A nervous dog needs lots of exercise, it helps to burn off tension and helps them to trust that you are in charge. A nervous dog is filled with nervous tension. This energy, it if is not dealt with, will continue to grow. Dogs that nip or bite are filled with stress and anxiety.

Why is leash walking so important?

When a dog is walked on a leash, the leash becomes his lifeline to you. The leash connects from your heart to your dogs. It helps you to become a team and you are the team leader.

When you combine the basic obedience techniques with long walks your dog’s anxiety will melt away. We all have excuses why we don’t walk our dogs. Walking your dog is key to your dog relaxing and is great for your own health.

When I take the leash of a nervous dog I make sure that they know that I will protect them. I do this by the way that I walk.  I walk in a take charge pace, the contact I have on the leash is firm, but gentle. I don’t yank or tug. I slip my left hand through the loop of the leash and then hold the leash firmly. This protects the dog from yanking the leash out of my hand. I let the leash drape across the front of my body, my right hand holds the leash giving the dog about 3 feet of lead.

As we walk, the dog learns that if he is calm he gets a little slack in the leash. If he is nervous, I take up the slack and ask the dog to walk at my side. This gives him confidence that he doesn’t have to do it alone. I am there for him every step of the way.

Every time the dog relaxes I release the leash and allow a little slack. If the dog stops to sniff he gets to wander forward on the leash. He is exhibiting regular dog behavior and his reward is a big sniff. By working with your dog on the leash you are teaching him to self-calm.

I also do lots of sit stays and look at me’s while we are walking. Every time the dog responds in a positive way, with a brave eye and alert ears, I give them a high value training treat. It’s the dog equivalent to a high five. I do not reward fearful behavior. I do not say oh it’s okay in a soft comforting voice, that feeds into the dogs behavior that something is wrong.

If the dog is nervous I take up slack on the leash and walk on. If the dog stops I may walk backwards and then forward. I may walk a serpentine until the dog is back walking in harmony with me. If the dog is frozen I will wait it out and go back to a look at me game.

How do I get started?

Having the right gear is a must! Harnesses are the best way to help your dog learn to walk on a leash. I love the harnesses that have a loop in the front to connect your leash to. When your dog pulls forward on the leash, the leash wraps around their shoulder and pulls back at them. They are braking themselves. I strongly suggest that you buy a 6 foot nylon or leather leash. Extendable leashes do not offer the control and soft touch that you need when redirecting your dog, whether your dog is nervous or pulling, the front attaching harness is the kindest approach.

If your dog is fearful of the great outdoors start with short walks. If you have a fenced in yard you can start there, get your dog familiar with the harness and leash. Practice your dogs basic obedience having them sit, stay and then ask him to give you his full attention.

  1. People are unaware their dogs are in mental and physical pain.

People are often unaware that their dog’s anxiety causes their sweet dogs to be in physical pain too. They hunch up their shoulders, hold their breath, they tuck their butts under them, their tails tucked tightly between the legs. They are hurting and a lot of them have tension headaches.

That pain feeds right back into their insecurities. By utilizing CinergE for Dogs I teach people to help ease the physical discomfort. I have seen dogs change right in front of me!  Dogs that suffer from stress, that are fearful of objects and noises are truly suffering through and through. They are not happy being fearful, but it is all they know.

Their lives are very limited and when they charge the front door, barking and nipping at people’s legs. It puts them into danger of being considered biters. Biters have many limitations and sometimes are euthanized. By recognizing your dogs behavior as an illness that can be cured you can begin to help them.

Honoring my promise to shelter dogs, I teach people how to hear their dog’s inner voices and teach CinergE for dogs all over the country. When you combine the tips I gave you above with CinergE, your dogs will heal quickly!

Together we can make the world a better place for all animals, but I need your help! Sign up for one of my CinergE, Reiki or Animal Communication clinics and together we can reach so many more animals and people in need.

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Mental Postcards

heart postcard

Our relationships with our dogs are very deep. We love them with all our hearts and in return, they love us. They are loyal and always there for us, sometimes when no one else understands. As humans, we sometimes go away on vacations and sometimes we can’t take our best friends. They truly do miss us as we miss them, but sometimes when we travel they are safer and happier at home. No one should have to suffer when we go away. We can ease their stress by making sure they will still be connected to us while we are away. We can send them something I call “mental postcards.”  Mental postcards are simply a heartfelt message that you send when you are far from home. It is an intuitive postcard.  It’s sending positive energy to help your dog so that he will feel your presence when you are gone. You can send it out to any living being. Continue reading

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Why Reiki?

I want to attune as many people I can to Reiki. I know in these unsettling times we can help each other with the gift of Reiki. I have been working with energy for most of my life and I know how incredibly healing and soothing Reiki can be.

I have helped people and animals in all stages of life to heal and feel better using the most simple of tools, loving intention and universal energy. . One of the greatest things about Reiki you don’t even have to touch someone. I can beam my hands at someone from a distance and share the Reiki in this manner. I can send the Reiki long distance in the form of a prayer. It has been documented in medical studies that people who are prayed over tend to heal faster and more fully.

I share love through the Reiki in my hands.  I want to help everyone develop their own healing ministries. I want to teach people how good they can feel by giving themselves gentle, loving reiki energy everyday.  It is my intention to help others heal that fuels my practice. It is my dream to help the world to heal.

In my people practice I have worked with people in all stages of life in a variety of situations, from infertility to helping mom’s deliver babies. I have helped people to pass away peacefully and everything in-between life and death. I do this by gently laying my hands on and allowing the energy to flow through my hands and to go where it is needed for people’s greatest good.

During a treatment, people get so relaxed they go right into a deep sleep. This is wonderful when I am working with people and animals that are very ill and are having a hard time sleeping. I lay my hands on and I can see the stress leave their faces and then my clients drift off into a restorative slumber, people and animals alike. There is no difference.

A Reiki 1 class doesn’t involve learning lots of complicated techniques. It only requires your intention to help yourself and your family with universal energy. I often say that Reiki 1 is learning to channel the love from your hearts into your hands. In this day and time we all need tools to help us to find peace and calm in a loving and nonjudgmental way.

As I write this I’m with my sister who has just had 2 abdominal surgeries at once. I have been sharing Reiki with her and she has had no need for the pain medication prescribed to her. She’s healing quickly and resting well and she looks really good.

I have worked with surgical clients for many years and they all heal very quickly, whether they have 2 legs or 4. I have been in the operating room, I have helped clients in the recovery room and I have been there when they come home. If I can’t be there I can send the energy long distance. It simply works.

We will be starting our Reiki sharing circle events in a few weeks. The first one on Sunday, December 11th will be for my Reiki students and others that have Reiki attunements. We will come together at 1pm and share Reiki with each other, and it will be followed by a potluck. We will work 3 practitioners to 1 person. We will help to support each other. If you have been attuned to Reiki and are able to come to this first Reiki sharing circle event, please RSVP here by December 4th.

The next Reiki share with be open to the public. It will be for anyone in need. If this email finds you and you are in need now, we will happily help you. Please email me here so we have your contact info and can send you more information.

These Reiki sharing events are free. We must take care of each other. If you would like to donate money it will be given to local animal rescues. I do ask that everyone help to clean up and stay until everything is put away. Together we make these events possible.

I invite you to help me live my dream to make the world a better place for animals and their people by learning and sharing Reiki. I teach regular Reiki classes as well as Developing intuition and Animal Communication. We are all unique and we are all loving beings and when we come together with empathy and compassion we help each other to heal.

Peace love and healing always,


Reiki hands

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