Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Newsletter: February 2005

Gazehound's Animal Communication News
February 2005
Keeping in touch with the animals....
and the people who love them

Note: Due to problems getting a formatted "html" version of the newsletter to go through to AOL members, I'm attempting to be a bit less graphic in this and future issues. Hopefully, although somewhat less pretty, this will help solve that particular problem.


The recent tsunami disaster affected so many people, thousands and hundreds of thousands and millions, in so many ways. We have heard stories on the news and on the 'net about how animals were affected as well, from the heroic efforts of the elephants who saved many tourist lives, to the fact that very few bodies of animals were discovered in the aftermath. Following the tsunami, a bizarre thing began to happen here as well ... I received call after call after call for sessions with lost animals. Both dogs and cats went missing in larger numbers than I'd ever seen before in a short period of time, and I spent many hours tracing, and worrying about, pets whose owners were frantically searching for them. I couldn't help but wonder if the changes felt by the earth after such a cataclysmic event may have somehow altered these animals' ability to find their way home.

As part of the effort to help the animals get home safely, I posted several articles in my Creature Thoughts blog, and would like to share one with you in this newsletter issue.



I do a lot of "missing pet" cases, it seems. I wish I could say that most of them have happy endings, but that isn't always the case. Some do, many, but enough have sad conclusions ... or no conclusions at all ... to make it a very frustrating side of the profession. In fact, a lot of animal communicators don't even accept location work due to the many problems it entails.

One thing I like to do, however, in addition to trying to contact the animal for clues to its whereabouts, is make sure the owners have done all they can on their end, both physically and psychically, to help get their pet home safely. I thought I'd share a little check list of suggestions and "things to do" here in case someone happening across this blog might find it useful.

Have you...?

Printed posters, flyers, cards with your pet's photo, contact numbers, date and time missing, area last seen, and offering a reward? Often small printouts, like business cards, are easier to carry around and hand to people as you go door to door, and more likely to be kept, while of course the larger items are better for "distance viewing" (bulletin boards, etc).
Places to put flyers: indoor community bulletin boards such as in grocery and convenience stores and post offices and banks, lobbies of apartment buildings, the side rear windows of your car (ask friends to do the same), windows of stores and other places of business where the managers give you permission (placed on the inside so the weather doesn't matter). Look for other sheltered places where the weather can't get to your flyer, as well as the more common spots like sign posts, etc. Find out if it's legal in your neighborhood to put posters on telephone poles, though. Not all places allow it.
Canvassed your neighborhood putting up flyers and handing cards or flyers to all your neighbors? This means actually knocking on doors and speaking to the neighbors. If you have to leave a card in a door, try to go back to that house later and actually speak to someone. People are much more likely to take interest if they can attach the situation to a face.
Talked and handed photos and contact information to everyone you can, especially delivery men, mailmen, anyone who makes a regular route through your area, and *children*? Kids almost always notice new dogs or cats wandering a neighborhood.
Visited the local schools and asked to put up flyers there?
Called the local police, veterinarians and shelters, and *visited* the vets and shelters? It often helps to go to the shelter personally, and often, as very busy shelter workers don't always "recognize" the identity of a dog or cat from a description they've received over the phone. Don't just visit your shelter once ... go back at least twice a week in case the animal has been picked up and the shelter workers failed to recognize it. This is not a slight on shelter workers in any way, they are very busy people in a high stress job and are trying their best, but they don't know your animal the way you do.
Searched the immediate area, in and under any form of shelter, checked nearby woods and brush, talked to neighbors, in case the pet has been taken in or closed up somewhere or has holed up for shelter and warmth?
If the pet is missing for more than a day: called the newspapers and placed Lost Pet ads? Likewise local radio stations, some of them will have a public service "bulletin board" type program.
Have you remembered to try and see the situation from your animal's viewpoint? Think like a cat or dog ... try to put yourself on their level, see what they would see, find spaces they would fit in, examine motivation that might have led them astray such as smells or survival fears, etc.
In addition, here is a method that has helped a number of animals get back home: Become quiet and focus your mind, try to calm yourself (not easy when you're so worried, I know). If you have children, instruct them to do this as well, kids are very good at painting clear mental images. Make a picture in your mind, make it as clear and "real" as you can, of a search light going out from your house. Now, imagine the animal seeing that light, understanding that it is coming from home, and following it home. Take time out every so often to repeat and strenghten this image, and send it to the animal. This little trick has helped several animals I know get home safely.
If you have friends and/or animals in spirit with whom you still feel close, and "sense them around you", ask them to assist you in bringing your pet back home.

There are also professional pet detectives out there, such as the Sherlock Bones organization, whose services you may be able to enlist.


Pree's Talk-To-Me Tips

When asked what she'd like to share this month, Pree and I talked about "other forms of communication", and how things like voice and body language are really not "other forms" at all, but part of the big picture of how your animal friends talk to you. One of the most useful things a student of animal communication can do is to sit quietly in their animal's presence and observe. Truly pay attention as your friend interacts with you (you may even wish to keep a notebook) and notice what she does with her body. Do her whiskers shift forward when she gives you her full attention? What are her ears doing when you speak to her ... does she react the same way when your words are thought-words as when you speak with your voice?

Learning to read animal body language can become as natural as learning to read human body language ... we people respond to one another in this type of "sign language" all the time, often interpreting the moves and expressions without really even thinking about them.

While discussing this topic, Pree also mentioned the importance of teaching young children how to read -- and respect -- the things animals are saying to them. A child is naturally in tuned to the animal kingdom, with tremendous potential for communication with other species. If the adults in his life nurture that potential, and guide it toward gentleness and harmony, what wonderful adventures the future can hold.


I've recently discovered "blogging" ... yes, I do realize I'm a bit tardy, as the "blog phenomenon" has been going for some time now. Blogs have a lot of potential, and I've been mulling over ideas on how to benefit my animal communication clients using this medium. I've created a blog, "Creature Thoughts", in which I have been sharing thoughts on animals and animal communication, and other related topics. I hope to be able to post to it often, and invite comments and feedback from visitors. If you have any ideas of articles or uses for the site, please feel free to make suggestions. Likewise, if you (or your animals) have been blogging and would like to share, I'd love to pay your blog-site a visit in return.

You're welcome, any time, to drop by the "Creature Thoughts" Blog at http://gazehound.blogspot.com

1 comment:

Gayze said...

Melanie sent me the following message after receiving the newsletter, which I thought visitors to the site would like to read. It's posted here with her permission.

Regarding the animals during the tsunami disaster, ABC reported and showed video how the HSUS (Humane Society of the US) and other international animal rescue groups, picked up undreds of domestic cats and dogs to get them out of the devastation zones to a safe place so that when their owners are ready, they can come claim them. Many of the animals were severely dehydrated and starving. They are supposedly getting medical care and nourishment. Check out the HSUS.org web site for more information.


The HSUS Website