Archive for February, 2012

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.

 

Kindred Cats!

Happy Cat

Happy Cat

One reader suggested that they would love to see more posts about cats.  This post is honoring that request!  I thought about this and chuckled as I am such a cat person! My very first animal that parents let me have outside of a cage or tank was a cat.

Here is a video of a study that asks the questions are you  cat or dog person.  Here are the Cat Person Questions.  Let me know what you think.

I am also a dog person, a horse person, a wildlife person,  really an all animal person and on and on.  I truly love all animals, yet we see and hear about endless differences between cat and dog people and certain preferences and tendencies do indeed define unique qualities that can have one identify themselves as either a dog or cat person or whatever.  What defines one as specifically a cat person?  Independent yet wanting to share their lives with some furry four legged being?  Someone that does want to be tied to specific hours to walk a dog?  Thoughts?

Friends and family are sharing their various thoughts on what makes a cat person a cat person….one interesting cliche…”Dogs have masters, cats have servants” says a lot.  Yes, they seem quite royal.  No wonder the Egyptians had worshipped them.

I cherish my time with my cat friends.  I feel such joy when I hear my cat’s meow as I come home, or their purr on my chest as I rest from a long day of seeing patients, or being awakened by their paws brushing my beard and meowing for their breakfast.

Neuroscience talks about mirror neurons and how we tend to mimic others.  I often wonder if this is one reason why people tend to choose animal companions that look like them or if it is related to why people choose animals that reflect different parts of their personality or physical traits that they like to reflect outwards in a greater way.  Is it why people prefer not just dogs or cats, but whether they are male or female, or what breed of dog or cat. How often do we see photographs or even books of photo’s of humans look like their animal friends.

I offer this question to my cat loving readers, “what makes you feel like you are a cat person?”