The Most Important Ingredient in a Cat’s Diet

Sindi visiting with the friendly residents at Friends of Cats shelter in El Cajon, CA.

Sindi visiting with the friendly residents at Friends of Cats shelter in El Cajon, CA.

The most important ingredient in your cat’s diet isn’t actually food. It’s love. Okay. While this actually is true, at least in my belief system, let me change my demeanor to one of a more serious nature and start again.

The most important ingredient in your cat’s diet isn’t actually food. It’s water. This actually is true and not true. Are you confused yet? Cats are 100% carnivores, which means that their digestive systems naturally process meat and only meat. So in reality, the most important ingredient in your cat’s diet is meat. However, the reason I filled in the blank with water is because our commercial pet food industry is producing dehydrating pellets by the tons and calling it food. Regardless of whether there is meat in the pellets or not, the fact that it is a dry food meant for cats is in and of itself potentially harmful. Why? Because, as I mentioned it is dehydrating. When a body, whether animal or human gets dehydrated it starts pulling water from wherever it can get it. Unfortunately, this means that moisture will start being depleted from the organs of that body. This, of course is detrimental. This survival technique of the body can lead to uncomfortable itchy, dry, flaky skin, as well as more serious conditions such as bladder and kidney issues.

water in glass splash

By getting to know your cat and his or her preferences, you can find ways to add additional hydration to their daily routine, including encouraging water consumption. Some cats will drink from a bowl, but you might also consider trying a glass or mug or turning on the bathroom faucet to see if they like the running water. The pet supply industry also makes water fountains and other devices that allow the water to be moving, which can motivate some cats to drink more frequently. I still recommend an all wet food diet, which would eliminate the need to drink as much, if any additional water at all.

Another survival response of the body is that it gets thirsty when it is dehydrated. This is so important because it will motivate the individual to drink liquid. This will hopefully replenish the loss of moisture in the body and if addressed soon enough will lessen the chances of permanent physical damage.

So, if you feed the dry pellets a.k.a. kibble to your cat it will hopefully drink from its water bowl to counteract the dehydration factor of the dry food. The reality though, is that if your cat is drinking from the water bowl, even if he or she is drinking a lot, most likely an adequate amount is not being drank. Why? Because cats instinctively get their water from their food. It is not a natural behavior to seek out water, even though they might at times do so. Both in a domesticated environment and in the wild. Obviously this is a problem when the majority of commercially manufactured pet food is in the form of dry, dehydrating, highly processed kibble.

Okay. Are you still with me? If it is not a natural instinct for them to drink water, how can they possibly get enough of that all important ingredient in their diet? By making sure there is plenty in their bowl. While clean, fresh water changed daily in their water bowl is essential, what I am talking about here is their food bowl!

cat drinking water from glass on kitchen counter

Nothing like a drink of water from their person’s glass to help a feline friend feel bonded! P.S. Kitchen counters are made for paws. Well in some households anyway.

Should you just dump water on their food? Well you can, but I have a better idea. Feed food that is already loaded with water, which would be referred to as wet food; fresh raw, frozen, thawed raw, cooked or canned. Cat food also comes in the form of dehydrated or freeze dried, which you need to add water to before serving. This is an alternative option for some cats. My cat, Misty is on a 100% wet food diet. But I still often add a little water to her food to add additional hydration. She also does drink from her water bowl on occasion, especially when the weather is warmer. Even though she is an indoor cat and our home stays nice and cool, the outside temperature seems to make a difference in whether or not she visits her water bowl.

Wondering how to help your cat or other pets have the highest quality of life possible? In addition to animal communication, energy healing and reading sessions, I offer personalized nutrition consultations for dogs and cats, as well as other animals. Just like with us humans, simply changing a diet can help lessen and heal a wide array of health conditions including, allergies, itchy skin, hot spots, hair loss, body sores, digestive upset, hairballs, watery eyes, arthritis, bladder infections, kidney issues, diabetes and even cancer.

Oh my gosh!!! Kittens!

Oh my gosh!!! Kittens!

If you have questions or could use some support with what you are dealing with, you can email me at sindi@apetpsychic.com or call or text me at 619-797-0705. Calls only can be received at my Oregon number 503-741-1344.

Thanks for reading! I look forward to helping you and your animal friends however I can. Have a wild and tame day! – Sindi

Look at the Bright Side!

Sindi and black cat at the San Diego Humane Society in their cat adoption gallery room.

I felt honored to spend time in the cat adoption gallery room at the San Diego Humane Society. And P.S. I LOVE black cats!!!

I tend to be introspective about the happenings in my life. I like to reflect and find reasons behind why I attract certain situations and people. When I am able to look at life experiences as sources for learning, vs. as “good” or “bad,” I am able to do just that; learn! I also am able to move forward and take with me information to assist me in other areas of my life. Okay. So I’m guessing you are waiting for me to get to some kind of point. I tend to go off in tangents, so I appreciate you sticking with me on this!

sindi at blessing of animals event with Nichole and doggies Missy in background

Here I am with Nichole and three lovely, loving doggie companions at the Blessing of the Animals event in Old Town San Diego last January. I was helping to raise funds for the Chihuahua Rescue of San Diego! My Chi-ROCK-Wah loved that part! 😉

Over the last several years as I have had the goal of earning a living doing what I love to do, which involves working with, and helping, people and animals. While I am fulfilled by volunteering my services, how wonderful to be able to pay my bills and feed myself and my dog, by receiving income from these same services! The fall of the US economy years ago brought on financial hardship for an increased number of people. I know for many, the priority is being able to feed themselves and their pets. Looking beyond that is an extravagance. Necessity overrides luxury when it comes to basic survival needs. I know. I have been there. Because of this, I greatly appreciate those that are able to pay for my services. I definitely do not take this for granted.

Paw Country Holistic Pet Care Supply Store logo

I love working at Paw Country! Come visit me on Tuesdays at 5652 Lake Murray Blvd. in La Mesa!

To make ends meet, while I pursue my passion and life’s work, I have taken a number of part-time jobs. Some have been permanent, like my roles at two independently owned pet stores in San Diego, Paw Country and Point Loma Pet Pantry. Others have been short term “gigs” like designing a website or writing a blog for a business, creating a resume for an individual and dog walking and petsitting. The two latter activities, of course, are my favorites on the list, since spending time with animals is one of my absolute favorite things to do on the planet!

As I continue in my life, so does the need to earn money. I have from time to time looked for more permanent full time work, with little luck in San Diego County. I did have the honor of managing Paw Country years ago, while the previous owner lived out of state. She wanted to sell the store and asked if I would step in and be the store manager during the transition. I agreed! I loved that role. It was a lot of fun and I felt that it utilized many of my skills. I enjoyed helping so many people with companion animal nutrition and other needs on a full-time daily basis.

Recently I was hired on a “trial basis” by another local small business. They started me out with designing their website. They liked my work and the help I was able to give them.  The two hesitations they had initially had in hiring me were:

  1. I wanted a higher hourly rate than they wanted to pay.
  2. I didn’t have experience in their particular industry.
Sindi and a Blue and Gold Macaw parrot

I was told by her rescuers, that this parrot was flirting with me. I believed them until she bit my finger. Ouch! Love hurts! P.S. It doesn’t have to!!! 🙂

However, they took a chance on me because they “liked my attitude, which is really important” and were happy with my marketing, sales and computer skills. I designed their website last week and worked in their office one shift this week. However, today I was “let go.” I went in and was told that someone else that had come in asking about the job had 10 years of experience in the industry and they were also willing to work for less than I was able to. Although I was told they liked the fact that I was a woman because they have about 60% female customers, they replaced me with a male and stated that they feel like he is one of “them” because he is so experienced in their industry. There is, of course the chance they weren’t being honest with me about why they were making the choice they were making. If they are being truthful, their choice makes sense from a business perspective. They now have someone that doesn’t have to be trained on the ins and outs of their particular business and they don’t have to pay them as much. If they aren’t being honest, well… whatchya gonna do? At this point, I don’t care. I have already pulled my energy out of the situation and am moving on. Instead of working there today, I am writing this blog post. Haha! Hope you are enjoying reading it. It’s cathartic for me to do this today. 🙂

The owner was gentle and kind while delivering this information and stated that he still wants me to help with the website, if more is needed in the future. During and after receiving the news, I felt a bit shocked and definitely disappointed. I had already started feeling like part of the team, but obviously my commitment was stronger than his. I was hired to help bring them business. They couldn’t really afford to pay someone, but were willing to. And from the beginning he felt like I was a risk because his area of work is not my area of expertise. So again, from a business perspective, his choice makes sense.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t just leave after he told me I was being replaced because I wanted to write down all of the details about the website, so he and/or the “new guy” can get into their account and easily to make changes. I ended up staying almost an hour after our conversation because I needed to reset the password and of course, things were moving slowly. You know when you really want to get of a situation and the exiting process seems to take forever?! That was this instance!!

beautiful lush gazebo

This is the gazebo just outside my office in the Mission Valley area of San Diego. It’s a great spot for meditation, a moment of peace or a relaxing break during an otherwise busy day.

So although I was as communicative and congenial, as possible, I didn’t want to be there. I wanted to go to my office to meditate. I wanted to reflect on this situation and what I need to do next to replace what I was hoping would be additional permanent income. The main thing is that it was uncomfortable and I wanted out of there.

Even though it was a “trial basis,” I had essentially been fired. When things in life happen, they trigger past experiences. When someone says, we don’t want you anymore, it brings up those internal messages that say we aren’t good enough. It stimulates past invalidation, criticisms and other pain. These are opportunities for learning and healing. When we get in touch with past pains and restrained emotions, we can then let them go. If we choose to do so. Then we have more room to experience joy, enthusiasm and amusement. In these emotional, uncomfortable, painful moments there are many options on how we can respond. We may feel hurt, angry, defensive or vindictive. Maybe there is even relief, especially if we wanted out too. In my case, I was able to keep my professional composure and complete the tasks I needed to. I certainly was not as jovial as usual, I was relatively lighthearted and seemingly pleasant. I was of course handling the emotions my body was experiencing in a public setting when I really wanted to be alone with them. I did feel hurt and angry and like they were making a mistake. Those were some of my initial thoughts and feelings. I could have crumbled. I could have chosen to go home and pull the covers over my head. I could have escaped with a sweet doggie fix a la Rock. (I can never go wrong with that choice!) I could have called a friend to vent. I could also have taken my feelings out on the business owner. I did none of those things. I instead decided to look at the bright side!

Sindi meditating

Meditation helped me to find a way out of depression beginning at the age of 18. It still helps me to lighten my mood and helps me to look at the bright side!

Sometimes it can be so hard to feel like there is a bright side when you are experiencing pain and feelings of self doubt and insecurity. But honestly, after going through the untimely death of my beloved dog Ginger, just seven months after the death of my closest relative, my Grandma Sally, being replaced at a job was nothing!!! Especially after only investing a little over a week there. Dealing with the death of loved ones puts things in perspective really quick. Yes, I was disappointed that I was not going to be kept on there and I had to confront some feelings of not being good enough, but I chose to use this as a sign that I need to focus more on my passion. I decided to use this as a motivating factor to increase my commitment to my life’s work. Instead of spending hours at their office, I went directly to my office and spent time meditating. I used the visualization techniques that I practice and teach to others, to release the past pain and uncomfortable feelings. I got in touch with my body’s anger and acknowledged it and used it to help cleanse some of the heavier energies, I was experiencing. I was able to free myself from going down a road of depression and was able to experience my enthusiasm instead.

Sindi and her Chi dog, Rock

Here’s my Rock! What a difference 12 and a half pounds of love can do!!!

I decided before going home and getting my Chi-ROCK-Wah fix, I would needed more alone time. So I came to the library. I am writing my blog from the library’s computer. Once I go home I will tell my housemate that I no longer will be working at the job I had told him about. Until I find another position to supply additional income, I will try alternative ways to build my business so I can help doing what I love to do; helping animals and people. At this point in my life I really don’t feel fulfilled unless I am helping others. Unless of course I am taking a break and spending time with my dog, taking a nap or sharing laughs with friends at a Happy Hour. But then again, doesn’t laughter and fun make the world a brighter, happier place? Aren’t we still then, helping the world?! And resting my body whether playing with my dog or socializing with human friends or taking a rejuvenating nap, helps me to replenish my energy level. If I feel depleted and exhausted, I have little stamina to give to others. When I am refreshed and full of enthusiasm and energy, I also have hope and optimism. I can move forward with confidence and faith, do my work, help others and have energy at the end of the day to give to myself, my dog and the other animal and human friends in my life.

Oh and… if you want to learn life changing meditation techniques, I offer private one-on-one sessions, as well as for groups of friends and co-workers. I can come to your business or your home. I also offer presentations and demonstrations, as a public speaker. And if you need insight into what is going on with your companion animal or your personal or professional life, I can help! I started my energy healing and psychic reading work with people. It was my love of animals that help direct where my career went. I now offer animal communication sessions, pet nutrition consultations, positive reinforcement dog and cat training and energy healing and reading for people and animals. And as aforementioned, I love sharing the meditation techniques that changed my life.. I love what I do and I would love to help you whenever you are in need of my services. 619-797-0705    sindi@apetpsychic.com

Below is a link to my first TV interview with the warm and kind reporter, Gary Kelley!

San Diego Broadcaster, Gary Kelley

Gary Kelley was the first reporter to interview me on TV. It was a fun and memorable experience. I am happy to say, we are friends to this day. Thanks, Gary!

CLICK THE LINK AND WATCH ME DO A DOG READING ON TV!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ps5gx6nRZM

 

The Two Minute Trip to Disneyland Part Three

rock on dash

I like to take Rock into all different environments for a variety of learning experiences. After one of our two (so far) visits to Fiesta Island, I pulled over for some meditation time. I parked and let Rock out of his carrier while I enjoyed some quiet time. He opted to climb up on the dash. Of course, I would NEVER drive with him like this! It does make for a cool photo though.

It’s been a little over a month since I last wrote about our “Disneyland” excursions and of course, a lot has happened. I will do my best to give you an overview and am sure I will revisit this topic again. Feel free to email or call me if you have questions about our education process! Sindi@WildTame.com or 619-797-0705.

The main piece of information that I would like to communicate, is that if you have a reactive dog, a shy dog, a fearful dog, an under-socialized dog, an aggressive dog or absolutely any characteristic of any type of dog, there are techniques and approaches to help teach new behaviors. You can also learn how to have clearer communication and a better understanding of your dog’s behaviors. If you have doubts, then I encourage you to do what you need to do to get rid of that uncertainty. Doubts are limits. They can discourage us and keep us from moving forward. It is necessary to believe change can happen. For change to occur, you must first want change and then you must believe it is possible. The same is true for animals. That’s why positive reinforcement training can work so well! We basically show them why choosing the alternative behavior is more rewarding and beneficial than the behavior we want to change. Animal communication, energy awareness and reading helps expedite things, by giving insight into a particular individual animal’s thoughts, emotions and history.

In Rock’s case, yummy treats, praise and affection are now more highly valued than any adrenaline rush or benefit that his reactivity gives him. That is why he now turns his head to look at me instead of lunging towards dogs. The point of reinforcement training, in my opinion isn’t to give them treats forever! We need to teach them the new behavior and make it the new habit. We need to reprogram their bodies with the new “default” behavior. Then we can wean them off the treats, praise and other rewards because it is then their “normal” behavior. It’s still fine to give treats, praise and pets because you love them. But it is best to have the eventual goal to have the behavior so ingrained these things are not needed to obtain the desired result.

Something has Rock's attention as he sits on my friend's lap at a coffee shop. This is one of the locations where Rock has made great progress. He can actually relax there vs. being on high alert as he seems to be in this photo.

Something has Rock’s attention as he sits on my friend’s lap at a coffee shop. This is one of the locations where Rock has made great progress. He can actually relax there vs. being on high alert as he seems to be in this photo.

The one thing that I find is missing in some training experiences is us people, making changes ourselves. Not actively making change ourselves, can not only slow down the educational process, but it can cause learned behaviors to be less permanent than we would like. I use meditative visualization techniques to assist me to not only reduce stress, but to also consciously create change. This includes confronting my fears and “issues” and changing habits. It is unfair for me to expect Rock to change, if I am not willing to change. As he moves from reactivity to responding in the present moment, I also let go of my reactive tendencies. Don’t we all have them? When someone pushes your buttons, do you respond calmly or do you react quickly with full emotion? Working with Rock has assisted me to be more grounded, more aware and more in the present moment. I had been working on being more consciously responsive and less reactive before adopting Rock. Him being in my life has definitely gotten my attention and helped expedite my personal healing process. So… thank you, Rock!

My approach is not one sided. I believe that in order for a newly learned behavior to “stick,” we too must be aware of our own habits and tendencies. For example, if your dog lunges at people on moving bicycles, then every time you see a moving bicycle, you tense up anticipating your dog’s reactivity, how can you possibly expect your dog to not react?! You are basically telling him and teaching him to do exactly what you are thinking you don’t want. If that doesn’t make sense, contact me! I have other analogies and can give additional information to anything I comment on in my blog. 🙂

Rock and I have both learned a lot. Rock enjoys going to the park now. And I enjoy taking him there. I am completely engaged in the environment, both what is going on around us and Rock’s reaction to it. One behavior that has become a pretty consistent default behavior for Rock I mentioned already. It is that when we are approaching a potentially stressful situation, such as a person with a dog, Rock turns to me. This is one of the most awesome things! Let me replay for you a couple of scenarios.

Scenario #1 a.k.a. THEN: Rock has been my companion now, for six months. When I first started walking him and he would see a dog, he would pull to the end of the leash, lunge and bark like he had no intention of ever stopping. He was fully committed to this behavior in this situation. If he could have gotten loose, which did happen one time, he would run to the dog. Luckily, he is reactive on leash and by the time he reached the other dogs (yes, dogS!) off leash he sniffed them, but it appeared to be a civil greeting. Rock isn’t reactive in the same situations off leash, as he is on. I know some people reading this may have a similar experience with their dogs.

I started working with him on walks about two months or so into our relationship. From the beginning, I really just went with the flow. If something appeared that I needed to work on that would be my focus. The main thing I was concerned about in the beginning was Rock’s relationship with my housemates’ dog. That is no longer an issue to the extent it was, but it is still an area that needs attention. After that situation calmed down a bit, I started focusing on the next big area, which was reactivity on leash when on walks out in the world.

Scenario #2 a.k.a. NOW = Rock sees a potentially stressful situation, such as a dog on a leash. He watches. Sometimes he watches for a long time. I let him watch, so he has room to decide what he wants to do. For me, I see the time spent watching as giving him the time to choose to respond vs. react impulsively, as before. Anyone who questions whether dogs are capable of having an actual thought process, would really enjoy spending time with my favorite guy, Rock. For me it says a lot that instead of seeing something that used to make him “react” and now instead of reacting he watches and makes a choice. His default response now, in this situation is to watch and then, at the point where he has watched enough, he physically turns to me and makes eye contact. At this point he gets praise and treats. He totally deserves both! If you do not have a reactive dog, or don’t have experience with a reactive dog, this may not seem like a big deal. For those of us that have had the experience of the impulsive reactions, know that this is a huge transformation deserving of not only praise and treats, but grandiose celebration!!!

Even energetic Rock stars need to sleep! He was watching and watching out the window and then just fell asleep in this position. So cute! I think he looks like a kangaroo here. :)

Even energetic Rock stars need to sleep! He was watching and watching out the window and then just fell asleep in this position. So cute! I think he looks like a kangaroo here. 🙂

A couple of days ago, Rock and I ventured to a place with even more stimuli than the park by our house. We went to Lake Murray, which is in La Mesa, CA for those of you in areas outside of San Diego County. Lake Murray park, I would nickname, instead of Disneyland; DisneyWORLD! Not only are their cars, people and dogs, but also ducks, cranes, squirrels and chipmunks galore! Rock did great! We kept our distance from people and dogs, but no barking or lunging. We walked towards the lake and he found the ducks quit fascinating. I sat on a picnic table bench and he opted for the table top, allowing him a higher vantage point. We sat there for 15 or 20 minutes. Watching the ducks like we were watching Dog TV. He spent some time on the ground, but mostly on the table. He had a little reaction when he saw a huge crane. His reaction was more like, “What in the world is that?!” And he gave a very quiet woofy kind of a sound. But when I validated that it was something different, but that it was okay, he went back to watching. Glued to the set like a football fan on last Sunday. By the way… I personally am thrilled that the Seattle Seahawks won! I used to live in Seattle and was so happy for them!!!

Before I go, I have one question for you. What is your two minute walk to Disneyland? What are you letting fear get in the way of you accomplishing. You don’t have to pressure yourself into overcoming all of your fears at once or immediately. Allow it to be a healing process. A journey of unlearning and re-learning. Discover the many possibilities that fear may be hiding from you. Make it a fun time complete with treats and self-praise. It’s your life. Create it the way you want it!!!

Want help with your companion animal? Whether shy, reactive, fearful, aggressive, overwhelmingly energetic or calm as a cucumber, I can help! 619-797-0705 or sindi@apetpsychic.com.

The Two Minute Walk to Disneyland, Part Two

disneyland goofy

Children may love to see Goofy, but he would be a scary sight for a dog that has never been exposed to such a thing! Sure he’s a dog, but just like Halloween costumes, Goofy could be alarming.

It’s been two weeks since I wrote and published my last post, The Two Minute Walk to Disneyland, Part One. Although we haven’t ventured to the park every single day, Rock has made great progress and is feeling more confident and tolerant of varied activities and surroundings. We have walked to the park, which includes the scary, noisy overpass 4 or 5 times since my last post.

I went from carrying him across the overpass, to us running across it, to today’s progression of, Rock choosing to walk instead of run. He walked quickly, but slow enough so that I could walk and his leash remained loose. We got about half way across the overpass and he decided it was time to run.

rock on guard

Rock likes to watch the world. It’s his Dog TV! As you can see by his upright, stiff tail, he is alert. On walks when he actually has his tail in a more relaxed position, I reward him with treats. I want to teach him that it’s okay to let his guard down.

Rock loves to watch the world around him. He also likes to smell it! While the park is a bit overwhelming and perhaps not a completely carefree experience or playground, like Disneyland is to a human child, it is interesting, fascinating and mentally stimulating to Rock. After about an hour at the park, which included sniffing like an experienced retriever and running free in the in the fenced in area, Rock walked calmly and in a relaxed manner back across the overpass. If you have a reactive dog or one who gets into “mischief” or an incessant barker, or any dog with exuberant energy, get them out of the house! Introduce them to new experiences. Our park field trips, definitely provide great physical exercise, but also, tons of mental stimulation. This combination is fatiguing, as well as fulfilling. Rock is a more relaxed dog after both outlets for his energy. Even physicists and scientists agree that everything is energy! That includes enthusiasm and joy, as well as stress, anxiety and fear.

rock sniffing

Rock receives praise and sometimes treats when he is more interested in his walk or sniffing the ground than lunging at moving people, animals or objects. And it’s working awesomely, as a way to teach him alternative behaviors!

Some wonderful responses to note include, Rock’s choices today to walk all the way around the fenced skateboarders’ area at the park without barking, lunging or in any other way showing signs of stress or reactivity. He chose to stand and watch the action a few times, but mostly walked around sniffing and accompanying me on a stroll. There were a few key times I rewarded and or distracted him with treats. I gave him a few food rewards while he walked calmly next to the noisy skateboard area, as well as when a jogger or walker passed right by us. He impressively, did not lunge, bark or react. Although there was one woman who walked by that he wanted to chase. He didn’t bark or even lunge at her. After she passed, he just really wanted to chase her! We went in another direction and he was fine with that choice after a few moments.

rock on leash

If there is a chance your dog may pull or lunge while on leash, I recommend using a harness collar, like this Puppy One harness on Rock. Your dog will be less likely to damage his trachea or otherwise harm himself with a harness. It is humane, unlike prong, choke or shock collars. A comfortable harness is a safer option than a regular neck collar too. And although a Houdini dog can wiggle out of anything, a harness will be more difficult.

For the amount of time we spent at the park, I really didn’t give a lot of treat rewards. I didn’t have to. His time sniffing and exploring was reward enough, not quite Disneyland, but perhaps more like a day at Cub Scout’s or Boy Scout’s camp. Interesting and educational and experiences that built confidence and maturity with some fun thrown in.

Well… I am going to have to have at least one more part to this story! So much more to tell, but I want to cuddle up with my Rock and go to sleep.

sindi and rock cropped

Me and my Rock.

If you want help with your dog, whether reactive, shy or just in need of some education, call me at 619-797-0705. You can also email me at sindi@wildtame.com. And… Happy New Year to you and yours! Wishing you the courage to confront yourself, to not only help yourself, but also your companion animals.

I will be in Yuma, Arizona on January 16 and January 17. If you would like an in-person animal communication reading, positive reinforcement training session or nutrition and holistic pet care consultation, let me know! Secure your spot by calling me at 619-797-0705 or emailing sindi@wildtame.com.

The Two Minute Walk to Disneyland, Part One

Rock licking my face

This loving guy shows affection in this photo. An extreme side to his affection, is his protective nature.

I recently adopted a new dog friend, who I have named Rock. He is an adorable, fun and very smart Chihuahua. He is also my first little dog. Although he really isn’t little at all. He is a big soul in a small body. And he is very glad I added that last part, as it is an important fact!

Rock has a long list of attributes that I dearly love. Along with these lovely characteristics, he has some behaviors that I am working with him to change. Not because they are “bad” behaviors. I want him to be as confident and low stress as possible in his life. I also want to be able to bring him with me on outings and have him be comfortable. Just as his behaviors aren’t “bad,” nor is he a “bad” dog because he expresses them. In fact, I don’t believe there is such a thing as a “bad dog.” I really don’t. There are dogs that have not been well educated in the ways of the human world and they are left to struggle through life. They are often reprimanded with non-beneficial negativity and harmful harshness. All the while, they are just waiting for someone to give them a clear message. Patiently wondering what is expected of them.

dog confused cute littlee dog

Tell me what to do and I’ll do it, but please be clear because your human rules can be really confusing. Some of them don’t make any sense at all. Like why shouldn’t I jump up on people? Haven’t you watched Animal Planet? Wolves jump on each other all the time. But if you don’t want me to do that, then teach me what to do instead, and I’ll learn really fast!

As an animal communicator and pet psychic, I see so often that a dog, cat or other animal is simply in need of additional information. They are missing a piece of the puzzle that their humans may think they should know. These animals are confused, due to mixed messages or because they haven’t been shown an alternative behavior to their current ones. You can’t just tell a dog not to do something. You need to help them learn what you would like them to do instead. You need to give them something else to do with that energy. “No” means more to you than it does to them. Even if that word gets them to stop their behavior, it doesn’t teach them. This is why you have to keep saying it when the exhibit the undesired behavior. Again, it is imperative that you help them to learn what behavior you want them to do instead. It helps expedite their learning if you show them that the desired behavior is even more enjoyable than the old one! They may get an adrenaline rush from lunging and barking at the dog across the street. But if when they are calm they get a favorite treat, they can learn that calmness brings them something better than that excited, reactive behavior.

Hailey on Sindis lap cropped

This beautiful cat is named, Hailey. She is currently available for adoption at the San Diego Humane Society at 5500 Gaines St., in San Diego. I met her when I spent some time in their Adoption Gallery getting my kitty fix!

If a dog or cat or person for that matter, actually learns and chooses to change their behavior, they do it voluntarily. This is what we want. We want our companion animals to learn and then decide on their own, without being forced. The new behavior becomes a new habit and replaces the previous conditioned response. If your pet is not treat motivated, you may need to find some type of food that they really, really love and don’t get at any other time. You can also use a favorite toy, squeaker ball or anything else that is of high value, including praise and affection. Every soul is different. Adjust the reward to fit the one being educated for optimal results.

Back to my awesome new companion, Rock, who I also refer to as, Rocky. And just like the movie version a.k.a. Sylvester Stallone’s, Rocky Balboa, my Rock is complete with boxing gloves, doubled as cute white paws! I’ve been working with Sir Rock on helping him to replace excited, fear based, reactive behavior with calm, confident, behavior. My intent is to help him overcome his fears so he feels more secure and in charge. This will help him to be able to respond, vs. impulsively react. He’s making great progress, as he learns alternative behaviors. Instead of growling, barking and lunging, he can calmly watch and with confidence decide whether it is really something to fear or not. In general he has demonstrated that he is learning that the world is not as scary of a place as he thought!

One thing I have been increasing is the amount of activity in his day. Not only physical exertion, but also mental stimulation. This has come in the form of running off leash in a nearby fenced area in an neighborhood park and introducing new environments and people in his life. Mental stimulation, learning, experiencing new things and exercise are all beneficial outlets for his energy and help satisfy his intellect and curiosity. I usually drive to the park, but the last two days, we walked there for some extra stimulation and opportunities for learning. To get to the park, we need to walk on a busy street, which includes an overpass with a noisy freeway underneath. Very seldom does Rock shiver, as some Chihuahuas do when afraid or excited. However, when we walk on that street and the overpass, it is a scary experience for Rock and he does shiver. I decided to carry him over the overpass both days. As his confidence builds, my goal is to calmly walk across with him on the ground.

disneyland mickey mouse clockOnce on the other side of the overpass, we are at the park. The park and all of its amazing smells and sights, as well as the fenced in area where he can roam free off leash, I compare to Disneyland for a human child. My thought is that by pushing through his fear of walking over that overpass, leads to a great reward; Disneyland! This park is, Doggie Disneyland. This is his two minute walk to Disneyland! The walk is scary, but the reward is amazing! Is it worth the two minute walk through fear to get to the fun on the other side?

I was sharing this with one of my dog training clients today and he asked, “So does he realize that the park is Disneyland?” I laughed because today was not a Disneyland day, but it was a great day of learning. I responded, “Not yet.” To me the three most important aspects of animal training are 1) Patience 2) Compassion and 3) Going with the Flow! If I was going to add a fourth, it would be that training is not going to be “perfect.” Nothing is perfect on this earth and the attempt to achieve perfection will leave you frustrated and invalidated. “Perfection” is rigid. Life is fluid. That’s where going with the flow comes in!

I am going to add a Part II to this blog post. I am facilitating a Pet Loss Support Group with a guided meditation in San Diego at my Mission Valley office location tonight. I need to go get ready for that. But I will write more soon. In the meantime, if you need help building your animal companion’s confidence and helping them confront their fear and reach the Disneyland reward, call me at 619-797-0705 or email me at sindi@wildtame.com. It makes me happy to know that you read this. Thank you!!! -Sindi 🙂

Dog Training with a Twist

Sindi and Ginger say, "Hi" with a High 5!

Sindi and Ginger High 5 it!

Regardless of the age of your dog, it is likely there are one or more behaviors you may wish to curb, at least a little bit. Perhaps it’s rushing the door when opened, jumping on visitors, stealing the cat’s food or lunging at other dogs when on a walk. Every dog is different. Regardless of breed, each dog has had its own life of varied experiences that help him decide, whether consciously, or otherwise, just how to act or react in any given situation.

Personally, I believe you can educate a dog at any age. Just like with us humans, the more ingrained a particular habit or pattern, the longer it may take to unlearn it, but it can be done! There are all different forms of training. I have found that within each school of thought lives a still varied understanding and approach. No two people are exactly alike, so no two trainers will be exactly alike. Not only in personality, but also in natural instincts and learned philosophies.

Canine Education a.k.a. Dog Training a.k.a. Treat Distribution

Canine Education a.k.a. Dog Training a.k.a. Treat Distribution

Along with positive reinforcement techniques, the basis of my training approach is energy and communication, which to me, go hand in hand. Without saying a word we are communicating, not only to our companion animals, but to other animals and people around us. Those we know, as well as strangers on the street. We all impact each other. To effectively and truly “train” a dog, we must also “train” ourselves. It is unfair and not at all compassionate to expect our animal friends to change, while we don’t have to. If your dog has a “bad habit,” you may unknowingly be contributing to the problem. You must be willing to change your behavior, if you expect your dog to change his. You must confront yourself, your own insecurities and beliefs and identify the energy you are projecting, if you want training to encourage the changing of a behavior long term.

My dog, Ginger who sadly passed away earlier this year, was and is, one of my greatest teachers in life. She was both intuitive and intelligent. She loved food, praise, playtime and affection, so training her new skills and behaviors was relatively easy in most cases. She was a fast and eager learner! The problem came when I began to slack off on the part I was to play. Here’s an example. When helping her with the learning process of not charging out the door, she responded well and learned to sit and wait until I left first. However! After a while I became inconsistent. I allowed her to walk out first. She, of course resorted back to her previously learned skill of walking out in front of me due to my laziness and non-commitment to one sole choice. Her response could be seen as, “Oh… we’re not doing that other thing anymore. Okay?! No problem! I can be flexible too!”

Rock licking my face

Sindi and her dog friend, Rock!

When we are not consistent, we give unclear, mixed messages. This can leave your dog confused and potentially frustrated. And in the case of my Ginger, a dog that doesn’t consistently use her newly learned behavior. When you aren’t consistent, you will, understandably, be less likely to end up with the desired behavior, as a result. Our inconsistency can interfere with our animal friends knowing exactly what role they are supposed to play. To be effective leaders, pet parents, teachers or however you want to term yourself in relation to your dog, we must take responsibility for ourselves, our actions and our energy. What are we bringing to the table? Are we afraid, anxious, stressed, angry or otherwise disturbed? This can and will effect your communication and your relationship with your companion animals.

This should not be incorrectly interpreted as meaning that you can not have your emotions or that you need to be in a constant state of relaxed bliss to have a pet! Life includes a wide array of emotions and experiences. Let yourself have them! When it comes to working to help train specific behaviors you need to be aware of your energy. If you are going through a tough time and having difficulty being at least somewhat calm and neutral, it may be best to take some time out for yourself. Our emotions are communications from our body that are essential for us to pay attention to. It’s like putting the oxygen mask on yourself first. Look at yourself, take care of yourself and after you are rested and rejuvenated and feel more at ease, then consider revisiting your training sessions. When you feel ready to enjoy some playtime and learning with your dog, go for it! It’s never to late for them or us to change the game!

If you are interested in learning more about Sindi’s compassionate, effective, energy and reality based training approach, contact her at 619-797-0705 or sindi@apetpsychic.com. There are other trainers that Sindi recommends for one-on-one training and classes, as well. When you contact Sindi, she will happily provide additional referrals depending on your individual situation and needs.

P.S. Sindi can help with your cat training needs, as well as other animal behavior assistance. Just ask! If she can’t help herself, she most likely knows someone that can! Sindi’s priority is to help animals and their people. She is here for you! 619-797-0705

 

Polite Dog Calming Signals

Looking away, sniffing the ground, licking lips and seeming to ignore are polite, “calming signals” to dogs.

Just as we have information that can be helpful to our companion animals, so do they have some lessons for us. I have learned so much about myself and human behavior, from observing and interacting with animals.

My dog, Ginger and I recently moved into a new neighborhood. We go on numerous walks everyday. During our journeys we have met many neighbors. One new neighbor is a dog that barks at us, protecting her territory, every time we pass her yard. In response to the barks, Ginger, would promptly begin giving the dog “calming signals” to communicate that she is not a threat and she respects the dog’s territory. Ginger was using these behaviors and silent communication tools in an attempt to calm the other dog.

Calming signals are a communication from one dog to the other. At first glance they may appear to be one dog simply ignoring the other. In actuality, the dog that seems to not be interested or paying attention, is in fact very much aware. As was the case of Ginger in her attempt to calm the other dog. Ginger would get some distance from the fence and would look away and either keep walking by with her head looking forward, avoiding eye contact or she would sniff at the ground, while walking. When your dog looks like she isn’t doing much, she is often doing a lot! Ginger’s behaviors were clear communications to the barking, protective dog that she had no desire to harm or challenge her or invade her territory. She was a friend, not a foe!

These same interactions happened whenever we would pass and the dog was in her yard. I noticed that sometimes she had biscuits on the porch. She would stand on the porch and bark from there, very obviously guarding what was even more important than her yard; her tasty treats! Ginger never echoed the dog’s barking or responded in any excited physical, non-verbal or audible way. Then one day last week, everything changed.

On that particular day, as we began to pass by the house I saw that the dog quickly ate her biscuits when she saw us. Meanwhile, instead of slowly passing, my dog stopped. I saw that today was going to be a different type of day for these two beauties! I said to Ginger, “Oh. You want to say hi to the doggie today.” She wagged her tail as she waited for the other dog to approach. There were no barks from the other dog. She had protected her treats by eating them and then without any sound, came down off the porch. The two dogs met at the fence and sniffed each other, looking towards each other while both wagged their tails.

It took time and patience on Ginger’s part, but they were now officially friends! The dog learned that Ginger was not a threat and that it was okay for us to walk by and also to approach. I never tried to force the relationship or even encourage things one way or the other. I allowed them the space to work things out, not having any investment in whether it ever progressed beyond what it had been. On their own, they took the time they needed to get to know each other. Ginger helped create a safe place and when our neighbor dog felt safe enough, the relationship changed. The neighbor dog was able to let go of her fear, let down her guard, allow herself to trust and reciprocate Ginger’s friendly gestures.

There was something else that was different about this day. In the yard next door to Ginger’s new friend was another dog. Although he had a stockier build, he looked very similar to Ginger’s new friend, but I was told they are not related. After enjoying a few minutes of new found friendship with the female neighbor, Ginger and the male neighbor were instantly excited to see each other and approached each other with little hesitation. The two greeted, smelling each other through the fence, wagging tails and showing genuine excitement to have met each other. Ginger started bowing, exhibiting her desire to play. She went to the gate and looked at me, trying to convince me I should open it so they could play. Instant puppy love! Although I couldn’t open up the gate or take away the fence barrier between them, I did share in the excitement of this new bond. I enjoyed watching both friendships blossom.

How people express politeness when greeting, is very different from how a dog with “good” manners might greet another dog.

Obviously there are a number of lessons that can be taken from this experience. But the main one that I want to share is that all relationships are different. All friendships are different. Each individual soul is unique. It is the two unique souls coming together that create the interaction. Since no two souls are exactly alike, it is impossible for any union to be exactly the same.

Some meetings are immediate connections of kindred souls. Others have challenges and may take time, patience, kindness and compassion to work through. Even if there is fear, avoidance or not seeing eye to eye in the beginning, that doesn’t mean there isn’t the potential for friendship or at least, civil communication.

Below are some examples of canine calming signals. Watch dogs’ interactions to see if you can spot them while they are happening! You can even try them yourself, with your dog to enhance your communication and display greater understanding.

  • Turning the head or body to the side or away
  • Looking away or averting the eyes
  • Licking lips
  • Yawning
  • Sniffing the ground
  • Moving very slowly
  • Moving in a curve or arc, not a direct path or head on towards another dog

My name is Sindi Somers. I am an animal communicator and energy reader with a desire to assist with people and animals understanding each other better. Instead of training, I like to use the word, education. Because that is really what I see it as. Using a foundation of energy awareness and positive reinforcement techniques, I approach each situation individually. No being is the same, regardless of the body it is housed in. Dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, rabbits, fish and people; regardless of the species, each soul is unique. I offer long distance sessions for anyone, anywhere in the United States and the world. However, at this time I am only able to conduct sessions in English, so an interpreter may be needed. I also offer in person sessions, including home visits in San Diego County, and at times other areas of southern California, including Orange, Los Angeles and Riverside Counties. I am available to travel to your location outside of southern California, in certain instances, depending on the situation and requested dates. Although I am available on short notice, at times depending on my schedule, advance notice is generally required for all appointments requiring short or long distance travel. I can be reached at 619-797-0705 or sindi@apetpsychic.com. Thank you for reading my blog!

9.21.2012 – Getting Space

Sometimes we need physical space to be well.

Today a kind person, actually a stranger, called me to tell me that she noticed my phone number was wrong on the banner of this website. I have looked a the banner many times, not noticing this obvious, and problematic typo. I am grateful to her for taking the time to let me know. It also presented the important reminder that having space is important.

What do I mean by that? As an outside observer browsing my site for the first time, she noticed a discrepancy between the phone number on the banner and where it is listed elsewhere on the site. I joked to her that that is why I need an editor to help me with my work! A second set of eyes to be a more objective observer and notice things I may not.

It is important to remember to allow for energetic space, especially in our close relationships.

When we work closely on a project or are have a close relationship and/or emotional attachment to a person or animal, we may miss something. It may be, as in this case, a typo or it may be an attempted communication that we aren’t clearing receiving.

We need space to effectively communicate. The more tightly we hold on to a person, animal, idea or something we want to create in our life, the more difficult it is to actually receive and enjoy it. The more challenging it also is to receive the information being communicated. When there is no available space in between there is nowhere for the energy and communication to go. The connection is to tight to allow for energy to flow and messages to be clearly given and received.

During a reading there is always physical space between us. This also assists to create necessary energetic space.

Someone asked me recently for tips on how to more clearly communicate with a cat in their life. This kind hearted person is very emotionally attached to the cat and concerned about her well being and welfare. I suggested she consider meditating to help her to be in the present moment and let go for clearer communication.

The form of meditation that I teach and practice helps to focus our attention into the present moment. The more in the present moment we can be, the clearer our communication. Animals are in the present moment. Our own physical bodies are in the present moment. That which we refer to as the physical reality, our home, car and workplace are all in the present moment.

The more that we have our energy and attention in the present, the more clearly we can communicate and the more effectively we can create what we want in our life.The form of meditation that I teach also helps us each to have our own space. It assists individuals to get to know themselves and their energy. In turn it helps them to recognize others’ energy.

Creating space does not mean being unloving. In fact, the more space there is, the more room for love to be experienced. It is a challenge for all of us to find our way of being close while still having space. I don’t know if there is ever an end to the learning.

You are welcome to contact me if you are interested in learning meditation techniques to assist you in your communication with animals, people and yourself. I also have an email mailing list. I send out information and keep people updated on events, classes and other happenings. If you would like to receive my newsletter and notifications, email me your name and email address and a note that you want to be added on.

Thanks for reading! Have a great day! -Sindi

 

8.13.2012 – Psychic Meditation

Although I do a lot of different things, everything I do links together. I offer animal communication sessions, energy healing and psychic reading for people and pets, as well as wild animals. I additionally assist with animal behavior, cat and dog nutrition and training. The foundation of everything that I do is based in meditation. It assists me in my personal life, as well as my work relating to people and animals.

You can make any moment a meditation.

When I give a person information during a reading and they want tools to let go, make changes and heal themselves, I suggest meditation. There are many forms of meditation. I encourage people to find a form that resonates with them. What has changed my life is a unique style of meditation that uses visualization techniques to help the meditator to focus in the present moment and work in harmony with their body.

Although I learned this style of energy focused meditation here in the United States, and some may label it as a “new age” teaching, these are not new techniques. They were taught in the ancient mystery schools in Egypt and elsewhere, including where it is said that Jesus studied.

Seated meditation can be practiced anywhere!

Meditation can assist us people to be happier, healthier and more relaxed about life. The calmer we are, the calmer all around us will be, including our companion animals. The form of meditation that I teach and practice is an experiential self healing process that integrates spirit and body.

Psychic means spirit or of the soul. Because this is a soul based form of meditation, it could be termed psychic meditation. Perhaps a less charged title would be energetic or energy meditation. Whatever name it is given, I have found it to be life changing.

If you are interested in reducing stress, improving sleep, changing patterns, getting to know yourself and enhancing your relationships with others, you may wish to consider learning meditation.

Email me at sindi@apetpsychic.com or call 619-797-0705 to get on my email mailing list to be notified about meditation classes in San Diego and other areas. -Sindi Somers

8.6.2012 – Bunnies, Kitties and Dogs, Oh My!

Best friends, Sindi and Ginger.

I had a great weekend! To describe it in one word, I would say, “balance.” It included quiet times, lively times and both familiar and new experiences. It was balanced and it happened naturally and effortlessly. Some events were planned and some spontaneous.

I enjoyed quiet time at home with my dog, relaxing, meditating, playing and working. Equally joyful was my time with friends. This included a fun barbecue dinner at my neighbor’s, an adventurous girls night out and a visit with a friend and his new bunny to the House Rabbit Society in San Diego’s Kearny Mesa area. I also met my bunny friend’s two cute cats for the first time and had a home visit with new clients. My clients were very welcoming people; a wonderful family with two beautiful, sweet and loving German Shepherds. Our session was multi-faceted. It began with relaxing aura healings, which are a non-touch cleansing of the aura, chakras and energy system. The healings were followed by house cleansing a.k.a. ghost busting, psychic readings and animal communication sessions. What fun!

I love German Shepherds!

I feel so honored and grateful when people invite me to assist them on their journey. What I do can benefit anyone who is open to it, despite their spiritual beliefs. For me it is all a spiritual experience, but I understand not everyone has the same perspective.

The joy I feel when interacting with both human and animal clients comes from relating on a deeper soul level. Soul to soul. We are communicating in the most authentic way in a safe, neutral space allowing the letting go of facades. We communicate through mental image pictures, telepathy and what I term as, “the true energy underneath words.”

Some sessions are with people only, which I began in Western Washington State, while living in Seattle and areas north and south of there. Since moving to San Diego County I have become more known for my work with animals. I have a truly holistic approach to pet care. Holistic means whole and relates to wellness being a balance of the whole sum of all parts. Here’s one definition, courtesy of Wikepedia:

Holistic Health as Defined by Wikipedia.

Sindi doing a reading at Friends of Cats in El Cajon, California.

I get the information I need through energy communication. That can be experienced in many ways, including clairvoyance (clear seeing), telepathic (non-verbal) communication and other spiritual abilities. The main difference between traditional medical care and holistic care is what is considered. Although some health professionals are becoming more integrative, many in the medical field look solely at the physical symptoms and possible causes. A holistic approach more deeply considers the impact of emotional, psychological and spiritual imbalances, as well as physical issues. In fact, I believe that that which eventually manifests physically, initially was a problem in another area. Left unresolved, it festers and becomes more and more apparent on a physical level.

Living and working environments, past and present relationships and experiences, psychological stresses, emotional pain, spiritual dilemmas, as well as ineffective nutrition, lack of exercise and other physical aspects can all play a part in diminishing our well being.

I offer energy healing, psychic reading, animal communication and meditation instruction. My services can benefit people, pets, wild animals, farm animals and any living creature open to soul communication. In person sessions and classes are available throughout San Diego, Orange and Los Angeles Counties. Long distance services are provided anywhere in the United States and all over the world. To learn more about my holistically focused services for people and animals, visit the link below.

www.WildTame.com = Wild and Tame Wellness and Communications

Contact Sindi at sindi@wildtame.com or 619-797-0705 to learn more!