Angel Pets 2019 copy

Angel Pets Conference 2019 – Asheville, Saturday, June 8th at the Renaissance Hotel, 8-5p.m

This pioneering, unique, and much-needed conference covered many topics on senior pet care needs, end-of-life care, caregiver support and grief healing.

The conference highlights important medical topics for senior animal needs and resources, assessing animal quality-of-life, explaining animal hospice and palliative care, and covering the medical, practical, emotional considerations for pets at the end-of-life transition. Special focus on grief healing from pet loss for ourselves and family, which is often complex and under-addressed in our society. Some presentations offer professional RACE CE credit.

“We all want to loving care for our pets during this time, but don’t always know how.” Understanding more about these areas will help us become better equipped to handle this critical time for our pets and ourselves. Being aware of the resources available can be tremendously helpful and healing.

“I took lots of notes. I can’t wait to share what I have learned!” 

“Amazing. Amazing. Excellent!”

“It was WONDERFUL!”

“I was not expecting to be blown away. I am. It all ROCKED.”

Read the Angel Pets Opening here. (Angel Pets Opening: Eye-rolling, Yoga and Love)

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Tribute video played at end for attendees’ pets.

The goal is to help us become more knowledgeable and comfortable in caring for our pets (and ourselves) during this difficult, but inevitable time in our pets’ lives.
Speakers include expert local area veterinarians:

Coleen Ellis, CT, CPLP , internationally recognized pet loss specialist (TwoHeartsPetLossCenter)

Dr. Kasandra Garner, DVM (Animal Hospital of North Asheville)

Dr. Beth Marchitelli DVM (4PawsFarwell)

Dr. Angel Mitchell, DVM, Bonnie Brae Veterinary Hospital (not pictured below)

Angel Pets Conference 2019 Speakers and Leigh 2

Dr. Kasandra Garner – AHNA 

Dr Garner Angel Pets Conference 2019

 

Dr. Garner Angel Pets Conference 2019

Dr. Angel Mitchell – Bonnie Brae Vet

Dr Mitchell Angel Pets Conference 2019

Dr. Beth Marchitelli- 4PawsFarwell

Dr. Beth Marchitelli Angel Pets Conference 2019

Dr Beth Marchitelli Angel Pets Conference 2019

Coleen Ellis – Two Hearts Pet Loss Center

Coleen Ellis Angel Pets Conference 2019 5

Coleen Ellis Angel Pets Conference 2019 41

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Coleen Ellis Angel Pets Conference 2019

Coleen Ellis Angel Pets Conference 2019 4

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Coleen and Leigh Angel Pets Conference 2019

Bright Star Contact info

Please take time to thank our Sponsors:

Gold Sponsors

petgazette-logo_tagline1Angel Pets Expo ahna logo

PetGazette Asheville

 

Ahna.net

 

 

Bronze Sponsors

na_new_logo_tagline_on_top_30percNatural Awakenings – Charlotte

Angel Pets NA Charlotte Cover

Natural Awakenings – Upstate SC

 

Natural Awakenings Upstate SC Angel Pets

 

 

 


Hi. I wanted to share the opening of the Angel Pets Conference. It gives some background of the depth and perspective of these events. It applies to all who love pets.

Angel Pets Conference 2019 Post

Hi and welcome. Isn’t this lovely? Isn’t this wonderful? I am so proud of this conference and everyone being here and coming together to discuss something so difficult as death, end-of-life and grief.

I know we are doing so to help make this more comfortable for our pets, understand resources…and to take better take care of ourselves during this time. What a beautiful thing.

I am L. Leigh Love, the organizer of the Angel Pets Conference and Angel Pets Expo. I will be your hostess throughout. I have a studio in Hendersonville called Bright Star Studio & the Funky Buddha. I call it ‘A place of Art and Spirit’.

My theme is: ‘Live the live you love. Love the life you live’.

The first Monday of every month I hold a Healing and Receiving love meditation and other themed guided meditations throughout. 2019 Healing Meditation flyer every Monday copy

The Second Sunday of every month, I hold a Pet Honoring Memorial Service where people from all over send in names of pets to be remembered and honored. It’s free to attend in person or remotely (by calling in and listening).

I also offer private or group Pet Memorial Services for individual pets or groups like Humane Societies, Animal Rescues or Vet offices. it is very healing. I do this because I love it so much and truly believe this has important value. And I want to offer this venue in the world.

Pet Honoring Memorial Service BEST

Likewise, I’m holding these Angel Pets events because I want to give space for attending to our better caring for our fur-kids and ourselves during their life and after.

I was chatting with someone who attended the first Angel Pets Conference. She had called me to let me know how excited she was that there was another one and she was telling all of her friends about it. She then whispered to me…”Well, you know everyone rolls their eyes at the name “Angel Pets”, don’t you? I said…..well…..’yeah’…even though I did not know that, nor had it ever occurred to me. But, I laughed and thought ‘Ok’.

Which led me to think maybe I needed to explain why the name, Angel Pets. This is simply because I do believe they are angels. Our pets are angels. They are loving and kind and caring and give us so much. The help us learn lessons, share life and watch over our souls. And sometimes, their love is the only love we feel. There is no better description than ‘Angel.’

Then I thought, it’s ok if they roll their eyes. They just don’t get it…and that’s ok. They don’t have to. And I’m even more ok with it because I know something they don’t. I know what a wonderful, deep, loving, enriching relationship it is.

And it wouldn’t be the first time someone didn’t get my love for my pets. Which leads me to the next story…A friend’s college son agreed to help with some pet care when I needed to be out of town for work and couldn’t find anyone else.

He came over and I went through the routine, showed him the house, the layout, the food I made for Mattie in the fridge, where the treats were, that she had the run of the house, etc, etc.

I didn’t think anything of it until afterwards, my friend said ‘Clint mentioned to me that ‘Leigh really loves her dog.”  My friend said ‘Yes”.

Then he emphatically said…. “I MEAN she REALLY LOVES her dog.” This was followed by “I’ve never seen anything like it!”

I laughed and said “Yes”.

And it reminded me of one of the best quotes I’ve ever read in a book, ‘Pack of Two’ by Caroline Knapp. She was writing about her dog and somewhere in there stated

“I unapologetically love my dog.”

This sentence caused me to pause. And that word ‘unapologetically’ stuck with me. It gave me a certain freedom. And I adopted it. I adopted that inner, wonderful feeling even deeper than I had before.

I get there are those out there who think I’m crazy or roll their eyes at me at my love for my pets…and I simply don’t care.

Mattie comes everywhere with me, even on the tennis courts. She hangs out, even switching sides with me when I change for serve. P1230418I have had strangers yell across the courts to me “How does it feel to be so loved?” And even once, I overheard a junior player say to her friend “I want a dog like that when I grow up.” And what she means is that loving, special relationship and bond with an animal that is like no other.

I Tell Mattie all the time that we are making a difference, just by being in the world.

This conference is making a difference and you are making a difference by being here and giving importance to the care of our animal companions, our pets, our furkids, our family. Every loving pet parent out there is making a difference.

Every single loving pet parent out there is making a difference.

Before we get started, there is one last story I’d like to share. It’s a repeat a story I told at the first Angel Pets Conference and thought it was worth sharing again. A friend went to a very large yoga class and something the instructor said affected my deeply.

First, I’d like to point out that I did not attend this class. I say that just as a reminder that we have effects and impacts on others we may never meet or encounter. yoga

My friend attended this very large yoga class of a famous instructor. Probably hundreds of people there, and she was there in her own space doing her yoga, and the instructor paused to point out that

‘You are all here individually practicing yoga, BUT keep in mind, WE are ALL here together practicing yoga.”

And it was a very profound perspective.

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It touched her as she shared the story. And It touched me hearing it. It expanded my feeling of involvement and participation, and honestly comfort in the world.

Little things, even like walking my dog, Mattie, in the past I would have thought of as ‘I am walking my dog. I am walking Mattie.” And that shifted. Now it became “WE are walking. We are walking together.” WE are going to the store, etc. And I started doing this with everything. And as small as that sounds, it made a huge impact on how I feel I relate in this the world. In not only providing a larger perspective…. but greater comfort. There is the individual experience, but there is also always the ‘We’.

So, I invite you individually to be here, and I hope you get out of this Conference and Expo what you came here for as an individual.

But, I also invite you to have the expanded perspective and comfort that ‘WE’ are all here and have come together to help our pets, help ourselves and help each other.

This goes for all who are here in person, as well as all who share in our pet-loving activities. ‘We’ love our pets.

So, I thank you. And I thank you for having the courage and the depth to be here and explore this deeper part of life.

I’d like to also take a moment to thank our Sponsors. I also invite you to thank them to show them how much their support of these events means to you.

PetGazette has been amazing in their coverage and promotion of these events. I have been speaking with Carol Marks regularly she has offered council and support and I’m very grateful. Animal Hospital North Asheville is another Gold Sponsor. Dr. Garner from AHNA –is a Conference presenter. AHNA has a large table at the EXPO. In addition, they have been tremendously supportive in promoting these events and truly getting and supporting the overall goal of Angel Pets Conference and Angel Pets Expo. They exemplify excellence in animal care. Natural Awakenings Charlotte and Upstate SC also helped promote the events as Bronze Media Sponsors! Please take time to reach out and thank them!

Please visit AngelPetsConference.com to see great descriptions and resources of the vendors at Angel Pets Expo or BrightStarStudio.net for upcoming supporting pet events, resources, Monthly Pet Memorial and meditations.

Light, love and blessings to you all!
L. Leigh Love

BrightStarStudio.net

 

Bright Star Contact info

Pet Honoring Oh How I love my dog

Mattie Seniorpetgazette-logo_tagline1Angel Pets Expo ahna logo

PetGazette Asheville

 

Ahna.net

na_new_logo_tagline_on_top_30percNatural Awakenings – Charlotte

Angel Pets NA Charlotte Cover

Natural Awakenings – Upstate SC

 

Natural Awakenings Upstate SC Angel Pets

 

 

 

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Angel Pets Expo 2019

June 8th, 2019,  10-6pm

Downtown Asheville, NC

Hundreds of people from all over the region attended to see and network with over 40 Vendors.

Forty pet vendors related to supportive pet care products and services, nutritional pet supplements, canine rehab specialists, pet trainers, senior pet needs, end-of-life care, caregiver support, artists, memorabilia, pet supplies, artists, veterinarians, healers, acupuncturists, animal chiropractors, pet photographers, energy healers, Pet CBD oil, animal communicators and more!

All things Pet Related!

Check back for Angel Pets Expo 2020 date!

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Angel Pets Expo sign picture copy

Angel Pets Meetup Social July 11th, 2019  6:30

Tupelo Honey South

Visit Bright Star Studio meetup group to RSVP or with me directly!!!

Join Angel Pets Social on meetup

Angel Pets Vendors, Supporters and all pet lovers welcome!

This is a pet-lovers social and follow up from the magical Angel Pets Expo and Angel Pets Conference. Expo vendors, Expo attendees, conference attendees, Angel Pets Supporters and all pet lovers welcome to join for socializing, talking and networking about all things pets! The goal of the Angel Pets Expo was to bring people together with resources and services which help the care and honoring of our pets, and ourselves as pet parents. The pioneering, Angel Pets conference covered many topics on senior pet care needs, end-of-life care, caregiver support and grief healing. This meetup is to continue the pet-loving community building and support, to learn, chat and to have fun! Visit AngelPetsExpo.com for more info on these events. Please contact me with any questions

Bright Star Contact info

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Please take time to thank our Sponsors:

Gold Sponsors

petgazette-logo_tagline1Angel Pets Expo ahna logo

PetGazette Asheville

 

Ahna.net

 

Bronze Sponsors

na_new_logo_tagline_on_top_30percNatural Awakenings – Charlotte

Angel Pets NA Charlotte Cover

Natural Awakenings – Upstate SC

 

Natural Awakenings Upstate SC Angel Pets

Check out these great Angel Pets Expo photos…

River – FullMoon Farm’s Amabassdog – wolfdog

Angel Pets Expo fullmoon River Ambassadog copy

Full Vendor List 2019

“One of the best Pet Expo’s EVER!!!’

Angel Pets Expo 21

“What a magical event!”

PetGazette Angel Pet Expo

Pet Gazette Angel Pets Expo

Angel Pets Expo AHNA

 

Three Dog Bakery Angel Pets Expo 1

DayByDay Angel Pet Expo

4PawsFarwell Angel Pet Expo

FourSeasons Angel Pet Expo

 

Forever Dream Angel Pet Expo

Angel Pet Expo 3

It was so nice to see alternative methods to helping our fur babies such as Reiki, acupuncture, chiropractic care, pet rehabilitation in addition to our CBD oil for pets and dog treats.

“We are so thankful for your hard work and everything you did to make the 2019 Angel PetExpo a success!

Asheville Animal Acupuncture Angel Pets Expo

Muffins Halo Angel Pet Expo 11

PS Animal Angel Pet Expo

Nevitica Angel Pet Expo 1

Mindful Mutts Angel Pet Expo

WagHab Angel Pet Expo 11

 

Bright Star Studio – Art, Spirit, Jewelry, Pet Memorials
4PawsFarwell – Mobile Vet Hospice & Palliative Care
Petgazette – Asheville – GOLD SPONSOR
Animal Hospital of North Asheville – GOLD SPONSOR
PSAnimal.com – Patty Summers – Animal Communication
A Catnap Away – Cat B&B
Anna Leckie – Artist
Asheville Animal Acupuncture – Dr. Beth Hampton Jones
Barking Mountain Groomer
Caren Harris Pet Photography
Carolina Memorial Sanctuary
Copper Witch Design – Pet Jewelry
Dawn’s Light House – Healing touch, Animal Communication
Day By Day Pet – Caregiver Support
Earthwinds Animal Chiropractic
Four Seasons – Pet Loss support
Happy with Cappy – Pet Sitting
Kindred Soul Vet – Mobile Vet – Chinese medicine
LoveAVL.com – Pet loving Realtor Maria Cavallo
Mindful Mutts – Canine Behavior Counselor & Trainer
Muffin’s Halo -Vest for Blind Dogs
My Hemp Worx – (pet CBD oil)
Natural Awakenings – Upstate SC
Natural Awakenings Southeast NC – Charlotte
Pumpkin Dog – T-shirts, mugs, handbags, etc.
Reiki for Today – Animal Reiki
Sally Said So – Canine Training
Three Dog Bakery – Specialty dog treats
TransAmerica – financial planning
Trupanion – Pet Insurance
Waghab – Canine Rehabilitation
Wendall Brown – Nevetica Shop
Yipps and Wiggles – Pet Care Sitting
Luckydog – Dog trainer
Rose Proud – Animal Communicator
Forever Dream Senior Dog Sanctuary – non profit – Meet an Ambassador Wolfdog!
Phoenix Landing.org – Parrot welfare – nonprofit
Full Noon Farm – Wolfdog Sanctuary – nonprofit
Info Table – GoodRX, Appalachian Wildlife Rehab, Paws for Passengers AVL, Teddy&Friends Rescue, Two Hearts Pet Loss Center

Pumpkin Dog Angel Pet Expo 11

 

Fullmoon farm Angel Pet Expo 21

 

Fullmoon Farm Angel Pet 21

Barking Mountain Angel Pet Expo

Nevitica Angel Pet Expo 1

Phoenix Landing Angel Pets Expo 11

Angel Pet Expo 41

Yips and Wiiggles Angel Pets Expo

TransAmerical Angel Pets Expo

Sally Said So Angel Pets Expo 11

Rose Proud Angel Pets Expo 11

MyHempWorx Angel Pet Expo

Reiki for Today Angel Pets Expo 1

Angel Pets Expo Maria Cavallo copy

Love AVL Angel Pets Expo

Kindred Soul Angel Pets Expo

Copper Witch Angel Pets Expo

Anna Leckie Art Angel Pets expo 2019 11

Noble Friends Angel Pet Expo 11

Dawn's Light House Angel Pets Expo

Happy with Cappy Angel Pets Expo

Angel Pets Expo Cappy Tossetti

Lucky Dog Angel Pets Expo

Patty Summers Angel Pets Expo 21

Angel Pets Expo 21

Asheville Animal Acupuncture Angel Pet Expo

Angel Pet Expo 3

 

Angel Pets 2019 Expo 99

Angel Pets Expo ahna logo

Angel Pets Featured Vendor Presenations 2019

GOLD SPONSORS

petgazette-logo_tagline1

Angel Pets Expo ahna logoBright Star Contact info

Please take time to thank our Sponsors:

Gold Sponsors

petgazette-logo_tagline1Angel Pets Expo ahna logo

PetGazette Asheville

 

Ahna.net

 

 

Bronze Sponsors

na_new_logo_tagline_on_top_30percNatural Awakenings – Charlotte

Angel Pets NA Charlotte Cover

Natural Awakenings – Upstate SC

 

Natural Awakenings Upstate SC Angel Pets


Detecting Animal Cancer Early

Angel Pet Expo Blog 2019 – Submitted by Animal Hospital North Asheville

We need your help to beat cancer! Early detection, diagnosis and treatment are critical to obtaining a positive result. Over 60% of cancers are curable. We want to get that percentage even higher. Every lump and bump is suspect until proven that it is not cancer. The time to diagnose cancer is before it has taken over and spread or before it has progressed from curable to non-curable.  We must all be proactive to defeat cancer. angel pets blog dog examine

THINGS THAT YOU CAN DO:

Check your pet for lumps and bumps at least monthly. Look with your eyes and Angel Pets Blog lumpyour fingers.  Please bring even small bumps to our attention. We would like to examine nodules when they are the size of a pea or smaller.  Areas that deserve special attention are lymph nodes that are under and behind the lower jaw, in front of the shoulders, the “armpits” of the front legs,  the groin and under the tail.  It is a good idea to look for swellings or unusual paleness of the gums.  Try to feel every square inch of skin.  Cats with white ears are especially prone to cancer on the ear tips and nose.

Gently flip the lips and check in your pet’s mouth. angel pets blog dental check There are several common oral cancers that can occur. Signs include bad breath odor, lumps or swelling on the gums, pain in the mouth, increased salivation, or blood in the mouth or saliva.

 

 

 

Make sure that your pet has annual physical examination every year for pets up to age 7.  After age seven, consider a physical examination every 6 months.  We look for many disease indicators during those physicals, but we also palpate the abdominal organs for changes and specifically palpate lymph nodes.

Have pets examined if they display symptoms of lethargy, vomiting, increasing thirst, weight loss, decreased appetite, any abnormal discharges, or any abnormalities in urination or defecation.

Elect to run “wellness” blood tests during routine physical examinations.  Talk to your veterinarian about performing an ultrasound of your pet’s abdomen and an X-ray of your pet’s chest to detect cancer early. Pets can’t tell us that something seems wrong like people can, so doing screening test to look for early signs is important.

Don’t smoke! Recent studies show pets that live with smokers have higher levels of asthma, and have three times higher levels of lymphosarcoma and six times higher level of oral squamous cell carcinoma.

Brush your pet’s teeth regularly and make sure that your pet has a professional dental cleaning under anesthesia yearly.  Oral cancer can occur because some cells become cancerous just from exposure to a chronic irritant such as tartar, which also causes gingivitis and periodontal disease.

 

BENIGN GROWTHS vs CANCER:angel pets blog ahna lump

  1. Our goal is to be as low stress and as non-invasive as possible in obtaining a diagnosis.  Regardless of the location or the size of any swelling or lump, you need to know if it is malignant (cancer) or benign.
  2. Even benign growths may need to be removed early because if they grow to a large size before you take action, the surgery may be much more difficult and in certain locations may cause serious problems (benign growths around the eye, for example). It is important to remove benign growths before they require extensive surgery or otherwise become bothersome to your pet.
  3. Some growths are very easily diagnosed by fine needle aspiration. No sedation is usually needed because it is no more traumatic than a simple injection. We may evaluate the cells here or choose to submit them to a pathologist for a report within a few days, depending on the nature of the growth.
  4. Some growths require surgery to obtain a satisfactory sample (biopsy) for a pathologist.  We utilize high tech anesthesia and our post-operative pain control is thorough.
  5. Hidden” growths deep in the abdomen or the chest or within organs may be hard to find early, but they can often be identified with blood tests, palpation, ultrasound, or x-ray. In some cases, a biopsy can be obtained with light sedation to prevent any discomfort.  Our ultrasound capabilities and training are extensive, and we offer abdominal biopsies by laparoscope and noninvasive gastrointestinal biopsies with endoscopy.
  6. Once a diagnosis is made, we can tell you if the growth is benign or malignant, the scientific name of the tumor, what treatments are available and side effects (if any), the schedule of treatments, the success rates and costs of treatments. You can then decide what is best for your pet and your family.  Our goal is for families to be able to make fully informed decisions concerning health care as well as end of life issues.  We respect the individual decisions that families make.

CANCER TREATMENT:

angel pets blog cat blue green eyeThere are a wide variety of cancers that are seen in dogs and cats. While some cancers are aggressive and cannot be treated, there are treatments available for a large number of the cancers we see commonly. Early detection and treatment can improve the success rate of treatment for many cancers. Available treatments include:

  1. Surgical removal – There are many common cancerous skin tumors which can be cured or controlled with complete surgical removal. When a growth is removed, it is sent to a pathology lab to determine what kind of growth it is, how aggressive it is, and whether it was removed completely. If the fine needle aspiration shows the potential for a malignant skin growth, wide margins of normal tissue are removed along with the growth to make sure no cancer cells are left behind. If the growth cannot be removed completely, your veterinarian will discuss whether surgery would still be beneficial for comfort or as a companion to other treatments like chemotherapy or radiation.
  2. Chemotherapy – Some cancers, most notably lymphosarcoma, can be treated with chemotherapy. In veterinary medicine, the goal of chemotherapy is to provide remission while maintaining good quality of life. Unlike human medicine, our chemotherapy dosages are tailored so that chemo doesn’t make pets sick, immune suppressed, or unable to enjoy their day-to-day life. The doctors and technician staff at Animal Hospital of North Asheville are trained to administer chemotherapy safely and without stress to your pet.
  3. Oncology referral – Some cancers are complex or require treatments such as radiation that we are not able to do within our hospital. We work closely with several referral hospitals who have board-certified oncology (cancer) specialists on staff, and are happy to provide a referral for consultation, special imaging procedures like CT and MRI scans, and advanced therapies such as radiation. Our doctors frequently consult with veterinary oncologists to determine the best treatment options, costs, and prognosis.
  4. Palliative and hospice care – For patients with incurable cancers, our goal is always to keep pets as comfortable as possible and allow them to be at home with their families. We work together with pet parents to find a pain control strategy that will give the best quality of life with the fewest side effects. When the time comes, we will help you make kind and compassionate decisions.

4 Paws Farewell

 

 

PSAnimal2Red Angel Pets Windsong

Angel Pets Blog article submitted by Patty Summers

Gandalf, the African Grey, keeps calling her name every morning. At first, hearing him calling her stung my heart and brought hot tears from my eyes.

He loved the mackerel tabby as much as we did.  I’d often pick up our lovely Jaylah and hold her up near Gandalf’s cage and he’d lean over and whisper something unintelligible to her (at least to my ear), but the intent of affection was quite clear.

Our animals are never old enough when they leave behind their physical bodies, but our Jaylah was only three years old when a terrible disease shut her body down.  The shock, the anger at myself for anything I could have done to catch it sooner or even prevent it ran rampant through my head.  “She was only three!”  I kept shouting angrily to the Universe.  Finally, I heard in mind, “Her body was only three years old, but the soul is so much older.”  It still hurts not having her here in physical, but somehow remembering that she is an old soul gave me some solace.

Like all of my animals she gave me so much, but perhaps the greatest of gifts right now is she left behind a deeper understanding of no need for forgiveness or what if’s.  So many times, when I do a consult with someone with the intent on helping them to make peace with their animal’s passing back into spirit, I am asked if their animal will forgive them.  Every single time I hear, “There is no need for forgiveness. There is absolutely nothing to forgive.”  Every time I hear that it takes my breath away, yet somehow, I forgot it for a brief time when Jaylah was so sick and I was pulling out the stops to try to save her body.

The treatment plan was rather extensive, but she handled it with her graceful power that she walked throughout her short lifetime.  Still I questioned if I should be putting her through it, yet logically my mind kept saying, “She is only three years old.  She can beat this.”

The day before she passed I could feel she had chosen to heal in the form of letting her worn out body go, but I didn’t want to acknowledge it.  I kept pushing that feeling away.  That feeling was her communicating what her decision was.  I wouldn’t listen.  Me the animal communicator wouldn’t listen and I kept trying to treat her body for the disease.

When she took her last breath, I was crushed and angry.  Mostly angry at myself.

Somewhere in my grief she found a way to wedge her message in.  I awoke one morning saying out loud, I forgive myself for following my heart and trying a medical treatment that was pretty heroic even though that is normally not my way. I forgive myself for those last two days that I heard you, but wouldn’t accept what you were telling me.  My actions then give me better understanding for others who have done the same. I now marvel in my appreciation of your understanding my pain and holding no judgement. You simply continued to do what you needed to do for your wholeness.

Lastly, I thank you for reminding me that l let you live a life rich and full, one where I allowed you to experience all the things you treasured.

I can slowly move forward meeting her where she is in her wholeness, brilliance, her glory as she shines on in my heart.  In this place, I can still feel her hopping up on my lap to join me for my morning coffee.  When I get out the treat jar, I can see her out of the corner of my eye, arriving before any of the other cats as she did in body.

I can almost feel her soft underbelly that she would always present to me in her wonderful greetings. I’ll always remember her beautiful rich eyes.

“Jayyyylahhhh, Jayyyylahhh.” he calls softly.  Yes I can feel her too bird.

One of the most difficult parts of our journeys with us and our beloved animals, is when they make their physical transition back into spirit. 

I wanted to create a means of support for other animal lovers to help them through this process.  For me, the wind is a carrier of energies and messages and songs a beautiful sacred story that touches the soul.

Thus, Windsongs of the Soul Animal Flags, came to be.

Pet Memorial Flags – Beautiful handmade flags to honor your animal and the love between you that never dies. The flags hold special spiritual symbols with the main flag, personalized with your beloved animal’s name, birth date and passing, being flanked by a paw and feather charm and the back of this flag offering a pocket for ashes, fur or some other special symbol.

Come by my booth at the Angel Pets Expo 2019 in Asheville, NC June 8th, 2019 to see these beautiful handmade flags in person that honor your animal and the love between you that never dies. 

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Author of Talking With the Animals, Patty Summers, is an internationally known animal communicator and currently provides communication workshops as well as consultations for animals and their human companions to resolve conflicts or to aid in communication.

You can also visit www.PSanimal.com for more on the Windsong flags and other books, DVDs and CDs.

This article was submitted by Patty Summers for the Angel Pets Expo Blog. Visit AngelPetsExpo.com for more information.

PSAnimal2Red Angel Pets

Angel Pets Expo Blog Article

A Deeper Look into Pet Loss

submitted by Kathy Link, LCSW, LCAS
Social Worker Four Seasons, a Hospice Center and Pet Loss Resource

We don’t have to look very far to see the deep connections that we have with our pets here in Western North Carolina. There are dog-friendly restaurants, cat spas, and even pets wearing fancy clothes everywhere we look. There are door-to-door services offering home-based grooming care, mobile veterinary care, and organic, free-range, gourmet pet food. As a community hospice social worker and grief counselor, I’ve even pet and held a baby goat wrapped in a sweater at a nursing home that somebody brought in for a visit.Domesticated 1112

Consider these statistics:

  • Data from the American Veterinary Medical Association gathered in 2012 indicates that there are approximately 70 million pet dogs in the United States, and 74.1 million pet cats, and that six-out-of-ten pet owners consider their pets to be family members.[1]
  • The American Pet Products Association estimates that as of 2017, 60.2 million American households homed dogs, 47.1 million households homed cats, 12.5 million households homed freshwater fish, 7.9 million households homed birds, 6.7 million households homed small animals such as gerbils, hamsters, and rabbits, 4.7 million households homed reptiles, 2.6 million households homed horses, and 2.5 million households homed saltwater fish[2].
  • One recent poll created by The Harris Poll estimates that three out of five American households have pets, and 95% of those households consider their pets to be a member of their family[3].

We love our pets, and our pets love us. Given the natural order of things, we have a good chance of outliving our pets, and lifetime pet stewards will experience multiple losses from losing pets. Unless we’re talking about parrots and turtles. (Parrots and turtles live a really long time). Generally speaking, however, our collective love for our pets gives us a tremendous opportunity to dip our toes into a concept that many of us would rather avoid. We all have an expiration date. We’re all going to die, and it is probable that we will be devastated by the grief of losing a loved one more than once as we go through life. For many of us, the list of loved ones includes our four-legged, winged, finned, or cold-blooded companions

According to the American Psychological Association, grief due to a loss of a loved one may be the most difficult challenge a person can face. [4] There are all sorts of other losses in life to deal with as well, including houses, friendships, other relationships, lifestyles, jobs, general worldview, etc. When we’re simply talking about the loss of a loved one, as a culture, we don’t do bereavement, grief, and death and dying particularly well. We don’t even want to talk about it. What happens, when we lose our beloved pet? Do you call in to work because “my pet snake died”. Likely not, but for many people, the loss of a pet may trigger a myriad of intense emotions and reactions. So what to do about it?

  1. Give yourself permission to grieve. The sadness and loss that you are feeling is real and normal. The fact that you are grieving a living being who is not a human being does not discount your feelings in any way. The pet who has given you his or her entire life is gone, and that is a huge adjustment. Give yourself permission to express your feelings in a safe way. Give your feelings permission to be whatever they are – whether it’s relief that you are feeling, because your pet is no longer suffering, or guilt you are feeling, because you had to make the difficult choice to euthanize your pet, or anger you are feeling, because the loss was unexpected and was caused by an event that you may not have been expecting. Whatever it is that you are feeling, it’s okay. Some common emotions and reactions associated with pet loss are shock, guilt, anger, disbelief, sadness, confusion, and sometimes even joy for the time you’ve shared together. Or all of the above at any given moment. Whatever you are feeling, it’s okay, and it’s yours. It’s normal. It’s not wrong. You are not over-reacting. You are not being silly.

 

  1. Take the time you need. It’s possible that you may need some time alone to process your emotions, or you may need more time with other people to process your emotions. You may decide to get a pet right away as a way to heal yourself and your pain, or you may decide to wait two years to get another pet, or you may decide never to get another pet again. Whatever you decide, take the time you need. You can always adjust your timeline as you go along. In the early days of your grief, you may find that your emotions are overwhelming. Consider blocking a period of time each day to simply sit in your emotions – whether that block of time is three minutes, or 15 minutes, or half an hour. You will know what’s right for you. And you will know when to make adjustments.Angel Pets Pet Honoring Dog Cat

 

  1. Stay out of the blame game. Following the initial processing of your feelings, you may be very well tempted to beat yourself up – or beat up other people – for things that could have happened, or might have happened, or didn’t happened.
  • “If I would have euthanized him earlier, he wouldn’t have suffered like that…”
  • “I euthanized her too soon…”
  • “If the veterinarian had given me this needed piece of information, she would still be with us…”
  • “If I only had not left the door open…”
  • “We should have read the signs…”

The truth is, no amount of blaming is going to bring your beloved pet back. If you find yourself stepping into blame, consider what it may take for you to move to a place of acceptance and release.

  1. Readjust. It may be helpful to readjust your daily schedule or your daily routine for a period of time. If you went for a run with your dog every morning, you may want to get a stationary bicycle or a gym membership and work out at the gym instead for a time. If you found yourself returning home at exactly 5 pm each evening because your cat demanded dinner at exactly that time, perhaps consider taking a slower, alternative route home, or grocery shopping after work instead. If you had the bird cage in a specific place in the living room for many years, consider rearranging the furniture a bit. If you need to avoid the route of your daily dog walk for a time, then by all means, do it.

 

  1. Practice self-care. The Center for Grief Recovery and Therapeutic Services: Institute for Creativity & Development has a very helpful article on their webpage entitled “Comfort Quickies: Self Care While Grieving[5]. Ideas range from eating a favorite meal, to taking a warm bath, to playing mood music, to spending time in nature. Make your own list. What is nurturing to you? What is healthy to your mind, body, and spirit, and will make you feel better? If feeling better is not an option, what will help you process your emotions? What will serve you? What can you incorporate into your daily life that will unlock the floodgates of your grief, help you process your emotions, and eventually work through your grief? Your options are wide and open. Make a list.

 

  1. Surround yourself with people who understand. Share your grief with friends and family who will understand. Allow your loved ones to help you carry the burden in a way that will be helpful to you. If there is a pet loss grief support group in your area, attend one of the sessions, and see if it’s helpful. If you and your best friend always connected by sharing pictures of your pet iguanas, ask your friend if you could do something else for a time. Perhaps a weekly movie is in order, or a trip to the local zoo. Or perhaps it is important for you to share your pictures with your friend in a way that will memorialize your pet and provide an avenue for you to express your grief and loss. Let people be there for you the way you would want to be there for them if they were going through this. If you have people in your life who don’t and won’t understand what you’re going through, just stick with the people who will understand as much as you can, for as long as you can.

 

  1. Incorporate ritual. What types of rituals do you participate in when a human loved one dies? Would it make sense to you to modify it in some way to help you through your grief? Could you light a candle next to your pet’s photo every evening? Do you have the type of social network to be able to hold a funeral of sorts? Could you and your children create a ceremony that would be meaningful and age-appropriate? Would leaving the empty food dish out for a while, symbolizing your loss be helpful to you? Your options end only with your imagination, and with what you find to be meaningful.

The most important things to remember are that you are not alone, you are not crazy, and there is no right or wrong way to navigate the loss of a pet. If you find yourself moving into self-destructive behaviors, then it’s time to reach out and seek professional advice. But only you will know if you are doing that, and you will know if you need help. The grief that flows from the love that was shared with an animal is natural and healthy. Honor it. It matters.

[1] https://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/Statistics/Pages/Market-research-statistics-US-Pet-Ownership-Demographics-Sourcebook.aspx

[2] https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-pet-statistics

[3] https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/more-than-ever-pets-are-members-of-the-family-300114501.html

[4] http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/grief.aspx

[5] http://www.griefcounselor.org/articles/grief-article-self-care-while-grieving.html

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“Four Seasons hosts a monthly ‘Pet Loss Grief Support Group’ in Asheville and invite you to join us if you are living with the loss of a loved pet.”

Four Seasons ‘Compassion For Life’ Monthly Pet Loss Grief Support Group

https://fourseasons.teleioscn.org/what-we-offer/bereavement-support/

Losing a pet friend and companion can be heartbreaking. Whether it is a sudden or planned goodbye, it is an emotional time.  We understand the strength and specialness of the animal-human bond. On the first Tuesday of each month, Four Seasons Compassion for Life will be hosting a Pet Loss Grief Support Group from 5:30-6:30 pm. The monthly meeting will be held at a new location: 373 Biltmore Ave, near Mission Hospital. This group is for anyone who is grieving the loss of an animal companion and needs further support. This is a free monthly meeting. Everyone welcome but out of respect to other participants, please leave pets at home.
Local: 828-692-6178
Toll Free: 866-466-9734

What a wonderful gathering and an amazing group of people and resources. Thanks to all who had the courage, strength and compassion to spend an entire day with such difficult topics as end-of-life and grief. This event happened because of you and because there is a need. This conference and gathering is to better help our pets and ourselves.  Thank you for sharing…and your participation in this pioneering and progressive event to improve pet end-of-life care and healing from pet loss.

Check out the photos and testimonials: https://angelpetsconference.com/photos/Angel Pets Conference 6

Please also take time to thank our Sponsors: Asheville Natural Awakenings, Schuler Funeral Home, WNC Woman, Dogtown Pursuits and the Lake James Community!

https://angelpetsconference.com/sponsors/

 

Conference was rated 4.875 out of 5 Stars!

 

Many added pet names to be included in the June 9th United Pet Honoring Ceremony! It’s free to add a pet name, it’s free to call in and listen to this honoring, thanking and blessing of our pets! more info at United Pet Honoring   Send in pet name/photo to info@pethonoring.com

Also, Pet Honoring will (for free) come hold an in-person United Pet Honoring for any rescue, church, non-profit or any other group wanting a time just to gather, honor, thank our pets. info@pethonoring.com or www.PetHonoring.com

 

Many wanted info on helping a pet grieve – http://veterinarywisdomprofessionals.com/resource_center/help_for_clients/client_handouts/helping_a_pet_grieve_for_a_buddy

http://pcjunkychick.hubpages.com/hub/How_to_Help_Your_Pet_Deal_With_Grief_or_Depression

 

Additional info on energy: Institute of Heart Math, Rollin McCraty https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxOd4YAk00Y

Helping with doggie appetite- SuperGravy – http://www.clearconsciencepet.com/supergravy/

Helping with blind dog or when you dog starts to lose eyesight – http://www.innovetpet.com/ap9_tracerz_blind_pets.php
 

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Variety of Harnesses and Walking Aids:

Handicapped Pets – www.handicappedpets.com

Gingerlead – www.gingerlead.com

 

Pain Scale Models Colorado State University:

Canine : http://www.vasg.org/pdfs/CSU_Acute_Pain_Scale_Canine.pdf

Feline: http://csuanimalcancercenter.org/assets/files/csu_acute_pain_scale_feline.pdf

 

Quality of Life Scales:

Canine : http://www.pawspice.com/downloads/QualityofLifeScale.pdf

Feline: http://www.pawspice.com/downloads/FelineQualityofLifeScale.pdf

 

Pet Hospice Journal and Quality of Life Monitoring :

http://www.pethospicejournal.com ~ Lap of Love

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Pet Loss Hotlines:

ASPCA Pet Loss Support Hotlinewww.aspca.org/pet-care/pet-loss     (877) GRIEF-10

http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/end-life-care-faq

Chicago Veterinary Medical Association Pet Loss Helpline – 630-325-1600 – 7- 9:00pm CST Weekday Evenings ~ email CVMA@chicagovma.org                                                                           www.chicagovma.org/petlosssupport

Cornell Univ. Pet Loss Support Hotline – 607 -253 -3932   6-9 p.m. EST M-H     www .vet.cornell.edu

Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine Pet Loss Support –    540-231-8038        6-9:00 p.m. EST

Tufts’Pet Loss Support Line 508-839-7966 email: Tuftspetloss@gmail.com                      www.vet.tufts.edu/petloss

Penn Vet Pet Grief Support Hotline 215-898-4556                                              www.vet.upenn.edu/veterinary-hospitals

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World by Tail

– great assortment of ARTICLES                          www.veterinarywisdomprofessionals.com

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Angel Pets Conference Recommended Reading

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Speaking for Spot by Nancy Kay

A Peaceful Path Pet Loss by MJ Tucci and Laurie Califf

When your Dog Gets Cancer by Lola Ball

Right Use of Power by Cedar Barstow

Midwife for Souls: Spiritual Care for the Dying by Kathy Kalina

Awakening from Grief: Finding the Way Back to Joy by John E. Welshons

Reiki Energy Medicine: Bringing Healing touch in to Home, Hospital and Hospice

by Libby Barnett and Maggie Chambers with Susan Davidson

Empowerment through Reiki: the path to personal and global transformation by Paula Horan

Animal Reiki: Using Energy to Heal the Animals in Your Life by Elizabeth Fulton and Kathleen Prasad

The Seven Initiations of the Spiritual Path: Understanding the purpose of Life’s tests by Michael Mirdad

Blessing the Bridge: What animals teach us about death, dying and beyond, by Rita Reynolds

Animal Voices: Telepathic Communication in the Web of Life by Dawn Bauman Brunke

The Fragrant Heavens: The spiritual dimension of fragrance and aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood

 

If there is enough interest, I may organize a Holistic Pet expo to cover additional pet care topics such as Animal Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Massage, Energy work, etc.

It was my honor and privilege to help bring this event to fruition. Thank you again for your support, participation and love.

warmly,

Leigh

 

What a great time at the Angel Pets Conference!!!!!

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Angel Pets Honoring Table 1      Angel Pets Honoring Table 2

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What amazing vendors and attendees!!!!

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Angel Pets Conference 2014 is now available on CD

Didn’t get the chance to attend, but would like the info? The lectures from this pioneering conference in MP3 format are now available on CD.

Angel Pets CD WP

More info and resources at

http://www.AngelPetsConference.com

Bright Star Contact info

 

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