Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Newsletter: December 2004

Gazehound's Animal Communication Newsletter
Keeping in touch with the animals....
and the people who love them.

December 2004

Happy Holidays!

Holiday Concerns: from an animal's viewpoint

The holidays are a very exciting, and often anxious, time of year. The swift-running emotional current that begins sometime shortly after Halloween and lasts right through January certainly doesn't escape our animal companions' notice. Animals are extremely receptive where human emotions are concerned, and they are aware as soon as we are that "something is up". Pets who have lived through a couple of holiday seasons often remember just what is happening, and they become excited ... and anxious ... right along with us. While they don't have the stress of shopping, decorating, travel planning, or getting the home and family ready for the big event, they are aware of our emotions and feel the concerns that we feel to some extent.

When talking to animals about holiday stress and excitement, the most common concern I have received from them is that they want to be, more than anything, included. Many animals are quite concerned about the stress their humans are experiencing, and express a desire to help. Don't forget that, even though you may not be sure how much they are understanding, you can talk to your animal friends. They are there for you, and they do appreciate being your confidant and "shoulder to cry on" when the holidays begin to overwhelm. They do understand that they are helping to relieve some of the pressure by listening to your needs, so let them be there for you. When you do talk to them, be sure to express your gratitude for their help and companionship -- it will help them to feel needed and included in the preparations.

The desire for inclusion in holiday happenings extends beyond the wish to help their humans through the stress, however. We all consider our animals part of the family, but our pets may feel like they are overlooked to some extent during this festive and frantic season. Always try to be aware of their desire to help and be part of the big events that are going on. Keep them present in your minds, be conscious of their safety needs, and bring them into the circle of celebration in a way that is good for all of you. If at all possible, celebrate at home, or bring them along if they travel well. If you must travel for the holidays, and leave them, however, be sure to prepare them ahead of time and try to include them in other ways.

Not everyone has the option of staying home for the holidays, or of bringing their pets along if they have to travel. Keep in mind that almost all cats and many dogs are far more comfortable in their own homes. Consider hiring a professional pet sitter to come in to your home and care for your pets rather than putting them in a kennel. For dogs who are better kenneled, and some certainly are, try to establish a relationship with your kennel owner and staff before leaving your pet with them. It's far easier to give quality care to an animal you know well. Most importantly, prepare your animal friend for what is coming ahead of time. Talk to them, make mental pictures to match your words, and try to remain light and positive about the experience ahead. Point out fun things about their holiday time, even though they will be away from you ... making new friends is always a good topic ... and help them to know that they will be fine. Most importantly, reassure them that you will be coming back home to them soon.

And of course, if you are not sure if your message is getting through clearly, I'll be happy to help if you need me.


If you are seeking a professional pet sitter in your area, the following websites might be helpful:

Whether using a pet sitter or a boarding kennel, be sure to call and reserve your spot several weeks in advance -- pet care professionals book up early during the holidays.


The topic of the above article was suggested by Dede, the mom of Sherlock, Katie Scarlett and Kayce, three Manx (and mostly Manx) kitties from Kentucky. She also sent in the lovely photos of her animal companions that decorate the website version of this issue.

Thank you, Dede and friends!
If you have article ideas or would like to submit photos to share, please email me at ..


Pree's Talk-To-Me Tips
Everyone likes to take pictures during the holiday season. Did you know that "taking pictures" can be done with your mind, too? In fact, the best way to communicate your thoughts clearly to your animal friend is to practice making the images you hold in your mind match the thoughts/words you are trying to send him. Clear visual thought will enhance communication, while "thinking" one thing while "picturing" something else will give mixed messages. For example: dog owners often wonder why their friend runs away when called. Perhaps it's because they are calling "Come!" while all the while mentally picturing what they are afraid of ... the dog running away! Practice taking a clear visual "snap shot" of what you want your animal friend to know. You'll be surprised how well he'll "get the picture"!

Just a Reminder....

The special on gift certificates is still running through Christmas Eve. I offer gift certificates at the regular rate of $25.00 per session/certificate. However, from now until December 24th, anyone who purchases two certificates together will be able to order two for $45, or $2.50 off the price per session. Anyone who purchases three together will receive 3 for $60, lowering the cost per gift session to $20 each. Just drop me an email or give me a call if interested.

Did you know that I offer discounts to rescue groups? If you work regularly with an animal rescue group or shelter, feel free to forward this message to them, or point them to my website. All rescue groups who have a verifiable presence (such as a website declaring their work, an IRS non-profit identification number, etc.) will receive a 20% discount on animal communication sessions. In addition, you will also receive a $10 referral credit on your next session for all first-time referrals which result in payment. (First-time referral credit offers apply to all referrals, not just to rescue groups.)

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