Kindred Assistance

Dolphin Connection

Dolphin Connection

I am grateful to readers of the kindred spirits project who are kind enough to share video’s and photo’s that continue to document how it is truly in our hearts to help one another.  Someone just sent me this heartwarming video of average beings confronted with a challenging situation and just instantly choosing to help  save these stranded dolphins.  Watch this video of people relaxing on a beach and then jumping into  Saving Dolphins.  Personally, each time these situations are documented of how we naturally want to help one another, it builds a solid foundation for demonstrating the highest good in all of us.

Thank you all for sharing these. The kindred spirits project is truly becoming a storehouse of documentation for who we truly are and who we can be!

 


Animal Morality: Compassion, Reconciliation & Empathy

Compassion

Compassion

A friend shared this educational video from TED talks on Animal Morality.  The TED talk summary states “Empathy, cooperation, fairness and reciprocity — caring about the well-being of others seems like a very human trait. But Frans de Waal shares some surprising videos of behavioral tests, on primates and other mammals, that show how many of these moral traits all of us share. In the midst of being “time-challenged” with seeing patients, I wanted to just quickly share this heart touching, hopeful, promising video of how humans can choose to act rather than some of the more violent, greedy behavior that seems to be in the news so frequently.

I am about to participate in a two day conference at Western Connecticut State University with Buddhist scholars, faculty and students on April 20 and 21, titled  “Creativity and Compassion”.  It is part of a preparation for a visit from His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.  Based on the integration of my personal journey and my professional journey, I will be part of a panel discussion titled “The Art of Compassion: bringing creativity and compassion to the ordinary tribulations of daily life.  It is heartening to see how compassion, empathy, creativity, are being recognized as essential behaviors as we choose to evolve to a more conscious world, all working together for the benefit of the common good.

Enjoy this educational video and recognize we all are able to make choices regarding our behaviors.  Let us choose ones that are moral and for the benefit of all beings!

 


National Museum of Animals and Society

The beliefs, philosophy and concepts of the Kindred Spirits Project seems to be evolving in the collective consciousness of society recently.  My dear friend and colleague, Dr. Marc Bekoff has recently shared in his blog post about the creation of the new National Museum of Animals and Society in Southern California.  With all the museums in the world honoring so many worthy causes, movements, art and history, I am so thrilled to see the creation of this new Museum of Animals and Society. NMAS even has a tour titled Souls that Awaken Us and can be found on their Facebook page.

This museum, NMAS, is another physical manifestation of the vision of acknowledging a new level of awareness and connection between humans and animals.  It has been an ongoing evolutionary process, back to the future, so to speak, acknowledging the vast, intimate interconnectedness between humans and nonhuman animals and all living beings. It seems so obvious, yet, in a society where technology, competitiveness devoid of ethics and morality, darwinian capitalism and survival of the fittest seem to be the dominant themes, the healing power of human, nature, animal connections seem to have been less honored and acknowledged for their vital part in a healthy society.   Years ago, the Harvard based entomologist, E.O. Wilson termed this connection “biophilia”, the inherent love of all living beings.  I discussed this subject as one of the foundations of my book, “Kindred Spirits”, over ten years ago.  This has began to evolve into a  relatively new field of called anthrozoology that is focused on research on the nature of humans-animal interactions. It is exciting to see how this  field  is gaining a good deal of momentum from researchers representing many different disciplines.

On the anthrozoology website, Anthrozoology is defined as “the study of the relationships between humans and animals”.  The website states that “Anthrozoology is unique in that it studies the role of animals in the lives of humans, and vice versa. It has been called many other things, including “human animal interaction”, and the “human animal bond”.  The term Anthrozoology comes from the Greek anthropos, meaning human, and zoon meaning animal.”

These days it can be challenging not to become disheartened  by all the pain and suffering occurring to animals and humans throughout the world. It is a joy to see some positive acknowledgements about the importance of nature and animals in the survival of our world.  I am grateful that we can all be part of this new awareness and each of us bring this awareness to all our friends and our communities.  Check out these new worlds and museums and spread the great news!

Happy Easter, Happy Passover, Happy Spring and with the new buds and flowers blossoming outside, may new love and light blossom within each of us and be of benefit to the world as well!


Charter For Compassion: Vancouver

This past March, Vancouver pioneered a new approach to living together with their Vancouver Conference on 12 days of compassion based on the charter for compassion.  I am grateful to share with you this Video of Karen Armstrong’s keynote Lecture on the Charter for Compassion.  Karen Armstrong is a world renowned historian of religion, author, professor and winner of the TED Prize for her development of the Charter For Compassion.  This is sponsored partially by the Greater Vancouver Compassion Network (www.gvcn.ca)  as well as the Simon Fraser University  Center for Dialogue and the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education.  The Dalai Lama sometimes describes compassion as a generosity of heart.  This is all part of a new movement for a Network of Compassionate Cities.

The one thing I would add to this discussion of compassion is that they include compassion for all beings to include the animal kingdom.  When this happens, perhaps the oil companies will no longer use sound frequencies that have been found to kill dolphins, whales and other marine mammals, poachers will no longer kill elephants, rhinoceros, primates etc.  and factory farms will no longer treat animals like objects rather than sentient living beings.

I feel like this is part of synchrodestiny.  I was unaware of this network when I felt guided to begin my Kindred Spirits Project blog.  With my background as a veterinarian  committed to doing my best to help animals and their human caretakers, guided by my search for what is ultimate healing,  I had found myself on a subconscious quest which has led me to my own insights that compassion for all beings is one of the keys to heal the human condition and its disastrous impact on our environment.  I personally feel that by practicing unique mind body medicine techniques that I have developed for all animal lovers, animal hospitals, animal shelters, sanctuaries, zoo’s, aquariums, and any place where animals and people connect can actually become center for the awakening of compassion for all beings.

I will be sharing these techniques more in the future on this blog, in webinars, books, as well as various conferences for veterinarians and animal lovers.  Stay tuned.

I will keep this post short so that you can utilize your valuable time watching this special presentation at the beginning of the 12 days of compassion in Vancouver. Let’s expand on this develop a network of compassionate cities and compassionate animal care centers throughout the world!  What do you think?

 

 

http://charterforcompassion.org/news-and-events/article/60


Deeper Connections with Horses Through Love

Horse Connection

Loving Horse Connections

It is a joy to see the compassionate trainer, Jean Francois in this video demonstrating his loving horse connection.     Through his loving connection, he is able to train and enjoy such a deep, profound bond with his horses without all the traditional horse training tools.  As he says in this beautiful video, he is able to get these results through love and the inner silent connection.  Personally,  I find one of the keys to this deep profound connection is finding that profoundly quiet center in our hearts and cultivate and nourish that center and radiate out that loving connection from that center to all animals.  That is essentially what I feel Jean Francois is doing in this video. I actually think this is a possible example demonstrating my “trans-species field theory.   (more…)


Kindred Cats, Natural Care and Cancer

Healing Cats

Unique Help for Cats

I always like to share helpful blogs that focus specifically on different areas of my broader blog focus.  Recently I came across the natural cat care blog and was impressed with its content.  I found one particular post on an innovative approach to cancer in cats that fascinated me.  It describes a hands on healing technique developed by a Professor Bengston.  I am also searching for innovative, natural, nontoxic approaches to cancer, but  I must admit I am also a bit of a skeptic when it comes to hands on healing techniques that claim to heal cancer.  I would love to see them work, as the saying goes “the proof is in the pudding”.  I would like to see reproducible, documented results.  That said, the study conducted by Dr. Bengston is quite interesting.  His research titled “The Effect of the “Laying on of Hands” on Transplanted Breast Cancer in Mice”,  was published in the Journal of Scientific Exploration.

When a client asks me about my approach to cancer in cats, I offer them different options depending upon the type of cancer, the age and condition of the cat, the cat’s appetite and ease of administering supplements (liquids, capsules, powders, tablets), the client’s preferences regarding conventional approaches of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy vs. more natural approaches including diet, supplements, herbs, acupuncture and other complementary approaches or an integrative approach combining the best of conventional and complementary therapies.  I also share the importance of a human caretaker’s attitude and thoughts when around their cat and the impact that that may have on their immune system.  I  also suggest that they get the opinion of an integrative oncologist or at least one that is open to a more integrative approach and ask them about the specific success rate of the conventional approaches for that particular type of cancer in cats as well as the potential side effects.  I suggest that they inquire specifically what success means, living one month or one year.  The question based on all of these options is what is there quality of life like.  Cat’s really do live more in the moment and don’t think into the future “oy….I wanted to live till my next birthday or to some unknown future date.  Quality of life to me is more important that the length of time.

In addition to all these approaches, I would love nothing more than to see Dr. Bengston’s approach work either in conjunction with more traditional approaches or on it’s own.  I think that Liz’s description and perspective regarding this approach is valuable as well.  If you choose to try this approach,  alone or in conjunction with conventional and complementary therapies, please let me know what your experience is.  I always like to keep an open mind and hope to integrate more successful approaches into cancer care.

In addition, keep tabs on the natural cat care blog and see what their readers have to say.

The best prevention is minimizing exposure to carcinogens, feeding a well balanced, natural, organic diet and lots of love.

 


Kindred Neighbors

A friend sent me these photographs that seem to be circulating over the internet.  They remind me of how grateful I am to share my personal neighborhood with so many families of various species including deer, raccoons, hummingbirds, eagles, vultures, otters, seals, seabirds, etc.  I feel like our lives are so much richer when we share our lives not just with our inside animal companions, but also with the vast array of living beings that we used to share lives with when we lived in more rural area’s.  It is nice to see how different species can adapt to our newly recreated landscapes of suburbs and cities. In New York City there are periodic recordings of Peregrine falcons and other birds of prey that make nests on the skyscrapers or the odd coyote that makes its way into Central Park.  When I lived in rural northwestern Connecticut we would see the bobcat, coyotes, foxes, and here reports of the odd moose or mountain lion that would meander into the nearby woods as the greenspaces connected with forests farther north.

Certainly, one needs to be aware and cautious of certain wild predators as well as the potential tick borne diseases from ticks that are carried on certain species. In addition, some can certainly cause damage to landscaping and gardens.  Personally though, I think the benefits of sharing our lives with wildlife far outweigh the disadvantages as long as we take appropriate precautions.

The email going around jokingly calls these elk “street gangs”.  I prefer to call them kindred neighbors.  Enjoy the beauty!

STREET GANGS IN CALGARY , ALBERTA

It’s gangs like these that the people of Calgary have to put up with..

A bit different from the problems in other cities…

It proves that every City has their own “unique” gang problems. They roam the streets and yards night and day.

They hang out in even the best neighborhoods!

..and you CANNOT (legally) stop them.

AREN’T THEY MAGNIFICENT !!!!???

Thank you to whoever put these photographs up on the internet.  Thank you for sharing them. If you request credit for them, please let us know.


Happy Valentine’s Day to All Kindred Spirits!

Warm Wishes for a Joyous Valentine's Day to All Beings!

Warm Wishes for a Joyous Valentine's Day to All Beings!

This video shares the images of the wish of Happy Valentines Day to All Kindred Spirits

Wishing all Kindred Spirits a Happy Valentine’s Day!  May all beings feel the deepest, profound love that permeates all of life, all dimensions!  This love is within each and every one of us.  It is not getting love from food, treats, distractions, etc.  It is giving and receiving love from the deepest truth of who we really are.  This love radiates from our hearts in every moment.  Love is the bridge between all of us, between the form and the formless, between all hearts.  Love is a key to the trans-species field theory and global coherence.  It is our old programmings, thoughts, belief systems etc. that prevent us from realizing this.  From this deep love, I wish you all the love that the kindred spirits project wishes to radiate out to all our wonderful followers!

Blessings to you all!

 


Good Intentions Study

I chuckle sometimes when I  read studies that document what some might think is soooo obvious.  It is nice to see though that science continues to document  the beneficial impact of positive thoughts and intentions that ancient traditions and modern psychology discuss at length.  This particular study on the benefits of good intentions is one of those studies.  It seems like one of those “duh” moments.  Of course good intentions make us healthier and happier.

Neuroscience continues to document how our positive thoughts, intentions and emotions are not only of benefit to our own body, mind and spirit, but also have significant impacts way beyond us, to be of benefit to all beings we encounter and thereby to all beings that are encountered by the beings we encounter and on and on.  So simple, yet so challenging.  As I wait to board a flight back east to see my patients and their humans,  I get great joy by consciously thanking flight assistants at check-in, the security personnel, cashiers, etc. who are all just “doing their jobs”.  They immediately smile as they feel recognized and acknowledged as a fellow living human being, not just an automaton.  In reality, all of us, two-legged, four-legged, winged, domestic and wild, all we want is to be acknowledged and loved.  It truly is as simple as that.  If we have positive intentions and express them to everyone we encounter, we can and do indeed make a difference in the world, being by being, moment by moment.  When I enter a horse barn or an animal hospital, I do my best to smile, (most of the time) even during more challenging personal moments in my life.  That smile inevitably shifts to a more positive energy in the environment.  Neuroscience is documenting how mirror neurons, mirroring others visual images of each other tend to reflect back to us often what we are reflecting to others.  Once we realize this, it  might seem sensible, that we can consciously choose, as often as possible, to have helpful, positive thoughts and good intentions.  We truly are mirrors for each other.  We can be like that dark mirror in the Harry Potter movies, or we can consciously choose moment by moment to have good intentions and be a positive mirror to the world.  Good intentions stimulate good vibrations!  So as the Beach Boys used to sing…”Good, Good Vibrations”, let us all have good intentions and good vibrations!  Is this not what our animal friends stimulate in us and do for us when they whinny, purr, wag their tails, and show us their joy when they see us?  Let us wag our tails, whinny and purr and bring joy and good intentions to others!  Let’s support the findings of this study day by day.

 

 

http://mpm.umd.edu/Good%20Intentions%20SPPS%20In%20press.pdf


Kindred Spirit Canine Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome

Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome in Dogs (PTSD): Our Dogs, Our Selves

A recent article in the NY Times acknowledges that Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome seems to be documented now in dogs as well as people.
The dogs being diagnosed are service dogs in the U.S. Armed Forces.
It is no surprise to me that dogs exposed to such trauma experience what is now titled Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD). As a veterinarian and an animal behaviorist, I have seen many cases over the past thirty years that I would describe now as PTSD. In the past, one would see evidence of this in dogs after car accidents and then being fearful of getting into cars, shaking uncontrollably or simply refusing to get in one, or after loud noises such as fireworks on the Fourth of July or thunderstorms. I believe we see this in many species, elephants after they watch their relatives slaughtered or horses after a traumatic experience with needles or getting into a horse trailer.  In a previous post I discussed PTSD in Chimpanzee’s in captivity.
Personally, I believe that there is not that much of a difference in the nervous system of other mammals and us. Hence, it is not unreasonable to believe that they can have similar behavioral issues as we do. Unfortunately, it takes dogs exposed to the ravages and trauma’s of war to classify these traumatic events as PTSD. There is evidence that dogs search and rescue dogs experience depression and PTSD as well. There were cases of that in the rescue dogs after 9/11.
Dr. Walter F. Burghardt Jr., chief of behavioral medicine at the Daniel E. Holland Military Working Dog Hospital at Lackland Air Force Base feels that “the four-legged, wet-nosed troops used to sniff out mines, track down enemy fighters and clear buildings are struggling with the mental strains of combat nearly as much as their human counterparts

As the article states….”By some estimates, more than 5 percent of the approximately 650 military dogs deployed by American combat forces are developing canine PTSD. Of those, about half are likely to be retired from service, Dr. Burghardt said”. The article gives multiple examples of behavioral issues in the war dogs.
Signs, diagnosis and treatment are similar to humans. Treatment consists of behavioral modification with desensitization or medications, or a combination of the two. Recently a colleague and friend of mine, Vera Paisner, a renowned human psychotherapist, developed a new approach in dogs and horses, extrapolating it from people. It is called EMDR, Eye movement Desensitization and Retraining. She has had some excellent success with a dog in an automobile accident and horses with needle phobia.

It seems only reasonable that we explore new more natural approaches for PTSD in animals as we still do not understand the modes of action of medications in people, how can we understand them in animals. In addition, if EMDR is documented to help animals, then any placebo effect has been eliminated and we can appreciate how it can be of more benefit in people as well.