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Annie was a pretty girl, a shepherd mix with a sweet face who’d fallen into a depression three months earlier when her dog companion Nellie passed.  My veterinarian referred Annie’s person to me and clearly, the woman was desperate.

“She’s grieving,” her person told me.  “She just won’t snap out of it.”  She began to cry.  The person had another situation in her life, one that required her utmost attention and focus and it meant she had less time for the aging dog.  She had the option of sending the dog to a friend’s house where she’d have lots of attention but first she was desperate for Annie to feel better.

When I sat down give Annie a full reading, I was surprised to learn it wasn’t grief so much as self-esteem.

Nellie had been the alpha; she’d put herself in charge of the household.  During her long life she directed and inspired the other characters and buoyed them with her happy high energy.  Annie was terrified that she was supposed to step up and carry Nellie’s torch, but she simply didn’t have the same personality and had no idea where to start.  On top of it all she needed to grieve and what with one thing and another she’d simply shut down in self-defense.

We did a lot of different things in Annie’s healing but I made sure she knew she didn’t have to be Nellie.

“You’re Annie,” I told her.  “You don’t have to worry about being the alpha; that was Nellie’s job and her work is done.  You have your own special gifts and you’re here to share them with your mom.”

I reminded her that she could just be the dog and be loved, and if she did nothing else it would be profoundly comforting to her person.

By the end of that day the dog was brighter, even playful.   Her person felt more connected to to Annie, and there was a palpable sense of relief.

“Your work is astonishing,” the person told me as the days unfolded.

Maybe.  I just look for clues, give the animals some options and help them move energy.  It’s up to them to partner with me and make their own transformation.

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