Fall concerns

Fall is great time to be outside with your dog.

Seasonal Concernspets-linda-saraco-nov-26

Fall in New England is a great time to be active outdoors with your dog.

Here are few seasonal safety concerns I keep in mind for fun throughout this season.

The days are shorter, and often it is quite dark by evening walk times.  Consider a reflective coat, collar, leash light, or a brightly colored vest for your dog.  It will make your dog stand out and be easier for others to see.  Bright orange and reflective coats are a good idea too if you and your dog spend time in areas where hunting takes place nearby.  Always check wild areas for postings indicating the type of hunting allowed and what time it is permitted.

Fall can be a drying time of year for your dog’s coat and the colder temperatures at night encourage us to turn on our heating systems and light up our fireplaces.  Brushing your dog frequently during this season will help to distribute the natural oils helping to keep your dog’s coat healthy and in its best condition.

When the weather is cooler wildlife becomes more active as it busily prepares winter.  This means that your dog may be more likely to have an encounter with a wild critter.  You may also find mice, bats, squirrels and others trying to move inside your warm home.  It’s hard to keep small rodents out.  If you, a friend or neighbor, choose to use traps or poisons your dog needs protection because their natural curiosity will cause them to explore new objects and smells.  Your dog can be hurt by mouse snap traps, rodenticides, or by chewing or eating a rodent that injected poison.  The catch and release type traps are the safest all-around option.

Be on the lookout for plants outside that produce fruits or berries in the fall.  A plant that was harmless may be poisonous now.  Also, your dog may have shown no interest in that particular plant until those berries or fruits show up.

In every season there is a holiday or special events such as a wedding, birthday occurring that has potential to upset your dog, requiring a little special preparation on your part to minimize stress levels your dog may experience.

Although this practice has rarely (ok, never) made me a favorite host I implement and, (well, I actually post) pet safety rules for both day and overnight guests.  Informing folks in advance is the only way to ensure my pet safety rules are known.  Pets can be overwhelmed by changes such as larger numbers of people at a party, 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 your pet escapes, risks are reduced if your pet is wearing ID tags.  It is a good idea to have a current picture and your animal control officer’s number on hand.

Every season can also hold an allergy stimulation.  As with people, dogs have indoor, outdoor, topical and internal allergic reactions.  Your veterinarian is your best resource for uncovering causes and determining treatment.

A regular InTune Groom session with your dog can help to clear stagnant energies and ITG Book Coverimprove circulation throughout the seasons.  Check out https://lindasaraco.com/intune-groom/ to learn more.

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.

The Sock Monster is coming

That does not make sense

Last year I connected with Kim’s wolfhound that had crossed over.  She sought advice from him because she was considering adopting a new pup.

Kim’s dog showed me images of a wolfhound playing with socks.  I saw the wolfhound pulling socks from the laundry basket, tossing socks around, and an especially funny image of that dog with a white sock on his head and other socks on his back.

She said her wolfhound never played with socks, and the message did not make sense at all. I worried that I did not translate her dog’s message correctly.  I went back to her dog for clarification on the message to Kim.  Her wolfhound’s message did not change.  Kim’s dog continued to show me images of socks.

About a month after her reading, she sent me an email.  She had adopted a wolfhound pup.

Have you already guessed what this pup loves to do?

The Sock Monster

He is the sock monster!  She said he not only plays with socks, but he even tries to pull socks off her feet.

The message Kim’s dog gave her during her reading was about the next pup that would enter her life.

Because of these types of experiences, hearing a person say – no, that does not make sense – is no longer worrisome for me.   Asking the animal for clarification helped me to learn this.   When the animal’s message is clear, it is a good idea for that person to make a note because the animal’s message may make sense later.

Linda

linda-with-negra
Linda Saraco brushing and whispering secrets with the magnificent Negra.

 

 

 

 

Linda Saraco

 

Shaving your dog

Shaving may not be a good idea

Shaving your dog in the summer may not be a good idea.

Trimming longer strands and removing mats will help your dog feel more comfortable in summer’s heat but close clipping or shaving may not be helpful.  Nature designed your dog’s coat in layers which provide them with relief from the heat and insulation from the cold.

Keep them cool by providing shade, plenty of water, and brush them more often.

Operation Delta Dog

pets-linda-saraco-nov-26

ODD logoOperation Delta Dog is a nonprofit organization with a mission to rescue homeless dogs and train them to work as service dogs for veterans who are suffering from Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and related challenges.

Whooo hoo!! I’m very excited to report that Operation Delta Dog is the recipient of the booth I’ve donated at the New England Pet Expo!

I am thrilled to have them as my neighbor at the expo, and delighted to be able to contribute to this worthy organization.  Visit them  https://www.operationdeltadog.org/.

ODD vet and dog pic

Heartbroken Princess

She said, “I’m heartbroken.”

A woman invited me to her home to meet with her Boston Terrier, a sweet girl named Princess.  Princess was not herself lately, she seemed worried and down.  Princess eagerly told me how she felt.

She said, “I’m heartbroken.”

Her emotion filled message brought me to my knees. I scoop her up and held her while she explained her situation at home.  She explained that family has left and she does not know why they do not come back.

As it turns out there had been a lot of family changes that year.  First, her long time cat companion crossed over.  Then her people divorced.  Lastly four more family members who were temporarily staying with her moved.  This left Princess without that couple, their child and cat. The child was two-years old, and one of the parents was at home with him all day. Princess’ life was full and busy.  She became attached to the child, and she and the cat had become best friends.

As a result of her reading the woman decided to make some changes to help Princess feel better.  One change was her decision to share custody of Princess with her former husband who was happy to participate in the plan as he missed Princess.  Her former husband works from home.  Now Princess would again have his company all day while the woman was away at work.  Additionally, the woman found ways to spend more quality time with Princess on the weekend.

Client has given permission to share her story.  I do not share stories without explicit permission.

Agnes Rose’s One Song ebook

Folks have been asking for an ebook version of Agnes Rose’s One Song.  I’m happy to let you now that it is now available as an ebook for $2.50.  This book is appropriate for children ages 3-10.

Agnes Rose’s discovery
“There is something about everything in the whole
world that is part of me and there is something about me that is part of the whole world.”

Agnes Rose’s One Song is a celebration of our world and a way to honor diversity.agnes-roses-one-song-cover
Agnes Rose’s One Song is an imaginative solo adventure which connects flowers and plants, backyard elements, and even the surrounding neighborhood. The curious journal-keeping Agnes Rose leaves nobody out of participating in her One Song, and the sound is always grand! This story has a mystical quality and is beautifully illustrated with paintings of the adorable and introspective singing rose character and her backyard environment.

Here is a sampling of the illustrations.

Buy it now

A French version of The Secret of the Greater Mountain will be available soon. 

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

Saint Bernard in an Apple Tree

The animal communicator’s message told me that Bo Bear was in his unique version of the happiest place.

My sadness turned to joy when the animal communicator told me that she saw him in an apple tree, which had both the flowers and fully ripened fruit.  The message made no sense to her, but it was spot-on for me.

Given the choice Bo Bear, my 200-pound Saint Bernard, would have chosen an apple over a steak.  Apples were his favorite treat and toy, and he loved smelling flowers.  Our special time together was when we walked my gardens looking for new blooms.  He would sniff for a new scent, and then he would point it out to me when he found one.

Coming to terms with letting Bo Bear go was hard, but after his final painful period an appointment was set.   At home and on the ride to his veterinarian, he was weak and only slightly aware of us, but when he arrived, we did not lift him out of the car as we expected.  He exited the car on his own and walked inside.  He seemed to be filled with energy, and his walk was strong.  For a brief moment in time, he reminded me of the formidable dog he once was.

This was confusing for me.  I questioned my decision and whether I had the timing right, but the decision was made only after several thorough discussions with his veterinarian, and when my heart and mind knew it was his time to cross over.

I have learned that this lightness and transitory rejuvenation sometimes comes to animals at this time.  Over the years with my own animals and through communicating with other’s animals, I have two theories on why this may happen to an animal at this time.  One is that this boost comes to help them with the transition.  The other is that they view their passing differently than we may, and that at that time they do feel lighter and freer.  They have done the job they came to do, they know they did their best, and their person or family is there beside them.

The animal communicator’s message turned my sadness to joy, because I knew Bo Bear was in his unique version of the happiest place.

Dog in the header image is my dog Bo.

Massage is not always beneficial

Massage is beneficial for many animals, but it is not recommended for all animals.

Caution      Massage is very different from petting your animal friend.  It is a highly intentional way of touching, and the objective is to achieve well-being and health benefits.   Massage is beneficial for many animals, however, massage is not always the right approach for every animal.  It can be harmful to animals with certain health conditions.  Always check with your veterinarian before beginning a massage program.

Benefits      Massage can be a wonderful heath-enhancer for animals  of all ages. For the older, it is excellent for soothing achy or stiff muscles while stimulating internal body functions. It helps with ease of movement, instills a sense of peacefulness, and helps towards restful sleep. What a special way to show our seniors that we care and appreciate their many years of friendship.

And, what about the most endearing creatures on earth – the baby animal companions? Touch is an essential element in a young animal’s life, and massage on a regular basis builds a strong bond between you and your animal friend. During growth time, young animals can experience joint and muscle stress as their bones are developing, and massage helps to ease the discomfort of growing pains.

Massage is a nurturing, preventative, natural approach, which may be safely added to some animal’s care regimen.

Massage benefits

  • Reduce anxiety and build trust
  • Improve blood and lymph circulation
  • Reduce tight muscles, spasms, and improve muscle tone
  • Speed healing time
  • Improve skin and coat
  • Increase flexibility, gait and movement
  • Refresh after traveling or crating
  • Aid the respiratory function
  • Improve energy
  • Lessen discomfort hip dysplasia and arthritis

Find a massage professional or learn massage      Ask your veterinarian or check the International Association of Animal Massage and Bodywork’s (IAAMB) site iaamb.org.  If you live near New England, the Bancroft School of Massage in Worcester trains students in small animal and equine massage, and they may be able to direct you to someone in your area.

Linda is a 2004 graduate of the Bancroft School of Small Animal Massage.