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Extend Your Love this Valentine's Day : Gifts for Your Animal Companion

THE HEART BOND

There’s an Indian myth. When the world was created and all the people and animals were present, suddenly there was an earthquake. It started to rend the world in half, splitting the people from the animals. Just before the split became too great to navigate, the dog jumped over to be with man.

We feel intuitively that we have a special bond with dogs, cats and other mammals. There’s a scientific basis for this as well, and it’s called a “limbic connection.” Read more about this in “A General Theory of Love,” by Amini et al - http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0375709223/susandunnmome-20 ).

HOW THIS WORKS

Our brain is really three brains: the reptilian brain, the limbic brain, and the neocortex. Automatic instinctive processes are controlled by the reptilian brain, also known as the brain stem, such as breathing, and heart beat. We think, as only human’s can, with our neocortex.

The limbic brain is the seat of our emotions and we share this with mammals. We share a limbic connection with them – we send emotional signals back and forth. We need this connection to thrive.

Our intuition that life is better with a dog or cat, ferret or rabbit in the house is backed by scientific study after scientific study. People heal more quickly from heart attacks if there is a dog in the home, moreso than if there’s another human in the home. Being with a pet lowers our blood pressure, and pets are egalitarian: The mere presence of a dog will lower the blood pressure of an ailing senior, a healthy college student, or a child reading a book alone in a room.

THE HEALING CONNECTION

We’re recognizing this bond and its mutual healing power through the growing fields of Animal-assisted Therapy, and Animal Communicators.

The Pacific Animal Therapy Society ( http://www.island.net/~patspets/ ) offers an active animal therapy program, bringing pets to hospitals, retirement homes and other facilities where residents benefit from interaction with animal companions.

http://www.dog-play.com herapy.html also offers animal assisted therapy. An animal visit offers entertainment, distraction from pains and infirmity, and comfort.

“People often talk to dogs, and share with them their thoughts and feelings and memories,” they say. A visiting animal companion provides something to look forward to, and makes conversation easier between two strangers, giving a common interest and a focus for conversation.

The Pet Therapy Society of Northern Alberta offers the “PAWS in the Classroom” program, an animal-facilitated learning experience for special junior high students, where students learn about human and animal relationships, including intra and inter-species attachments and bonding, the benefits and responsibilities of involvement with pets, and behavior development principals.

THE HEART-TO-HEART CONNECTION: ANIMAL COMMUNICATORS

Mammals are equipped to communicate with us, though the means are non-verbal. How does this work?

We communicate with each other all the time by intuitive and nonverbal means. We sense how someone else is feeling, or ‘know’ our boss is sick, or detect a sad tone beneath the cheerful words of our spouse, or get a chill down our spine when someone enters the room. Extending this more intentionally to our animal companions can be joyful and healing for all concerned, and this is what Animal Communicators do. This growing field helps pet owners make a stronger connection with their animal companions.

Valentine’s day is a celebration of love, and who gives us the most steady and unconditional love in our lives?

Here are some suggestions if you want to celebrate your love for your animal companion. Great ideas to give to the animal-lovers on your list, too. Remember the old saying, “Love me love my dog”?

GIFT SUGGESTIONS FOR VALENTINE’S DAY

1.Gift your special someone with a deeper connection with their beloved animal companion. Animal communicators such as Georgina Cyr, http://www.geocities.com/healing_all/, and Jacquelin Smith, http://www.jacquelinsmith.com , offer consultations in pet communication and healing.
2.How about a great heart-shaped dog or cat bed? http://www.petsmart.com/products/product_22205.shtml
3.This gifts packs a double wollop. – a Valentine toile and chenille dog bed by Companion Road. A portion from the sale of all Companion Road items is donated to charities to assist local animal shelters. Go here: http://www.petsmart.com/products/product_33522.shtml
4.How about a sharp red doggy or ferret t-shirt with Xs and Os all over it? http://www.petsmart.com/products/product_33769.shtml
5.PetCo offers a whole Valentine’s store for pets – heart-shaped catnip, bone buddies and more! http://www.petco.com/ProductListing_SpecialtyStores.asp?webt=0&tab=8&c1=4461&ct1=Valentine+Store&Dept_ID=4461&cmLink_ID=hppb0004010703
6.Give them a gift membership to the Divine Prayer Line for Animals. http://www.jacquelinsmith.com/prayer.html.
7.All Natural Dogs http://www.allnaturaldogs.com/ offers vitamins, supplements, holistic products, homeopathic remedies, and natural food for dogs.
8.Need something for a ferret or rabbit? Try here: http://www.ferretstore.com/
9.Try the high-flying Crackler Moth for the cat-lover, http://www.bluepet.co.uk/shopexd.asp?id=83, from Blue Pet Co., UK.
10.Get a carrier pet-pocket for their small cat, dog, ferret or rabbit here: http://store.yahoo.com/pet-gifts/carpetpoc2.html
11.Love Bites! http://www.petcelebrations.com/ipage/31020.htm Heart-shaped doggy biscuits.
12.Valentine’s scarves for dogs or cats: http://www.pet-bandanas.com/valentines-bandanas.htm
13.Bake some homemade dog biscuits. Recipes here: http://www.gurney.co.uk/pads/bone.htm
14.Canine Sweet Hearts™ available here – red-colored, heart-shaped corn and wheat-free vanilla or Carob flavored treats. http://www.pet-treats-online.com/index.cfm?&User_ID=71254&St=1189&St2=-69205122&St3=70971565&DS_ID=2?&DID=6&User_ID=71254&st=1189&st2=-69205122&st3=70971565&page=detail&ObjectGroup_Id=3&Product_Id=158
15.Make a donation to the Humane Society in the name of your loved-one or their animal companion or yours: http://www.hsus.org/ace/15982

This Valentine’s Day, extend your concept of love! We need all we can get.

About the Author

Susan Dunn, The EQ Coach, offer coaching, Internet courses and ebooks for your personal and professional development. Visit her on the web at www.susandunn.cc and mailto:sdunn@susandunn.cc for FREE ezine.

Susan Dunn, The EQ Coach