Archive for July, 2009

Animal Reincarnation

Might this frog be a prince after all?

Might this frog be a prince after all?

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Some of the hardest cases I handle are the goodbyes — where an animal has come to the end of his life, or his life has been ended suddenly and unexpectedly, and he and his person must both deal with the grief of physical separation.

In almost all such cases the subject of reincarnation comes up. Not every time, but most of the time. Will we be together again? Does he plan to come back to me? When? How? How will I know him? Have we ever been together before? Many people are so devastated when they lose a beloved animal that they themselves don’t want to go on living. So often the only thread that helps them keep functioning is thinking they will see their animal again, in this lifetime.

To take a look at the multi-faceted possibility of a departed animal spirit being reunited with his or her person through reincarnation, first one must believe in reincarnation in the first place. And, of course, many people do not. Secondly, one must make the leap that animals too can reincarnate, which would then mean that yes, they do have souls – another point of heated argument.

For this blog post, and based on the hundreds of conversations I’ve had with animals about this possibility, ANIMALS DO HAVE SOULS AND THEY CAN AND DO REINCARNATE. If that is simply too much to entertain, then you might quit reading this entry now (and no disrespect to your beliefs is intended).

First, let’s look at animal reincarnation per se. The following is a snippet from a conversation with a horse which had contained enough odd comments earlier in the session – about adapting to his “horse body” — to lead me finally to ask this question:   (I’m “L”; the horse is “M”.)

  • L:   Major, we are wondering if you were ever a horse before?
  • M:  Heavens no!  I would never have considered it!
  • L:   What were you?
  • M:  A person.  (He shows me he was an “ancient,” like a great master spiritualist.)
  • L:   So why did you come back as a horse?
  • M:  To find Suzanne [his person] and work with her on lessons of trust (for both of us).
  • L:   Really?! So have you two been together before?
  • M:  Oh yes, many times.  In many ways.

And the session went on from there, with Major sharing much great wisdom and many insights on the subject of trust with Suzanne, via myself.

Regarding reincarnating and coming back into their person’s lives, many animals express a desire to do so. Some, on the other hand, don’t seem to be aware it’s a possibility (or perhaps they’re simply not interested).

Those who want to return may have some idea about when and how, or may have no idea at all. One Cocker Spaniel I talked to was determined to come back just as soon as possible — as another Cocker Spaniel, and he seemed to have a plan fairly well laid out. His person, Elizabeth, and I spoke with him a few times after he departed so that he could give her directions as to how to find him. He knew when he was coming back and told her to look in the newspaper for Cocker Spaniel litters at a certain point in time. He added details as to what he would look like: male, twice as large as any other pup in the litter, with very curly black and grey hair. He also gave her his new name – Brutus (a name my client NEVER would have chosen!). When she went to inspect the litter, there sat a puppy exactly like the one he had described, and, unbelievably, the family had dubbed him . . . you guessed it . . . Brutus!

This really happened. Exactly as he said it would! It is the only case I’ve ever had that played out in quite this way, and I was as amazed as Elizabeth at the outcome. It certainly was a story with a happy ending.

Every case is different, and most animals who come back tell their person not to look for them, that they, the animal, will find the person when the time is right. But you never can tell what will happen. So if you hope to see your beloved animal again, you very well might, and it seems the best approach to take about that possibility is simply to keep an open mind and heart and to be ready for just about anything.

(Please remember, if you’d like to comment on this post, please enter your comment here: http://www.herbsandanimals.com/?p=681. I appreciate all comments and try to answer every one. Thank you!)

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IF YOU’D LIKE TO READ A CASE HISTORY ABOUT A SHAR PEI WHO HAS RETURNED TO HER PREVIOUS FOLKS, GO HERE.

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Stem Cell Help for the Ailing Weekend Warrior

MY WEEKEND BLOGS ARE NOW DEVOTED TO HEALTH AND HEALING. THIS IS A GUEST POST FROM ONE OF MY ALGAE UPLINE, ALAN JOEL, REGARDING A RECENT HEALING EXPERIENCE.

GIRL DOING YARD WORKI admit that I am an over-enthusiastic gardener and weekend warrior. On the weekends I tend to go nuts with the hoe, tiller, and other garden tools. A few weeks ago I popped one end of my collarbones out of joint and I experienced a lot of pain every time I tried to use my arm.

None of my usual natural anti-inflammatory remedies worked consistently. I tried homeopathic remedies, herbs, and antioxidants, including wheat sprouts. The injury was so painful that I finally used a stem cell enhancing product called StemPlex. This product was developed to help promote the growth and proliferation of adult stem cells.

I was amazed at how well the stem cell enhancer worked to improve the healing process. In fact, I was so intrigued I decided to investigate further how products in this class work. Here’s what I discovered.

Two Kinds of Stem Cells
There are two basic types of stem cells — embryonic and adult. While controversy surrounds the use of embryonic stem cells, no such debate exists with the use of adult stem cells, which are naturally occurring in the body. All stem cells are capable of dividing and renewing themselves for long periods of time, and they can give rise to specialized cells.

According to the National Institute of Health, stem cells have the remarkable potential to develop into many different cell types in the body. When a stem cell divides, each new cell has the potential to either remain a stem cell or become another type of cell with a more specialized function, such as a muscle cell, a red blood cell, a skin cell, etc. When released, new stem cells migrate to the areas of the body where they are needed most as we grow older. Serving as a repair system for the body, stem cells can theoretically divide without limit to replenish other cells as long as a person or animal is alive.

Helping Your Stem Cells Help You
Stem cells have the remarkable ability to repair and regenerate your body. StemPlex helps to feed and nourish your body’s stem cells. Specifically, StemPlex does four things to help your stem cells:

1. Increases the growth of adult stem cells, as shown in in vitro laboratory studies

2. Supports the body’s natural renewal system through a unique combination of ingredients

3. Provides nutrition that enables stem cells to flourish

4. Protects existing stem cells from the harmful effects of free radicals

Sounds good right? If you’re ailing, you should try it. You can order some online HERE.

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Walk Your Talk … or better yet … Talk Your Walk!

What's coming out of YOUR mouth? And why does it matter?

What's coming out of YOUR mouth? And why does it matter?

Most everybody these days knows what the phrase “walk your talk” means. Don’t just say it, DO it. Put up or shut up. Put your money where your mouth is. That kind of thing. The phrase was originated (I think) to refer to people who had big dreams (their “talk”) and made them happen (their “walk”). But I think most people who walk their talk do it backwards.

Here’s what I mean. You know the guy who is constantly spouting off about everything that is wrong in his life, even though he has plenty of things to be thankful for. Or the woman who whines all the time about just about everything. Ugh. Hard to be around, isn’t it? This kind of negative talk gets real old real fast. Sometimes you just wanna sock ’em!

The interesting thing is, these people’s lives never — ever, ever, ever — change into those dreams they hold so dear and complain about not having. Gee, I wonder why. Because what you focus on is what you get, that’s why. Period.

So how ’bout trying this phrase on backwards for a while:  “Talk your walk.” Start talking about the good things in your life, feeling appreciation, and enjoy envisioning yourself in new scenarios you want to create. And just bite your tongue — or put duck tape over your mouth if you have to — every time you feel yourself starting to spout the same ole stuff about what’s wrong with the world. Change your habit of negativity and watch what happens.

If nothing else you’ll attract more friends because they will enjoy your company a whole lot more than before — if you even HAD friends before.

Enough ranting. I know how hard it is not to be negative when things are going wrong in your life — I’ve had my fair share of those circumstances. But I also know first hand the truth of this phenomenon — you get what you focus on — and have seen it play out with others as well.

It’s your choice. You can dream big and talk about it — in a positive way, and talk yourself into a new walk, or you can dream big and talk about all the obstacles that are in the way and all the reasons you can’t realize your goals — in which case you’ll just keep walking that same old, worn-out path.

The principle of life is that life responds by corresponding; your life becomes the thing you have decided it shall be. … Raymond Charles Barker

I hope you decide that yours is going to be great . . . and start talking about it that way!

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When to Take a Break

Sometimes you just gotta withdraw.

Sometimes you just gotta withdraw.

How about right now.

After all those days of writing about Mustangs and horse types I can’t think of a single thing animal to blog about. I feel like the little guy in this picture, though he’s much cuter than I, I must say.

My motto? Take a break:

  • when you’re tired
  • when you’re burned out
  • when you’re too busy to breathe right
  • when it would be better to exercise (??? – right … be sure)
  • when you have writer’s block

And if you take a break — ENJOY IT!

I guess this isn’t really a break after all, then, since I wrote something. But it only took three minutes, so maybe it really IS a break. Mainly, I just had to show you this picture.

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My Algae Story: How Blue-Green Algae Helped Heal My Allergies

Everybody who takes blue-green algae  has a story. This is mine.HayFever

I won’t say I never have a sniffle or a short bout of hay fever. but 18 years ago when I started eating blue-green algae, my poor immune system was shot and I was taking 6 allergy shots a week. Yes, SIX. Plus homeopathic drops, every antihistamine on the market, and who knows what other things prescribed by a doctor who was supposed to be the best allergy doctor in the state of Texas. In spite of all this, I was in a depressingly downward spiral with my allergies, and they were getting worse each year.

Severe allergies are due to an immune system response that has simply gone haywire. It’s normal and healthy to clear foreign particles or pollen from your nasal passages with a good sneeze — or even a series of them. But frequent, debilitating hay fever or other allergy symptoms, often resulting in a secondary  infection of some sort, is not. Unfortunately, the more your immune system reacts to one or two allergens, the more likely it is to react to others. Until finally it goes AWOL and starts reacting to all kinds of things that aren’t allergens at all, including to yourself and your normal biological makeup. This is when you get into auto-immune territory — dangerous territory indeed!

Fortunately, I was not to that point yet when I was introduced to Simplexity Health’s Super Blue-Green Algae. When I learned it was simply a very pure, wildcrafted food (not a supplement or drug), in single-cell form that really built up the immune system, I decided to give it a try. Why not? A month’s supply for me at the time wasn’t that expensive, since I decided to take only one capsule of blue-green algae per day.

And that’s what I did. One capsule of  blue-green algae a day.

Six months later my worst allergy season rolled around: August with its dreaded ragweed!! For years this had laid me low and I suffered and was sick for weeks on end, missing lots of work and generally feeling miserable. That year, O.M.G., I barely had any symptoms at all! I couldn’t believe it! I had cut way back on my shots months before because they weren’t helping, so there was nothing to explain the improvement in my allergies except the algae.

The next bad season arrived around mid-winter — Juniper/Cedar, most people’s worst allergy, and I didn’t feel a thing. Spring always brought several tree pollen allergies for me, but I sailed through it with few symptoms. And by the following August I had NO SYMPTOMS TO RAGWEED! A red letter day in my life and my health.

Upper Klamath Lake in Oregon is the Pristine Environment from Which Blue-Green Algae is Harvested

Upper Klamath Lake in Oregon is the Pristine Environment from Which Blue-Green Algae is Harvested

Naturally, I have kept blue-green algae in my life ever since as one of my dietary mainstays. I take other things too, but I would never be without my algae. The body recognizes it as whole food, not a manmade supplement, so responds accordingly. It’s like the difference between the Vitamin C in an orange and a capsule — your body knows exactly how to handle the orange and absorb the C; but it has to figure out the capsule and its contents, no matter how “natural” or organic (and unfortunately discards up to 90% of the vitamin C itself because it simply doesn’t “recognize” it).

And, by the way, every person in my household eats blue-green algae too, be they dog, cat, chicken, horse or human. I have two healthy horses who the vets say shouldn’t even still be alive, and one dog who should have arthritis build-up in his shoulders but has no sign of it. I attribute all of this to the algae.

If you suffer from allergies or feel like you have a poor immune system,  you might give blue-green algae a try. You can read all about it  HERE and can order it on my website HERE. Try starting with a package of the “Essentials.” I hope it works for you as well as it always has for me!

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If you’d like to read more about why blue-green algae is so powerful:

What’s the Big Deal About Super Blue-Green Algae?

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The More, ahem, “Robust” Type Mustang

This pose shows off Bella's Percheron'esque derriere quite nicely, I think.

This pose shows off Bella's Percheron'esque derriere quite nicely, I think.

I bought my very first piece of original art when I was in college — a French lithograph of a teeny, tiny boy standing behind a huge Percheron draft horse, holding her lead rope and yelling at her in French to “move her butt!” Which was literally the only part of her anatomy visible in the sketch. Her name was Bijou, which means jewel in French.

The piece was totally irresistible for me. I had to have it. Maybe I had a premonition that a very similar equine jewel would come into my life one day and become my pride and joy.

That would be my Mustang mare, Bella, above.

Eight years old now, Bella came to me as a 4-year-old from my friend Stephanie, the Mustang Mama of all time. Bella was the first of the many Mustangs  Stephanie has adopted over the years, and I have heard Stephanie express more than once that she was real lucky to make her acquaintance with Mustangs with a horse like Bella! (If you’ve read the recent posts, you know what some of Stephanie’s other Mustangs are like, and what challenges they’ve posed.)

Bella came from a Wyoming herd of Mustangs that has lots of Percheron draft horse blood mixed in, and she typifies what is called a Tai Yin constitution in Traditional Chinese Medicine. This stands for a combination of the elements Earth and Metal. In Horse Harmony — Understanding Horse Types and Temperaments, by Dr. Madalyn Ward, D.V.M., here are some of the passages she uses to describe the Tai Yin horse:

  • …the Tai Yin type tends to have a heavy body and move fairly slowly.
  • The Tai Yin horse is like an iceberg. If you don’t get to know him you may only see the tip of his deep, solid, stable character.
  • …tough physically, and he tends to be a dependable hard worker.
  • He is not overly ambitious, but once he learns a skill he will perform consistently.
  • …often a one-person horse who will not be happy performing for just anyone.
  • He makes a good stock horse but tends not to be quick enough for cutting or reining competition.
  • He is a dependable and competitive trail horse but is not really suited for endurance riding.

Are you getting the picture? Stout, slow, devoted, calm, steady. Likes routine. Likes his person. Doesn’t show a lot of emotion. Isn’t too flashy. Etc.

Nice attributes for a 6-month-old wild filly brought in off the range, wouldn’t you say?

Bella was a dream to work with and raise. Stephanie got up on her and never looked back — just rode her on down the road. In the 3 years she had Bella, Stephanie put hundreds of miles on her, took her camping, taught her to jump (well, after a fashion), to herd cows (also after a fashion), and to be a generally dependable mount.

Bella was a large colt, and she grew, and grew, . . . . . and grew. It became clear  early on that this was not a horse built for speed events or competitive jumping, or for the agility required in moving cattle. And, being rather lazy by nature, Bella often turned her back when it was time to be caught . . . because she knew what was coming and simply didn’t want to have to go to work that day — like some of us.

Stephanie knew I was considering taking another riding horse as a gift to myself for my 60th birthday and felt the match might be a good one. That is putting it mildly. I didn’t want to quit riding, but I wanted a horse I could trust, who wasn’t “hot-blooded” or hard to handle. Obviously, Bella and I were meant for each other and are very much alike. I don’t want to have to work too hard either, and would much rather take a 30-minute amble in the hills or a low-level dressage lesson than a 20-mile trail ride or gallop. Bella likes the same things I do, plus she loves all the extra time I spend fawning over her. The easier-going lifestyle has suited her constitution well too, as she continued to grow until she was 7 years old so now stands 16 hands and weighs in at about 1400 lbs.

If you want a steady pleasure mount, and like to bond with your horse, a Tai Yin might just be your best bet. Sure was for me!!!!

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This is the end of this week’s series on Mustang types and temperaments, but we’ve only covered five out of the eleven types. And of course they apply to all horses, not just Mustangs. If you’re curious to learn about the other six types, or want to take an online test to find out the type of your own horse, check out the resources at Horse Harmony. There’s tons of fun stuff to do there, and the book is fantastic!

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A Metal Mustang

Beautiful Reyacita

Beautiful Reyacita

I’m not talking about a bronze statue here. I’m talking about a constitutional type that in Traditional Chinese Medicine is called Metal. And Reyacita is an adorable little Mustang mare who falls into that category.

Reyacita, Rey for short, is the most recent of my friend Stephanie’s Mustangs, having been adopted by her last January from the Canon City, CO, prison BLM Mustang program. She was 3 years old and had been haltered, but that’s as far as her training had gone.

Stephanie has adopted one Mustang a year for many years, and every single one has been totally different from all the rest.

As you can see, Reyacita has an exceptionally beautiful head and face for a Mustang, and a very soft eye. She looks like a pushover, doesn’t she? She did to Stephanie too, and she started out that way. Then things turned rough.

The well-balanced Metal horse, according to Horse Harmony — Understanding Horse Types and Temperaments, by Dr. Madalyn Ward, D.V.M., is “hard-working, consistent, dependable, and tough” and can do well in just about any job.

So what happened with Reyacita? She started out calmly and solidly and looked like she was going to be all those things — but then she blew, and blew hard in a totally unexpected bucking fit! In Stephanie’s words, “I think I pushed her too fast in the beginning, but she was too stoic to let it show.”

This would make sense, given what Stephanie soon found out about Reyacita’s health and considering Dr. Ward’s recommendations for training a Metal horse:

Repetition is the key to success for the Metal horse. Of all of the types, the Metal horse is the slowest to grasp new concepts. It is not that the Metal horse is not intelligent, but he does best when he is allowed to master single skills before moving to the next lesson. Therefore a methodical, step-by-step approach to his training works best.

Stephanie got back on after the bucking fit but then gave both herself and Reyacita a couple of months off.  She also discovered that Rey had a lung problem known as heaves, and Dr. Ward hypothesized that this was the reason she had bucked in the first place — she couldn’t breathe! With good holistic and homeopathic treatment for the lung problem, and once back on a very routinized and revamped training program, Reyacita came right back around to the solid, steady mare she had seemed to be at first.

Reyacita’s lung problem ties in with the Metal constitution and was no doubt one of the clues that helped Stephanie finally figure out her personality type.  According to Dr. Ward, Metal horses are prone to respiratory diseases and heaves. They also have a high pain tolerance, which means they will often keep working until injury or illness incapacitates them, which is what happened with Rey.

This case study is a great example of how figuring out your horse’s constitutional and personality type can make all the difference in how you train, feed, and handle her. Without the changes Stephanie was able to make in Reyacita’s training and care program, no telling what the future would have held for this adorable little horse!

Rey and Steph are way past this point now, but this is the slow, careful approach Stephanie took when she resumed Reyacita's new training program.

Rey and Steph are way past this point now, but this is the slow, gentle approach Stephanie took when she resumed Reyacita's new training program.

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