Category Archives: Pets

Sadie, Angels, Guides and Timing

This week, my husband and I are on vacation. We went away and had a wonderful time in Julian and are taking a few days for ourselves here. Yesterday, we went to the library and had a lot of fun looking up the genealogy of my family. My grandmother’s name was Sadie. We spent the better part of the day doing that.

SadieToday we did some shopping, came home to settle in for dinner with the cats, when out of the blue, an adorable chocolate lab, probably 80-100 lbs, with a greying muzzle, showed up at our screen door. Let’s be clear. This was not an animal who was investigating, looking here, looking there, this was a dog that came right up to our door and stood there as if to say, “I’m here.”

The sweetest dog you can imagine, she followed me into the back yard as my husband frantically worked to get the cats into the bedroom so they wouldn’t see him, as that would not have been the road to harmony in our cat-driven household.

This beautiful and muscular dog, was as calm and compliant as any dog I have ever encountered. Once we corralled the cats and set down some water for her, her being secured in the back yard, we ventured out into the neighborhood for the first order of business, to borrow a leash and collar. The neighbors across the street were happy to oblige.

It was a quarter to five, we had just enough time to rush her to the vets to see if she was chipped. As if she knew us and had done it a million times before, she jumped into the back seat of the truck, laying down to brace herself with every turn, like a pro. On the way, we tried to call Rancho Coastal Humane Society,rchs a non-kill shelter I used to volunteer at doing Reiki. We kept asking Siri to find it, but she couldn’t understand us. I resolved to ask the vets to call them immediately to ask them to stay open, pending our findings, but upon walking in, they scooted us into an air conditioned room (I’m sure the dog loved this on this 95 degree day) and I completely forgot. I was just glad to be there as the vet tech went out to get the chip scanner.

We were elated to hear they found an Avid chip, but that elation quickly changed to sigh, when we discovered that the chip had never been properly registered. They did find the name of the vet’s office who inserted the chip and called, but they stopped using Avid roughly 5 years ago and had no record of the dog’s person or people. We only knew the vet’s office was a good, 40-50 miles away.

It now was five minutes after five o’clock. The Rancho Coastal was now closed. The vet techs suggested the county animal shelter, which was open until 5:30pm but, for us, that is not an option. Before we left, the vet techs graciously gave us some dog food, but we were in a bind. One of our cats could have dealt with having a dog in the back yard, but the other one, not so much. He has severe PTSD from years of construction work on the house, preceded by several traumatic moves, and traumatic hospitalizations. This was not going to fly.

And it didn’t. When we got home, both cats were upset, not only from being locked up .. for the second time this day .. in a very hot house, but my PTSD baby, Makana,DSC01836 was beside himself. He knew something was going on, he just didn’t know what. We were getting home just around their dinnertime.

While I frantically made calls to lab rescue organizations (one which was closed, the other refused to help) and anyone I knew who might know someone who could take a dog for the night, my husband went out and fed our new found friend. He then rushed in to feed the cats, so that we could take her on a walk, hoping she could show us where she lived.

I’m not sure why I felt we needed to turn left out of the driveway, but I did, and so did she. As we ventured off, I asked my spirit guides to help us find her people. We went up and down talking to people, asking if they knew her. Some very helpful, some complacent. One couple was very interested and helpful, pointing out houses where they knew there were dogs. The interesting thing is, this information was salient in our directional decision-making.

We went to the first place, a woman named Jenn was very concerned, but didn’t know the dog. So we turned around and went the other way towards the other house we had heard there were dogs. Both my husband and I had the feeling that the dog was from around the neighborhood and hadn’t been out very long. She was clearly well taken care of, and you could tell she had recently had on a collar. As we did an about face, Michael said that he felt we should be turning to the right of our house. I said fine, but we should go across the street and around the corner first for this lead on the ‘house with lots of dogs’, thinking that they would know more dogs in the neighborhood.

As the dog ‘walked my husband’ on one side of the street, I went door to door several houses, and was subsequently pointed elsewhere. I met one woman, Jane, also very concerned who said she would have taken her for the weekend, but was already pet sitting another animal.

As I crossed back across the street, where Michael was waiting with the pup on the corner, I said, “Let’s go down this street and circle back around.” My thinking was we would hit the direction my husband wanted to go on the backside. (I came to find out he didn’t really understand my thinking because his thought was “Why would we go down *this* street?)

We tried another house, to no avail. Our anxiety rose, knowing how difficult it would be for us to look after her for the night. I said, ‘let’s cross to the shady (i.e.: cool) side of the street.’ (Again, we’re in a heat wave situation here, which didn’t make things any easier.)

cazaderoAs we were crossing the street, the dog came up to me but I didn’t notice. Michael said, “She’s trying to get your attention.” I told her, “I”m sorry, sweetie, we’re going to find your mommy and daddy.” All of a sudden, we saw a woman, in a half frantic, half “are my eyes seeing what I think I’m seeing’ state, coming towards us. She called out something, but neither of us heard what she said. Our hearts skipped a beat. All at once, the both of us called out, “Do you know this dog???” She came running over and said, “Yes! She’s my daughter’s dog! We’ve been driving around looking for her for hours!”

She ran in the house to get her daughter, who was visiting from Orange County (40-50 miles away.) The sense of relief on everybody’s part was palpable. Not the least of which, my cats. “Sadie” was safely home with her people and all was right with the world.

Why, now, did I find this story interesting enough to write a blog post on it? I’ve found and reunited animals many times, even ones seemingly through divine intervention, but none to the extent of this. Let’s summarize:

• Sadie walked straight up to our door as if she had lived here for years.

• She got into our car and related to us as if she knew us from birth. (These two things alone helped us understand that there was no question this was a ‘meant to be situation’)

• We asked Siri to connect us to Rancho Coastal, but she couldn’t understand us. I resolved to have the vets call the minute we got there to have them stay open for us, just in case, but forgot, even though I said I would do so, not two minutes before walking in.

• If we had not turned the direction we turned, met the people we met, been given the ‘tips’ we had been given to turn around, talked to the people we talked to for a specific amount of time, and then turned down a street that my husband didn’t even understand going down at that specific moment we would have missed this woman. 2 minutes either way and we would have missed her seeing us walking down the street with Sadie. She was about to get into her car to drive around again, and the way the houses are situated, with no windows looking out on the street, there’s no way her daughter would have seen us pass by.

• Sadie (my grandmother’s namesake, who we had spent a day searching for the day before) had her guardian angels working overtime today.

• My spirit guides worked overtime hearing my request for assistance.

• And coming back around to Sadie just walking up to the screen door as if she knew us, as if she had been told exactly where to go and who to trust, is the defining image I will have in my mind. I’ve never seen anything like it, when I walked out the door, she, without a collar, just walked with me into the back yard as if it were hers.

candle-starfilterWe were suppose to get a visitor tonight. Sadie was suppose to find the two people who she knew would not, could not, ignore or shoo her, but resolve to do whatever it took to find her people and get her home safely. Mission accomplished. All is right with the world. Thank you Sadie for bringing your energy into our lives, thank you spirit guides for helping us find her people, to the minute, and thank you Sadie’s guardian angels for sending her to a home of love and commitment to animals. And, sure, while we’re at it, thank you Grandma Sadie. I never knew you, but somehow it feels like this was a little shoutout from the other side.

The moral of this story is twofold: Trust your instincts to understand when you are the vehicle for divine intervention, no matter how inconvenient it may be for you at the time. There just may be a lost soul that you are intended to help. Secondly, make sure to chip your animals, and if they are chipped, make sure that the information is up-to-date. The amount of agony that will save on everybody’s part will be immeasurable.

Lisa Larson is an Animal Communicator, Medium and Reiki Master.
You can find her at Pawstalk Animal Communication & Reiki


by Lisa Larson

candle-starfilterComing to the realization that it will soon be time for your fur-child to move onto the other side is one of the hardest things we, as committed and loving pet parents, can go through.

As a long time animal communicator, whose specialty is speaking with animals in spirit, there are things we can do that will ease the transition for both you and your fur child.

The following list has been compiled from both personal experience with my own animals, as well as years of helping clients through the process, and helping them to make the difficult decision of how and when to assist our fur babies transition to the other side.

Consider Euthanasia

First of all, we need to understand something very fundamental when our animal is ill. When we adopt an animal, we adopted them for better for worse, and we took on the responsibility to make certain decisions for them, and about them, as their physical caretaker. In that, we need to talk about euthanasia.

Euthanasia is perhaps the one and only right animals have that humans do not: the right to die with dignity. One of the biggest misconceptions that people have is that if you let an animal die of natural causes, it will be painless and peaceful. While that may or may not be true in some instances, I can tell you from personal experience, it is not true across the board. I had the unfortunate experience of watching a family member’s cat die a horrible, miserable, death because his human mom would not make the decision to help him cross. It is one of my biggest regrets in my life that I did not encourage her more strongly. From a professional standpoint, I have never, ever, spoken to an animal in the last stages of life who told me they wanted to pass naturally. To the one, they say, “…if I am suffering, please help me cross.”

Euthanasia is one of the most altruistic, selfless things you can do for you fur-family member. Animals have an incredible ability to hang on and on and on when their pet parents are unable to let go … and let go from their heart. I have spoken with animals who have been in such misery that they tell me, “Yes, please, please, please, it’s time!” Yet, because their pet parents have been unwilling and unable to make that decision and let go, I have seen these animals suffer for weeks, sometimes up to 6 weeks, hanging on in misery. Considering that there is relatively no palliative care for animals, this suffering is on profound levels.

Given both my personal and professional experience, what I tell my clients is this: It’s better a day too early than a day too late. If you help them cross one day too early, you will have prevented their suffering, and 10 years down the line what you will probably be left with are the wonderful memories of the entire life you shared with each other rather than that one extra day. On the other hand, if you do it a day too late, 10 years down the line, the extra day you have is not going to make the difference to you, except that you run the risk of having to play that miserable day over and over in your head, questioning whether you let your fur child suffer, or worse, knowing so.

We have the ability to help animals transition with peace and dignity. Don’t take that away from them.

Euthanize at Home, if Possible

Over and over again, when I ask animals how they want to pass when it comes to euthanasia, they tell me, “at home.” They will usually show me laying in a favorite spot looking out a window or laying in the sun.

There are more and more veterinarians who do nothing but home euthanasia. This is a wonderful option, where your fur child need not go into a carrier or be taken into a cold sterile building, but gets to be in the safety and comfort of their own home surrounded by their loved ones. How many of you have heard people say they want the same thing? So do animals.

Be Prepared

Whether you do decide you will euthanize at home or take them to the vets, research your options beforehand. There is nothing worse than having to make a last minute decision of this magnitude, and not knowing who or what is available.

Here in the San Diego area I recommend Paws Into Grace but, to familiarize yourself with your options, you can Google search your area for ‘home euthanasia vets’, ‘mobile vets’, or even talk to your personal vet to see if he/she would offer that service to you. Doing this will also help you come to grips with having to let go on the emotional level that your fur child may need help from you to move on.

Understand the Importance of Letting Go

On a conscious level, you may think you are ready to let go, you may have even told your fur child that he or she can leave. But understand that animals relate to us on very deep energetic levels. If you are not truly there, emotionally … in your heart … they will know, and they will hang on. We don’t want that for them.

If you sense that your fur child is hanging on, do some deep soul searching to see if you might be unable or unwilling to let go, deep down in your heart. Many times, when I do a reading near the end of a fur kid’s life, I find that if I am able to help the pet parent touch that part of themselves, within a few days the animal will take a turn to be ready to leave because they had been hanging on.

Know that once your fur child is gone, you will still be able to speak with him/her and s/he will still be around you.

I spoke with a fur child in spirit at one point, whose mom was having a terrible time with his passing. He showed me himself unzipping his body and stepping out of his body as an etherial mass next to his mom. He said to her, “It’s okay, mom. I’m right here. I’m just not wearing my clothes anymore.”

After your fur child has crossed into spirit, s/he will hear you when you speak to him, be around you when you think of her, and you will always be able to communicate to her through a communicator like myself, if necessary, but often will not be. You will see signs that they are around, they will watch over you and be your spirit guide, and more likely than not, you will have many, many shared experiences (lifetimes) together.

Unfortunately, our animal’s life spans are far shorter than ours. dog being adopted I have always thought that to be some sort of cruel, cosmic joke. But in doing this work, I have had animals give me insights that, while it may be small consolation when we are going through it, may help in the long run.

The insight is this: think about how many homeless animals there are in the world, suffering, alone, out on the streets and in shelters. (I don’t believe in getting animals from breeders. I don’t believe in breeding animals, period.) In a perfect world, we have all of our animals for the full length of their life spans. So if we live the full length of ours, we will have saved at least 4 or 5 generations of animals from the torment of animal homelessness.

Animals come into our lives for a reason. Jamie [name changed], a lovely dog in spirit, talked about the concept of adoption in that we, in human existence, are given the gift of being able to be physical caretakers for these animals who, in turn, become spiritual caretakers for us.

We know we will miss them. But what better gift could we give them than to help them on their final journey? They, who continue to be our spiritual caretakers, long after our job of physical caretaker is over.

Lisa Larson is an animal communicator and reiki master. You can find her at

Adopting a New Kitty


Many people come to me with the question of how to introduce a new cat into the household where there is an existing cat. It’s a time that can determine, from the outset, how your cats will perceive each other and get along for the rest of their lives, so it’s critical that you understand how to do it before you ever bring your new little one into the house.

First of all, many people think they can bring them in and keep them separated for a day, and all will be well. This is NOT the case. 1 day, 2 days, even 3 days is way too short of a time. The last time we did it, I think the vet recommendation was a good two weeks. That’s hard, but you need to do it way longer than a day. For one thing, you need to make sure that the kitten has no hidden communicable diseases that might show up.

You need to give them plenty of time, day after day, and night after night, to sniff each other under the door and get accustomed to each other’s smells and the idea that this is not temporary, but this is someone they’re going to smell every day, every day. This is especially important for the established cat.

Once you’ve given them a few days to do that, start bringing the kitten out by hand, one person holding the kitten on the floor, the other the cat and let them look at each other from a distance. Do this several times throughout the day. After that when you do it, let them get a little closer and closer, still holding them, until you can let them get close enough without hissing to smell each other. (Again, this is more for the cat than the kitten.) (If you live alone, either bring in a friend to help you, or just hold the new cat and let the established cat take his or her time coming up to sniff.)

Once that has been accomplished, start letting the kitten out to run around, for very short periods of time, when you are home and can watch over things. Let the kitten investigate, by this time, hopefully, the cat will look at it with curiosity, rather than jealousy and animosity. Again, do this several times throughout the day, extending the number of times/day every day, and the length of time out as you go. Doing it this way, you are increasing the chances of their getting along. The transition has been gradual and monitored.

Make sure during that time that you spend plenty of time in the bathroom (or a spare bedroom if you have one — that’s even better) with the kitten giving it plenty of love and attention, as well as giving extra attention to the established cat. If there are two of you, don’t both go in to spend time with the kitten together. Each needs to feel loved, not excluded.

Remember that there is no “set time limit” to do this. It will depend on how quickly the cats (or cat) adjust. You don’t want to rush it. You need to use your intuition and be highly conscious of their emotions and reactions and let those guide the time apart or together, rather than having any kind of set time limit. For instance, if you feel in a shorter time that they are doing well and can take more time or more contact, move closer or to the next step. But if the cat is still hissing and such, you need to move more slowly.

I think our last two it was a week and a half before the kitten was out and about a large amount of the time, maybe two weeks by the time he started sleeping with us, maybe a little less. But it’s really important to take as much time as it takes so they have a good relationship.

I remember it being really hard to try to take so long, the kitten really wanted out of the bedroom, but our cats are *great* friends now, so it was worth it.

Introducing cats takes a lot of effort, care and being in tune with how the animals are reacting and feeling. Make sure you plan out, in advance, how you will introduce them and you can foster a long and loving relationship between them. Congrats on your new addition. May you all live together in peace, harmony and happiness for many, many years to come.

A Pet’s 10 Commandments

1. My life is likely to last 10-20 years… Any separation from you is likely to be painful.

2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.

3. Place your trust in me. It is crucial for my well-being.

4. Don’t be angry with me for long and don’t lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, your entertainment, but I have only you.

5. Talk to me. Even if I don’t understand your words, I do understand your voice when speaking to me.

6. Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget it.

7. Before you hit me, before you strike me, remember that I could hurt you, and yet, I choose not to bite you.

8. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I’m not getting the right food, I have been in the sun too long, or my heart might be getting old or weak.

9. Please take care of me when I grow old – remember, you too, will grow old.

10. On the ultimate difficult journey, go with me, please Never say you can’t bear to watch. Don’t make me face this alone. Everything is easier for me if you are there, because I love you so.