Here's something I learned the hard way… when you move, tell your animals what is happening. If you know what your future space will look like, send them pictures of it with your mind.
Back when I moved with my highly anxious dog, her name was Red, I did none of these things. Big mistake. I made an anxious dog even more anxious because we moved from space where she felt relatively safe, to a space she did not know.
To make matters worse, I also disposed of her favorite couch. So now, not only was she triggered because she didn't know this new space, but her favorite thing was missing. When I asked an animal communicator to connect with her (this was before I was an animal communicator myself) Red told her that she felt disrespected and ignored because I had not taken her wishes into consideration; in fact she was very depressed and upset by the whole situation.
Mea Culpa. I should have known to inform her of what was happening, particularly because she was so anxious.
The Animal Communicator helped me work with Red to repair the broken trust between us. Honestly just having someone listen to her grievances went along way to healing the relationship; that and some EFT healed her depression over the move and made her a bit more comfortable in her new home.
I am so grateful that someone was available to help me repair this relatioship.
I’m wanting to track all I accomplished this weekend:
The other day I was walking behind a couple and their German Shepard. This dog was young-ish and a bit… exuberant… on the lead, and was not sitting as they stopped for a stop light. The woman who was with the dog snapped, she had had enough: “Why do you always make everything about YOU?!” she yelled at the dog in full view of everyone walking down the street.
I've had insomnia for YEARS. You know what you don't tell someone who is in her fifties (or even 40's) and has insomnia? You don't tell her to "turn off screens 30 minutes before bed" or "make your room dark". Duh. I'm not 26 years old FFS.
Sigh. Yes, that was a mild rant.
I took OTC counter sleep medications for about 3 years and then was able to finally (finally!) stop using them. It was 2019 and I took an extra long weekend over the 4th of July. I slept maybe 2 hours might initially. My room was dark, and cool. I didn't use screens two hours before bed, I didn't watch TV, and I didn't listen to disharmonious music. And yet, only two hours a night of sleep. But it was OK, I didn't have to work or commute.
But then the long weekend ended and I still wasn't sleeping. Do you know how many "The Cat Who..." books Lillian Jackson Braun wrote? Well I do, because I read every damn one of them whiling away the time, trying to fall asleep.
28. There are 28 books in "The Cat Who..." mystery series featuring former journalist James Qwilleran and his cats Yum Yum and Koko.
After college I worked at Border's stocking mystery books, among which were "The Cat Who" books. Gawd, By the end of my tenure there, I loathed those books, but 25 years later? An effing life saver.
Reading is how I have always helped myself fall asleep. and I finally managed to start sleeping well around the end of December, thank to Lilliam Jackson Braun, James Qwilleran, and marijuana.
Then... March 2020. All bets were off. Stress. Anxiety. I went back on the sleep meds.
Now , a year later I am once again weening myself off of them. This year's late night reads? The Montague and Strong Case Files series by Orlando Sanchez. Great literature? Nope. But, God love him there are 12 books in the series all available through Kindle Unlimited, and they are thoroughly readable and enjoyable. So I spend my nights with Monty and Simon (as they are known), and am beginning to see the sleep at the end of the perpetual wakefulness tunnel.
She was the cutest dog at the shelter, also the most depressed. It was clear she needed someone… me… so I took my current dog, Sasha, to meet her, paid the fee, signed the adoption papers and took her home. Her name was Red, and I was going to fix her, help her get better.
Red’s adoption photoLook at her. So much personality, she was irresistible.
I have this uncanny ability to know when my current dog is dying and I go looking for another dog, not to replace the current dog, but to always have a dog around so I’m not lonely, and for some protection. This is how I went looking for another dog and welcomed Red into the family.
Sasha, Red and I went on walks, to the dog park, and played in the back yard. Red was adjusting, I just knew she needed some time. She was never aggressive, she liked to be on her own, and was rather anxious at times.
When it became clear Sasha’s last days were upon us (her lung cancer caused her tongue to be blue upon awakening because she wasn’t getting enough oxygen) I decided it was time to end her suffering and took her to the vet. Red did not come with us. I see now what I didn’t see then… we were a family and one day, I took one family member away and came back alone; I had done something with the other dog, her friend.Her anxiety, which had been hovering the background, now became acute.
Red stayed in the house while I was at work and I would receive text messages from my neighbor “Ann, I think something is wrong with Red. She hasn’t stopped barking since you left for work.” Luckily it wasn’t too disruptive to the neighborhood since she was inside, and to my knowledge it didn’t happen every day, so I brushed it off as not a concern.
Some months later I sold my house and moved to a condo. Red went from a situation where she had a house and a backyard, to a warren of corridors from which there was no escape (this warren of corridors will become important later in the story). The first day she was alone she barked and cried and whined and my neighbors (rightly) demanded that I not let such behavior continue. The same behavior that she had exhibited while by herself in a house, the one I had brushed off as not a concern, was now transferred to a condo situation — not good. In addition, I had not moved her favorite couch (no room) not told her what was happening and why. Her anxiety now went up another notch.
Thus began 5 years of dog daycare every work day and occasional weekends. It was maddening and financially draining for me. I couldn’t go anywhere without her pitching a fit and upsetting the neighbors. That dog had such a high level of anxiety I felt powerless to help her. I tried to find her a new home on acreage where she could be free, but was not able to locate a good home for her.
One day I met a shamanic practitioner who worked with animals and who offered to do a soul retrieval for her. I had also studied soul retrieval techniques, although I had not learned it could be applied to animals, so I made an appointment.
Wow. The things he told me about her life before she came to me really resonated. As a puppy she had been in a backyard and was stolen, put in an enclosed cardboard box and taken to an apartment building (filled with a warren of corridors) where she was on a leash around a bunch of hyperactive and loud children and could not get away. The practitioner brought those pieces of her soul back and I was encouraged that things would improve, and they did! I could go get the mail, take the trash and recycling out — progress!
Alas Red still needed full time weekly dog daycare but I was convinced things were improving.
They were not.
A friend I hadn’t seen in some years came to visit. The routine was wherever I went in a car Red went with me. So Red, my friend and I drove around the Seattle area going to shops and restaurants. I always found a cool place to park the car, I was making it work. Near the end of her stay, after a few days of accommodating Red’s anxiety and her attendant needs to be with me, or at least not left along in the condo, my friend turned to me with a serious look on her face. “Here’s what I want to tell you,” she said “if that dog had a gun she would shoot herself.”
This didn’t actually surprise me. I knew she was unhappy, but I was afraid that she was unhappy because of me, that I wasn’t doing enough. A dogsitter once likened her, jokingly, to a co-dependant boyfriend.
I had a need to prove that my love was enough to heal her, to make her life better; and the more the years wore on without her getting better, so my sense of being enough, of the belief that love could change a person or an animal, became more desperate. Afterall, she was a dog, I had bungled every situation with her, exacerbating trauma that was already there. I had to keep trying; my love was enough.
Things finally came to a head when her normal weekend dog sitter refused to take care of her anymore because she had pitched a 36 hour fit; never sleeping… barking, crying and whining the whole time. God, I felt so bad it had come to this. I did what I had avoided, and what you are probably thinking — get that dog some effing Zoloft! I did; I ordered a prescription for Zoloft from my vet.
The day I was to pick up the prescription, she ran away.
After about 18 hours, the emergency vet called. a good Samaritan had witnessed her being hit by one possibly two cars on highway I-5, and had stopped to pick her up and bring her to the emergency vet. I went to get her, thinking that we would be going home.
Well, she would not be going home with me. Even though she tried to get up so we could go home, her back was broken (they had her covered in a blanket so I couldn’t see the worst of her injuries). I made the decision to have her put down. I was on the floor with her as the vet administered the final injection “Oh moosh pie…” I said while I stroked her fur. She reached out her front paw and pushed me away, then died.
A friend, who knew Red very well, contacted me later and said Red had come to visit her with a message.
“She is here to say goodbye, but says she will hang out for a little bit. She says she knows more than we do and that was how it had to be. You’re supposed to be felling better. But you are a human being which makes things a little complicated. She loves all of us, and you the most. Says, ‘tell her to just DO IT.’ I love you Ann, and you gave me love too.”
Well, I cannot tell you how this communication from Red, simple as it was, put my mind at ease. Yes, I still grieved, but knowing that my love had been enough and that “it was how it had to be” made all the difference in the world to me.
I had witnessed the shamanic practitioner communicate with Red, and now here she was talking with my friend. How was this possible? Could more communication have helped Red? Did I even believe animal communication was anything other than a way to pour more money on an already fraught situation? If I paid the money and hired an animal communicator, would I see some sort of result short of a back account with even less money in it? I had to find out.
I eventually joined a program that trains people in animal communication because I wanted to know more and, if possible, to be able to help people who were at their wits end with their animals. What I learned was that there are a variety of energy healing tools in addition to listening that would have made her life so much more pleasant.
Let me tell you, these tools are powerful. I have been in awe of how well these tools combined with communication has healed and deepened people’s relationships with their animals. I could not feel more blessed to have found them and to be using them on a daily basis.
Yes, Red, I did do it and I thank you every day for helping me facilitate better lives and relationships between people and their animals.
Originally published on Medium.com August, 2020
I have a one-legged Dark-Eyed Junco that occasionally visits the deck outside my living room. I love this bird; well, mostly I love all birds, but this one has my heart.
He first started visiting in the early Spring two years ago, at that time he was an adult bird so he must be at least 3 years old now. This guy is one of the most resilient creatures I know.
He works harder than the other Juncos because when he hops around he falls over every once in a while and has to right himself (more calories needed); and when he sits and eats at the suet feeder he has to flap his wings more for balance (more calories needed).
This past February the Seattle area had much colder than normal temperatures and while I had seen the Junco in January, by February he was a no-show. I feared that due to his need for more calories he had perished during the colder weather.
I know the location of his "home base" and was seized with the wild idea to go ask my neighbor if I could look for his corpse in her backyard. God knows what I thought I would do with it. Luckily the impulse eventually passed.
Then a few weeks ago, he was back!
Welcome back Dark Eyed Junco, you are always welcome here.
As I approach my 2nd Saturn Return, I am becoming increasingly disenchanted with the field of librarianship... a career I chose during my first Saturn Return!
It's not the fault of librarianship... much has changed during the last 29 years as to how people find and interact with information, and what motivated me to attend library school is no longer needed. As libraries continue to re-evaluate how they serve their communities, I find myself doing the same thing on a personal level.
Do I want to end my career in a cube farm doing a job I really no longer enjoy (or really enjoy small parts of)? Or do I want to make a life, doing something I excel at, while helping animals and their people deepen their understanding by resolving issues such as anxiety, behavior problems, and health concerns?
Is that really even a serious question?! As I learned during an intuitive consultation with the fabulous Laura Bruno, your second Solar Return asks you, around the age of 58 or so, to look deeply at how you want to spend the remainder of your "wild and precious life" [Mary Oliver; "A Summer Day"; https://www.loc.gov/poetry/180/133.html]
You see, I'm very intuitive and have lots of skills and have studied many things from house clearing to soul retrieval to tarot cards. I enjoyed learning all of these skills and they helped me hone my intuitive abilities, but I never felt like a could make them my life's work. Laura helped to point me in the direction of animal communication because when she mentioned that I was "a gifted animal communicator" she tapped into my deeply and secretly held desire to spend my days talking with animals.
To strengthen my talents and skills in the field of animal communication and energy healing, I enrolled in Joan Ranquet's Communication with all Life University 18 months ago. While the time I have spent reading animals and learning energy healing has been invaluable, it has not been easy! It's a process and at least for me, was fraught with self-doubt and limiting beliefs that I needed to work through. Why did all of these issues surface now? Because now I am prepared to go out and earn a living doing it. This, this was going to pay my bills and allow me to leave academia behind, but I absolutely had to be clear and unfettered by those pesky limiting gremlins in order to make it happen.
Luckily for me, Joan teaches a fabulous technique, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT or "tapping"), that helps you move through those limiting beliefs and on to a life of your dreams. EFT also works fabulously on animals and I have seen some amazing outcomes that were the result of tapping and I am so excited to add it to the toolkit I use to help animals.
The deep process of getting to know my true self and how I want to connect with my community as my beautiful authentic self has value beyond measure.
Welcome to the erratically (she is a cat afterall) occurring feature called Ask Pumpernickel.
Pumpernickel is one of my cat's nom de plume and she has informed me that she will answer questions from her admirers.
To start I have some questions for her (me being her greatest admirer):
Pumpernickel you have many names under which you operate, Why?
Well cats are more tuned in to the energies of the moment and so I choose whatever word suits me in the moment; sometimes I tell you what they are, mostly I do not.
Me: I see. What you hope to accomplish with your post?
Pumpernickel: Sigh. Accomplishment is such a limiting concept. Mostly I want to have fun and this seems like fun. If others want to join me in the fun great! If not? Great!
Until next time. Burrruppp!
I love youtube videos of cats mucking about in Christmas trees. These videos are so cute I could literally watch them for hours.
This year, while contemplating a Christmas gift for my kitty, I thought "I'll get her a tree!" I could image the hours of fun she would have in a fir tree propped up in my living room (I had already designed a sophisticated system of bungee cords attached to various hooks embedded in walls...) where Lily/Pumpernickel/Buttercup (it's all the same cat, she just keeps changing her name) would be able to spend hours lurking in the shadows ready to pounce on unsuspecting passersby as they walked past her lair.
As I began researching Christmas trees, I decided against getting her a Christmas tree as a gift. Namely because, as I recently found out, Christmas trees are sprayed to within an inch of their lives with pesticides, fungicides and herbicides. I don't for a minute begrudge tree growers the means necessary to provide for their families, but I knew I would not willing subject Miss Kitty (easier to type than the above) to such an array of potentially hazardous chemicals. On one level this makes me very sad because she is an indoor cat and I would LOVE to gift her the gift of some "wild time" lurking in the branches of a tree, even if it's in my living room.
Ultimately, however, I couldn't in all good consciousness subject my little furball to such hazardous conditions for a couple of days of fun.
I have a question for you... do you truly believe that we as a people can preserve the Orca whales from extinction? Short of a massive overhaul of everything, and I mean everything, we do as a race, do you believe can we save them? I'm starting to believe the answer is no. Everything we do is a mere band-aid on a limb that has been severed. Can we remove the radiation in the water? Restore the coho before the extinction? Prevent the US Navy from conducting sonar tests in their breeding grounds? I understand people who want to try something, anything, to prevent this calamity; but short of a different, and I mean completely different... not Hillary, not Obama, not Trump, not Bernie... group of non-sociapaths wanting to show some leadership do these non-human persons have a chance.
Given what the world looks like now, I don't see it happening. I don't know that the "good fight" is win-able any more... 30 years ago when I took up the cause, perhaps; but no longer.
I've decided to withdraw from FB and other social media platforms for the time being because I simply cannot be involved at this level any longer. Those who think that electing Hillary or Bernie would have made a difference to the Orcas are fooling yourselves. Harsh words? Perhaps, but really, look around, has anything improved since the Reagan era? Or earlier? Not really. Not environmentally; not in the sex trafficking of women and children; not in our civil liberties;, nothing has gotten better. What do you think this world will look like in 10 years? 20? It saddens me to serve as a witness to the extinction of so much that I hold dear and I think that my friends and relatives who are suffering from depression, anxiety and similar maladies are feeling the same things I am.
So, what to do? Does using one less plastic bottle help? Does one, or two or three cities banning plastic bags help? Not really I don't think. The world as it's currently constructed is not designed to support the long term existence of life on this planet . I guess it is up to us, those who feel the pain of those who suffer, of the Earth, throughout our day to day existence, to be the ones who stand up and say " I see you, and I'm sorry." Truly, I know of no alternative now.
Hi. My name is Ann Lally and I'm a 25 year practicing intuitive. I help people deepen their relationships with their animals.