Monday, January 10, 2005

More on Lost Pets: Communication Difficulties

Searching for lost animals is one of the most difficult and emotionally draining jobs an animal communicator can take on. The task is peppered with so many inherent problems that many communicators don't even take lost animal location cases. Penelope Smith's newsletter, Species Link, dedicated an entire issue to the topic of missing animals, in fact, in effort to support communicators who attempt to tackle this chore.

My previous blog post listed physical things, as well as telepathic tricks, that a lost pet's human can do to help bring their animal safely back home. In addition, if the owner decides to hire a communicator to help in the search, there are things they can keep in mind that will help them relate to what the communicator is receiving.

First and foremost, do what your communicator is doing and try to see things from your pet's point of view. Always remember that the communicator is seeing things through your animal's eyes, and what the animal perceives, and how he translates those sensory impressions, may not be the same as a human would. A classic example happened to me with a cat I was searching for. The cat saw a "large field", which turned out to be a moderately sized yard from a human standpoint. To this cat, however, who was not used to being outdoors, it looked enormous. Another cat who was unfamiliar with farm animals could only show me that she saw "great big huge animals", and the owner was distressed that I didn't know for sure if they were horses or cows. I would have loved to be able to define them more clearly, but the cat herself didn't know what they were, and I could only describe what she saw.

These are just two specific examples of what I'm attempting to relay. In addition, always receive things like numbers and signs (in fact don't expect road names and numbers at all, when they do come through they're an exception rather than the rule), colors, smells, and the identification of "human oriented" objects (such as the difference between a tractor and a truck ... to a dog or cat it may just be a great big noisemaker with wheels) with an eye to interpretation from the pet's perspective. If the object is close, the pet might not even be able to get an identifying view of it ... all he sees is big tires, all he hears is a frightening noise. Try to remember that when the communicator relays these things, she is only translating what your pet sees and understands in the best way that she can. There is no guarantee of precise accuracy, because your animal friend might not fully understand what he is seeing, and/or at the very least is seeing things from a perspective very different from "human".

Another difficult issue to relay is the chronological sequencing of events. An animal who is lost is often in an emotional state of fear, and is gradually shifting himself toward "feral" out of the need to dig up buried survival instincts and protect himself. When he relays things to the communicator, he is sending her images of and input on things that stand out in his mind, that appeared, to him, to be significant. However, he may not remember which of these items he came across first, and may not even be able to clearly relay what is happening "now". The latter is particularly true if "now" is a relatively quiet moment, and "then" was filled with danger, hunger, success in finding food or shelter, or some other momentous event or object. It can often be difficult to get an animal to focus chronologically under the often stressful circumstances involved in being lost.

One often difficult, for both owner and communicator, issue to determine is whether or not an animal is still in his body, or has passed on. This is made even tougher by the fact that this is one thing frantic owners desperately wish to know (and with good reason, of course). It's very hard to say to a teary-eyed animal owner, "I can't be 100% certain". I let clients know that I've been wrong as often as I've been right, and that I prefer not to try to make a definitive guess on that issue, but instead ask for physical impressions from the pet. I do get everything I can from the animal regarding physical sensation, and relay that to the owner so that they can attempt to draw conclusions ... and offer what comfort I can over their worry that their pet might indeed be dead. Even asking the animal outright may not be helpful, as not all realize right away that they have passed on. I have had several owners tell me that they found their pet surrounded by the things he had described, but that his spirit had already left. There is nothing more upsetting to a communicator, of course, even though most owners will express their gratitude and say that it's better than not knowing. Having been in their position, I agree with that sentiment ... but it is still so very hard on everyone involved.

I have watched, on a number of occasions, a television show on the Court TV cable network called "Psychic Detectives". These psychics work with police departments to find missing people and help solve crimes. So often they will know that a person has passed on, and be correct in their interpretation. It bothers me to watch this show, as fascinating as it is, because I always feel so inadequate. "If they can tell with people, why can't I with animals?"

I can only make assumptions based on the things that animals have taught me over the years as to why so many animal communicators do have a problem with this issue. First and foremost, I believe that animals are not as concerned over the physical state of their body as humans are ... meaning that death is not as traumatic for animals. Many deceased pets I've spoken with are more concerned over the emotional state of their human than they are over their own passing. On a personal level they seem to be very accepting of the fact that bodies are not eternal, but spirits are. When communicators speak with animals, living or dead, we are talking with that animal's spirit. The spirit is the same, and feels the same, whether or not it is still housed within the body. Still I strive toward the day when I might discover a key that I'm missing so far, that will allow me to be more accurate on this issue.

One thing the human friend of the animal can do to help is to try to calm their emotions a bit. Having an animal who is missing is very stressful ... but clearer information comes in over calm seas, and if an owner is very aggitated, it can sometimes affect the communicator's connection with the animal. Strong emotions can "stir the waters", making the connection more difficult. Many animal communicators will attempt to help with this by giving the owner something to do ... such as the search light and list of physical things to try. For many people, "doing something" will help them to get more focused and anchor their emotions a bit.

When working with a communicator to try to locate your missing pet, try to keep these things in mind. If you feel that a clue isn't clear enough, talk to the communicator and ask for a little more detail, see if they can see something from a different angle, and attempt to work with them in interpreting what your animal is trying to show them. Sometimes the most helpful thing a communicator can do is put the owner in touch with the animal more deeply, so that the animal's human friend can lend a "telepathic hand" to the search. In fact one of the best rewards animal communicators can receive is to see the owners of the animals they talk to begin to receive intuitive impressions from their pets themselves. This is true with tracking missing pets as well as all aspects of the human/animal relationship.

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