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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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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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You too can Develop your Intuition and Communicate with Animals


Want to hear how it all began? Here is Cindy’s story about the first time she found she could talk with horses…

Hello my name is Cindy Brody and I work with animals to help them express themselves through Animal Communication and CinergE. I have been talking to animals my whole life, I just never really thought about it. I have been a body worker for many, many, years.  I started with people in my early twenties and have been working with horses and dogs for twenty years.  I am now fifty seven. That is a whole lot of talking and body work!

I first learned I could talk with horses when Gail, whose horse I was treating, asked me, “If you can tell where Bogart’s hurting, can you tell what he’s thinking?”  Her request was a little bit tentative. I had no idea if I could communicate with Bogart. I decided to simply ask him about his life.

I said under my breath, “Bogart, are you happy living here?” This horse had to be thrilled to live on such a beautiful farm, I thought out loud, not really expecting Bogart to hear me. He had been a school horse for years and was now a senior citizen retired to a big green field where his biggest problem was getting fat. Gone were his days of ill-fitting saddles and living in a small stall for many hours at a time. When Bogart responded, his answer wasn’t so enthusiastic.

As I waited for his reply not knowing how I would receive it, postcard like thoughts and pictures popped into my head. They were very clear thoughts and they were not my own. Bogart had a complaint. I wasn’t sure if I was right or wrong, but I took a chance and told Gail what he was saying. “I love my life here,” Bogart said, “except for…when the boys come into the barn with the white rope.” When I relayed this to Gail she was a bit skeptical…and indignant. “My boys don’t come down to the barn and they wouldn’t ever do anything with a rope!” she said. I told her I could be mistaken, but the picture I’d gotten from him was extremely clear and kept flashing back to me: There was a white rope and there were boys and he didn’t like it. The image of the white rope kept presenting itself, over and over like a broken record.

I quickly changed the subject, finished my treatment, and left. Later that night I got a phone call from Gail. She’d asked the boys during dinner if they’d been down at the barn. They said they had, because their father had asked them to give the horses some hay. They’d thrown the hay in a pile in the middle of the barn for the horses to munch on, but Bogart didn’t want to share and kept chasing the other horses away from it. The oldest boy grabbed a white lunge line that was hanging on the wall and started throwing it at Bogart to get him to stop. He didn’t hurt Bogart physically, but he did hurt his feelings.

Gail was amazed, but not too amazed to tell her sons this: “Bogart told Cindy he doesn’t like when you do that. So don’t!” Just like that I became an animal communicator. It is as easy as that.

Since that day in the barn I have used these skills to help people with their animals all over the country. I have visited states from one side of this country to the other. Hawaii is divine!

My goal is to help people and their animals to understand each other and through giving their thoughts words I am living my life’s dream of making the world a better place for people and animals. Let’s face it without our four legged families we would be pretty stressed out. Our furry families help to calm us, they love and understand us when it seems to one else does.

Through my skills as an animal communicator and CinergE my body working technique I can help all animals feel better, the great thing about this is the trickle down affect. Happy pets, happier people.

I help rescue dogs to become more self-assured, this helps them to understand what their people need them to do. I have awesome clients and they do their homework. We have huge happy changes with in both our pets and their people! Whether it is a one on one session or a clinic, everyone learns what they can do to help their four legged family members. Everyone gets homework!

We all have the ability to learn to hear our dog’s inner voices. With my help you can learn too. This is NOT something only very special people can do. I have students from all walks of lives practicing CinergE with their whole families! I also work with people preforming Reiki and CinergE treatments. My people all have health challenges from cancer to arthritis, hip and knee replacements. My work is a healing practice and I love it!

CinergE helps you to find where your animals are hurting and help to ease their pain. Old dogs have body pain, dog athletes have tight muscles, stressed dogs hold tension just like people and their necks and shoulders get really sore just like ours! We can all learn to unravel our dog’s physical tension and when we do this they blossom.

I have worked with thousands of animals, all creatures great and small. I love every aspect of my work and look forward to sharing it with you. We can all help our families to feel better through communication and understanding. I work with dogs in all stages of life, from newborn puppies, to senior dogs, to dogs that are getting ready to cross over the rainbow bridge. I work with misunderstood dogs, hyper dogs, sweet and easy dogs. They all have thoughts and I help to give them a voice.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and I look forward to helping you with your dogs, cats, horses, hamsters, turtles and any other creatures you care for.

Please check out my website and read my blog for more stories about my work. My CinergE for Dogs book is almost finished and I will be announcing on my website soon.

Together we can help all animals through communication and understanding.

You can register by clicking here and selecting deposit in the drop down menu under Clinics. We hope you can join us, and that you will be moved to share this with your family and friends. Thank you!

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Lost Pets

lost dog

As an animal communicator, one of the hardest jobs I have is finding lots pets. Let’s face it, when an animal is lost and frightened they are on the move. Even if I can get a clear picture of where they are, they could be miles from home, or by time we figure out where they may be they could be five miles away.

I don’t look for lost pets anymore. It is heart breaking work; it is hard to find lost animals for so many reasons. Animals move, animals get picked up by well-meaning people who keep them, they get killed by cars, wild animals, locked in other peoples garages for sometimes weeks at a time or they wander until they can’t and all of it is very sad..

I once found a dog that fled from a car accident. Her guardian hit black ice in the dead of a December night and crashed into the medium. When she got out of the car her dog took off into the wilderness. She called for her dog, but Shay was too frightened to come back, she kept on running into the night.

Her guardian, Jill, searched for days and the temperatures plummeted. Jill had sprained her ankle falling on the ice, but she would not stop looking. I would check in with Shay and I would get a mental picture of where she was and then sometimes within hours she would be spotted in the general location.

On the seventh day when all hope was diminishing Shay showed me a picture of a big pine tree where she could see 360 degrees. She was well hidden and sheltered from the wind by the pine boughs. She told me she could smell food being cooked nearby, she was very hungry. Jill thought she knew exactly where Shay was hiding. She had been back to that location many times. There was a house close by. She returned and called her dog, Shay appeared out from under the giant pine tree on top of a knoll. I had instructed Jillian to drop to the ground and to pop open a can of smelly cat food. Shay could not resist the food, she came running and then once again was a family pet.

This story had a happy ending. Many lost pet stories do not. Those are the ones that I tuck into bed with me at night. The animals that get lost by human error are the ones that pain me the most. We need to think before we release a dog off leash that has a history of taking off. Sadly many dogs leave when we are right there with them.

We all have intuition and one of the threads I hear most commonly is,” I had a weird feeling when I let Ralph out, but I let him out anyway.” Or,” Ginger was always so good off leash and then she took off, I had a bad feeling that day.”  Or “I forgot to tell the boarding kennel that my dog was an escape artist.” I have read many dogs and cats that were out on a journey, they all intended to return home, but a few were hit by a car and never made it home.

I am writing this because it is our duty to keep our four legged family members safe. It’s a big world out there. Fences keep dogs safer when all the gates are closed and secure. When people tell me they are putting in an electric fence as a way of keeping their dog in, I let them know that they always have to put the sensor on their dog and that they always have to have a charge on the fence. Unfortunately sometimes dogs will brave the shock to get after something on the other side of the fence. Also, an electric fence doesn’t keep wildlife out.

Accidents happen and pets do get lost, but so many times we can avoid losing them. Please make sure your pets are wearing collars with name tags that have your phone number as well as their veterinarian’s phone number. I found a stray dog this winter and when no one picked up the phone at their house I was able to take the Alaskan Husky to his veterinarian’s office, instead of a shelter.

His owner’s response was he runs away all the time. You should have taken him to the pound, they know him there. You just cost me a bunch of money. I read her the riot act. Unfortunately at the time there were no laws to protect this big furry dog. It was January and in the middle of an arctic blast. She was out of town for a couple of days and had left him on a dog run in her yard. My heart still breaks knowing that this intact male dog lives with a human that thinks its okay to leave her dog out. There is now a tether law in Ulster County, New York. It’s not okay to leave your dog out 24/7, no matter what breed of dog.

Air on the side of safety and have your pets micro chipped. If your pet slips his collar, turns up missing and ends up in a shelter or a veterinarians office you stand a better chance of getting your beloved pet back. If you have a feeling that letting your cat roam freely is dangerous then keep them in. I have a client that just put a GPS device on her cat. This helps to locate lost animals but not protect them from danger.

Dogs can take off when off leash. Practice your recall and if your dog doesn’t respond hike with her/him on a leash. They will love their hikes just as much. My dog loves to help me over rocks by the tension on the leash. She saved me this winter when I slipped on ice she tugged and prevented me from falling.

In my neck of the woods there are coyotes that love preying on cats. I have seen mountain lions and our beautiful mountains go on for hundreds of miles. If you live in the city, cars and sometimes people are predators. A lost pet is a needle in a hay stack no matter where you live.

If you lose your pet, act immediately. Don’t sit and wait for them to come home. If they are near they may be able to hear you. Call all of the local shelters, veterinarian hospitals and local pet finder groups. Make posters with your pets picture on it, offer a reward and plaster them all over the area your pet was lost in as well as facebook, have your friends share your poster.

I teach people to show their animals the way home through imagery work. At night I imagine that I’m holding a flash light beaming it in front of them showing them the way home. This works great if the dog or cat is still nearby. Sometimes the animals are so frightened they can hear our calls, they are just too afraid to come out of hiding. These are the easy pets to find, because most often they walk right back to the house, sometimes hours later.

I also work with a map and a pendulum. I douse the map and where the pendulum swings is where we look. Unfortunately in a mountainous area or even in a city, dogs and cats can change there location by miles in minutes. Dogs and cats can navigate woods much better than we can. They can also hide. I worked with a sheltie that showed me a cave where he was living, near a dumpster for a grocery store. He said he wouldn’t come out because he lost his trust with people. He was a very shy rescue dog to begin with. He was lost in November just after Thanksgiving. He was found and trapped the following April.

Pet communicators can help, but avoiding the loss is the best preventative measure. Listen to the little voice in your head that says be careful. In almost every lost pet situation the people tell me that they had a feeling something wasn’t right before they released their beloved pets.


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How Does A Human Talk With An Animal?

When dogs come to see me, I first allow them to walk around my office and check the place out. There are lots of good smells everywhere, and all dogs love to explore them. Once they get the chance to do what comes naturally for them, they relax. As my four-legged clients are settling in, I pull up a pillow and sit on the floor next to them. As I run my hands over their bodies, I gently introduce them to the energy work. I let them move about freely as they need. As they feel the energy tingling from my hands they like to take little breaks to process it. Some dogs are surprised by this sensation and will turn around, look and sniff at my hands. “What do you have in your hands”? I always honor their needs. This quickly establishes a trusting relationship between us.IMG_0083

Some dogs will start talking right away; some take a little bit longer to settle down. All dogs have their own speaking style just like people. Some talk in short sentences, taking breaks in between their thoughts, others talk in run on sentences and it can be challenging to keep up with them. A dog that will talk in fragmented sentences, whose thoughts and attention span are all over the place, remind me of people with Attention Deficit Disorder. “I love when my owner…what’s that on the wall? I need to go out. What’s that noise? Are you coming?” These dogs can be challenging to read, but are always brilliant once I help them to focus. Each dog talks of their feelings of love, happiness and sometimes of their disappointments and concerns.

Animals communicate to me with thoughts, feelings, or images, like snapshots, that I receive almost as if they were my own. Sometimes the thoughts don’t make sense to me, but are dead-on to the dog’s owner. Sometimes a dog will talk in feelings. I will feel its sadness, or an adrenaline rush, or confusion, these are not my feelings; they are the dog’s feeling. Once they know they can trust me they will share what they’re feeling with a sense of relief.

It’s easier to communicate when I quiet my mind. Sometimes as the dog sniffs around the room I will sit with my eyes closed and allow random thoughts to drop into my mind. With some dogs you can tell what they are thinking by the way they move their bodies. (Thank you, Fawn, for your tutorial.)  If they hold their heads low and avoid eye contact, you know that they are feeling insecure and need to talk. If they are bouncy and moving about seemingly care-free, you know that they are happy. A happy dog’s biggest complaint may be that you changed his kibble! These are only generalizations, though, as each dog presents in his or her own way. As with humans, each dog communicates differently.

Dogs will look the other way when they don’t want to change a behavior. It’s very funny and very clear to everyone when this is the case–not much different from what you might see in humans who don’t want to change, no matter how their behavior affects others.

It helps to get things going when the owners bring questions. I am a problem solver, a relationship counselor between dog and owner. Often humans will come with lists of what their dogs are doing wrong. What they don’t realize is that some of an owner’s behaviors are upsetting to their dogs. Once we get it all on the table and both parties have a chance to speak, then they come to a better understanding of each other.  As long as the human does their best to live up to their part of the agreement, the dog will try to live up to his. It’s important to remember that everyone has an opinion, and sometimes people don’t want to change their opinions. This holds true for dogs as well.

Dogs are pack animals and we are their leaders in healthy dog-human relationships. They look to us for love, food, water, guidance, shelter, protection and direction. (Not to mention lots of cookies.) Have you ever noticed how much your dog watches you? They spend much of their time being aware of us, whether they are sleeping or awake. If we move they are aware of it. They see us when we’re strong and also when we are weak, whether it is a physical illness or an emotional illness, it can cause them much concern.

Most dogs don’t want the leadership role. They are happy to follow at our heels. When we allow them to take the lead some dogs will get insecure and possibly aggressive. They need us to define boundaries for them because it keeps them from getting anxious. It’s part of what keeps dogs emotionally healthy.

When we are troubled it rocks their emotional boat. They can act out in uncharacteristic ways, confusing for all concerned.  When we open up our hearts and communicate to them by projecting our thoughts, (the same way they send thoughts to us) it can help to calm their nerves.

Our dogs are very wise and the older they get the wiser they become. They are an expert at reading our moods and as I have learned over the years, our minds.

When I do readings, my focus is on helping the dogs to express themselves. If they’re in conflict with their humans, we come up with compromises, by asking the human or dog to adjust their behavior.

Sometimes we humans send very mixed messages without realizing it. I am the dogs’ advocate and their voice.



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Petal aka Bee or The Beetle “We Will Always Be Together”

The first time I met Petal, a tri-colored Pit Bull was when she was first diagnosed with lymphoma. Her soul mate Jane had heard about my work and wanted to see if I could help her best friend feel better. Her heart was breaking; Petal had changed her life in the eight years they had been together. She couldn’t imagine her life without her. Jane wanted to do whatever she could to make her sweet dog more comfortable.

petalAs I walked up to Jane’s front door I could hear dogs excitedly barking. Through the glass door I could see Jane’s two dogs, Joshua and Petal. They both had floppy toys in their mouths and their hips and tails were wagging wildly, doing the happy dance. They were so excited to have company. Even though we had never met they greeted me like a long lost friend. Jane came to the door and let me in and the dogs were all wiggles and giggles. I looked at Petal and saw the twinkle in her eye and she proceeded to draw me into her sweet soul and into her heart. I could see she was one cool dog and I could feel from that instant that she would also have things to teach me. It was clear to see that she was wise by the expression on her face. She also had a look on her face that was very game and ready to play.  I didn’t know then what she would teach me about life and in the end she taught me so much and it changed my life.

We all walked into the kitchen and Petal ran straight to her bed where she promptly dropped her toy. She was smiling at me from ear to ear. Had I not known that she was a very sick dog, I would have never believed it.  She shined for me and I shined for her.

Petal knew I was there for her and as I sat on the floor her tail thumped the bed. Joshua her best friend, also a Pit Bull sat closely with a watchful soft eye. He was so handsome and sweet. I believe in love at first sight and these dogs were so generous with their love they had me at the first woof and waggle.

I treated sweet Petal in her round, faux leopard skin bed. She curled up on her side, closed her eyes and waited for me to help her, as I gently placed my hands on her body I felt the Reiki begin to flow. My hands instantly became very hot. This was the first sign that she was a sick dog. When my hands heat up quickly I know there is an illness or an injury. Even though she was very happy in her life, I knew she really wasn’t feeling so good. She was a tough dog and I know she didn’t want Jane to worry.

She lay back and with her eyes closed sweetly as she took in the energy. Petal would slowly take in a deep breath and then give a long lovely sigh. She wore a peaceful smile on her face. As I worked on her she would occasionally raise an eyelid to keep an eye on Jane. She loved her beyond words.

Over the next four years that we worked together Petal had a lot of advice for Jane. Petal worried that Jane worked too much and that she needed help with her businesses. One of Jane’s missions was to make the world a different place for Pit Bulls and all dogs. Petal wanted Jane to “get a life” outside of work. With Petal’s suggestions Jane made many changes in her business. As a result she has been able to help dogs all over the world. Petal would always tattle on Jane when she would work too hard or get stressed out.

Petal’s sense of humor was never affected by her illness. Once while I was working with Jane she decided to sort through my appointment book. She spread all of the business cards out like a deck of cards and only chewed the ones I didn’t need. How did she know? She knew so much.

Jane had a guest one time that Petal avoided, she asked me to ask her why. Her answer was simple, “She doesn’t shine for me.” It was true this person wasn’t a dog person. Petal loved people to shine for her and her family and friends always did, she was a special girl, her love knew no limits.

Petal out lived her prognosis over and over again. She had an oncologist who watched her carefully. She was treated like a celebrity whenever she would visit his office. No matter how much she was poked and prodded she was always the perfect patient. Whenever she needed another round of chemo I would be there to treat her and she’d feel better immediately.

She had our treatments down to a science, I would treat one side of her body, and then, without my asking, she would flip over onto the other side, and then onto her back for her favorite part of the treatment, Reiki on her sweet, pink tummy.

During that time she would rally over and over again. She taught me so much about strength of character. No matter how sick she felt she was always happy.  Petal loved me and trusted me to help her. She was such a good friend. As I write this article I know she is cheering me on from the other side of the rainbow bridge.

She never stopped trying to get better all the way to the very end of her life. She wanted to stay with Jane forever. Petal in the end succumbed to a different invasive cancer. Before she left us we had one final session where she spoke to us and gave us her best advice.

“Jane, we are two halves of a circle. Where you end, I begin. Where I begin, you end. Love has no limits, we will always be together. I will return to you and when I do you will recognize me. Promise you will continue to get the help you need with your work so that you can experience the joyful life you have given me.”

She then turned to me and said, “Take care of the dogs, and they will take care of you. You need to write and have our voices heard.”

Petal passed away a few days later in the bed wrapped in the arms she loved so dearly, Jane’s.

Petal I know you are still with us and I thank you for your continued love and encouragement. Jane and I have both taken your advice. Jane has hired people to help her help all dogs and because of your wise advice I am reaching out to dogs, cats and all animals all over the country. I am sharing their thoughts and wisdom for they love us and watch us and want to help us. By listening to their stories I am helping to make the world a better place. I thank you with all my heart.


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A fundraiser for the UC SPCA

Hello again,

There was a typo on my last mailing. Lindsey Webster will be singing a song for MG_0630-1-300x200us with the amazing Keith Slattery. She is Woodstock’s own Diva and if you haven’t seen her or heard her perform now is your chance. And if you aren’t local, be sure to check out her link below.

I have known Lindsey since she was a little girl. I am so proud of the woman she has become. She volunteers her talents whenever there is a fundraiser. She’s a special woman. Lindsey truly makes a difference in our world.

Come out and support the UCSPCA. Thanks!




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A Memorial for Pets Who Have Crossed Over the Rainbow Bridge


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Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving 2013

turkeyIt seems another year has flown by. I remember when I was younger, older people telling me that the years fly by the older you get. I was like “yeah, yeah, yeah,” but it’s true. My advice for those who are young: enjoy every moment of your youth. Make good choices that will give you wisdom to grow on, and really love and respect yourselves. My advice to all of us youthful-older people is to appreciate every day and enjoy each moment, to let go of the past and to really love and respect ourselves.

This year I am giving thanks for all of my clients who have become family and friends. I thank you for your trust and sharing your most amazing animals with me. I give thanks for all they tell me and to you, and to you for doing your homework. You are helping to heal your animals, family and yourselves. With the help of our furry families we are looking more closely at ourselves and making changes that help our animals by us being happier people. YAY!

As many of you know, Michele has joined me as my assistant, helping with scheduling and being my right hand woman. I give thanks for her helping hands. It has allowed me to take on new clients and reach out to more people through giving talks and teaching.

I have met so many wonderful dogs and cats this year, and I feel so thankful for all the love they have shared with me. They have made us laugh out loud, and they have made of us cry. Together, we have learned so much about life. I learn something new every day, thanks to you.

I want to thank all of my students for helping me to help the world through CInergE. Sponge Ladies, you know who you are, I look forward to Reiki III. Please keep practicing on two leggeds and four. Keep notes and thank you so much for helping your families and friends.

I look forward to my next Reiki l. You can check my website for new workshops and clinics. I always love hearing from all of you. I give thanks for all you notes and gratitude.

Next year my goal is to teach as many people as I can Reiki l, together we can change the world one dog, one cat, one horse, one gerbil, one turtle…. at a time.

Sending peace and love to all,



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