I just returned from a fabulous and inspiring two days in Asheville, NC with my mentor Christine Kane and an amazing group of souls creating a better world with their businesses. While I enjoy traveling it means leaving my favorite furries behind. If you’re like me, this is never easy. Years ago (okay decades) I was hesitant to travel because I didn’t want my buddies thinking I had left them. So I’m sharing how I keep them happy and calm until I return. We’ll also hear from Doc to see how he feels about my travels.
- Find the best care for each individual. For most animals, having someone come into your home and stay with them is the ideal situation. However some dogs may be happier at a day-care facility they are familiar with where they can hang out with their friends during the day. Cats generally do not like their surroundings changed so an in-house sitter is almost a must.
- Tell them about your trip before you drag out the suitcases. I call this “talk before trauma”. Last week I shared how our animals understand a great deal of what we verbalize to them. Take a few minutes to get centered and tell your animal that you are leaving, how long you will be gone, when they can expect you back and who will be caring for them and where.
- Use pictures to help them understand this process. Visualize yourself going out the door and then driving or flying to your destination, give them pictures of who is caring for them or where they are going, show them the sun rising and setting (or them being fed) for the number of days you will be gone and then show them you walking back through the door.
- Remind them. The day you leave, repeat what you told them before being sure to include when you will be back.
- Keep your emotions light. During this time of preparing them it is important that you stay in a positive emotional state. If you are feeling guilty or sad or anxious, they will know this and it will not be congruent with what you are communicating. You are telling them everything is fine and you are coming home soon so be sure that your emotions reflect this.
- Connect while you’re away. Pick a time each day to connect in and remind them when you are coming home. I like to do this at night when I get into bed. Take a moment to get centered and focus on your heart center, think about your pet and feel the love you have for them, visualize them and communicate that you are fine and that you will be back home soon.
- Provide extra support for the overly anxious.Some animals have stronger attachments and become more stressed when separated from their tribe, pack or herd. Have your caretaker offer hydrosols (yarrow works well) or essential oils* (cypress, lavender or neroli) while you are gone to provide some calming and grounding.
Here’s what Doc would like to share about being left behind (by the way he loves helping out this way). I chose Doc because of all my “kids” he is the most attached to me.
Wendy: I’m sharing with my readers today about how they can help their animals be more comfortable when they leave for a few days or maybe more. Since I just left you for a few days I thought you would be willing to share your feelings.
Doc: I don’t like it when I don’t get to sleep in my own bed. (He sleeps in Becky’s bed when I am gone). And I don’t like it that you aren’t here as much during the day; it’s boring.
Wendy: Okay. I understand why you might feel that way. Do you worry that I’m not coming back?
Doc: No, I know you are coming back. I am still connected to you through our cord so I know that plus you told me. (The cord he is referring to is an energy connection we share). When you are gone and you contact me it feels like I am traveling with you. It is very comforting..but I still want to be in my own bed.
This next part I have to share even though it isn’t related to this article. It’s a continuation of our conversation and makes me chuckle.
Doc: Why is that cat in here? (I let Red come in for awhile this morning).
Wendy: Well it’s pretty cold outside today and he really likes to hang out in here with you and the other dogs.
Doc: He pushed me down the stairs. He did it on purpose. He doesn’t act like other dogs. (he did push his way onto the back deck stairs one time knocking Doc down).
Wendy: No cats don’t act like dogs. I think Red really wants to be friends with you and the other dogs. He wants to be part of the pack even though he isn’t a dog. And I don’t think you need to be afraid of him. If he ever gets in your face you can stand up to him with your energy like you do when King gets really bossy. Want he wants most is to be friends.
Doc: I’ll think about that but I’m not turning my back on him.
*do not use essential oils with cats unless you have been trained or work with a professional animal aromatherapist.
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