My dogs don’t obsess about what they did in the past or what will happen next week; they live excitedly for this moment. Smokey, my beloved trail horse, has forgiven me as I learned a more appropriate way to care for him over the years. Mariah, my beautiful, spirited, mare is teaching me to embrace my femininity and power; to live with reckless abandon. And regardless of my mood, I am always greeted with joyous appreciation upon returning home. Animals give us many gifts; they are “medicine” for our souls. They teach us everyday about living in the present, forgiveness and unconditional love. Surely their medicine has added many years to our lives.
With all these gifts from the animals we might ask ourselves, “how are we tending to their needs”?
In my animal communication classes, I teach that while our companions have souls and life purposes just as we do, they came into this life experience in a specific physical body. That body is encoded with DNA that maps out their instinctual nature. It is what they came here to experience. Even though we can communicate with them telepathically, it is also important to understand their language and their “animalness”.
While not all companion animals have the same level of instinctual nature, I have communicated with some pretty angry cats who are not allowed outside, horses so sad from being isolated in a stall that I cried with them and dogs saddened and confused about why they were abandoned for being a “dog”.
We need to protect our animals from harms they might not understand but we also need to be clear about the impact it has on their quality of life. We need to support them in as many ways as possible to be congruent with their instincts while balancing this with keeping them from serious harm.
Cats want to stalk, play with and eat mice. They want to catch birds. They need to be physically on the earth to ground their energy.
Dogs want to roll in smelly stuff. It is instinctual. They need to be able to run and play with other dogs…to be part of a pack.
Horses are very social herd animals. They need to live in a herd with room to run and play. They need to graze. Being in a stall for a horse is like a person being locked in a 5′ x 5′ bathroom for half of their life. And don’t get me started on shoes.
What is true for all of these animals is that when we deny them the pleasure of being who they really are they can become depressed which eventually results in disease. When we allow them to live their true nature they thrive.
Having worked with hundreds of animals over the years, it is my observation that much of the medicine required for animals today is a direct result of our interference with their instinctual nature. Poor diet, over-vaccination, stress, exposure to chemicals and toxins play a huge role in much of the disease of our companion animals. Commercial dog food, cat food and grain based feed for horses are like a prescription for a shorter life and degenerative diseases. Corn, soy, wheat and rice should not be staples for any of these animals.
Cats are carnivores. They must eat meat. Dogs are designed to eat primarily meat but will supplement with berries and plants (but certainly not grains or tapioca starch). Horses eat grasses and “weeds”. Grazing or eating off the ground is imperative to their dental health. When we feed our animals for convenience or cost savings they pay the price (and we usually do too in vet bills).
So how can we support them? Seek out information about the nature of your companion animal. Study dog breeds and their characteristics before adopting. Research how horses live and thrive in the wild. Google holistic health and diet for cats, dogs, horses, or whatever companion animal you share your life with. As much as possible allow them to be the instinctual being they came here to experience. You can also read my previous article “5 Keys to Prevent Disease” for more detailed information.
As always our animals provide lessons for us too. Like the animals, when we stray from our instinctual being, when we deny who we really are, disease occurs. We too need to live in harmony with the earth, grounded by her and following her rhythms. By observing and supporting the animals we can begin to see how the way we are living our lives today disconnects us from who we are and creates disease and how recognizing our instinctual nature can bring us peace and harmony.