Lizanne and I met at an open house for a new canine rehabilitation and training center in Pacifica, CA several years ago. She was a presenter on animal communication and was also giving private sessions for people and their pets while in town. I was immediately impressed and attracted to her demeanor, her presentation and her energy that made me want to book a session with my collie, Isa. When Lizanne arrived at the house, Isa displayed unusual behavior —- remaining away from us, yet watching intently the whole time Lizanne was there “talking and listening” to her from across the room. Isa seemed to know this was about her and they communicated quite openly. I subsequently acted on some of the suggestions Lizanne made regarding information Isa imparted to her in that session that had to do with our rather complex but loving relationship. Isa responded to the change in me and I felt we had discovered a new level of communication ourselves.
Isa, and all collies, have sensitivities of their GI tracts. We were in the process of gradually working our way through the maze of procedures and tests to find out what was going on with her, when she began vomiting. My trip to the vet revealed an ulcerated bowel from the NSAID drug. Her operation was successful according the the vet, but she then suddenly went into cardiac arrest and stroke in the recovery room and died. Lizanne “witnessed” the heart attack as electrical energy and the vet’s reactions which upon speaking with her later, were completely accurate. She was “seen” leaning over the table and shouting “No, no!” as Isa couldn’t be resuscitated. Tears were shed by both of us over Isa’s body in her office that day and we clung to each other in our collective grief. Lizanne also “saw” the inflammation in Isa’s body prior to surgery. The details Lizanne shared with me about Isa’s personality, wisdom and the process of her illness are very personal and profound. I think we can, as the human guardians, choose to “believe” and open to levels of awareness and consciousness with animals as well as our own species, or not. I have chosen to open to the mysteries of life that cannot be seen or heard, the world that resides in our innate wisdom and our hearts, instincts, and intuitions. This physical plane on which we exist is very limiting. Animal communication is one way of exploring the other planes inhabited by companion creatures on this earth. I sometimes envy the pulse they feel on earth, living so close to what is essential. We need to learn to feel that pulse.
Both vets admitted they are sure it was the drug and future research revealed that these drugs can and do cause GI upset in many dogs. The seriousness of how much it affects different dogs can only be determined after it is administered and monitored by blood work, but often it is not easily detected as in Isa’s case. The upshot of all this in my mind, is simply to find alternative methods of treating pain, especially in known breeds who have a sensitivity. I did a feature article in the local newspaper complete with obituary for Isa to do her bidding and educate others about the use of pharmaceutical drugs. Isa felt that “they are not of the earth, so are foreign to her body”. I also told her story to every dog owner I saw over and over again, to help them be aware and make more conscious choices with their dogs. Isa asked that her death not be in vain but to use it to teach others about drugs and doing one’s own research first.
I called Lizanne in my distraught state, completely devastated by the unnecessary death of my beloved 7-1/2 year old collie. I have experienced death of many people in my life over the years, and other dogs as well, and have always needed to feel there is “life on the other side” or at least that I could communicate my grief and apologies to Isa for failing her by being her life guardian and not being able to care for her as she deserved. I saw her death as my failing and ignorance to give her the care she needed. Since our dogs lives are defined by the life we create for them, we naturally feel horribly guilty when things go very wrong.
Lizanne’s “reading” with me, which I read often to this day, gave me explicit instructions from Isa about how to think of her death, how to ritualize the disposal of her collar and leash, and even how to design and construct a “headstone” for her ashes, all of which I have done. Her little box of ashes is topped with two red glass hearts, mounted on a piece of driftwood from the beach she loved so much. Lizanne helped me with my grief and guilt and gave me such a beautiful description of Isa “flying over the house”, always to be with me and full of love and forgiveness. She is in a wonderful place now, free of pain, and if I can let her go, she can fly and soar to necessary heights.
I think I had had a premonition of some kind about a week earlier as I found a necklace made by a friend at the Farmer’s Market where I was doing chair massage. The necklace was silver wings with the word “fly” etched into the back. Something really struck me about this necklace and I looked at it for a very long time. After Isa died the following week, I sought out the necklace but it had been sold. The jeweler, my friend, made me another and gifted it to me because she knew it was meant for Isa and me. I wear it daily to remember her by.
I didn’t think I could give my love to another dog for a long time, if at all, but Lizanne encouraged the process by communicating with Isa’s permission to bring another being into my life and that she would “come back as herself or in another if I would have her”. After many months I began the arduous process of getting yet another collie, my fourth, because I love the breed so much. Tashi arrived as a 7 month old and we have been together for about four months. There are so many ways in which Isa is in him and those little things remind me of her every day. I keep her picture as my screen saver (sorry Tashi) and have her picture on my desk. I love him with all my heart and he is definitely unique, but I am reminded of Isa all the time and it makes me smile now.
Lizanne’s sensitivity, wisdom and compassion have allowed for an important depth of experience with the passing of my beloved Isa. Both sessions opened a world into the mind and heart of my lovely dog that deepened the relationship in ways I cannot describe. My desire to “know” more deeply the spiritual gifts our dogs bring to us only enhances the life we share with them but more importantly, the focus becomes the dog and not ourselves and their complexity and desire to communicate with us what they need.
I plan to continue booking sessions with Lizanne with Tashi so that I can be fully engaged in our spiritual and earthly bond.
~ Michele C., San Francisco, CA