Animals and HumorIn communication sessions I may receive stunning insights from my canine clients about the temporary nature of life on earth, the power of higher energies that direct us, the medicinal properites of love....but often, in a reading, the animals simply want to share the joys and pose questions about the fun side of earthly life. Like young children with unfiltered speech, they honestly and spontaneously share what seems exciting to them.
Soon after I acquired 5 month old Seamus, I decided to make one of our evenings a gadget-less evening -- no t.v., no computer, no telephone -- during which we would listen to New Age music and commune on a higher level through a deep spiritual commuication session. I just knew that when I tuned into this magnificent dog, I would be receiving the wisdom of the Masters.
I placed my hands on him, closed my eyes, and began slow, rhythmic breathing until I reached a corridor of gracefully swirling blue and violet light, the zone where psychic images fade in and out, sometimes symbolically, sometimes almost photographically. I allowed myself to bask in that energy a few moments before I formulated the question to ask this highly intelligent and undoubtedly heaven-sent dog:
"What is most important to you, Seamus?" I asked, anticipating a great life changing revelation.
Pizza, he said.
It was actually a very logical and practical response. Earlier that week I had brought in a pizza, and being as occasionally indiscreet with my dogs' diet as I am with my own, I offered him a few bites. Obviously, he liked it...he liked it enough to have been thinking about it for three nights and didn't hesitate for a fraction of a second to let me know. I wanted a happy dog, so I honored his request weekly for the next 11 years.
During a consultation, people eager to make their animals' lives more comfortable ask that same question, and the answers are always entertaining. The first time I met Lynn,an Irish Water Spaniel breeder, it was at a dog show in Savannah. Her dog, Bella, was on the grooming table as I what she most wanted. Bella's response was also swift and unmistakable:
The bats, she said.
O.K., the bats. I've learned not to question or doubt what the dogs tell me, so I looked at
"You have bats?" I asked. And she certainly did, a collection of stuffed bats (plush toys) that would remain out of Bella's reach.
I've seen a standard poodle owner so worried about health and separation anxiety only to learn that all the dog wanted to know was "what are those long things in the closet?" (skiis). I've heard a lab mix admit a special love for turtles both live and statuary, a horse request ice cream more than once, and a cat demand her medication be buried in the same breakfast her owner eats, buttered toast. These may not be the heaven sent messages some people expect to hear, but they are light and uplifting.
I don't think I ever laughed so hard as when Misti, a little blackpet store Chinese Crested Powder Puff, pushed her way past the three Italian Greyhound conformation dogs who were supposed to be the clients. She insisted she had something to say and was so assertive about it that her owner said "O.K., let's include her." What was so pressing? Without any humility, this little girl declared that she was not only the smartest dog in the house but the prettiest. Then she said her human mom flooded the bathroom on the second floor, which was something that greatly displeased the man of the house because apparently, Kathy had a bad habit of running the tub and forgetting about it. Misti couldn't wait to snitch.
One of the funniest responses came during an afternoon of readings in Ft. Myers. A chihuahua told me he wanted a set of drums -- imagine how silly I felt repeating this. It turned out that the woman he lived with was a kindergarten teacher who specialized in music and who brought the dog to school periodically, where he'd seen the children play the instruments. The dog proclaimd himself a natural drummer. Two weeks later the woman called me to tell me she brought home bongos, which the chihuahua does, in fact, play quite well; he banged his paws on the skins as soon as he saw them. She has videotaped this for the skeptics.
Follow your bliss, Joseph Campbell said. Do what you love. This is why I do animal readings; it's a blissful and loving, the equivalent of Bernie Siegel's use of humor as a healing tool. The animals act upon their natural innocence and curiosity, their keen powers of observation, their comical sensibilities and unabashed joy. In this sense they are truly light beings who can teach us how to live.