Pet Chatter has moved

October 21st, 2009

Pet Chatter has moved to a new server. All of the posts have been replicated so you’ll still be able to refer to your favorites. Please join me at the new address and by all means share your thoughts and questions.

I’m looking forward to lots of interesting dialog in the months to come.


Debbra, The Pet Chatter

Should we allow pandas to die out?

October 11th, 2009

Chris Packham, a British wildlife expert, incited a firestorm in an interview with RadioTimes where he opined that perhaps we should allow Pandas to become extinct.

Packham’s assertion that the Panda as a species “has gone down an evolutionary cul-de-sac of its own accord” is flawed logic. It is not the fault of Pandas that their habitat has been eaten up by development.

Packham is not very fond of the human race either and has been quoted as saying that he wouldn’t mind seeing us extinct. However, he does present a question worth examining. Should we intervene to preserve a species that is incapable of sustaining life? (Panda can no longer procreate without the aid of artificial insemination.)

Further, if one agrees with Mr. Packham, what are the consequences for other endangered species? This is turning Darwin’s theory on its ear. It’s supposed to be survival of the fittest not survival of the cutest.

Giant Panda, an endangered species

Of course, being an animal communicator my reaction was: Has anyone asked the Pandas what they want? What lessons are Pandas here to teach us? I decided to go to the source and get their side of the story.

Pet Chatter: What do Pandas think about their living situation and inability to procreate?

Panda: “We are the Panda and we say to you that our lives in the now are not what they should be. We were meant to live a more nomadic life, moving from one forest to another. We were once a great species who roamed many hundreds of miles. We lived in peace but did not hesitate to protect our own when it was necessary. Today we are so fat and inert that we are incapable of protecting even ourselves. It is sad to see our kind in this sorry state. The Panda that you know today bears little resemblance to our ancestors.”

“We were never meant to stay cramped in a small space. We need variety. Our lives are lived in limitation. We were once a noble species, vibrant and healthy. Because of our confinement we have deteriorated to nothing more than parasites. Without our hosts we could not survive. This is not the life our species was meant to live.

“What you call depression is rank among our members. It is difficult to find joy in our days, which are devoid of the pleasures and basic needs of our ancestors. We feel that ancestral thread and mourn the state our species has devolved to.”

“Is it any wonder that we have no enthusiasm for mating? How can we in good conscience sentence our young to this bland, boring, existence? It surely is existence and not living. You would not wish this on your enemy, yet you force us to exist this way. Please give us back our dignity. Let us live or die on our own terms. Surely that is a mercy that you can afford to us? If we cease to exist then that is as it was meant to be. Our spirits will be free to come back in other forms or not as we choose. You would be showing us a great kindness to end this madness.”

“If you do not stop forcing babies upon our females the day will come when there are no more beings willing to take the form of Panda and it won’t matter what tricks you use, we will no longer bear life.”

“We do not blame humans for the state we have come to, but we beseech you to consider our feelings and respect our wishes. Please.”

“Give us our freedom. We have become weak and dull. We are an embarrassment to our species. It would be a kindness to let us simply fade away.”

Pet Chatter: If it is so bad why do souls continue to incarnate as Pandas?

Panda: “Like all our incarnations we choose them for the experience. Some of us choose Panda because we have lived very exciting lives, perhaps too exciting in some cases, and this time we want something a bit calmer. It’s for the contrasting experience, you see. How can we appreciate being a whale, for instance, if we have never known the experience of being trapped in such a limited, puny existence? We do not choose to incarnate as Panda a second time. Once has been enough, although we suppose it is possible that one day a being might. By and large we find this unfathomable. That is why our species has declined. There are fewer and fewer who are willing to come and experience Panda life. One can only eat so much bamboo before one begins to choke on it. Life is to be savored and there is precious little savoring going on among Pandas.

Should you allow us to become extinct? Absolutely. What is the point in promulgating a species that is so forlorn and undeserving of the space they occupy? We were once a great nation but those days are long past. Allow us the dignity to close the chapter on this failed line. There are many other life opportunities for our beings to occupy. We will not weep when Panda is no longer a choice. Instead we believe it is the merciful thing to do. Our time has come and gone, it is just you humans who cannot accept that fact and allow us the dignity of passing into oblivion or the history books.

I must admit that I was stunned by this message. It was not at all what I expected. But after reflecting upon the big picture, I concluded that the simple fact is that Panda did not evolve to adapt to their new environment. It really doesn’t matter why the environment changed when all is said and done. It simply is different and clinging to the past closes off the future. The natural order of this progression leads to extinction. Panda has made the ultimate sacrifice to share this lesson with humans.

A carnival for pet writers

October 10th, 2009

The first edition of A Carnival for Pet Writers has been published by Pets-N-Things Online.

Thanks for hosting another fine blog carnival!

Oh breeder what hast thou wrought?

October 8th, 2009

I was watching a program one evening about the history of various dog breeds, including the Standard Poodle (naturally). One of the spotlighted breeds that I knew little about was the French Bulldog. I learned that through selective breeding of smaller dogs with a more smushed-in face, the modern Frenchie lives a short life complicated with respiratory and heart problems, some even pass out from physical exertion. In fact they are so debilitated that they cannot procreate naturally. They MUST be artificially inseminated and the puppies are delivered by cesarean section because the female hindquarters are too small to deliver naturally.

French Bulldog

French Bulldog

I don’t know about you, but I was stunned by this information. Why would you continue breeding an animal with severe health problems, doomed to a life of discomfort, if not outright suffering, that cannot even procreate without assistance? I have heard of other breeds that are so allergic to grass that they must live on concrete. How have breeders gotten so off track that they believe it is good practice to continue this way? Isn’t the whole point of selective breeding to improve the breed?

Of course a huge part of the problem is consumers who do not educate themselves and purchase debilitated animals. When you think about it, that’s extremely shortsighted. Who wants to end up with a pet they adore that runs up vet bills (so high they have to remortgage their house), and then dies at an early age anyway? When you bring a pet into your family don’t you want that pet to live a long, robust, life and create lasting, precious memories?

When you take a step back and look at the big picture, French Bulldogs are an abject lesson in Darwin’s theory of evolution and natural selection. Left to their own devices they would never have evolved in this manner and if they had, they would be extinct.

Please do your part to encourage higher standards in breeding. Research the breed you want. Then deal with reputable breeders who do health and temperament testing. Find out whether they are involved in improving the breed or catering to silly whims such as those that produced the poor French Bulldog.

Please click the Thumb This Up button if you’d like to get more people involved in the conversation. Thank you!

Animal Communication: Why do animals get hit by vehicles?

October 4th, 2009

A reader posed this question. She had recently lost her beloved dog to the road and just that day came across a beautiful black and white kitten who had been killed. She just couldn’t understand why so many animals died this way. She was hoping to make sense of the senseless.

When I brought this question to the animals this is what they had to say:

“You must understand that animals are more impulse driven than humans. They don’t stop and look both ways. They have a purpose when they cross the road, or cross the path of a vehicle, and mostly they are totally unaware of the danger. Animals can learn to watch out for vehicles and even some wild ones learn this lesson and practice it quite effectively. But they can’t help being who and what they are. They are alive in that moment and have a desire in that moment and it must be fulfilled in that moment. That is all there is to it.”

“After being hit and transitioning they are often startled to find out what happened. There may even be some regret but they generally shake that off fairly quickly and move on to their next adventure. Their ability to be in the now comes in quite handy in these circumstances.”

So dear readers it seems the answer is quite simple. Does it lessen the feeling of loss? Probably not. But just maybe there is some comfort in understanding.

7th National Dog Blog Carnival

October 4th, 2009

The 7th Edition of the National Dog Blog has been released. Thanks to Dog Spelled Forward for hosting!

Carnival of the Horse

October 4th, 2009

The October edition is out. Thanks to The Literary Horse for hosting!

Parelli goes to the elephants!

October 2nd, 2009

Pittsburgh Zookeepers “keep it natural” with pachyderms.

All it took was one person to make a difference in the lives of the Pittsburgh Zoo elephants. When Zoo President, Dr. Barbara Baker, attended a Parelli Natural Horsemanship workshop she found the answer to the question she had been pondering: How to work with an 8900 lb animal safely and humanely?

Willie Theison, elephant mgr. & head keeper of the Pittsburgh Zoo

Traditionally elephants in captivity are trained with harsh, even abusive, methods. Occasionally one will rebel with tragic results. Dr. Baker had witnessed the special relationship one of her handlers had with the elephants and the Parelli methods encapsulated those techniques in a reproducible recipe that could easily be taught to other handlers.

Parelli methods use a combination of psychology and body language to build a language bridge between the species. This method has worked wonders on many thousands of horses. Parelli Professional, Jesse Peters, who took on the challenge, believed it could work equally well with elephants, as they like horses, are prey animals.

Thus far the experiment has been hugely successful. The elephants are responding with enthusiasm and lives are being changed. Click here to view the full story from Good Morning America.

As a Parelli enthusiast I was quite excited to see the methods translated to elephants. But as an animal communicator I was naturally curious to see what the elephants had to say. When I sat down to communicate with them, I found they had very strong opinions and were not hesitant to share.

What the elephants had to say:

“What fun. We enjoy having playmates rather than taskmasters. You want us to respect you, but do you give us the same courtesy? Respect means that some days we may not want to engage while others we may want to go for the gusto and thoroughly engage. We enjoy the mental as well as the physical exercise. Elephants are thinking creatures and too often in captive situations we are not given the option of thinking and expressing our opinions. We are told ‘go here do this… now.’ When you allow us to have an opinion it is far easier for us to go along with your ideas. Being asked feels good. Being told doesn’t.”

“If you ask and allow us to freely participate we may just surprise you with our ideas and creativity. Together we may create an experience far beyond what you ever thought possible. We are excited about this new dimension to our lives. Because we live in captivity we are necessarily stifled. This opens the door and gives us back a piece of our dignity and free will. Thank you for taking the time to acknowledge that we are sentient beings capable of having our own thoughts and ideas, not to mention opinions.”

If you found this information useful, please click the Thumb This Up button to spread the word. Thank you!

New Puppy in Training

October 1st, 2009

The 13th edition of Puppy in Training was just released. Thanks to Puppy In Training Magazine for hosting.

Is my pet psychic?

September 25th, 2009

Often people observe behaviors in their pets that make them wonder if their pet is psychic. Dogs, in particular, prompt this question.

Our dog, Saphyre, is no exception. Usually twice a week my husband calls for me to pick him up after work. The time varies and sometimes the day varies but she knows it’s him on the phone and gets all excited about “going to pick up daddy.”

The term interspecies telepathic communication refers to the way in which animals of various species are able to successfully communicate, and that includes humans.

Animals don’t have all the cares and worries that we humans do, which leaves their minds open to allowing telepathic communication. It’s as natural to them as breathing. They are constantly communicating with us and sometimes we even listen.

Humans, on the other hand, usually have too much chatter in our brains to “hear” the telepathic messages. Too many of us spend our days multitasking, simply overwhelmed, just trying to get through the challenges as best we can. It’s only when we stop the noise, clear our minds, and focus that we are able to communicate with our four-legged friends.

It takes time and practice to become proficient, as with most skills. That’s where animal communicators enter the picture. We are so passionate about interspecies telepathic communication that we have taken the time to develop our ability and will happily function as translator between you and your pet.

So the simple answer to the question “Is my pet psychic?” is yes. But let me toss the ball back to you, dear reader: Why do you ask? What is it you really want to know? Are there certain behaviors that prompt the question? Is there something specific you want to know? Are you concerned that your pet is reading your mind? Please comment below or email me so that we may continue the dialog. I really want to know.