One thing that the pandemic has wondrously catalyzed, has been a great amount of pet adoption. So many dogs have been adopted, that it’s not easy to find a dog now. I’ve heard there are still more cats than dogs needing homes, however. When facing long hours of solitude and sheltering at home, people have been reaching for comfort, companionship, and unconditional love from endearing, furry beings who give these things so generously to their humans.
It’s been five years since I lost the last of the beloved pets of my lifetime. We called him Mr. Ozzie, whose regal photo you see above. He was a tiny Persian with a huge heart. My furry companions have primarily been cats, though early on, I had one irreplaceable dog, named Poolie, who I loved so much, and he loved me so much, that through him, I first came to know how extraordinarily deep a soul connection one can have with an animal. Losing him brings up tears still, and it was about 31 years ago that he passed away.
My animals have shown me that love can be pretty simple, when it comes down to it. We open our hearts to each other, we take care of each other with complete devotion, and the love flows abundantly. My animals did take care of many of my needs, without me even knowing those needs were present; that’s how good they were at making themselves available for snuggling, receiving pleasure, and comforting me with their furry little bodies when I was feeling down. I used to say to my daughter, when she was young, that our beloved Mr. Ozzie “gave” by “receiving”. It was true. He received petting with such loud, purring joy that his joy radiated back to us, blessing us abundantly with happiness.
In the rush of life, I often took that generosity of spirit in our animals for granted. Yet, underneath all the vet bills and worry over health challenges in their senior years, there was not one part of me that would have denied my furry babies anything they needed to be healthy and live as long as possible. I did everything I could to give them good lives, and, in return, I received back unconditional love, a hundred fold.
It’s when you lose a pet that you realize just how quiet a home can be. Sure, there’s much less responsibility, but one also realizes that animals can offer us relationship lessons and gifts, just as powerfully as human relationships can.
Like human relationships, our animal companions are mirrors to us. They reflect our loving and not-so-loving tendencies. They mirror back when we aren’t attentive, sensitive, appropriately directive, or kind. Every time I see a dog owner jerk the leash hard or yell at their dogs, I cringe mightily inside – just as I cringe when I see people treating each other with a lack of sensitivity. As in human relationships, an animal relationship invites each of us to look inward and take responsibility for the way our choices and treatment of others affects them.
What I’ve come to know through doing shamanic soul retrieval and extraction sessions with furry and feathered beings for over 26 years of my practice, is that they are playful, sensitive, complex, wise, intuitive, intelligent, loyal, open-hearted, forgiving, and clearly capable of unconditional love – much more than humans in many cases.
I’ve worked with cats, dogs, horses, pigs, rabbits, domesticated birds, and even a magnificent peacock who belongs to one of my clients with a farm. Each and every one of these beings showed me their personalities, loving nature, and unique struggles and challenges. Their challenges can be emotional, physical, spiritual, as well as mentally conditioned and deeply affected by trauma–both in this lifetime and in past lives.
Being a shamanic practitioner is sacred, blessed work, but not very emotionally easy. Sometimes, and particularly with animals, I just sit and cry as I witness the abuse, neglect, pain and all kinds of emotional trauma that pets can endure. Their suffering is real and their souls are beautiful, strong, and sometimes need a lot of help to heal from the traumas they go through.
I am wondering, when this pandemic ends, if many animals will be experiencing separation anxiety when their people go back to working outside the home. Many shelter animals who were adopted may be experiencing anxiety, depression, and physical problems from past trauma right now. Furthermore, our pets absorb our own emotions, and our pandemic-induced anxiety and depression can be affecting them too.
So if you have pets that are struggling, or know of other pets who are struggling in some way, kindly consider for your furry friend, or suggest to others, shamanic healing for animal companions. Shamanic healing works amazingly well and quicker than with humans. Perhaps because, in many cases, these creatures live in their hearts, not in their heads. They don’t obsess about the world’s problems, though they do have problems with abandonment, anxiety, other animals in the home, health issues, loud noises, traffic, and more. Primarily, they just want to play, eat, sleep, and most of all, love and be loved. The shamanic work can be a powerful aid to moving forward into greater happiness and health, which our beloved pets so greatly deserve.
By the way, in case you were wondering, I am looking for a dog to adopt. Why a dog over a cat? I don’t know, exactly; It’s just time. He or she should be small enough to snuggle up in my lap. I know that when we find each other, we will be a perfect fit. If you hear of any doggie needing a new home, please let me know!
Love and blessings,
Paula (with Poulie, back in the day!)