Monday, September 24, 2012

Healing our animals...

Belinda is an re-connective healing expert and works with animals not to treat symptoms, but to treat the whole animal. Belinda mentioned that many animals actually mirror their guardian’s illness and disease.

Researching and studying the ancient Hawaiian healing practices has been a passion of Belinda’s and about 15 years ago, this impacted her life in a very positive way. We talked about the power of re-connective healing, and what is so incredible is that the healer does not actually physically touch the animal. The healing occurs by being present and using deep empathy and helping the animal to get into an extremely calm state. Belinda talked about some incredible examples of animals who in 1-3 sessions, experienced dramatic improvements in their health. This form of healing can also reduce anxiety and depression in animals, and is extremely beneficial for animals who have experienced trauma .

Imagine if all animals had this sense of joy and peace...

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all shelter animals had the opportunity to experience this type of transformational healing?

To learn more about re-connective healing, and Belinda Farrell, visit:

And, Listen to the amazing interview with expert and healer, Belinda Farrell, you will love her story about swimming with the dolphins (a lot of them).

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Adopt an animal, or a shelter

You can adopt animals, and even shelters!

Chris Ruben was my guest on PAWsitive Radio, all things pets! Chris talked about the organization he founded, and is now the CEO of, Adopt a This is a great concept- people can shop online through the mall on website, and, they raise money for their favorite shelter at the same time.  Learn more about Adopt a Shelter at:

Some of the business strategies that have found successful:

- Creating conversations- word of mouth marketing is not only effective, it is essential for any business. As my friend and media coach Shawne Duperon says, “share good gossip!” is a great example of creating conversations around the needs that shelters have in addition to financial support.

- Marketing that works- postcard campaigns, and postcards that go with the adoption kits in shelters, Facebook, a How It Works flyer, and asking organizations and shelters to share the link in their marketing.

- Collaboration- forming collaborations and alliances with other businesses and groups with similar values and mission (such as animal associations, doggie day cares, shelters, dog spas, etc.)

Think outside the box, and inside the box!

- Making the process easy, painless and focused is really important otherwise people would be less inclined to use the service.

Chris got his start in the pet industry in 1989, when he introduced dried Pig Ears, Bully Sticks and other all-natural meat-based chews and treats to the U.S. market. In subsequent years, Chris worked on such industry-leading brands as The Incredible Motor Mouse Cat Toy, Snoopy's Pet Beds, Collars and Leashes, Sticky Paws Cat Behavior Modification Products, Barnsdale Farms and Bullwrinkles Dog Treats. As Founder & CEO, Chris teamed up with three other pet industry and animal welfare veterans to develop and offer, a free and easy-to-use cash-rewards mall that helps animal charities raise money by shopping online. To date, over 750 shelters have registered with us and over 100 have received donation checks.

If you are a shelter staff or volunteer or have a favorite shelter in your community, make sure you visit to register your shelter.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Snake Avoidance Training for Dogs

Oh no! My dog has been bitten by a snake! What do I do?

Listen to internet radio with PAWsitive Radio on Blog Talk Radio

Would you know what to do if your dog was bitten by a snake while out for a Sunday walk?  My guest, Karen Singleton  helped answer that very question on PAWsitive Radio- all things pets, which is my weekly radio show. 

Karen lives in Chino, CA with her 17 year old son Dean and her yellow Lab “Nala” and her Runt-weiler “Bruno”. Karen has been a Trainer and Dog and Cat Behavior Consultant since 1977, and is an expert on Snake Avoidance Training for Your Dog!  You can find out more about Karen and the training programs at: Website:

The first step in avoiding snake bites is to become informed. Take a course, read up on the subject, and plan your hikes in advance. The second tip is to have a snake bite emergency kit with you when hiking in the bush. The third great tip was that if your dog has been bitten, carry the dog back to the vehicle or immediately to help. If the dog is walking, it expedites the reaction and puts the dog at further risk. 

Listen to the other great tips Karen shares at:

Please feel free to share this link with others, let's get the word out there. Awareness saves lives!

Here are a few very helpful products related to this topic:
Snake Bite Kit                Snake Bite Kit                 First Aid for Dogs Book      First Aid for Pets Kit

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Holidaying with Your Pet Checklist:

Holidaying with Your Pet Checklist:

We travelled a great deal with our dog Toby, always by car. And before I created a checklist, we always forgot something at home. This is how we ended up with too many brushes, duplicates of toys and harnesses.

Here is a checklist we put together to help us prepare and pack for roadtrips:

____Letter from Vet showing all vaccinations are up to date and notices of medications pet is on and health issues (we kept one copy of this in car, and one with our passports so it was with us at all times), also great information to type into your phone
____Emergency Contact Numbers (e.g. Vet, trainer, etc)

____ Leash (and spare one in backpack in car)
____ Walking Harness
____ Dog Tag (on collar) with Phone number

____Toby's blanket/bed 
____ Food and water dish
____ Food and treats
____ Poop bags
____ Dish soap
____ Towel

____ Balls and Kong for fetch
____ Frisbee
____ Stuffed animal

____ Brush
____ Shampoo

___ List of pet friendly hotels

____ Toby's Life Vest
____ Toby's snow footwear

We also had a backpack that was stocked with a few toys, a baggie of dog treats, poop bags, a brush, a leash, a collapsible water dish and some paper towels. And always had water in the vehicle. You never know when there may be a road side emergency.  In our trunk we also had an emergency blanket, first aid kit and survival kit.

Safety First! Toby the dog in his Outward Hound Life Preserver.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Animal Assisted Therapy Dogs... making a PAWsitive Difference!

Therapy dogs make a significant difference in the lives of people around the world. From volunteering in hospitals, seniors homes, group homes, schools, reading programs, mental health facilities (to name just a few), AAT (animal assisted therapy) dogs reduce stress and anxiety, and can positively impact a person's physical health and emotional state.

Toby the dog with my husband Christopher,
volunteering at Dogpalooza event in Edmonton Alberta and supporting
Chimo Animal Assisted Therapy Program Booth.

Listen to a great conversation I had with Renee on the radio....we were talking about Toby's story, animal assisted therapy and Toby's book Toby The Pet Therapy Dog & His Hospital Friends.

"Toby is a big, brown, happy dog. Every week, his owner, Miss Charmaine takes him to visit and comfort children who are in the hospital. Follow Toby the service dog for a day, and see how he makes friends with the children, helps make them happy and forget that they are sick and away from home."

Beautifully illustrated, Toby, the Pet Therapy Dog teaches young readers the wonders of being of service to others.   A happy story that also sends a positive message about community, as well as the importance of kindness to pets.

To learn more about Animal Assisted Therapy and the Chimo AAT Program, visit and listen to Danielle from Chimo Animal Assisted Therapy on PAWsitive Radio- all things Pets!

Listen to internet radio with PAWsitive Radio on Blog Talk Radio
We'd love to hear about your animal assisted therapy program, or your favorite story about therapy pets.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Helping your dog with thunder storms

This is a great quote about animals....."Animals are reliable, many full of love, true in their affections, predictable in their actions, grateful and loyal. Difficult standards for people to live up to." by Alfred A. Montapert

Our dog Toby, a Chessie who lived life big, created wonderful memories and who inspired PAWsitive energy wherever he went. 
I love being a radio host and talking to pet experts, authors and pet lovers.  On PAWsitive Radio I talked about the great stories I hear from other pet owners about their dog and pets, other people's pets and lessons they have learned from pets.  I shared a few lessons I learned from our dog Toby.... Patience! Persistence! Consistency! and Trust.  I also had the opportunity to learn from dog trainer and expert
Georgina Bradley. 

Georgina, is an entrepreneur, certified professional dog trainer, owner of DogStars Training Academy. 30 years of animal experience and passion to everything she does. She has worked with animals in the film industry, supplying dogs to events like the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, and was a SPCA dog assessment officer. She worked with the animals as the trainer on the movies 101 Dalmatians, and Homeward Bound II. She uses positive reinforcement training and encourages the dogs to think and the humans to understand how dogs communicate, which builds a strong relationship and trust between the two.

The most typical training issues are: leash training, aggression, pulling on leash, jumping up, biting, and house training puppies. Georgina shared some tips that pet owners and pet parents can implement right away.

1) Social your pet with other animals (walking in public, dog parks, attending obedience training, agility classes, dog sports, etc.)

2) Positive Reinforcement techniques: believe in what your dog can do. Help your pet build confidence. Don’t play on or reinforce their anxiety. Smile, your dog understands your non verbal communication. Praise the right behaviours immediately. Find something other than treats that motivates the dog (e.g. a special word, a toy, etc)

3) Watch what you transfer down the leash. If you are nervous, you transfer that down the leash. I loved this tip because it reminds us as pet owners/pet parents to be so aware of what we are giving off to our pets.  When I discovered not play into our dog Toby's fear of thunder, his response changed dramatically. I used to reassure him "Toby, everything's fine." or "It's ok Toby" or similar comments, and keep petting or cuddling him. When I discovered that I was transferring fear instead of reassurance I was really quite surprised. But not nearly as surprised when the trainer suggested that during the next thunder storm I resist my need to reassure Toby, and play his favorite game instead.  As soon as the first thunder clap hit, I grabbed Toby's Kong and said "Let's Play, Toby! Get your Kong" and I tossed it a few feet away. As he grabbed the Kong another thunder clap roared through the house. I smiled and laughed (still resisting my urge to simply reassure him) and said "bring it here Toby". Tail wagging he happily returned the Kong. We did this a number of times then I said "Lay down on your matt." which he did. The next thunder clap alarmed him and he got and paced and again.... I resisted the need to reassure him and gently moved his kong around on the floor with my foot. His anxiety was noticeably reduced.  This training was wonderful for Toby, and for me.

To listen to the radio show with Georgina, visit:

Please feel free to share this link, and listen to the other archived radio shows at:

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Golden Moment- On Toby's Terms Takes a Gold

September-2012 –On Toby’s Terms, the bestselling memoir by author Charmaine Hammond about the journey she and her husband Chris Alcock take after they rescued their dog Toby, a Chesapeake Bay Retriever, has recently been honored with a gold medal in the Readers Favorite Award Contest Non Fiction-Animals category.

The contest, open to authors of both fiction and non-fiction books, award their seal of excellence in over 70 categories. According to one of the judges on the contest’s judging panel “The book is the most delightful story and should be required reading for every dog owner or potential owner.”

On Toby’s Terms ( a book about life, patience and purpose is a first rate story about the love between a dog and his family. According to author Charmaine Hammond “We are honored to win this award and happy and proud that readers get a chance to know and love Toby like we do.”

On Toby’s Terms is an Amazon bestseller and soon to become a major motion picture. There is also a children’s book series featuring Toby working his miracles as a pet therapy dog.

Charmaine Hammond, MA, BA, is an international transformational speaker, helping people live inspired, resilient lives and is a leading trainer in corporate North America helping transform workplaces.Charmaine is also the co-author of new book GPS Your Best Life-Charting Your Destination and Getting There in Stye (Bettie Youngs Books, Sept. 2012). Charmaine has been featured on CBC, CTV, Global TV, 820 CHAM, Alberta Prime Time News, many major newspapers, and in various magazines.
To find out more about On Toby's Terms visit or

Friday, September 7, 2012

Ten Tips for Surviving Pet Loss

Pets are amazing connectors!

Because of our dog Toby, I have met some of the most amazing people, and animals. Our precious friend Toby passed away late 2011, and we miss him dearly....every single day.   Toby was a dog who lived life big and left pawprints on hearts around the world.  Sadly, our animal friends just are not with us long enough, however, their friendship and unconditional love is a beautiful memory of how our pets impact our lives.  The conversation about pet loss is an important one and I am delighted to introduce you to our guest blog author, Reisa Stone. 

Ten Tips for Surviving Pet Loss

by  Expert Animal Communicator Reisa Stone

Losing your dear companion to death is one of the most devastating things that will ever happen to you. You've lost your best friend and a source of completely nonjudgmental love.

When I lost my heart dog Chant, I was inconsolable. It took not one, but two interventions to get me to surrender her to a pet funeral service. I placed her body in a snow bank at my back door. For three months, I answered concerned inquiries with a brusque, "She's fine." I made disastrous career decisions. I gained 20 lbs. by watching TV all night, chain smoking and eating junk food instead of going to the gym.

Reisa and her beautiful dog Chant

Then, Chant visited me from the Rainbow Bridge. She taught me a profound spiritual lesson that eased my heart and mind.

Through the loss of many animals, both my own and those I've cared for, I've learned valuable lessons. I know that if your loss is recent, it feels as if your guts have been ripped out. Please believe me, the acuteness of the pain will lessen in time.

Below are ten ways to take care of yourself and your family while you grieve:

1. Minimize contact with anyone who minimizes your loss. Mainstream society still regards pets as "less than." Seek support from people who understand your devastation. Reach out to a pet loss hotline and work with a pet loss professional.

Create a bubble around yourself where the phrase, "Just a, bird, rabbit..." is disallowed.

An assertive statement might be, "She was much more than that to me."

Ask for practical support, just as you would expect if a human being had died: help with meals, transportation and funeral planning.

2. Allow yourself to genuinely grieve. Let the tears flow. Anger is also part of coping with death; work it out at the gym, in a journal, with paints or even by ripping newspapers apart. There is no time line for grief. It will come in waves and have its own cycles.

3. Take extra good care of yourself. Nutrition, exercise, hygiene, sleep, vehicle maintenance and a social life are vital. Keeping up these basics will help you get through the grief. If you can afford to hire house cleaning help, book a massage or take a cab when you feel too down to drive safely, please do so.

4. Support children through the loss. Ask them to express how they feel. Provide art materials so they don't have to find the "right" words. Tell neighbours and teachers, so they may expect sadness or anger.

Be honest with your child. Tell them their pet died, and that this painful fact is part of life. They didn't go to sleep, get taken by God, or run away. These concepts upset and confuse children. They may feel responsible for the loss of their pet, and fear both sleep and God. Tell them they'll see their pet again according to your belief system: in Heaven, at the Rainbow Bridge, in Nature, in another form, etc.

5. Hold off on drastic actions. If seeing your pet's toys, dishes, etc. is difficult, put them away in a safe place. Don't throw them out, as you may regret this. Give yourself time to work through the initial crushing emotions.

6. Wait to adopt a new pet. It's natural to want to salve your emotions, but you're best to give a new addition to your family careful consideration. It's very common in the initial stages of grief, that we try to find a "replacement." Of course your precious pet can't be replaced. If you make a hasty decision, you may find it's unfair to both you and the new animal. Both of you deserve a well considered relationship.

7. One of the best remedies for grief is to be with others who are grieving. Find a pet loss group, or simply open the subject with other pet owners. Almost everyone who has a pet, has also lost pets. They'll understand.

Shelter pets are usually in a state of bewilderment and grief. They don't understand why they've been abandoned by those they love most. If the thought of volunteering to give a grieving animal a bit of play time and sunshine doesn't drop you to you knees, try it out. When you are ready for a new pet, I guarantee they'll show up at just the right time.

8. When you're ready, create a memorial. Treasure your companion's memory with a scrapbook, special photo album, altar or garden.

9. Give yourself a break. While grieving is necessary, so is resting from grief. Linger in places that don't remind you of your pet. Unless yours was a service animal, they probably didn't go everywhere with you. Linger a bit longer at the coffee shop, read a book or use a computer in the library, stay a few minutes more at the pool.

10. Study and seek spiritual perspectives on pet loss and grief. Rainbow Bridge contact can be immensely comforting, as can reading literature discussing the fact that pets have souls. Write down dreams about your pet. These are often actual visits.

Note any impressions you have that your dear companion is contacting you: a vivid dream, the unusual appearance of a butterfly or other natural phenomenon, a fleeting glimpse of them from the corner of your eye. Our pets will seek to contact and comfort us. We need only be open and observe their messages.

I hope these ten tips have been helpful for you. In my experience, we never stop missing the soft fur or feathers, the wise and loving eyes. However, we can take care of ourselves and also reach out to our dear companions in the spirit world for assistance. The excruciating initial pain does heal.

I'm accepting submissions for my new book, My Dear Companion: Communicate With Your Pet at the Rainbow Bridge. Tell me your story: I'd appreciate a brief account of your experience with pet loss for my upcoming book. You don't have to be a professional writer, and your story doesn't need a beginning or end. Just something you experienced related to coping with grief, spirit world contact, creating a memorial, supporting surviving pets and children, etc. Your contribution will help many other grieving pet lovers, and you will be credited. Please contact me through my website:

Listen to Reisa on PAWsitive Radio- what an incredible conversation we had:

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Rockin' Rescuer Award

The Rockin' Rescuer Award

Animal Communicator Reisa Stone is also a passionate animal rescuer. She's offering a day of training to help another rescuer awaken their intuitive gifts.  She's looking for an outstanding individual.

You may be a shelter volunteer, a wildlife rehabber, or someone who quietly takes in strays and finds them good forever homes. You can't imagine not acting in the face of animal suffering, and you wish you could hear their sweet voices.

The Rockin' Rescuer Award will go to one particularly effective rescuer who wants to learn Animal Communication. The Award winner will be granted a day of learning at the Vancouver Talking With Animals workshop, plus a follow up call. This is a full scholarship.

Wondering how to Apply?

Submit a short essay describing your rescue work. 500 words or less. Reisa is looking for sincerity, and effectiveness as a rescuer, not professional writing. Write from your heart. Describe how you think Animal Communication would benefit your work.

Full application details here:

 The Deadline is September 12th for the September 22nd workshop.

Want to hear some wisdom from Reisa Mary Stone? Check out her interview with PAWsitive Radio: