Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Adopting a New Pet

Adopting a new pet after one has transitioned can be tricky, especially when there is a surviving companion grieving the loss. When is it ok? Grieving appears with signs such as loss of appetite, lack of desire to thrive and sleeping more than usual. Just like humans, the animals grieve the loss of a loved one.

In doing this work of animal communication, I have found the pets who stay behind, while in their grief, or even a year or two later, can be very possessive of their owners. Introducing a new pet, without asking them first, can create havoc. There can be jealousy of the new pet or anger at you for bringing in another. How can you replace their dear companion?

When my client is thinking of bringing in another pet, after the loss of a dear companion, I tune in to the surviving companion for guidance. Have they cleared the grieving process? Is there anger towards the owner for "taking their companion" away? Do they understand the death process? Are they seeing their companion's spirit around them?

To present the idea of a new pet into the home, I broach the subject with compassion. I ask the pet if they would mind another companion who is homeless? Will they allow their owner to assist another pet and bring them into their home to share their love? This approach appeals to their compassion for the other pet instead of seeing them as competition for the owner's attention, love, food or toys. I assure them there will be enough attention, love, food and toys for both of them.

I also ask if they have a preference: a two-year-old cat versus a kitten, a female versus a male. Yes, the animals have their preferences if they are asked.