JustOneMorePet

Every Pet Deserves A Good Home…

Celebrating Animals in the Afterlife

LabandJackRussellondock
Guest contributor: Maureen Harmonay

The Pet Lady Blog:  We all wonder where our animals go when they die.

In our grief at their passing, we pull out old photographs and clutch at snips of their hair, desperate to prove that they existed, that our relationship with them was real. But deep inside there remains a nagging fear: are they gone forever?

We think we hear them padding down the hall, feel them jumping up on our bed in the middle of the night, or even see fleeting glimpses that disappear as soon as we feel a shiver of recognition.

We start to think we might be going crazy.

That happened to me, too. But I have since learned to welcome the signs of life beyond death, knowing that they are not figments of my imagination. They are quite real.

In the spring of 2008, I prepared for what I knew would be the imminent death of my revered golden retriever, Ashley, who, as she approached her 16th birthday, had been diagnosed with kidney failure. She had been the perfect dog, and it was going to be very difficult to lose her. I sadly and silently admitted that it would only be a matter of time before I had to release her spirit, and as the days wore on, I cried.

On a perfect sunny morning in early June, Ashley simply laid down on the grass, looked up at me, and clearly communicated that she was really done this time; she was ready to go.

I called my vet’s office to let them know I was on my way, and gently set Ashley in the backseat. I held her paw as I tearfully reminisced with her throughout the entire 45-minute drive, knowing that this was our last ride together. She slipped away peacefully, and though I knew that it was what Ashley wanted, my heart ripped open with the pain of having lost a treasured friend. It was noon when I got back in the car for the long journey home, alone.

About six hours later, I saw her. She was facing in my direction, calmly walking toward the kitchen. In a second, she turned the corner into the kitchen and with that, she vanished. I never saw Ashley again, but her appearance was vividly real, and I knew I wasn’t imagining it. It brought me great peace, as if Ashley wanted to say, "I’m still here."

I don’t think I would have been open to Ashley’s after-death apparition if I hadn’t read Kim Sheridan’s groundbreaking book, Animals and the Afterlife, which had been published a few years before. Kim spent years compiling true stories of visitations by spirit animals from witnesses who saw them and even touched them, not always recognizing that they were interacting with forms from an ethereal dimension.

8 Kim w Kristin Pictu#74EA6 (2)

Kim Sheridan

Kim stretched my formerly rigid boundaries of what was possible. She’s not a medium or a mystic, and neither are the people whose experiences she describes. But in story after story, she demonstrates that our animals remain accessible to us after they slip out of their physical bodies, and like people, they continue to live on in spirit.

On November 3rd, 2013, Kim Sheridan will make a rare east coast appearance to deliver the keynote address at the inaugural Conference on Animals in the Afterlife, in Boxborough, MA. She is a radiant messenger of hope and healing for anyone who has experienced inconsolable grief after the death of an animal companion.

AnimalsintheAfterlifeLogo

The one-day Conference, sponsored by Animal Translations, will also feature noted paranormal investigator Jeff Belanger of GhostVillage.com, who will discuss ghostly encounters with paranormal pets; Alexis Brooks, host of CLN Radio’s Conscious Inquiry, who will discuss what she believes is the reincarnation of her cherished cat, "Clover"; and Maureen Harmonay, an animal communicator who will share chillingly compelling details of what animals in spirit have told her about their lives, their deaths, and even their awareness of events that occurred long after they shed their physical bodies.

JoanneBluesmile
Joanne Gerber

Respected psychic medium Joanne Gerber will make spontaneous connections with the spirit families of some of the lucky attendees, in the fervent hope that departed spirit animals will come through during this dramatic finale to what promises to be a thoroughly amazing day.

Whether you come as a skeptic or as a believer: join us. You’ll leave knowing that these afterlife connections are possible for you and the animals who have meant so much to you, no matter how many months or years it’s been since you said good-bye.

Attendees will be entered to win one of several prizes, including autographed copies of Animals and the Afterlife, complimentary animal communication consultations with Maureen Harmonay, and a custom acrylic portrait of an animal of their choosing by popular animal artist Kerrie Ascoli.

For a complete agenda, topic descriptions, and registration information, visit The Conference on Animals in the Afterlife website.

(Maureen Harmonay is an Animal Communicator who uses telepathy and compassion to connect with animals. You can reach her at AnimalTranslations.com.)

Disclosure: (as required by the FTC) This is a paid sponsored post from The Conference on Animals in the Afterlife.

Related:

Your Dying Pet End Life in a Kind and Gentle Way

Life in a Dog Pack: Old Age

Beck family spends time with Victor – Photos

The Kindest Decision – In Home Euthanasia for Pets

Pet Age

The Nutrient Your Pet Needs More of As They Age: Protein

World’s Oldest Dog Dies At Age 26….Requiescat in pace

The Lottie June Show – WORLD’S OLDEST CHIHUAHUA

How Long Will Your Dog Be with You? It Depends Heavily on This…

Part 2 of Dr. Becker’s Interview with Bestselling Author Ted Kerasote: The Seven Factors that Determine How Long Your Dog Will Live

Pet owners turning to non-traditional

A Natural Herb That Fights Cancer, or Chemotherapy for Your Sick Pet… Which Would You Choose?

‘Until One Has Loved an Animal, Part of Their Sour Remains Unawakened’

Adopt a Senior Pet…

WCBM’s Les Kinsolving’s beautiful tribute to Brendan, Griffen, and all dogs and dog owners

Heaven and Pets

If I Should Die Before My Dog…

Tails of Love

‘Dogs Have The Intelligence of a Human Toddler’

Do Dogs Go To Heaven?

And God Created Dog…

Dogs Know

On the First Day God Created the Dog!

Meredith and Abbey… A Beautiful Soul at the Post Office

A Dog’s Purpose – Out of the Mouth of Babes

And God Created Dog…

Are Our Pets Spiritual Assignments

GoD and DoG

Dog, truly a gift!

Rainbow Bridge…

Books

Animals and the Afterlife: True Stories of Our Best Friends’ Journey Beyond Death (Kindle)

Canine and Feline Geriatric Oncology: Honoring the Human-Animal Bond (Kindle)

Help Your Dog Fight Cancer: What Every Caretaker Should Know About Canine Cancer, Featuring Bullet’s Survival Story, 2nd Edition

September 7, 2013 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets | , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Thirteen Year Old Invents Solution for Dogs Who Separate From Separation Anxiety

LifeWithDogs: 9.6.13 - 13 Year Old's Invention1If you worry about how much your dog misses you while you’re away, a thirteen-year-old girl might have a solution.

Spokane, WA resident Brooke Martin created a device called iCPooch, which will allow you to video chat and give treats to your dog from anywhere.

“My dog Kayla suffered from separation anxiety, so I thought it would be really cool to be able to video chat with her while I was away from home to make sure she was OK,” Martin explained. “The idea of delivering her a treat seemed liked it would really make her happy if I could figure out how to do it.”

The finalist for the GM Young Scientist Award pitched the idea at a Startup Weekend event last year, and was met with a standing ovation. She garnered the attention of venture capitalist Tom Simpson, who was eager to get on board. Brooke launched her own company and filed for patents. They are still working on the product, which is in the prototype phase, and hope to have it on store shelves soon.

Some money has been raised, and a Kickstarter campaign has been started. Here is a bit about the iCPooch, taken from the Kickstarter page:

“With the iCPooch device connected to a home wireless Internet router, you can deliver a treat from a smart phone, tablet or computer no matter where you are. The device also has an adjustable mounting bracket so that you can attach a tablet or smart phone (not included) and video chat with your pet! The tablet/smart phone operates independently of the iCPooch device, allowing you to use Skype video chat software to auto-answer your calls (we are also working on our own video chat solution). As long as your smart phone/tablet has a microphone and a camera (most all do) and is connected to the internet, you can video chat with Fido at eye level, and in the separate iCPooch app deliver a treat. An estimated 13 million-plus dogs suffer from separation anxiety, and we know that pet owners do, too!

9.6.13 - 13 Year Old's Invention2

“The iCPooch device is a combination of a miniature vending machine and a computer. The device acts like a computer, using a motherboard (Raspberry Pi) and Wi-Fi module to connect to the Internet. The computer is attached to a motor that is activated when the owner of the device gives it the “drop treat” command from their remote computing device (smart phone, tablet, PC, etc). A removable/re-loadable sleeve inside the device houses the treats, and one treat is pushed out by the motor arm each time the motor is activated.”

The campaign has only 24 days to reach their funding goal of $75,000 in order for the iCPooch to be created. If you are interested in helping see Brooke’s vision become a reality, please click here. It could make a really great present for soldiers on tours of duty, out-of-state college students or people traveling who are unable to take their pets with them.

See Video HERE

September 7, 2013 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Baby Orangutan Rickina Will Melt Your Heart…

Holy Cuteness Will Robinson…  Meet Rickina, a baby orangutan that is being cared for at the Ketapang Orangutan Rescue Center in West Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo). Rickina was confiscated from a man who claimed that the orangutan’s mother had abandoned her. She had a wound on her head at the time of rescue.

Video: Orangutan Baby Rickina

September 7, 2013 Posted by | Animal and Pet Photos, animal behavior, Animal Rescues, animals, Just One More Pet, Wild Animals | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Simple Way to Detect Your Dog’s Emotions

Story at-a-glance
  • A recently published study shows humans are able to correctly identify a range of emotions in dogs by looking at their facial expressions.
  • Researchers evoked specific emotions in Mal, a Belgian Shepherd, which included happiness, anger, fear, sadness, surprise and disgust. They took photos of the dog as his facial expressions changed with each emotion.
  • The pictures were shown to a group of 50 volunteers separated into two groups based on their experience of dogs. Happiness was recognized most frequently — by 88 percent of participants. Interestingly, the people with little or no experience of dogs were better judges of Mal’s expressions of disgust and anger than dog owners.
  • Researchers theorize that the ability of people with little or no experience of dogs to identify canine facial expressions is because it is a natural skill rather than one that must be learned.
  • Future research may determine if humans are as capable of empathizing with other mammals as they are with dogs.

dog-emotions[1]

By Dr. Becker

An intriguing study published in June in the journal Behavioural Processes1 suggests that people can accurately distinguish a range of emotions in dogs by studying their facial expressions.

Teams from the psychology department at the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections and Walden University in Minneapolis, with an assist from the University of Florida, set out to see if humans could accurately read a dog’s facial expressions.

Study volunteers were able determine when the dog was happy, sad, angry, surprised or scared by looking at a picture of the animal’s face. These results suggest humans possess a natural ability to understand what animals are feeling.

According to Dr. Tina Bloom, a psychologist with the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections and lead researcher:

“There is no doubt that humans have the ability to recognize emotional states in other humans and accurately read other humans’ facial expressions. We have shown that humans are also able to accurately – if not perfectly – identify at least one dog’s facial expressions.

“Although humans often think of themselves as disconnected or even isolated from nature, our study suggests that there are patterns that connect, and one of these is in the form of emotional communication.”

How the Researchers Evoked Facial Expressions in the Dog

The study used pictures of a five year-old Belgian Shepherd named Mal. The photos showed Mal experiencing various emotions. When Mal was praised, he showed a happy expression with ears up, tongue out and looking directly at the camera.

When the researchers reprimanded him, Mal’s expression became sad, with eyes cast downward.

To capture a surprised expression, the researchers used a jack-in-the-box, and Mal wrinkled the top of his head.

Medicine with a bad taste brought out the dog’s disgusted expression – flattened ears. Next came the dreaded nail clippers, which made Mal prick up his ears and show the whites of his eyes.

To produce an expression of anger, one of the researchers acted the part of a criminal. Mal, a police dog in real life, bared his teeth into the beginnings of a snarl.

Volunteers Correctly Identified Happy Mal Most Often

The images of Mal’s expressions were shown to a group of 50 study participants who were separated into two groups based on their experience with dogs.

The results:

  • Happiness was correctly identified by 88 percent of the participants.
  • Anger was recognized by 70 percent.
  • Fear was identified by about 45 percent of participants.
  • Sadness – a relatively subtle emotion — was recognized by 37 percent of the group.
  • Surprise was identified by just 20 percent of participants; disgust by only 13 percent.

Interestingly, the researchers found that the group with the least amount of exposure to dogs was better at recognizing disgust and anger. Dr. Bloom and her colleague, Prof. Harris Friedman, theorize that dog owners may convince themselves their pet is not aggressive, and rationalize negative expressions as “just playing.”

Bloom and Friedman also believe the ability of people with little or no experience of dogs to identify facial expressions – sometimes more accurately than dog owners – is perhaps because it is an innate rather than an acquired skill.

Will Future Research Show Humans Empathize with the Feelings of Other Mammals as Well?

Dr. Bloom, in speaking with The Telegraph, expressed hope that future research will investigate whether the natural empathy humans have for canines also extends to all mammals, or whether it is the result of the unique bond we’ve shared with dogs throughout history.

Bloom admits she finds such unproven theories emotionally appealing. “If I adopted a cat, or a snake or a turtle, I don’t think it would be as emotionally attached to me and watching my face as much as a dog would,” she said. “There is something different and special about a dog — I’m not sure what it is, but it’s there.”

The full study, including photos of Mal’s facial expressions, can be downloaded here.

September 4, 2013 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , | 1 Comment

‘Zeutering’ offers dog sterilization in a ‘shot’

The Humane Society of San Bernardino is one agency offering the procedure; some experts dislike results

DAVID BAUMAN/The Press-Enterprise

Jeff Moder and Ashley Kinsey sit with Hercules, their 9-month-old pit bull mix, in their San Bernardino home on Sunday, August 25, 2013. The couple had the dog sterilized with a chemical injection as an alternative to surgical castration.

BY JANET ZIMMERMAN – The Press Enterprise  -  Published: September 01, 2013; 01:12 PM

The Humane Society of San Bernardino Valley has begun offering injections instead of surgery to neuter male dogs, a technique dismissed by some veterinarians who say it does little to control “unpopular behaviors.”

The new method, known as “zeutering,” uses zinc gluconate and arginine to sterilize male pups. The makers of Zeuterin say it is valuable for reducing pet overpopulation because it has fewer complications and a shorter recovery time than traditional sterilization.

But some animal experts complain that it costs about the same as surgery and doesn’t eliminate hormone-related behaviors such as aggression, marking and roaming.

About 200 veterinarians across the country, including four in the cities of San Bernardino and Riverside, have been trained and certified to use Zeuterin since it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration a year ago, said Don Cowan, spokesman for Ark Sciences in New York, the manufacturer.

The 30-minute procedure is geared toward dogs that are 3 to 10 months old. A dog with testicles larger than 1.24 inches wide would not be eligible, he said.

The zinc compound is injected into each testicle, killing the cells that produce sperm. The testicles shrink but remain visible — a plus for pet owners who want their dogs to look virile, Cowan said.

The most painful part of the procedure is the optional tattooing of a “Z” near the scrotum so people know the animal has been altered, he said. The information also can be registered with microchip databases.

“Many dog owners are understandably concerned about onlookers and ‘dog run’ friends giving them the evil eye, assuming their anatomically correct male dog is intact,” the Ark Sciences website says. “To address this concern, we are finishing up final designs on collar add-ons and fun T-shirts for sterilized but not castrated dogs to flaunt their special status.”

Appealing to owners who don’t want to change their dog’s appearance was the main reason the Humane Society in San Bernardino began offering chemical castration. Fifteen procedures have been performed there since June, compared to about 500 surgical castrations in the same period, spokeswoman Jill Henderson said.

“This is better than nothing, because this keeps the dogs from reproducing,” she said. More than 34,500 dogs were euthanized at shelters in San Bernardino and Riverside counties in 2011, according to state statistics.

EASY RECOVERY

Ashley Kinsey and Jeff Moder’s dog, Hercules, a 5-month-old pit bull-French Bordeaux mix, was among the first to have the procedure at the San Bernardino animal clinic.

Kinsey was worried about Hercules becoming fat and lazy without testosterone and she knew that a license for an unaltered dog in San Bernardino is an additional $55 per year. Moder just didn’t want him altered.

“I saw they were offering zeutering and I started looking into it because it sounded a lot better,” Kinsey said. “It was really easy for him to recover. He was hyper right away.”

Because the dog is under light sedation, the procedure offers a quicker recovery and avoids side effects from general anesthesia, Cowan said.

To try to control attacks on people and pets, Riverside County supervisors are considering an ordinance that would require pit bulls and pit bull mixes to be spayed or neutered. But injection-neutering may not be effective in curbing aggressive behavior, experts say.

Dr. Allan Drusys, chief veterinarian at Riverside County Department of Animal Services, is not a fan of the procedure. It is not performed at any of the agency’s three shelters.

His main complaint is that while Zeuterin does halt the production of sperm, it reduces testosterone by only 41 to 52 percent — leaving animals with hormone-driven behaviors.

“We’re talking about looking for love in all the wrong places, jumping fences and chasing after females in heat; and to some extent, aggression. A lot of these unpopular behaviors of male dogs are sexually modulated,” Drusys said.

Cowan said the issue of retaining testosterone in dogs is controversial and that more studies are needed to determine its effect on behavior.

COST DEBATED

Some veterinarians also take issue with the company’s claim that zeutering costs less than surgical sterilization.

The product itself may be less expensive, but there are added fees for the doctor, environmental disposal fees for the needles and other ancillary services, Drusys said.

The county charges $85 for canine neutering, plus pain medications, but there are often specials, underwritten by grants, that make it free or low cost, he said.

The Humane Society charges $54 for zeutering; traditional neutering costs $54 to $134, depending on the dog’s weight. At the nonprofit Animal Samaritans clinic in the Coachella Valley community of Thousand Palms, zeutering costs $125; surgical sterilization is $95 to $135.

Animal Samaritans began offering the service in June but has yet to have any takers, spokesman Tom Snyder said. The group offered Zeuterin training to area vets earlier this year.

The clinic has used the injections on some shelter dogs, but the results were not as good as expected, he said.

“We have discovered that it does not eradicate some aggression that is associated with high levels of testosterone,” Snyder said. “We can no longer use that as a selling point.”

September 3, 2013 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Pet Health, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments