Month: May 2016

When will declawing finally be outlawed?

I’m just wondering: Why hasn’t the U.S. banned declawing cats? The inhumane practice was once common and even accepted, but times are starting to change. There’s been a national debate on the subject, and most of us now understand what declawing really means—and how traumatic and barbaric it is for the cat. Thankfully, the once-popular practice is now on the decline. Many vets now even refuse to perform the unethical procedure.

But we need to do better …

Secrets to a joyful life—as taught by animals

It’s not easy to quiet our burdened minds. Life gets chaotic, we run out of time, seemingly insurmountable challenges continue to block our path. Sometimes negative emotions govern us—we feel off-balance and give in to anger or worry or fear.

These are the times we need our animals the most. Spending time with them can help to bring us back to that place of true happiness—of compassion, of harmony, of peace. Walking through life with our animals by our sides is truly the happiest place to be!

How do we begin? As you walk the road of life, simply take one step at a time, with the assistance of our animals and with a little help from Reiki. Below are my best secrets to a joyful life, guided by the Reiki precepts and taught by my many animal teachers …

The truth about animal sentience—and why it matters

Though a majority of scientists today agree that animals are sentient, that hasn’t stopped outmoded beliefs from persisting. This editorial published by Psychology Today claimed (in basic terms) that animals don’t speak, laugh, cry, think, get depressed, fall in love or have spiritual experiences. (We’ve all met people like this; the essayist isn’t alone in his beliefs.) Luckily, a few weeks later, Mark Beckoff—author, scientist and behavioral ecologist—followed up with his own essay, knocking down each one of these misguided statements.

Why do so many people continue to discount the worth of an animal’s life? Perhaps because “going there”—where your food come from, where your makeup, handbags and fancy leather couches originate—is too painful and awkward to face. But the truth is out there for those who will listen …

Animal Reiki: It’s not what you think

Do you love animals? Are you interested in holistic modalities? Have you ever tried meditation? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you are a perfect candidate for learning animal Reiki.

What? Animal Reiki is not for you, you say? Well, hear me out for a few seconds. Having spent so many years in this field, I’ve encountered every reason or excuse you can think of. But I’m here to let you know it’s worth another few moments of consideration because—and I truly believe this—animal Reiki might not actually be what you think it is.

So without further ado, here are three likely reasons why you haven’t tried animal Reiki—and why I think you should …

3 simple ways Reiki helps animals with cancer

Here are some sobering statistics for you: In companion animals, about 50 percent of all disease-related deaths are attributed to cancer. One in four dogs will develop cancer. And cancer strikes about 30 to 40 percent of all cats.

Some of you may be struggling with this issue right now. Know that you are not alone. In fact, May is Pet Cancer Awareness Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness and funds in hopes of one day curing this terrible disease.

My dog Dakota suffered from cancer in the last months of his life. Though it was a painful time for our family, I learned something invaluable: that my daily Reiki meditations gave me the strength to cope even when I started believing I had no strength left. (My meditation practice also helped me on my personal cancer journey, which I’ve written about here.) Now that I’ve had time to reflect, I’ve realized that it’s because …

7 smart ways YOU can help stop puppy mills

Before we celebrate Mother’s Day this weekend, I’d like to send my thoughts, love and blessings to the forgotten mothers out there: the approximately 1 million dog mothers suffering in puppy mills across the United States.

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has worked hard to draw attention to this problem; a few years ago, the organization designated the first week of May as its annual Puppy Mill Action Week. Though we are making progress—dozens of cities nationwide, including Los Angeles, Chicago and Phoenix, have banned the sale of dogs and cats from commercial breeders in retail outlets—we still have a long, long way to go. Just take a look at the HSUS’s annual list of the Horrible Hundred breeders. These businesses continue to operate, despite documented inhumane conditions. And people still buy purebred puppies and kittens in pet stores.

Clearly, more progress must be made. But don’t give up! I truly believe that together, we can help to stop puppy mills once and for all, forever. Here are seven actions you can take right now that will negatively impact puppy mills …