Sunday, October 02, 2005

Gazehound's Animal Communication News, October 2005

*October 2005

Keeping in touch with the animals....
and the people who love them

HALLOWEEN: Fun Times and Hazards

October is a great time of year. The world is drawing toward rest,
leaves changing and dying as the trees go into their winter quiet. The
veil between the spirit world and the physical world thins, a fact that
has generated traditions throughout the ages that many cultures enjoy.
In our society, Halloween has become a holiday enjoyed by children of
all ages, a time of fun and frolic ... and sometimes mischief.

While the kids are enjoying costumes and candy, our pets are also
affected by the celebrations. Our animal friends love to be part of the
family events, but Halloween is a time of year that we have to keep an
extra careful eye on them. Although most of our neighborhood youngters
... and sometimes not-so-young-sters ... have good intentions and are
only out to enjoy the night, there is always that small faction one has
to watch out for. Everyone remembers hearing stories of animals being
mistreated on Halloween; black cats in particular seem to be targets.
Therefore, Halloween is one holiday when we might be better off
including our pets from a safe place, and keeping a special watch over them.

Pranksters are, of course, the most obvious hazard. Bring the animals
indoors well before darkness falls on Halloween night, and it may be
wise to extend the caution several days before and after. If you
normally leave the dogs outside in a fenced yard while you're at work,
this time of year is one where you probably should rethink the practice.
If you're hosting trick or treaters, and the door will be opening and
closing frequently during the evening's haunts, it probably would be
best to put dogs and cats into a bedroom or other back room that can be
closed securely. No one would want their cat or dog to dart out into
the night and become lost (or worse).

Even friendly children may be a risk to an equally friendly animal.
While taking my own kids trick or treating, many's the time I've seen a
happy cat following strange children around a neighborhood just for the
fun of it. While both kids and cat were having a great time, the less
friendly element was still out there. There were also an unusual number
of cars roaming the streets, their drivers watching out for groups of
children, and not for the little cat that might dart under the wheels.

If you think you might like to walk the dog among the trick or treaters,
make sure the dog is friendly, unflappable, well socialized, and on a
very secure collar and leash. Strange things are about on Halloween
night, and not things we can expect a dog or cat to truly understand.
Even a normally unperturbable dog is liable to panic at the sight of
ghosts, goblins and Barney the Dinosaurs coming at him out of the dark.
Heck, *I* would panic at the sight of Barney the Dinosaur coming at me
out of the dark! The last thing a dog owner needs is a law suit because
his normally friendly dog became frightened enough to nip Barney!

Halloween is one time when an owner will be served well by the ability
to "get into his pet's head" and sense the emotions there. Try to stay
tuned to your animal friend's feelings. Don't just assume that the dog
or cat will be fine because he's always been friendly ... you're asking
your animal companion to face some pretty strange circumstances. If you
sense that your dog is at all nervous, it's safest to turn around, take
him home, and tuck him into a secure and safe place for the evening.

Another hazard many of us might not think about on Halloween is the
candy itself. Your dog or cat is going to be aware that goodies are
being handed out, and the temptation to try those goodies for themselves
may be very real. Keep candy out of reach of your pet, in a covered,
and "uncoverable", container when it's not being supervised. Remember
that single verifiable way that humans may be "superior" to the other
animals we share our planet with: we seem to be the only ones for whom
chocolate is not poisonous! No one wants to end their Halloween
holidays with a trip to the emergency vet because their beloved friend
ingested a pound of tootsie rolls.

At Halloween, as at any time where events might not be the ordinary
routine, try putting yourself into your animal friends' point of view,
to imagine how things might appear to and affect them. Extra special
times often require extra special precautions to make sure everyone has
a happy, and safe, holiday.

[With thanks to Sherlock, Katie, Kayce and their mom Dede for the
suggestion for this article. Have a subject you would like to see
covered in the e-news? Let me know!]



Don't forget that details on policies and rates can be found on my
website at If there is anything you would
like to see, or see more of, on the website or in any of the blogs, or
in this newsletter, feel free to email me at
and let me know!

Salukis update: Special thanks to everyone who has sent support and
donations to the rescue Salukis. The dogs are continuing to improve,
and updates can be followed at this web address: . In addition, the STOLA rescue
group has begun their regular fall Ebay auction, found at , to raise funds to support
their rescue operations, in case anyone would like to stop by, browse
the items listed (there will be several hundred items listed over the
next few months), and participate.


... "Everybody Does It" ....

When I asked Pree what she would like to share in her Talk To Me section
this month, she roused from her nap and responded "Everybody does it".
I asked her what she meant by that, and she replied that it's not that
humans don't telepathically connect with their animals, not for the most
part, anyway. Everyone does, everyone who loves an animal has the
connection there already. The animals realize this. The problem is
that humans don't trust themselves to "hear", combined with the fact
that human-people have such a weird obsession with the possibility that
they might be wrong. She suggests that people start practicing with
little things, things that won't lead to dire results if they act upon a
mistranslation of what they're sensing. Trust the little "feelings" you
get, and the "feelings" will gradually grow larger, and you'll be able
to receive information from your animals with more confidence.

When I ask if she has a suggestion as to how we humans can increase this
self-confidence, she replied, "Try to be more like your cats!" and then
returned to her interrupted nap.

An uninterrupted nap doesn't sound like a bad idea right now ... I think
I'll go be more like my cat. 'Night, all!


Thanks to everyone who has stopped by my Creature Thoughts blog. Please
feel free to interact by leaving comments and suggestions, asking
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Gayle Nastasi
Animal Communication Consultant
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