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Articles for Animal People


January 30, 2010 

My Personal Experience with Therapeutic Touch and My Animals

Barb Wilson-Meyers RN, BCom

I am a Therapeutic Touch Registered Practitioner and have been for a number of years.  The Therapeutic Touch (TT) method that I practice is that of Dolores Krieger and Dora Kunz developed in 1972.  The TT practitioner works with the subject's energy field to help produce relaxation and pain reduction as promotion of the healing process supports the immune system and reduces feelings of stress.  My intention in this article is not to try to teach anyone TT but to talk about my own personal experiences using TT with my own animals.

Over the years I have performed TT on my horses, dogs, and cats.  Sometimes I have been rewarded with glowing results and sometimes not so much.  However, I have observed and believe that TT does help to calm animal subjects and will facilitate the healing process.  Following is one example from my personal experience.

My Standardbred mare, Wee Jessie Joe, enjoyed TT.  Jess was a retired race horse and often displayed evidence of pain in the back, hips, and stifles.  Even free out in a large field she would stand to receive her treatment.  The energy differences that I could feel in the areas that I felt were bothering her the most were always very pronounced at the beginning of a treatment.  With much simple clearing of her energy field followed by energy modulation techniques bringing into play imagery and visualization, Jessie would relax first one hind leg and then the other, her head would drop slightly and her whole demeanor would indicate her enjoyment of the procedure and the experiencing of less discomfort.  Jessie's energy field at the end of her treatment always felt balanced with no detectable areas of extreme difference indicating to me that she was experiencing freedom from pain and discomfort.  This freedom was evidenced following a treatment as Jessie would walk and graze displaying normal movements rather than taking shortened steps and demonstrating awkward positioning in her attempts to free herself from discomfort and pain.    

Noticeable freedom from pain and discomfort as described here is always a great reward for the Therapeutic Touch practitioner.  


February 4, 2010

Distance Healing with Therapeutic Touch and Percy's Little Dolly

Barb Wilson-Meyers RN, BCom

Dolly was a registered Shetland.  She lived to be 38 years old.  The year that she was 33  I had a broken ankle and was forced to stay put on the couch.  My cousin came in from the barn and said that Dolly appeared to be choking on a piece of apple that she had given to her.  She said that Dolly was standing but kept swallowing, was not breathing right, and was not eating her hay.  What to do?   My cousin went back out to the barn to stay with the little mare so she would know that she wasn't alone and decided to try Therapeutic Touch (TT) on Dolly from the living room.  I am a TT practitioner and have been for a number of years but other than being aware of distance healing possibilities I hadn't really incorporated it very extensively into my practice.  The TT practitioner works with the subject's energy field to help produce relaxation and pain reduction as promotion of the healing process supports the immune system and reduces feelings of stress.  Usually the subject is right there with you throughout the process.  Well, Dolly was not right there with me but visualizing her out in her stall was certainly not difficult, so I proceeded in my mind's eye with my TT techniques of clearing her energy field and helping her to relax concentrating mainly on her throat area.  I continued for about 10 minutes and then waited.  Within another 10 minutes my cousin was in from the barn with the good news that Dolly seemed to relax before her eyes, stopped her swallowing, started to breath more normally and then proceeded to eat her hay.  Now, if you are like my son you will say that her continuous swallowing finally dislodged the piece of apple, but I choose to believe that my efforts and will to help little Dolly did the trick.  What do you think? 


February 27, 2010

Gifts for Animal People

Barb Wilson-Meyers RN, BCom

If you are like me you often find yourself wracking your brain to hit on that special gift for that special person.  If nothing quickly comes to mind I start thinking about their particular likes.  If they have animal pets then the chore can become quite simple, in that, you can start thinking about their pets and what you can give the person with a pet theme in mind.  Now I don't mean to give the person something for their pet but to choose a gift for your friend that is based on a pet theme.  

Horse people are particularly easy to buy for, in that, there a great number of horse related gifts available and are fairly easy to find.  Price does not have to be an issue as you will find when you start looking that horse type gifts are available in all price ranges and to suit all pocket books.  For example a lovely horse design afghan or throw may cost $50.00 while a circle of horses candleholder could be under $20.00.  

Interestingly enough when buying a horse type gift for someone you do not have to worry about getting one that seems too personal, in that, the love of horses eliminates the possibility of making  this kind of faux pas.  For example, you may feel that buying a blouse or sweater for a friend is something to shy away from for fear of it being considered too personal for a gift when you can certainly buy that person a T-Shirt depicting a horse with no qualms whatsoever.   

Having said all of this about buying an animal person a gift for themselves, truthfully, I have never met an animal lover that would not appreciate receiving a gift for their special pet in lieu of something for themselves.  This of course, opens up all sorts of possibilities for gift giving.

There are lots of places to look for animal type gifts from the plaza gift shop to the World Wide Web.  Where ever you choose to look and whatever you choose to buy, rest assured, your animal friend will thank you for your thoughtfulness.    


March 16, 2010

Death of Your Horse, The Fatal Decision

Barb Wilson-Meyers RN, BCom

Whether your horse is your pet, best friend, working horse, show horse, or money maker it is quite probable when the time comes you will have to make the decision to end that precious life.  It is never easy but is part and parcel of being a horse owner.  Due to the horse's size you are usually not afforded much time to "think on it" and prepare yourself for the consequences of your decision. 

Sometimes the decision is a foregone conclusion  in that the animal has a broken bone that cannot be mended or is very aged and death is to be expected at any time.  Whatever the circumstances of the situation the fact remains that often we are not prepared for the inevitable need to make the very final decision.  

How does one cope?  Often we think of all of the good things about our four-legged friend and all of the good times that we have shared.  Not to sound negative sometimes it helps if we actually think of some of the "not so good things" about the animal, such as, the time you were the recipient of a well-placed kick, or the time you were nearly killed on the road because said animal decided it was time to run away with you regardless of the traffic situation.        

I have had many horses over the years.  I have never been without horses for the past 50 years.  Over the years with all of these horses I had only 4 die of natural causes and of their own accord.  My long-time friend, a tri-colored Pinto saddle horse, decided at age 32 that it was his time and laid down and died.  One of my Standardbred colts, which I had not sold gave in on his own to a fatal heart attack.  Two Standardbred babies died due to intestinal problems while in the process of being treated with the hope of recovery.

My point is that as a horse owner you have to be prepared in case you have to make that final fatal decision.  But enough of negativity.  It is my opinion that without our animals life would be extremely dull and unfulfilled.  We learn so much from them as long as we keep an open mind and remember to treat them as we want to be treated, that is, with love and respect.        


March 25, 2010

Chinchilla Ranching - Raising Chinchilla, Not For Pets

Barb Wilson-Meyers RN, BCom

I have been reading through articles about Chinchillas as pets.  Although I have had a couple of friends who actually had Chinchillas for pets the whole concept seems strange to me in that for a few years I raised the little animals for their fur.  Chinchilla ranching as it is called in Canada was  rewarding, frustrating, challenging and often fraught with misgivings due to the fact that the only way to get the exotic fur is to kill the animal.  

We started the Chinchilla endeavor about 1972.  At that time beige colored fur was just becoming fashionable so we started our herd with one white male and three standard females, the formula necessary to produce the beige mutation.  Through careful mating and purchasing breeders as necessary we did produce a fairly large number of beige chinchilla.  The difficult part of the equation was to get matching pelts as the beige ranged from dark to light including hues such as apricot and peach.  Sometimes poor coloring would show up tending towards an orangey color.  When this happened all was not lost as these pelts usually took well to being dyed a rich shade of brown after reaching prime, being harvested, and dressed.

Fortunately we were not plagued with sickness throughout our years of raising the little animals. So, the most challenging feat was to bring the animals into prime in order to get the most beautiful pelts.  Believe me, this was not easy.  Chinchillas do not take kindly to loud noises or any change in surroundings.  When upset they will chew their fur, thus rendering their pelt quite worthless.  When this happens you have to wait until they grow a full new coat.

Due to the fact that they must be handled as little as possible the easiest way to catch them up when you want to check their pelt growth to see if they are nearing prime is to catch the animal either by an ear or by the tail.  Once caught this way you can allow them to sit on your arm.  This is the only human touching allowed if you are serious about growing a near flawless pelt.  A chinchilla can bite you quite viciously if they become frightened or upset, thus, if you are trying to be part of the fur industry then it is better to handle the animal as little as possible, talk to them as much as you like, but always remember not to become too attached, which of course is the most difficult part of all.    


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