Teaching (aka Training) Your Pet Fairly

I have always been a “trainer”. I have trained horses and dogs since I was a kid. I enjoyed training and I realized the importance of a well-trained animal. A well-trained animal is a safer member of society (for itself and others).

Training always came easy for me since I could communicate with animals before I even knew the depths of my ability to communicate with them. I trained quietly, easily, and effectively. However, I did see nuisance behaviors as problems. I was just lucky I was able to correct these behaviors easily and effectively because I was unknowingly communicating with the animals at a deeper level.

I’ve changed since I realized how to truly communicate with animals. And as a result, my pets are happier, and better behaved (by societal standards). My dogs still learn the traditional “tricks” such as sit, stay, wait, down, etc. This keeps them safe when I need to be able to maintain control of where they are for the safety of themselves and/or others. They also know some fun tricks, such as crawl, simply for entertainment. It’s fun for both of us! I only taught crawl to one dog because it came naturally to him and he enjoyed it. I did not expect it of the others who did not show me they wanted to learn this “trick”.

So how have I changed? Nothing is forced. Not every pet I have will have the same level of training or learn the same skills. I have learned through accepting animals for who they are. I don’t use training as dominance control. I use it as communication to create a team. It is used to give my animals a job.

Also, I have learned the best form of training is prevention, not correction. If your pet has a behavior you do not like take steps to prevent them from doing the behavior instead of correcting them after they engage in the behavior. This works SO much better. Especially when you don’t realize your animal engaged in the behavior until later (minutes or hours).

Animals live in the moment. If you do not catch your pet engaging in the nuisance behavior until later (5 minutes, two hours, or anytime after). It is too late. Animals do not know what they did wrong, even if you show them. My heart hurts so much when I see humans trying to train pets this way. it just frustrates pets, confuses them, and makes them afraid. They know they disappointed you and they don’t know why.

Example of prevention: If you know your pet will rip up cushions or pillows, remove them from your pet’s reach before you leave. If you know your pet will get into the trash, remove it before you leave. If you know your pet will pee or poop in the house, put them in a crate. Yes, you will have to change your life a bit but they are worth it. And eventually, they will not try to rip up trash, pillows, etc. anymore!

Animals create nuisance behaviors out of boredom. They need to feel purposeful. Some animals need more of a job than others. Some want to lead an active lifestyle and some a more laid-back lifestyle. Some are strong-willed and some are submissive noodles from the day they are born.

TRAINING SHOULD NOT CHANGE AN ANIMAL. Training should strengthen weaknesses and focus on strengths. But it should not change an animal. You will not make a submissive animal as confident as an animal born with confidence. Some animals are smarter than others. And frankly, some animals are born with an “I don’t give a s&%* attitude”. You won’t and shouldn’t change these animals. Some animals are naturally outgoing and some are naturally introverted.

Instead, focus on using training to build communication around the animal’s natural traits. Help your animal grow, not change. Trying to make your animal into something it is not will only create frustration for you and your pet. And when pets are frustrated, guess what they do? Everything we don’t want them to do. They act out in ways we label as nuisance behaviors. Accept your animal for who he or she is and I promise your animal become the best version of itself.

I have made many mistakes. Even though I was a kind, soft, and effective “trainer”, I look back on some of the horses I trained and worked with and I know I could’ve done better. A lot better. But I changed. I realize now when horses are bucking, rearing, etc. They have a REASON. Sometimes it’s just that they are really sensitive and humans aren’t as a generalization as sensitive as animals. When they spook they are truly scared. Disciplining them in this moment isn’t helpful or fair. However, building communication and trust creates a relationship that makes these behaviors disappear on their own.

I changed. I got better. I learned to whisper more. No yelling. No “big” energy. I learned what works for teaching one animal will not work for all of them. I learned to find different ways so I can speak in a way the animal understands. Not expect the animals to have to learn my one and only way of doing something. I learned to see things through the animal’s eyes. The way the animal perceives my communication may be very different than the way I perceive it. And the same for any situation. I build trust. Use positive rewards. I allow my animals to show me all their emotions.

I accept some animals are scaredy cats. My best option is to slowly build trust with them. I accept some animals are high-energy, so my best option is to keep them tired with plenty of exercise. I accept some animals are going to do everything I want, the moment I ask, I appreciate these animals. I accept some will give me a serious run for my money and cause me to be creative, and kind and think “outside of the box”. These will take more time, patience, and effort but they are teaching me and I am thankful for that.

I accept every animal is different, just as every human on this earth is different. So I do not compare one to the other. I do not expect the same from all of them. I meet them where they are and I give them what they need from me. Read that again Let it digest.
I never try to change them or make them something they are not. I never put them in uncomfortable situations even if I know it is safe. I never break their spirit. Ever.

As their guardian on this planet, my responsibility is to protect them, love them, care for them, and provide them with a safe space during their time on this earth. Training can be used to help them, communicate with them, and happily co-exist in a home with your pet. But as soon as you try to make your pet someone he or she is not through training, or as soon as the communication is not clear or consistent with training, nuisance behaviors pop up.

Sometimes we have to acknowledge our way of “training” isn’t working and we need to get help, find different help, or find another way to “train”. This will lead to happier, healthier pets.

Transitioning A Pet Into Your Home

Our world is sadly filled with millions of unwanted and unloved animals. It is heartbreaking. However, I choose to see the brighter side. If I don’t the sadness is overwhelming. The brighter side is there are also hundreds of thousands of humans willing to open their homes to one of these pets.

Transitioning a new pet into your home is challenging, to say the least. This transition will test even the kindest, most loving animal guardian on some days. Especially in the beginning. Please know if it is challenging for you, it is doubly challenging for your new animal.

I want to help animals feel heard, I want to help humans understand their animals. That’s why I do this. My soft spot is rescue pets. I get a lot of sessions from new guardians trying to understand their newly adopted animal. I know how difficult the transition is for both sides. I want to help ease the transition.

Though much of easing the transition is specific to each pet there are a few things anyone can take into consideration when transitioning a new animal into the home, or dealing with an animal that is showing “nuisance” behaviors.

Regardless of how patient you are, animals, especially new ones with “pasts” will test your patience at times.

Things to remember:

* Every single animal just wants love. They don’t want to anger us, frustrate us, or upset us. They don’t want to be abandoned, neglected, or treated poorly. They didn’t ask for their past circumstances. They didn’t deserve those circumstances.

* Every pet tries their HARDEST to please their guardian. I have never met a pet that does something “wrong” intentionally.

* Pets that have not been only in your home have lived with many different expectations and routines. They have no way of knowing what your expectations are or what your routine is. They are guessing when they first arrive. They need THREE months to learn this new way of life.

* Pets are nervous, uncomfortable, and scared in new environments. Could you move to an entirely different home, not knowing anyone, and just be relaxed and settled in immediately? Animals feel all the same emotions as us.

Picture yourself leaving your home (even if that home has been a shelter or the streets), and moving into a new home with strangers you’ve never met. Being expected to know the rules. Being expected to be relaxed, happy, settled, and not make any mistakes? It would be scary, hard, and unreasonable. So please do not place their expectations on your new pet.

* Pets are at the mercy of us, humans. Everything that an animal knows before entering your home is from another human. The pet can not be expected to immediately change to your way of life.

* They try to communicate, trust me they do. But most of the time humans do not notice their subtle communication. So what happens next? The animal communicates more loudly. Biting, hissing, growling, barking, scratching, etc. This is NOT a behavior issue, this is a communication issue. The animal is telling you they are uncomfortable or confused.

These behaviors will vanish once the animal understands this new life and the human understands the animal is confused and/or scared.

* They come into our house and trust me they try. They try SO HARD. These are the things I hear from rescue pets all the time:

* I don’t want to be a problem.
* I don’t want to make a mistake.
* I’m afraid I’ll have to leave if I mess up.
* I don’t know what they expect.
* I am not settled yet, I need more time.
* I am trying.
* It’s so different than what I know.
* I hope they give me a chance.
* I’m not sure if I am staying yet.

These are the REAL words I most frequently hear from rescue pets. Heartbreaking.

My goal is to help humans understand so they can adopt, rescue, and comfortably transition their new pets in.

I want to hear pet’s say:

* I’ve made some mistakes but my family is understanding and tolerant
* My family is giving me the time I need to settle in
* My family knows I am scared and confused and they aren’t pushing me out of my comfort zone.
* My family is letting me settle in at my own pace.
* My family is giving me space and time when I need it.

Imagine what YOU would need if you transitioned into a new home with strangers and do ALL of that for your pet.

* Space when they need it.
* Patience no matter how simple the task seems.
* Understand even the happiest pet is going to be scared and confused and do uncharacteristic things.
* Tell your pet it’s okay to make a mistake. It’s ok to need time. Tell the pet it is loved no matter what and tell the pet it is STAYING. Reassure the pet you will work through miscommunications together.
* Have no expectations. Let things unfold in the pet’s timing.
* Give the pet 3 SOLID MONTHS. It is worth it. It gets easier each week. And after 3 months things will be seamless.

It is hard. I know this. I foster and it is like transitioning a new pet every single time. But, if you do it from the perspective of the animal it is so much easier. The transition is easier. The pet is happier. The human is happier because there is less stress and resistance.

And lastly, consider an animal communication session. I can tell you about your animal’s past, before you. Knowing what the animal has been through or the life the animal has lived will help you understand this pet and its behaviors better.

I had a tough one. I thought I would never get things to be seamless in the house. But my tough one, who had accidents and made daily mistakes in the house for 3 solid months at least (maybe 4 or 5) is now the easiest, cleanest, most loyal dog I have ever owned. He needed more time than average to settle in and leave his past behind. But he is so worth it. I now have the most loyal dog I have ever met, by my side, every moment of every day.

Adopt. Give them a chance. See the transition through their eyes. Know they are trying to communicate with you. Try to be aware. Be understanding and patient. And if you are still struggling, contact me and I’ll help.

You have a good animal (dog, cat, horse, etc). I promise. They are all inherently good. Everyone makes mistakes, even you. So please allow your animal to make mistakes too without holding a grudge, getting frustrated, or giving up. When your new animal makes a mistake or has an accident. Look into their eyes, you will see all they want is to be loved and accepted. They want your approval. They want to make you happy. So let the mistake or accident go, move on, and try to find ways to help your animal settle in more comfortably.

Your Pet’s Emotions

Despite so many pet’s being loved society places an unrealistic expectation on a pet’s ability to show emotions, especially dogs. When I communicate with the animals the most common complaint is having to repress their emotions. When it gets really frustrating for them, many animals will demonstrate behavioral issues as a show of their emotions or they finally show their emotions and are frowned upon for doing so.

Think of your pet’s as children. They are dependent on us and their communication skills are not equivalent to an adult’s. When you think of pets in that way, it is unfair to expect more from them. Yes, must in some ways adapt to our way of life as humans. Even though they are domesticated animals they are in fact animals. And animals live and communicate differently than humans do. However, they have instincts, opinions and emotions just like humans. Make your pet’s emotional health a priority.

I firmly believe we do not own our pets. They are spiritual beings with a soul. Our responsibility is to love them, care for them, and protect them. Our job is to provide a safe place for them. Just like our children. We do not own our pets or our children. Our children will grow up but our pets will need us to provide a safe place with love, care, and protection for their entire lives.

Why are animals expected to suppress their emotions and opinions when those emotions and opinions are undesirable to humans? Would you be able to suppress your emotions all the time? It would be very difficult and at times impossible. When a pet is showing us their emotion they are simply trying to communicate with us in the way they are genetically programmed to communicate. It is the only way they know how. Placing human expectations or emotions on an animal goes against every instinct animals have. And so many behavioral issues can be avoided once we stop doing this.

Let’s look at some examples.

Food. Why do some people continually take their dog’s food away or mess with it? Years ago we just used to tell people and children not to go near a dog when the dog was eating. These were GOOD dogs. But maybe just didn’t want anyone touching their food, exactly the way pretty much any ANIMAL would feel.

Now, dogs are expected to tolerate someone taking their food away mid-meal, and not show any displeasure about it! Imagine being hungry and enjoying your meal and someone coming in and just ripping it away from you mid-bite. And not knowing if you were going to get it back? Then, be told not being able to show displeasure? But rather, being expected to act happy about it? If not, you won’t get your food back!

Barking. Dogs are pack animals. They want to protect us. When they hear something they simply want to alert their family to possible danger OR something to be excited about! If you thought there may be danger or if you were overly excited about something, wouldn’t you yell and alert your family in the house? Or would you stay silent and hope everyone makes it out safely? This is literally how dogs think. They aren’t trying to annoy you. They are trying to protect you. Or they are trying to share their joy. They are instinctually doing what nature has programmed them to do. So instead of being frustrated, thank your dog for looking out for you or for sharing their joy. You might not want to hear the barking but guess what. Barking is part of dog ownership.

Imagine never being able to be vocal? All animals and humans are instinctually meant to communicate. So please do not place an unreasonable expectation on your dog and expect your dog to be silent.

Biting, Growling, Bucking, Rearing, Hissing, Etc.. They are telling us they hurt somewhere (emotionally or physically) or they are scared, nervous, or tense. A “harsh hand” in this situation only amplifies their fear, anxiousness, or confusion. Instead, get to the root of what is causing the fear, anxiety, or confusion. Humans don’t like to assume the problem is us or think we are wrong, but I can tell you it is 100% environmental or it is unclear communication from the human. Whether you want to hear it or not, it’s the human.

Yes, the animal can have “baggage” from a previous situation, but these triggers can still be handled by humans in a way an animal feels safe, loved, and protected. It’s a slow road requiring a lot of patience and understanding. But it can be worked through with the right human (someone who is willing to step back and listen to the animal).

This is largely what causes behavior issues or aggressive behavior. When pets have unrealistic expectations they become frustrated. Just like a child would. Just like any human would.

Most pets are never allowed to show anger, frustration, or anxiety. They are not always allowed to show someone they are uncomfortable emotionally. They aren’t always allowed to show their individualistic likes and dislikes. But the reality is, every single animal feels these emotions, and has its own likes and dislikes, and comfort level.

Some animals are confident, some aren’t. Some like to be touched, others don’t. Some are extroverts and some are introverts. Just like humans. Loving a pet and being its protector means embracing your pet’s individualistic qualities and making those fit into your family. Not expecting your pet to change. Would you force a human introvert to just become an extrovert and allow people all around in this person’s personal space? Nope. It won’t happen without serious emotional damage to the human. Animals are the same.

Humans can help pets thrive by embracing each pet’s individual behaviors, likes, dislikes, and opinions. Not all dogs will be the same. Not all cats will be the same. Some dogs will bark more than others. Some cats will be more independent than others. So when getting a pet, instead of thinking about what you want the pet to be like and forcing those qualities on your pet, get to know your pet. Get to know who that pet naturally is. Embrace your pet’s strengths and respectfully and reasonably help to strengthen your pet’s weaknesses.

Pet training is very important to help develop some form of communication between animals and humans and to develop some level of manners in animals. It is also important to develop a safe relationship between animals and humans (especially between animals and children). However, in some ways, it goes way too far. It is unreasonable. Let’s teach children differently. Let’s have realistic expectations of our pets.

Animals have a tolerance level just like humans. Every single being can only “take so much” before they snap. Animals are no different. But, they are expected to handle so much and never show it is uncomfortable for them. They are expected to endure anything we do to them and never be able to tell us it is uncomfortable or scary or simply not okay with them.

Unless their emotion is happiness, in general, most pets are expected to repress the other motions, no matter what we do to them or ask of them. How emotionally drained and tired would you be if you had to be “happy” all the time? Even when you weren’t actually happy. Even when someone was doing something to you that you were uncomfortable with? This is what (in general) society expects from animals.

When animals can’t take that pressure anymore, when they can’t express their true feelings about something going on in their house, behavioral problems develop. It is their last resort. Trust me when I tell you animals do not want to upset you. They don’t do things just to frustrate you. There are three potential causes:

1. They are unhappy.
However, most of society doesn’t want to see this or acknowledge this, so it is labeled as a behavior issue. This can be because of a situation in their life or repressing their emotions for too long or living under unreasonable expectations. We’ve all had times of unhappiness in our lives. It doesn’t feel good. So considering that, don’t you want to help your pet feel good? And be happy?

2. They are showing you that you are part of their pack. (This is an honor!)
In their way, they are showing you love, respect, and honor. They are protecting you (barking), including you (grooming you – gentle bites, licks, etc), and at times even submitting to you. In their eyes, their behavior is a gift, an honor. When you consider that, please show your pet appreciation for their kind gesture. Imagine how much it hurts to give a thoughtful gift to someone and in return be reprimanded or to have the recipient be upset about it? This is how your pet feels. Let’s change that. Thank you pet, give them a kiss and a hug, and show appreciation.

3. They don’t understand your form of communication.
They think they are doing what you are asking. Or, they are so confused they are showing their frustration. Considering this, give your animal the benefit of the doubt. This is the hardest one to correct on your own. Usually, if there is a communication block it is difficult to fix that without professional help. But your pet’s emotional health is worth it. Try to communicate differently, softer and quieter. (Softer and quieter always works better.). Or, get professional help from a trainer or communicator.

I can assure you, your pet’s behavior issues will start to diminish. Your relationship with your pet will grow. All because your pet will feel understood, heard, and feel confident expressing their emotions.

This applies to every animal. Dogs, Cats, Horses, Birds, All of them. They all have emotions, opinions, likes and dislikes.

The Rainbow Bridge

Today one of the dogs I was in session with gave a lovely description of the rainbow bridge. So lovely I want to share it with you.

“Let me tell you about the rainbow bridge. It’s a real place. We all run around free from leashes and cages. We all get along with each other. We have grass to roll in, flowers to smell and the sun is always shining.

We are healthy and happy. We reunite with old friends we had on earth (other animals). We rest when we want to rest, play when we want to play and feel constant happiness. We wait though for our human.

When someone’s human shows up a bell rings for only the animals that human belong to. The only animals that can hear the bell are the ones that belong to that human. No one else can hear it. So we all wait for our bell. As long as it takes, we wait.. And when it rings it is the most joyous part of the rainbow bridge. No matter how much fun we are having, or what we are doing we immediately stop, turn, and RUN as fast as we can to the reunion spot. The excitement is overwhelming. The happiness is overwhelming.

We will be together again.

Read Rainbow Bridge Part 2 (the unwanted, unloved and unnoticed). Read Here.

The Rainbow Bridge Part 2

What happens to the unwanted, unloved, and unnoticed? The animals that never had a home or had love

Ive talked about the rainbow bridge. Ive explained what happens when an animal’s person shows up. But what about the strays? Or the animals that never had a home? The ones that lived and died in a shelter? Or the ones that were abused and neglected?  The unwanted and the unloved? Who do they wait for when they are at the rainbow bridge?

To be honest, I had never thought of this until I unexpectedly got the answer tonight, from a dog, Diesel.  Diesel is a dog I connected with a year ago. He had been at a shelter for a year or more. Not adopted. He had a bite history, but more of a “nip” so he was still labeled as “adoptable”.  During his session, I learned the extent of his abuse and mistreatment. He IS a GOOD dog. He is NOT aggressive. He feels physical pain from his abuse. He has BB’s still lodged in him from being a target. 

He shared so much with me, including his desire to be loved. To truly feel love.

Fast forward to today, the volunteer from the shelter notified me Diesel bit someone and was now labeled for euthanasia. He is spending his last few days in a glass cage, in isolation, not permitted to leave. (But, the loving volunteer is going to sit with him on the other side of the glass to make sure he is not alone in his last days. She truly loves him. )

The volunteer is devastated, as I am. So I connected with him to apologize for humanity, to explain, and to let him know he matters to us. We talked about the rainbow bridge and how much better it would be than here. Free from the trauma, abuse, and constant disappointment humans have shown him.

I asked him if he ever had a human he loved that loved him back. He told me he hadn’t. So I said “there must be someone you will wait for at the rainbow bridge. Who will your bell ring for?”. He said “no one”. I said “ You can wait for me.  You are a good dog. “ 

So I asked him, who do the strays, the unwanted and unloved wait for? He told me if someone has helped an animal (fed a stray, taken in an animal off the streets, given it care, etc..) the animal will wait for that person. The animals that have lived and died alone on the streets, in shelters, or the ones that have known only abuse, neglect, and pain will watch other animals reunite with their humans. Eventually, they are noticed by a human, and they are invited to join the human and the animals that have waited for this specific human.  Even though that human was never connected to the animal in any way on earth. The animals that were unwanted, unloved, and unnoticed will be wanted and loved by someone on the other side. They will wait, not knowing who their person will be, but someone will notice them, and ring a bell for them. 

He told me there are so many humans that will take on the “unwanted, unloved and unnoticed”.  When they see animals that aren’t waiting for anyone, someone will “adopt” them on the other side. Similar to the way kind humans take in the unwanted, unloved and unnoticed animals here on earth.

This warmed my heart. So today, I “adopted” Diesel when it is time for us to meet over the rainbow bridge.

As you help the unwanted, unloved, unnoticed and sick animals, please let them know they can wait for you on the other side of the rainbow bridge. Give them someone to wait for. Be their human even if just on the other side. They will be so thankful to have someone that loves them, someone to wait for, even if the relationship on this planet was only for a brief connection. It matters to them. THere is no being as loyal as an animal. If you tell them they can wait for you, they will. For as long as it takes, they will wait, here on earth or on the other side of the rainbow bridge. They will wait, patiently and happy knowing they are loved and they have someone. They will wait for their bell. 

Read Rainbow Bridge Part 1 here

Meet Beans!

On my trip to Belize I met a stray that caught my heart. A brindle Pittie mix. He seemed to follow us around more than the other strays. He is a bit thin. Not terribly. But he has an ulcer in his eye that is terrible and face swelling to go with it. I think the eye needs to come out. Hes surely blind in that eye and the some of the other dogs pick on him.

All the dogs on the island roam freely. Collared dogs have an owner, dogs without a collar are strays.

I felt connected to him. Like he was asking for and needed our help. We (my kids and I) decided to make him our dog and help him. The CDC has ridiculous requirements to bring a dog from Belize (one of the 113 banned countries) into the USA. We knew we needed help. The process takes 4 months but we only had 5 days.

So we went to talk to the animal shelter on the island. He gave us a collar to claim him and said he could help bring the dog to the vet and to the main land for necessary requirements. Great start! We took the collar and went to look for him. I stopped at a coffee shop I had seen him at before. We ordered some food and I just asked the staff if they knew the dog and if so, did they know if he had an owner? I just wanted to make sure he was a stray before taking over someones dog! He was a stray.

Later in the trip we found out the dogs story. Island talk… its a small place (the island is 3/4 of a mile wide and 1.5 miles long). He was dumped in the ocean off a boat with another dog. Too far away from shore to swim to land. Someone saw them and went out in a boat to save them. “Beans” got pulled in, the other dog didnt make it. The other dog went under and couldnt be saved.

Beans was released onto the island as a stray since the rescurer couldnt take him in and the shelter is over capacity. There are so many strays on the island so its very normal. He had only been there 2 weeks. The coffee shop has been feeding him.

After I heard his story I knew he was going to be my dog. We found him, we put a collar on him. He is now ours. We are home in the USA, he is in Belize, roaming the streets but being watched by my new friends. He cant go anywhere, no cars on the island and its so small he is safe. I have the animal shelter helping me, the owner of the coffee shop, Ice and Beanz, looking after him for me (feeding him and keeping an eye on him) and the island humane society looking after him for me too. I am in daily communication with someone about him. He has a collar so everyone knows he is owned like the others that roam with a collar. And the people of the island know he is mine.

Although I would love to keep him, my house is dog full. But I am committed to ensuring he has the best future ahead of him. I will be looking for a foster/foster to adopt for him. And I will always be his safety net. He will always come back to me if needed. I want to be of service to animals, helping as many as I can. That is what makes my heart full.

It will take FOUR whole months to get him the necessary requirements for import into the USA. But he is worth it. If we can get the eye out before he comes home, great! If not he will get the medical care he needs when he arrives.

The island is small. There are volunteer vet techs at the humane society for 2 hours every saturday to provide no cost care (by donation) to the island pets. There is a volunteer vet one day a month for spay and neuter, minor surgeries and exams. Beans will get his first set of shots Saturday October 15th, and neutered at the end of the month (Oct 26th) along with a full exam to make sure he is healthy enough to make the four month wait. We want to make sure the swelling on the face is not a tumor.

After the exam we will know for sure if he will go through the four month process of coming to the USA or if euthanasia is in his best interest. Either way, he is safe, cared for and loved now. My hope is he can come home. But regardless of the outcome he deserves medical care and love and he is getting that, even though he is 2000 miles away from me right now.

If he comes home he will get all the medical care he needs and be looking for a foster / foster to adopt. He is a great dog:

* Gets along with other dogs (never saw him retaliate or even try to defend himself once despite getting picked on – he just gets knocked down, scared then runs)
* Gets along with cats (doesnt chase)
* Gentle and Kind
* Medium Size (will prob be 50ish lbs when in good weight)

He is a street dog though so he will need to learn house manners and have some training. But he is worth it. He is so kind. He jumped up on our laps for hugs and love many times.

If you are interesting in fostering or adopting Beans please let me know!


  • October 13, 2022 – I connected with Beans to see how he felt about all of this
    “When you put the collar on me I felt like it shined in gold. I have never been loved enough to be collared. That was the best day of my life. I hold my head higher now. I feel like I am worth more. I feel loved. Its all Ive ever wanted. To be loved. I feel like my collar glows of gold shine every where I go. No matter what happens now I know I mattered and I was loved. Now I am a happy dog. Some of my friends are jealous, they want a collar too. I will never stop waiting so please come back for me. Im ready to start a new life. “

October 27, 2022- Beans was neutered and received his distemper and rabies vaccine on October 27th. He returned on the 29th to have his stitches removed, ears cleaned and receive HW and F/T preventative. The humane society said he was such a good boy they were able to use him for students learning/interning for school!

November 1, 2022 – I recieved a photo and video from my friend, Marius (in Belize). There is a big storm in Belize tonight so he brough Beans to his house for the night to stay safe and dry. I am so thankful for the group of people assisting me in helping this beautiful dog.

February 6, 2023 – Its been a while. Ive been busy and havent remembered to post! Every month since November Beans has gone to the Caye Caulker Humane Society on the island for his FT preventative and his Rabies and Distemper vaccines. Every month. So thankful for the help from my friend Marius. Marius has also been inviting Beans into his home to get acclimated to house life. Beans has taken very quickly to house life! He LOVES is. He gets along well with other dogs. And he loves to curl up and sleep. I talk to the people caring for Beans mulitple times a week.

Beans has also gone for 5 days of proffesional training on the “big island” (San Pedro). He went over on a boat, received 5 days of training, and now walks well on a leash. Knows basic commands, and is very settled. He is ready for house life in the USA.

Ive been talking to SO many people about getting Beans here to the USA and I have an option that will allow him to come soon! Quicker than our original plan. Its must more costly but getting him as soon as possible is priority. Hopefully Ill be able to update soon with his travel date!!

Sweet Beans enjoying the good life he so deserves.

February 21, 2023 – Beans is on his way to the USA from Belize! He left Belize today and will be traveling to Boston by road transport. I will be picking him up in Boston early next week. He is being drive by Matt (from Honduras) of Best Friends Transport. He makes the trip from Belize 1x a month, he picks dogs up along the way in Belize, Honduras, Mexico, and USA southern areas where shelters are over full. He has never come up as far as Boston but he is this time!

The original plan was NOT to drive Beans 3500 plus miles, BUT, we had some snafus. Belize is on the CDC banned list which I knew. I was working with that. However, the process was quicker if I could get Beans through Mexico. Mexico is NOT on the list. But I didnt have contact. So we pursued to go straight from Belize. The hitch, the airlines would not accept him even in cargo! Cargo wasnt ideal but he is too big to go in the passenger plane area. The planes are made smaller now and there isnt enough room on full flights. In addition, the cargo area is not climate controlled so there is a very small window of time when a dog can fly, especially to New England. It cant be too hot or too cold. Its a last minute decision by the airline/owner. And last minute does not work with the paperwork needed to get a dog from Belize into the USA with the CDC regulations. So I needed an alternate plan. This is when with the help of others on the island in Belize, I found out about Matt. Its about 4x the cost to drive him than fly him, but, I committed to him, my heart is invested, he is counting on me. Dogs know. And, I already did all the vet work to get him “legal” there is no way I was going to let him back out on the streets… so this is when I trust in the universe to make it all work out. And thank all the people that are helping in some way. So back to his trip so far….

We had a hitch at the boarder of Mexico due to a small paperwork issue, caused a delay and some (ok, a lot of ) stress. But everything worked out and the were back on their way within an hour.

Beans will be seeing the vet shortly after arrival to see what the plan is for his eye.

Matt has said Beans is traveling well. He is calm and quiet. Im sure he will have plenty of energy when he gets here after being kenneled for so long! Matt is great though. He takes the dogs out of their kennels for potty breaks often and they go to the hotel room at night with him.

Bean’s expenses are going to add up and it takes a village to help animals. If you are able and want to, please consider donating to his transport and vet care. Beans and I thank you with both of our entire hearts!! Updates will keep coming!!

Donate Now

Do you listen to your dog?

Last week I was preparing for a hike up Knifes Edge to Baxter Peak on Mount Katahdin. My son and I were going to do the hike together. He doesn’t hike but he’s an athlete so I knew he was fit enough to make the climb. Knifes Edge and even the climb up to Paloma is quite daunting.  But ,we were totally up for the challenge and to some degree we wanted to be intimidated enough that we felt like we were facing our fears and overcoming them once we reached the top.

Our dogs are a huge part of our family. They spend time with us every day, all day. The day before the climb my blue nose pitbull, Titan, was especially clingy with my son Brady. They always sit on the couch together but this time was different. He was literally on top of Brady and would not leave his side. He had his head connected to Brady all night. We didn’t think much about it but  Brady did make a comment that Titan was very clingy that particular night.

We went to bed as usual But Titan didn’t take his usual spot at the foot of my bed like he does every single night. Instead, he laid on top of me with his head in my neck. It was hard to sleep but I was happy that he was snuggling with me. Throughout the entire night he was on me in someway. At one point I had to roll over because my back hurt and when I did that he crawled up into the crease of my legs with his head on my hip. Shortly after he was back on top of me with his head by my head.

I know he loves me and we spend a lot of time together but it was very abnormal for him to be that close to me all night. Literally his entire body on top of mine. I didn’t sleep well.

The next day  Brady and I headed up to Katahdin. We dropped our dogs off at my moms so she could watch them while we were away. We said our goodbyes to them and off we drove. We stayed overnight and woke up very early to climb the following morning.

Our hike started off  very uneventful and  Brady  did a wonderful job keeping up.

Once we got above tree line and started our climb to Paloma we noticed how windy it became. We were the first ones on the trail so there was nobody in front of us. We continued to climb despite the challenges of sustained 55 mph winds with stronger gusts (gusts to 65). The winds were so strong that they were pushing us sideways. We literally could not stand and were being forced to sidestep from the power of the wind. We were leaning on rocks to avoid falling. As we continued to climb up to Paloma the winds got worse and increased in strength.

Once we saw knifes edge we were in awe at the beauty and the sheer technicality the climb would require. I think both Brady and I were thinking what have we gotten ourselves into (due to the wind)? Without the wind the climb is extremely doable. But with the wind we would be taking a risk trying to cross knife’s edge. How would we be able to stay solidly balanced on 3 to 4 foot wide rock ridges with nothing on the side of us to lean on or catch us if we’re blown sideways? So We both decided it would be better to turn around and try another day. A day with more reasonable wind.

As we were heading down we saw a couple groups of hikers that were not far behind us and then we did not run into any hikers which we thought was odd. There should have been more hikers, It was early in the day. We later found out that knife’s edge is closed when winds reach 55 mph or higher. The trail gets closed for safety. The trail closed at some point after we left in the morning.

As we got back into the car I thought about my last night at home with Titan. I told  Brady what happened that night. I told him that Titan was literally on top of me with his head in my neck crease all night. It was not his normal Sleeping behavior. I had forgotten how clingy he was with Brady on that same night but Brady reminded me. We both agreed that Titan knew the climb was going to be too dangerous to complete safely and he was trying to communicate that to us. He was worried about us.

In the hustle and bustle of life it can be easy to overlook these moments when our animals are trying to communicate with us at our level. There is no doubt in my mind that Titan feared for my son and I’s safety with our upcoming climb. It is yet just another reminder of how incredible animals are and how deeply interconnected we are with them. 

When we got back that night we picked up our dogs and went home. Titan sat with Brady  on the couch near him but not smothering him like the night before. Then, that evening Titan assumed his normal sleeping routine with me. He spent the night at the foot of my bed sleeping soundly and quietly. 

Life gets busy, even for me as an animal communicator. It is easy for all of us to fail to notice small signs from the universe and from our own pets. 

So, please remember to be more present, stop and look around, and take the time to notice the ways your animals communicate with you. They are here as our partners, our guides, and our protectors.

Soon, Brady and I will revisit Katahdin and we will climb knife’s edge to Baxter Peak in a day much less windy. And we’ll make sure to check in with Titan and see what he thinks. 

 Do you have a similar story to share? Please leave tell me in the comment section if you do. 

Follow by Email