December 20, 2011

Reisa Stone: Keep Pets Safe This Holiday Season

December means togetherness, joy, giving---and unique hazards to pets.

To avoid grief and vet bills, plan and implement a safety checklist:
Oh, Christmas Tree! Use string to hang ornaments, not hooks. Invest in nonbreakable ornaments, keep them above pet height, and tie the top of the tree to the ceiling. Block routes to the water in which the tree rests; the preservatives (including aspirin) can be toxic to pets.

Make electric cords inaccessible. Pine needles can pierce pets' intestines. Vacuum frequently, or consider an artificial tree.
Toys Rrrrrr Us. Inspect pet toys. If they look at all breakable, politely decline to let your pet play with them. Also be watchful of toys children use around pets. Small or detachable parts can create havoc in a pet's gut.

Do not feed pets treats made in China. We've now had more than one awful scare about these products. It's perfectly okay to let people know you'd prefer a gift certificate to a pet nutrition store, rather than them choosing toys and treats. This can actually be a relief to non-pet people!
Give Me Some Space. Create a safety zone where pets can retreat should they become overwhelmed by guests' attention. Please don't make it unreasonable amounts of time in an unsheltered and cold yard; give pets their own safe room. Let guests know at the outset that this zone is "off limits" to them.

When I have children to my home, I take them on a tour and gently but explicitly tell them where they may and may not go, what they may and may not play with. It's up to your discretion whether you do this with Uncle Bert :-D

Gated Community. It could save your pet's life to put big signs on your gate, doors, etc. such as, Latch the Gate! and Don't Let the Cat Out! Never underestimate others' lack of experience with animals, or the effects of a little eggnog.
Be sweet but safe. Don't feed chocolate or alcohol to animals; it can be deadly. Make feeding rules clear to guests. Show them where the "safe" treats are kept, and put a limit on those too. 

Don't be a turkey. Keep poultry bones away from your pet. They splinter easily and can damage internal organs. Monitor how guests dispose of leftovers.

Sticky situation. Ban Teflon use in the kitchen. Teflon fumes can kill birds instantly, and cause grave respiratory distress in other animals.

Wet Coast Weather. Weather on the Coast (where I live) can change from hard frost to driving rain in the same day. Keep extra towels on hand to wipe your pet dry. Pay attention to foot pads, which can accumulate road salt or antifreeze. Both are toxic, the latter deadly. Use a damp cloth for feet.

If you anticipate your pet being outside more than usual, invest in a rain jacket and booties. This saves drying time, as well as warding off possible "rain scald," a fungal infection caused by continual dampness.
In snow country, examine paws and hooves for packed snow and cuts from ice fragments. Vaseline and Pam spray can keep ice balls from forming in horses' feet.
Holly Jolly, Not. Holly and mistletoe grow in abundance on the Coast. Both berries are toxic to pets (and people). Leave your pet at home when you gather these plants, and gift them only in non-pet households. Poinsettia is also toxic.
 Presents, Not Pets. Please do not give animals as gifts. This is extremely socially awkward. You're giving your friend a gift they will have to feed, clean and pay vet bills for, for many years.

Relationships among people can become strained to the breaking point over a living gift. For example, that cuuuuute little bunny means your friend has to chew proof their entire home. Pets aren't just an addition, they're a lifestyle.

Many times, the giftee simply doesn't "click" with the pet. Now what? I've heard many times of gift animals being secretly dumped. Conversely, what if they fall in love, but just can't afford vet care, decent food, etc.? Will they have to swallow their pride and ask for your ongoing financial support?
Have A Cool Christmas, Not A Cruel Yule. Shelters are flooded with unwanted pets after the holidays. Even if that special someone has asked for a pet, the holidays are the most stressful time to bring one into the household. Their entry will be filled with confusion and over stimulation, just at the time they most need calm consistency.

A relationship with a new pet can be irreparably damaged by a traumatic introduction. E.g. If they have a "stress pee" on the couch---they'll return to that couch. Young or forever-fragile animals (such as bunnies and birds) break bones when dropped or roughly handled by children.

Give any breeder a wide berth who advertises "Christmas" puppies, kittens, birds, etc. Fast forward that to "Easter" bunnies and chicks. They're only in it for the money, and their animals are much more likely to have genetic and general health problems, as well as behavioral ones.

Knowledgeable breeders do not breed in winter, nor do they breed for impulse buyers. They breed strictly to improve their chosen line, and are ultra selective as to who gets one of their babies. Pet stores, of course, are the most dicey place to obtain any pet. They come from horrific mills, and about 50% die in transport.
Give a loved one the joy of choosing their own pet:
-Give a gift certificate for a shelter pet of their choice, and promise to accompany them. Include a comprehensive book on pet care.
-Give someone who's been saving and planning for a horse: a set of brushes, a certificate for feed or vet/farrier care, etc., then take them on a search. It's a huge part of the fun, and you'll save yourself and a pet potential grief.

As with other animals, there are wonderful horses at rescues. In this tough economy, people are surrendering even very valuable and highly trained horses to rescues. Imagine your loved one's excitement when they open their gift!
-Reconsider a baby animal, at any time of year. Puppies, kittens, foals, etc. are as much work as a human baby. They spend months peeing, pooing, chewing and whimpering. Are you sure your friend wants to walk in the freezing cold every two hours? Or deal with hyper-activity and curtain climbing? Encourage others to adopt mature animals. There are even well trained senior animals out there needing new homes.
-Offer to take your friend to animal shows and classes, or sign up to volunteer at a shelter until the right pet comes along. Ask to audit an obedience, agility, or other class where people interact intensely with pets. Dog, cat, bird, rabbit and other shows are stellar places to ask questions about breeds, behaviors, training and care. Breeder "take-backs" can be an excellent way to adopt a pet. Responsible breeders will take back animals that didn't work out for someone, and rehome them at a reasonable price. Did you know that the gorgeous Portuguese Water Dog Ted Kennedy gave the US President, was a breeder take-back? If you want to shop for a pet this season, a good breeder will hold them till spring.

Recover From the Depression. Feel blue this season? Many people do. How about volunteering time at an animal shelter? Fostering pets saves lives, as it frees up space for incoming animals. Concern for the voiceless and vulnerable can lift you out of bad feelings.

Shelters and classes are excellent educational opportunities for children. They teach responsibility and discipline.

Don't Get Hung Up. It's tempting to leave that gift halter, collar or sweater on your pet. During the hectic holidays, it's also easy to get distracted. Never leave collars or halters on unattended, unless they are the breakaway type. A pet can catch an "accessory" on a fence or furniture corner and choke or get hurt struggling.

Have a pet-safe and Happy Holiday!

Best wishes,
Raisa Stone
Animal Intuitive & Energy Healer

Raisa helps pets with peoples' behavioral problems, all over the world.
Gift Certificates available, starting at $25

Copyright 2012 Raisa Stone
Contact Raisa for permission to reprint. Reprints must be in full, with all links and credits.

November 29, 2011

Reisa Stone: How to Prepare for an Animal Communication Session

To get the most out of your Animal Communication session, it's important to be prepared. Five to fifteen minutes before our appointment, sit still and relax completely, clearing your mind as best you can. Breathe breathe breathe!

Have all distractions turned off, such as TV, radio and cell phone.
Your pet doesn't have to be with you, but it can be fun and informative to watch their behavior. Ilet them know I'll be tuning in, and it helps if you tell them, too. Let them know they have your approval to communicate.
Be open to hearing things you didn't expect. Though breeds can share certain traits, each animal is an individual. There are timid Dobermans, Warmblood horses that hate jumping, and Siamese who love everyone they meet. Animals have colour preferences (yes, they can see colour---or at least sense its energy), crave unusual foods, and worry about things that wouldn't occur to you. They're sometimes hilariously funny, and have insights about family members that will amuse and enlighten you.

Let go of animal stereotypes, and honour your pet's individuality. Not every dog enjoys "fetch," not all cats hate water, and not every horse comes running to the sound of oats in a bucket. The more openly you are willing to listen and regard your pet as an individual, the more openly they'll communicate and possibly change unwelcome behaviors.

Don't argue with your pet. Because animals' senses are so acute, things we don't notice can be overwhelming for them. If your cat says she hates the new couch, "But it cost $3000!" won't change her mind. She doesn't know from money, she may be reacting to chemical off-gases or a slippery surface. When we listen with empathy, animals open themselves more fully.

Participate in the discussion. Make the most of your session. Ask questions and comment.

Don't play "stump the telepath." It's beneath your dignity and mine. There have been a scant hand full of times in my 30+ years of reading, when I couldn't get a clear picture. The person or animal did not want to connect. That is their right, under the Universal Law of Free Will. However, in most cases I found that though I was getting a clear flow of information, the person objected. Only to later admit they were too uncomfortable to admit a certain fact.

Appreciate that animals are acutely aware of relationship dynamics, and can be our great teachers. If there is tension in a close relationship, your pet may act it out. On the other hand, if there is great love, they may be unusually clingy. Animals live in a heightened state of awareness. They're not distracted with jobs, Facebook or grocery shopping. 

Relax, focus and open yourself to what your companion wants to communicate. Sometimes it's mundane, sometimes it's profound. It's always informative. Animals can be our spiritual teachers, if we let them.

Warm regards,
Raisa Stone
Animal Communicator

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November 27, 2011

Animal Nation by Peter Gabriel

Check out his Growing Up Live concert DVD!

I didn't meet you in the jungle

Swinging from a tree
I sat down at the piano
You were playing with me
I couldn't believe all the things you could do
The apes I've seen were in the zoo
They say we are unique with this language that we speak
But you have proved them wrong
Skinner and Chomsky, how could they be so blind
With evidence this strong?
Intelligent life is all around us
Intelligent life is all around us
When you watch King Kong or The Planet of the Apes
Upon your video screen
When the animals die, tears fill your eye
And you question what you've seen
Intelligent life is all around us
Intelligent life is all around us
Hey, bonobo woman
Hey, bonobo man
Look in your eyes
That's where I come from
Hey, bonobo woman
Hey, bonobo man
Talk to me now
I am listening
You can search the internet
You can use your video phone
To call another friend
If we gave you all the tools
You can do whatever you want
Who knows when this will end
Intelligent life is all around us
Hey, bonobo woman
Hey, bonobo man
Look in your eyes
That's where I come from
Hey, bonobo woman
Hey, bonobo man
Talk to me now
I am listening
Hey, bonobo woman
Hey, bonobo man
Look in your eyes
That's where we come from
Hey, bonobo woman
Hey, bonobo man
Talk to us now
We are listening
Bonobo calling me now
Starting to hear the things you've said
Getting to know what's going on in your head
There's no humans on the line
But there'll be plenty more there in good time
Dolphins, cats, and elephants
This is not some wild romance
Just look in their eyes and say it's not true
Look in their eyes, they're checking out you
Communication with the Animal Nation
We are in communication with the Animal Nation

Reisa Stone: Wild Geese

     Today's Animal Communication miracle left me breathless. I felt an urgent sense to drive across town to our beautiful regional park. As a matter of principle regarding privatization of the wild, I disagree with the parking charge. so I was going to park outside the gates and walk the extra distance on the road. By the time I was halfway there, I had to pee so badly, I trespassed into a farmer's green field (with bushes :-D).
     I heard the wild honking of countless geese. They drowned out tractor and boat noise and the clip clop of a horse on the road. As I stood in the field of long grass and clover, a flock of over one hundred Canada Geese rose from the lagoon an eighth of a mile away. They flew in a curving line east, towards me. As they reached a point above my head, they arc'ed to the south. If you dropped a plumb line from the exact centre of the flock, there I'd be. 
     They were only twenty feet in the air. The sound was overwhelming; nothing existed but the geese, the sky and me. I could see the dark masks on their faces, the undersides of their beaks and the softness of their light gray breasts. The individual feathers on their wings undulated in the autumn sun. My skin tingled.
     A few seconds later, another flock took the same path. Within half an hour, I experienced a similar phenomenon thirteen times. With the exception of two flocks and three straggling couples, the geese flew straight towards me, and turned south precisely over my head. It was as if I were the centre of the gyre, the strange magnet on which these creatures pivot to their winter home.
     I had the stray thought, "Eeeek I hope they don't go to the bathroom on me." One answered, "Don't worry, we went before we left home." It made me smile. He sounded like a precocious five year old, with the baritone voice of an adult.
     I stood there for another ten minutes. The lagoon and sky were silent.
     I'm new to this area. I had no idea that geese live in huge numbers in this partially hidden lagoon, let alone that they all migrate on a certain day. I can only honour the fact that over one thousand Canada Geese chose to fly south at 4:45 pm, October 27, 2011. I was there.

Reisa Stone, 
Expert Animal Communicator

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Copyright 2013 Reisa Stone. All rights reserved. If you wish to reprint material from this blog, contact Reisa Stone. Must be reprinted in entirety with all links and credit intact.

My favorite poem, by Mary Oliver:

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.