An Act of Valor

Smallest dog saves the family

A dog is a man’s best friend. Ask yourself the question: Would a best friend risk their own life to save yours? In Daisy’s case, the answer would be yes.

All five of my dogs started barking wildly.  I rushed out to them immediately, feeling an unease that became very real as my eyes landed on a coyote up on the stone wall above my backyard. He had fierce eyes, bared teeth, and was prepared to attack my dogs who were barking loudly in defense. I yelled to my dogs, but the coyote’s eyes were fixated on their every movement and they were fixated on it too that my commands dissolved in the tense atmosphere.  The message was clear, however. The coyote intended to take one of my dogs and as my brain started to think of solutions; another thing became clearer – my only choice was to pull whomever I could get to safety.

I had nothing to ward off the coyote with, neither did I have a defense tool save for a garden shovel beside me.  I grabbed it and rushed towards the unfolding scene.  There was no time to think. A hungry coyote is a horrifying creature. My dogs were all facing upward at the coyote, and the coyote was bearing down on them from the wall. Senselessly, I threw the shovel at the coyote, but he did not budge. Instead, he gritted his teeth more fiercely at my dogs, apparently vexed and more determined. Using their collars, I pulled away two of my dogs that were closest to me.

I felt so powerless because I did not know whom else I could I get to safety and I felt like I was condemning the other three to death, but they were in the coyote’s sights. My heart bled in pain for the fates of Bow, Daisy, and Indy.

I approached the scene again, thinking of what next to do when Daisy did something I did not understand, a move that would likely cost her her life. Daisy moved away from the others and stood in the middle of the yard just beyond the stairs leaving herself alone and more vulnerable. She was the smallest of all the dogs, an easier prey for that coyote. The coyote saw her alone and focused all his attention on her.  Her move allowed me to get the other two dogs in hand, and I dragged them to a safe spot with a sickening knowledge that it would be Daisy that would be lost to that coyote. To this day, I can see all the details of that moment.  Daisy was standing there on her own; her back legs were quivering. Otherwise, she was frozen on the spot she stood. I thought fear caused her to freeze, but I was wrong.  She was quivering with adrenaline and thinking strategically.

With the speed of lightning, Daisy switched from frozen mode to high-speed. She bolted for the safe spot and as she did the coyote lunged after her. With one last leap, she made it to safety. We were all safe, and the coyote went away after circling outside for what seemed like forever.

There is no doubt that she knowingly created that distraction, risking her own life, helping to save the others. She stepped up when she could have cowered in fear. My brave girl! Daisy amazed me time after time throughout our 14 years together.

I know my actions were reckless that day, but instinct drove me – instincts to save the ones I love regardless of the cost to me.  Daisy and I were unintentionally communicating that day, both of us taking risks for our loved ones.  I did not know it at the time but she was working with me, reading my thoughts and body language.

Daisy is my helper animal.  Sometimes during an animal communication session, she joins in and improves the reading by adding clarity to that animals messages.

As Mark Twain aptly quoted,

“It is not the size of the dog in the fight; it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”

Daisy: the smallest, the cleverest and the bravest of all.

A Better Today

What’s really cool is that I’m working with animals all over the world because IARC is energetic!

It’s official – the case studies are complete, course development is underway, and the program has been expanded.   Final logo INTUNE ARC IARC

I am excited to let you know the program name is – Intune ARC (IARC).

As a reminder – This 6-week program is for an animal that is troubled by his or her past.  LEARN MORE.

Since spring, I have been working on new case studies for the courses.  The case studies include dogs, cats, horses, and birds.

As usual, the animals are always teaching us.  Although I had been offering this type of service for years, I learned a new way to help animals. In addition to Reiki and animal communication; the program now includes Integrated Energy Therapy (IET).  IET is working with angel energy to release discordant energy and infuse replacement supportive energies and messages.

What’s really cool is that it is energetic so I am working with animals all over the world.

pets-linda-saraco-nov-26

 

 

Before and after aura photos

Easy step to add in when brushing your dog.

The aura photograph on the left was taken of my dog Dominic and me before doing an InTune Groom (ITG) session.  The photo on the right was taken after a session.  The energy in the first photo is much more active than the energy in the second photo, which has a peaceful sense.

ITG is a unique combination of steps and techniques, which work in harmony to invite well-being and a stronger bond between you and your dog.  The steps and techniques all share these components.

  • sourced in age-old practices
  • influence the energetic systems in and around a dog’s body
  • vibrational remedies
  • influence health maintenance and well-being

Elements of ITG

  1. Traditional grooming tools and holistic products and bodywork
  2. Energetic enhancers and applying healing energy
  3. InTune Groom hand placements
  4. Color therapy
  5. Chakras
  6. Meridians

Why offer your animal friend an ITG?

Benefits of an InTune Groom 

  • builds and strengthens the relationship
  • eases transitional times
  • improves the sense of well-being
  • reaches to physical, mental and emotional levels
  • natural

ITG Book Cover

InTune Groom (ITG)
A guide to practical and magical canine care
developed by Linda Saraco
ITG Mission Statement
The InTune Groom mission is to provide a process to foster the building of deeper connections between animals and humans.  ITG promotes human animal bonding through enhanced routine coat grooming and general well-being improvement steps.

 

Give Your Pet the Gift of Safety

pets-linda-saraco-nov-26Holiday decorations and celebrations can be hazardous to your pets. To make sure holidays are safe and fun, please keep these tips in mind.

Guests – Advocate for your pet’s safety during the holidays for both day and overnight guests who may not be pet-familiar by informing them in advance and implementing pet safety rules, for example, about what not to feed them and behaviors that put them at risk. Pets can be overwhelmed by changes such as larger numbers of people at parties, kids, visiting animals, music and outbursts. Your guest’s medications may end up in pet accessible areas. It may be helpful to designate a secure pet room that is off-limits to guest traffic. In case of an escape, risks are reduced if pets are wearing ID tags.  It is a good idea to have a current picture and your animal control officer’s number on hand.

Tree – Rambunctious pets will naturally run around or climb them. To prevent a heavy tree from toppling onto your pet it is a good idea to attach your tree securely to the wall in multiple locations and test for stability. Vacuuming the tree area frequently will eliminate pine needles, which are dangerous to the digestive system. Securely cover the tree’s water container as many precut trees are treated with additives and preservatives that can leach into the water container. The ASPCA poison control hotline phone number is: (888) 426-4435.

Decorations – Sharp and breakable ornaments can cause injury to paws and mouths. Candles can burn and scented items can irritate sensitive respiratory and olfactory systems (especially birds). Tinsel, ribbon, yarn and wire ornament hooks can be fatal if ingested. Prompt removal of gift wrapping materials from pet accessible areas helps reduce risks. It is best to know the location of the closest 24-hour veterinary service.

Cords – These attractively chewable and tasty objects are a hazard to curious kittens and puppies. Make sure that electrical cords are in good condition and out of reach.

Pets as gifts – Surprise gift pets are often later unwanted and windup at shelters and/or euthanized. Planning and recipient preparation helps avoid this risk.

Reflection on your pet’s safety – With your pet clearly in your mind and the planned holiday activities, take a look at your home from his or her perspective. Travel through your home looking at each space through your pet’s eyes. What can you reach? What do you see? What do you smell? What do you hear? What may be dangerous?

May your holidays be the best ever with your friends, family and dear pets.

Magical boost to animal communication

Flower essences magical or merchandise?

The flower essence cosmos may help to stimulate or open your innate ability to communicate with animals.  It is known to open the opportunity for inter-species communication.  Cosmos flower essence is the diluted extract from the flowers of a cosmos plant.  The resulting essence is often preserved in a brandy base.

Cosmos may work perfectly for you in exactly the way you imagined, but the influence of any flower essence is not always straightforward.  Choosing to work with a flower essence is akin to working with magic.  The magical working starts long before the essence is bottle and arrives in a store ready for use.

Let us look at the commonly used process for making cosmos flower essence, and then you may decide for yourself whether it is magical or merchandise.   First, the plant develops from seed or seedling in nature under the sun, moon and stars for months before the flowers reach peek potency.  Next, on a sunny day, the co-creation of the essence is performed by placing the most perfect cosmos flowers in pure water in a glass bowl where they remain imbuing the water with their energetic imprint for 4 or 5 hours.  Then, the cosmos flowers are removed and returned to nature.  Lastly, the infused water is blended with brandy and stored in a cool place, in a dark bottle further preserving the energetic imprint of the cosmos flower.  Do you think there is some magic involved?

Where to buy ready-made cosmos   The Flower Essence Society (FES) is one company offering cosmos flower essence, and their product is easy to find in many health food and metaphysical stores.  My favorite is Green Hope Farm (GHF) .  They offer cosmos, and they have a special line of essence made especially for animals.  GHF preserve their essences in vinegar instead of brandy.golden-pup-in-flowers-flower-essence

Soon I will post my unexpected experience with the flower essence luffa.

Landscaping projects can be dangerous to pets

Within hours after contact with the tree limbs, both dogs were rushed to a veterinary emergency room.

A freshly cut walnut tree caused our two dogs to become gravely ill.  Poison Control informed us that walnut trees secrete a substance called juglone, which is toxic.  The initial symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, seizures and paralysis.

We had a walnut tree taken down in our backyard.  Our dogs did not chew the wood; they simply got too close.  Within a mere 4 hours after contact with the downed tree limbs, both dogs were rushed to a veterinary emergency room with identical symptoms.

They were nearly unconscious, trembling and paralysis had set in.   The ER team stabilized them with IV fluids, and they cleansed their systems in an attempt to eliminate the toxin.  It took about two day for our dogs to show promising signs of recovery.

We are grateful this unfortunate incident happened on a quiet evening, and we were able to notice the changes in our dogs’ behavior and take prompt actions. I’m sharing our experience intending to spare other pet parents and their animal companions from  injury from a seemingly harmless landscaping project.my-logo-wings-paw-horse-shoe

3 Questions to Ask a Groomer

Looking for groomer?  Here are three questions you may want to ask.

  1. Are dogs hand or cage dried? If dogs are cage dried ask how they protect your dog from overheating in the kennel.  Are the cage drying systems timed to shut off automatically?
  2. Are they certified in Canine First Aid and CPR?
  3. How many dogs are groomed there each day and how many groomers are on staff?

Finding the right Groomer

Did you know anyone can rent a space and call themselves a groomer?  It’s important to do your homework in finding your dog’s groomer because, in most states, there are no certifications or licensing or apprenticeship requirements to work as a groomer or open a grooming shop.

After summer and around the holidays is a popular time for a visit to the groomer.  You will be leaving your precious pup in the hands of another — selection of your dog’s groomer should be done with at least as much care as choice of a barber or hair stylist.  You must be pleased with the results, and your dog must be treated with care in safe clean environment.

Traditionally, grooming is a skill that is passed on from senior groomers to apprentice groomers.  Most established groomers have learned, over time, from others, from Master Groomers, and through observation and continuing education.  An excellent way to find a professional groomer is through local and regional grooming organizations such as The National Dog Groomers Association, ISCC and IPG. They provide a list of members in your area.

Many veterinarians have incorporated grooming into their clinics, so you may start looking there.  Also, if your dog is accidentally nicked or injured, they will have the fastest access to medical care.  If your veterinarian is not associated with a groomer, he or she may have a list of recommended groomers.  Other sources of recommendations include friends who have dogs, breed rescues, boarding kennels, pet supply stores, shelters, and purebred breeders.

After getting some recommendations, stop by and check out the facility or call to make an appointment to talk with the head groomer or the groomer who specializes in your breed.  Keep in mind, you may not get the best impression by making a phone call to a grooming shop due to a groomer’s busy schedule.  The phone call may come at an inopportune time and the groomer may not have sufficient time to address all your questions.   He or she might be concentrating on groom a dog and not willing to leave them to answer the phone.

Grooming shops run by the clock. Many have morning drop-off times with late day pick-ups.  While others have a morning group that is picked up at noon and then an afternoon group that arrive at noon and leave late day.  That’s a lot of scheduling and cooperation for everyone to be on time.  In between drop offs dogs are accessed and groomed according to their coat requirements and special needs.  Since time is spent talking with clients about their dog at drop off and at pick up time, groomers are on a tight schedule.

The ideal groomer selection process would include making two pre-visits, one without your dog and one with.  Narrow your list of potential shops to two or three that are recommended and meet your requirements.  On the first visit do not bring your dog.  Just meet with the groomer and ask your questions.

Look for a shop that is:

  • well-lit
  • a groomer and assistants that handle dogs gently
  • old or arthritic dogs that are treated with special consideration
  • shampoos and other products that meet your needs

In your selection process don’t discard any first impressions, gut feelings or hunches you may have about the shop or personnel.

On your second visit bring your dog along, ask new questions as well as any previously asked.

Ensure by reexamination that any special needs your dog has will be accommodated at this facility.  The main purpose of this visit is to allow your dog to meet the groomer and to observe their interactions.  When you’re comfortable with your interview, choose the groomer and make the appointment.

Dog in the header image is my dog Indy.

Blog

Dom was my four-legged medical assistant. During my worst period, I would have five Grand Mal seizures a day. Hitting without a warning, the force of these seizures was minimized as the vigilant Dom would spring into action.

The true story of the shelter pup that saved my life.  I wrote Dom’s story as a way of thanking him.  At Face Value is published in two of the Chicken Soup series books, Leap of Faith and Dog Lover’s Soul.  The Dog Writers Society of America nominated At Face Value as a story that exemplifies the human animal bond.

At Face Value  by Linda Saraco

I had a reoccurring dream. The message was clear and precise, directing me to go to the specified shelter and adopt a particular dog. The dream told me I would know the dog by something unusual about its face. Upon awakening, I just could not recall what unique facial feature. I could only remember it was important to identifying the right dog.

I was so curious and compelled to follow the instructions in the dream.  So, early on the next Saturday morning, I was at the shelter to carefully check available canine adoptees.   After checking all the dogs, I was disappointed that not one dog had anything unusual about its’ face.  There were lots of cute puppies and just as many appealing older dogs, but I did not feel a connection to any of them.

On my way out of the shelter, I noticed a box of puppies just outside of view from the main area.  My attention was drawn to one puppy in particular, and I decided to take a closer look. One of the puppies appeared to not have fur on his face, while the rest of the litter were all black with spots of white. They where a mix of black Lab and Chesapeake Bay Retriever and so they were called Chesapeake Labs. Each pup was named after a type of pasta. The one that captured my interest was Fettuccini.

My heart felt sad for the pup, and I hoped he had not been injured. As, I lifted him from the box, his large and clumsy paws reached over my shoulders to cling tightly to my back. On closer inspection, I realized he did have fur on his face, but it was a very odd shade of gray that caused it to have the appearance of skin. Satisfied he was okay; I placed him back with his litter mates to continue my exit from the shelter.

And then it hit me, my thoughts blared with the words, “THE FACE, IT’S THE DOG WITH THE UNUSUAL FACE!” Immediately, I returned to the puppy and held him. We bonded instantly, and I headed for the adoption desk. I could not leave without him. I knew we belonged together.

Within that short span of time, the gray-faced pup had wrapped his paws around my heart. In meeting with the adoption counselor, I was informed a family had already selected him. There was, however, still a slight chance since the family had not made their final decision. It was between Fettuccini, the gray-faced pup, and his litter mate, a female named Penne. It was worth waiting for the decision.

After an anxiety-filled hour, I saw the family leaving the shelter carrying Fettuccini. I began to cry inside. Then I realized a member of the family, the mother, was walking straight towards me. They knew I was awaiting their decision and I prepared for the worst. My heart pounded as I stood frozen in place as she approached. For a moment, she did not say a word or give any indication of her decision. Then, with a broad grin, she said, “Here’s your dog!” I was speechless and grateful and tears gushed from my eyes. I embraced him and again felt those big front paws securely hugging my back.

Although I was thankful to have him, little did I know I was not nearly as thankful as I would later come to be.

I took the gray-faced pup home and named him Dominic. Fettuccini was his middle name.

From the start, he was not at all a typical rambunctious puppy. He was very calm, serious and didn’t play much. However, he was obedient, intelligent and very attentive to me. For two years, we lived a happy existence together as Dom grew into a healthy, robust dog and my valued companion. Then I developed a serious illness.

As Dominic was turning two years old, I was diagnosed with a seizure disorder. I was having full seizures called Grand Mal and other partial, milder types. These seizures caused me to collapse into unconsciousness. Upon awakening, I would always find Dom on top of me. At first, I was not at all happy to have a 90 pound dog on me until I came to realize he was preventing me from hurting myself by restricting thrashing movements, and limiting my injuries.

During mild seizures Dom stood rock solid so I could just hold on to his front legs until it passed.  As I would start to regain consciousness, I was aware of his voice. I would follow his barking as a means to revive me into complete consciousness.

Dom was my four-legged medical assistant.  Without Dominic’s forewarning, I could have experienced much more physical damage. During my worst period, I would have five Grand Mal seizures a day. Hitting without a warning, the force of these seizures was minimized as the vigilant Dom would spring into action.

For about a year, I had seizures every day and then they gradually started to subside. I had come to rely on Dom to warn me before a seizure would take hold, and we’d work through it together, each of us knowing what we had to do till the crisis passed.

Dominic is a natural born Seizure Assistance Dog. He is literally a one in million dog. His instincts are astounding. He is an outstanding companion, and I am honored to be the most important person in his world. I can’t begin to express the amount of admiration, appreciate and love I have for Dominic. He saved my life; he’s a hero.

I am now well, and there are no more seizures. He has returned to his previous daily doggie activities, though still watchful of me and ready to be of assistance. He finds way to help out around the house – and I indulge his sense of duty.

My little gray-faced puppy has become a dream come true.

Welcome!

I believe all animals we encounter help us and teach us. I post about animals, animal communication, grooming, and energetic modalities such as Integrated Energy Therapy® (IET®), InTune Groom and InTune ARC.

I work with both animals and humans.

If you only read one post here please make it the first one, At Face Value.  This is the story about the dog that saved my life.  Sharing his story is my way of thanking him.