Archives for April, 2010

Our first experience with an Animal Communicator

Hello to All from San Antonio,

Rick and I took a leap of faith this week, and had a session with an animal communicator. We have had an issue in our household that has escalated over the last couple of months where Roxie and Gypsy were getting into fights every couple of days. They have had their infrequent spats over the years, but lately it had become a serious problem. I am sure that any of you with a multi-dog household can agree it is extremely distressing when they fight each other. Plus, Roxie was getting some bad wounds, and Rick was getting bites on his hands when he would break them up.

I have known about and been interested in animal communication for awhile, and because Rick and I really did not know what to do to resolve the fighting, this seemed like the right time to give it a try. We contacted Val Heart, who had been recommended by a friend.

We first had a 10 minute consultation with her, to come to a mutual understanding of the problem, her expectations of us, and our expectations of her.

The next step was the first of three hour-long sessions with her. She taught us several things, and I had quite a few light-bulb moments. She identified the reason Gypsy was attacking Roxie: Gypsy, our alpha dog, felt Roxie was weak, anxious, timid, and unstable, and therefore a threat to the pack. Of course, a big part of the problem was our behavior. We tended to treat Roxie more gently and more protectively, and give her more affection because we viewed her as needing our protection. Also, because we were so on edge about their fighting, that translated into weakness and unstable energy. So, Gypsy felt it was her job to correct Roxie to strengthen the pack.

Val gave us some homework, including a visualization/communication exercise to “tell the story” of what we want to happen, for example, when someone comes to the door, and to remain in a calm, centered, but assertive place. The calm, assertiveness is right out of Cesar Millan’s playbook, so I was familiar with the idea, but not very good at practicing it.

We were also taught to spend more time training them, both to improve Roxie’s confidence, and to give Gypsy a clear signal of who is actually in charge.

Something else I want to mention, is Rick and I decided to no longer allow them to sleep on the bed with us. We came to that conclusion on our own, after they woke us up about a week ago at 4:30 a.m. going at each other. We thought it would be more difficult than it was, but they both caught on quickly that their sleeping spots were on the floor and not on the bed. Val told us that would have been her first suggestion, so she was glad to hear we figured it out ourselves.

We have another session scheduled in two weeks, and it is up to us to implement the ideas she gave us. I’ll give you an update after our next session.

In the meantime, if anyone has had their own experience with an animal communicator, I’d love to hear about it.


Apr 29, 2010 | 4 | Animal Communication, animal welfare, Dog Behavior, Holistic, Home Health Care for Dogs

Amazing Gracie – book review

Hello Everyone!

It is a gorgeous day here in San Antonio, and the bluebonnets are spectacular!

I just finished a book that I thoroughly enjoyed: Amazing Gracie by Dan Dye and Mark Beckloff, who are the co-founders of Three Dog Bakery. The book is a quick and compelling read. It tells the story of Dan’s adoption of Gracie, a deaf, blue-eyed, albino, Great Dane puppy they named Grace Dane, or Gracie for short, and how she inspired them to start baking healthy dog treats. This need to get some nutrition into Gracie eventually parlayed into what is now an international business and a successful online presence. The story grabbed me with its intimacy and insight into Dan’s thought process, plus the illustrations are sweet and whimsical. It is a good idea to have a tissue at the ready when you near the end of Gracie’s story.

In full disclosure, if you choose to purchase Amazing Gracie through any of the links I have provided, I will receive an affiliate commission from

Until next time,


Apr 01, 2010 | Comments are off | animal welfare, Dog Behavior, Home Health Care for Dogs, Homemade Dog Food