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Seeing: How I Came to Read Animals

When we are attuned to the call of the Universe, Spirit gives us gifts in various forms and dimensions from knowing to seeing to feeling to hearing. When I started this journey 24 years ago and began uncovering and exercising my intuitive abilities, I was advised by a teacher to make clear to the Universe (a widely used metaphysical word for God) which methods of information gathering I was willing to accept. At the time, I felt that hearing would be too threatening to my emotional well being and requested a gentler medium. "Please give me messages visually, " I said. " I do not want to start hearing things and complicate my already delicate balance." And so it came, gradually, strengthening through consistent and earnest meditation, through a series of grand earthly teachers and mentors. I remember the most profound awakening after a group meditation/hypnsosis session led by my friend, Rev. Carol Romine. After the 15 minute session, I emerged with a clarity of vision I could not have imagined. Shortly after, a woman entered the Crystal Garden with a broken metal sheet about a foot long. She put it in my hand and asked if I could provide any information about it. I closed my eyes, and gripping the metal, revealed what came to me in pictures: this was remnant of an aircraft that had crashed sometime during WWII. She was astounded and told me the sketchy story of its origins. I was right. Carol then nodded , giving me the spiritual license to fly. Before this I had been reading cards and teaching intuitive Tarot, receiving impressions along with the card meanings. After this night, I gently wrapped these external tools and stored them on a sacred altar. I no longer needed them to counsel others. I needed only to hold the object, close my eyes, and receive direct informaton from then on. This method is called psychometry.

Eventually, pictures began appearing to me without my deliberate request. One afternoon while I was meditating, amid the calming blackness, a telescopic circle appeared, the kind you see in early 1930s Hollywood films, and in the middle of that circle I saw a photographic image -- not an impression, not an outline, not a fuzzy imaginary rendition -- a pure image of photographic quality -- of my parents' Schnauzer. It happened on a Thursday. I called my mother and told her she needed to check on Wendell. Dismissively, she said, "Why? He's fine." I explained that my vision was likely a warning and she needed to check the dog. She did and said he was fine. That Saturday, two days later, she called me at 2 p.m. to tell me earlier that morning, she brought a limp Wendell to the vet, who diagnosed irreversible kidney failure. He died. That quickly.

I took his message as a loving warning. He was cushioning us for his swift departure. In some measure, my words to my mother lessened the shock of the loss. Wendell was 9 years old and in apparent perfect health.

The same unsolicited warning came years later from a friend's Basenji. Becky had eaten a blanket whose threads wound around her intestines; she required extensive emergency surgery. She came through the surgery fine, although she remained at the animal hospital for a few days as precaution. Two days after the surgery my friend went to visit her, and she was playing outside the kennel, happy to see him. That night Becky visited me in a dream. She didn't say anything; she just appeared and spent some time with me. I called my friend at 7 a.m. to tell him this. He called me back around 9 to say the vet called him as soon as she arrived in her office. In the middle of the night, Becky had unexpectedly died. There was no explanation.

The gift of vision also helped me release my most profound companion, the 11 year old notorious Seamus. Ever the adolescent rebel , he relished his own mischief; he repeatedly unlocked the back door and escaped onto the golf course to terrorize innocent senior citizens and leap into crowds of ducks just to see them squawk and scatter. He ate whole turkey carcasses. When we locked the trash in the cabinet with childproof locks, he ate the hinges so he could remove the entire door. Seamus survived multiple surgeries for unusual conditions and at 9 went blind and became afflicted with megaesophagus, an ugly condition that prevents normal digestion and leads to aspiraton and pneumonia. I hand fed and guided him for 2 years; he used his outstanding sense of smell to navigate his way around the house and create more havoc, but in December 2003, at age 11, he was stunned by sudden deafness. I found him shaking and barking in the hallway, not knowing where he was, not hearing, not seeing, in a state of panic, a horrific and heart wrenching scene.

I led him upstairs and held his face in my hands. Closing my eyes, I asked him what he wanted, what I should do. The photographic images he sent me were indesputable and agonizing: I saw him surrounded by my other animals who had passed into spirit, and in the middle of their compassionate circle, Seamus lowered his head, offering me his collar. He had given up and he asked me to give him up. I sobbed as I accepted his wishes. The next morning,with the vet's blessing, I gently let him go. I slept with that collar under my pillow for weeks afterward. OK, months. OK, for two nights I slept on the floor in his spot until I was sure he made a full transition.

How ironic is it that our most unbearable heartbreak lies in our most selfless gesture? We understand the meaning of sacrifice only when we release what we love most passionately.

So this is how my animal readings transpire: I hold the animal (or a photograph), close my eyes, and receive vivid images, which I then interpret with the help of the human companion. While it is certainly a psychic reading, it also requires genuine collaboration if we are to understand and use the information for the highest good. My readings are never vague or generalized. In every session, the animal gives me something so clear and personal that the client cannot possibly question the authenticity of the messages.

As I have learned to do this, so can everyone else. All it takes it trust, intention, and meditative practice. If you are interested in learning how to communicate with animals, please contact me, and if you belong to an animal welfare group or AKC breed group, consider me as a speaker and workshop presenter. I love sharing the gift!


Dorothy Line said…
You are awesome. Folks are still talking about the readings they had with you at our Specialty! Thank you so much for coming and agreeing to share your gift with us!
Lisa Shaw said…
Dorothy, thank YOU for asking me to come! I enjoyed the readings,the dogs, the people, the weater --I'm ready to move to California! I'm thrilled that people responded positively to the readings. I hope the St. Louis people consider me for next year.
Plus it was so much fun hanging out with you! I wish you lived closer. We'd have a blast.

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