I met Sue the first time at a metaphysical fair in Colorado. She was visibly upset and concerned. Sue told me she had recently adopted a toy Australian Shepard named Rayme. Sue said that her previous dog, Austin, had crossed to Spirit not long ago. Sue was concerned because she didn’t feel she and Rayme were bonding well.
I asked Rayme how she felt about living with Sue. Rayme showed me that Sue cried a lot — Rayme felt Sue’s heart was broken and she didn’t know what to do about it. Sue admitted that she was still grieving for Austin, who she was deeply attached to. Sue said she cried for several reasons — the heartache she felt now that Austin was gone, painful family/relationship issues and because she didn’t seem to be bonding with Rayme.
Rayme showed me that she would stand a distance from Sue and just watch her, not knowing what to do. Sue confirmed this was exactly what was happening — it was heartbreaking to Sue. It felt to me that there was a “barrier” between Rayme and Sue, which Rayme also felt. I asked Rayme to show me the “barrier”. What Rayme showed me was the spirit of Austin standing in front of Sue — always between Sue and Rayme.
I talked to Austin, in Spirit. Austin was upset by the way Rayme was treating her beloved person, Sue. She felt that Rayme was making Sue cry and that Rayme was not being loving to Sue. This was very upsetting to Austin, who loved Sue deeply, so Austin was standing guard over Sue, trying to protect her from the unloving behavior Rayme was exhibiting.
Clearly, there were several misunderstanding contributing to the situation!
I told Austin that we certainly understood her concerns for Sue’s feelings and that Sue was grateful for her protection. I told Austin that as much as Sue appreciated Austin’s intentions, it was important for Sue and Rayme to be able to bond. I asked Austin if it would be possible for her to stand next to Sue, rather than in front of Sue — which would allow Rayme to connect with Sue. I asked Austin if she could just observe Rayme and Sue’s interactions and encourage Rayme to connect with Sue. I told Austin that this was what Sue wanted — a deeper connection to Rayme — although no one would ever replace Austin in Sue’s heart. Austin agreed to step aside and make room for Rayme.
I let Rayme know that Austin was going to stand aside and that she could now connect with Sue. Rayme was concerned that Sue was disappointed in her and that was why Sue cried. I told Rayme that Sue went into the bedroom to cry for many reasons. I encouraged Rayme to give Sue space and time to cry if she needed to and when Sue came out of the bedroom, I showed Rayme how she could greet Sue happily and know that Sue would be happy to spend time with her then. Rayme said she understood and that she would do that from now on.
Sue was still concerned that she and Rayme were not bonding. Sue asked me to ask Rayme, point blank, if Rayme wanted to be her dog. Rayme said it was more fun when she first came to live with Sue, that Sue didn’t play with her any more, but Rayme didn’t understand why. Sue told me that she’d recently injured her hip, so she couldn’t play with Rayme like she had at first. I explained to Rayme that Sue had hurt herself and couldn’t play like she had before. Rayme said, “I’m not hurt — how long until she can play with me again?” I told Rayme that it would be “a few moons” (months) before Sue could play actively again. I reminded Sue that Rayme was a puppy and really needed the exercise and play — we brain stormed and came up with some activities that Sue could do with Rayme that would be fun and active for Rayme, but wouldn’t further stress Sue’s injury. Rayme said that as long as Sue played with her, she would be able to wait until Sue healed to play more actively. Sue agreed to play more safe games with Rayme and said she was hopeful that she and Rayme would begin to bond now that they both understood each other better.
[ Sue reported to me later that Rayme’s behavior changed completely immediately after our conversation at the fair. As soon as Sue got home from the fair, she noticed that Rayme was happy to interact with her. Rayme now respects Sue’s occasional need for privacy and showers Sue with kisses when she comes out. Sue said, “Rayme has turned into such a love!” ]
We have talked to Rayme many times since that first conversation at the fair about a variety of issues . . .
— When Rayme was about 5 months old, Sue asked me to check with Rayme to see if she still needed to be crated when Sue left the house or if it was Ok to leave her loose in the apartment’s large bathroom. Rayme proudly informed us that she was “a big girl now” and would not have accidents in the house. Sue reported that Rayme never had any accidents when she left the house after that conversation.
— When Rayme was 6 months old, Rayme and Sue were going to move to Florida. Sue and Rayme were going to travel to Florida by plane, so we needed to explain an airline flight to Rayme. Initially I thought Rayme would be traveling in cargo — Rayme said, “I’ll be scared, but I know I have to be a big girl and be brave.” Sue corrected me and told me Rayme would be traveling in the cabin with her. Rayme said she liked that much better! I told Rayme she would have to be very quiet and still. Rayme promised to be a “good girl”. Sue reported that Rayme “did not make a peep” during the trip! The passengers around Sue couldn’t get over how well behaved Rayme was, even when she was laying on Sue’s lap, not making a sound!
— A few months ago, Sue got a dog agility-type tunnel for Rayme to play in — but Rayme seemed to be afraid of it. Rayme said she knew that Sue really wanted her to go in the tunnel and showed me running through it as fast as she could. Sue confirmed that this was exactly what Rayme did. Rayme said she was trying to be brave, but that it really scared her when the tunnel shook when she was inside it. I suggested to Sue that Rayme might be more willing to go in the tunnel if it was stabilized and didn’t move so much. Sue agreed to brace the tunnel so it didn’t move. Rayme was happy to hear this and said she would go into the tunnel now. Sue stabilized the tunnel and the next morning she threw a toy into the middle of the tunnel. Rayme not only ran right in to get the toy, but stopped in the middle of the tunnel,sat down, dropped her toy, picked it up and went out the other end of the tunnel. Sue reported that Rayme had never done this before! Rayme was never afraid of the tunnel again.
Rayme will be a year old on May 13th. With the help of good communication, Rayme and Sue have a bonded and loving relationship!
“Sky has assisted Rayme and me coming together as partners in a loving, bonding and trusting relationship. For me to experience Rayme’s understand of what was/is happening so she doesn’t have to fear outcomes is worth every session with Sky. My heart is warm and filled with joy that communication is truly possible with our beloved pets!”
— Sue D., FL
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