Tonglen Healing Arts for Animals
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Issaquah, WA 98027

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Your Animals Are Talking. Are You Listening?

 

Client Comments


Maggie

In June 2003, my greyhound Maggie and I were just beginning to fall asleep in my upstairs bedroom in Seattle when someone set off a bottle rocket right outside the house. We both jumped at the noise, but Maggie didn’t calm down afterward. She kept panting like crazy and shaking like a leaf. After about half an hour she went downstairs and paced for a while, and I guess she then fell asleep. I wasn’t too worried about it; I figured she’d forget about it the next day.

But during the next week, whenever we were upstairs going to sleep, she’d lie there with her head up, ears cocked, listening intently. Whenever she heard any kind of noise (a car door closing, the bus going by), she’d start shaking and panting again—much more than made sense to me, given the small noises she was reacting to.

Then, after about a week, she stopped going upstairs. I’d try to lure her up with snacks (she LOVES to eat) and sometimes she’d go up and eat her snack, but then would run right back downstairs. She had always loved to sleep upstairs on the bed while I was at work, but eventually she stopped going up even during the day. I tried luring her up and then putting a gate across the stairs so she couldn’t get down, but she would just get frantic and pant and shake even more.

Then I saw an article about Polly in a local newspaper and looked up a Web link to a radio interview she’d done. I was partly fascinated and partly skeptical, but after two-plus months of Maggie refusing to go upstairs I thought I’d try going to Polly. After an inauspicious beginning (Maggie peed on the rug as soon as she got into Polly’s office), Maggie seemed okay about being there and lay down and closed her eyes. Polly introduced herself to Maggie and then asked her about her fear of going upstairs.

“Maggie,” Polly said, “your mom says you’re afraid to go upstairs because you heard a big noise while you were up there.”

“Yeah! It was a gun,” was Maggie’s reply.

“Really?” asked Polly. “Why do you think it was a gun? Have you heard that noise before?”

“Yes,” replied Maggie, “when I was at the racetrack I saw a man shoot one of the other dogs.”

“Oh no, why did he do that?”

”The dog was hurt,” said Maggie, “so I never showed anybody when I was hurt. I always acted like there was nothing wrong so I wouldn’t get shot too.”

Polly explained to Maggie that what she’d heard in our house that night was fireworks and showed her images of what fireworks look like. Maggie was doubtful, but said she’d try going back upstairs to see how it felt.

That night I called Maggie upstairs. She lay down on her bed and went to sleep (which in itself was quite a change from past weeks). After about an hour she woke up panting and went downstairs. “Oh well,” I thought, “we tried.”

But later in the night I woke up and Maggie was back upstairs—she’d come up on her own, fallen asleep on her bed, and stayed there all night. It was so great—for months she wouldn’t even go up there, and suddenly she was sleeping through the night! After that she slept upstairs every night and went back to her daily habit of napping on the bed while I was at work.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

I went to North Carolina to visit my family for 10 days and left Maggie with my friend Abby and her greyhound, Lyra. Abby worked near my house and would drop Lyra off every day so the two dogs could hang out together while Abby and I were at work. Maggie had spent the night at Abby’s a few times, so we thought it wouldn’t be a problem for her to stay there while I was away.

Almost as soon as she got to Abby’s, Maggie started peeing in the house whenever Abby went out (not in the same spot, of course, so there were accidents all over the house). I told Abby to just put Maggie in her crate whenever she went out. Abby didn’t like the idea of crating Maggie, but she started doing it when she left the house. Abby would let Maggie out of the crate when she got home from work, and things were fine. Then one day while Abby was taking a nap, Maggie peed; the next day while Abby was taking a shower, Maggie peed. So Maggie had to spend most of her time in the crate even while Abby was home (and definitely wore out her welcome).

When I took her to Polly the second time, Polly asked Maggie about the peeing problem. Maggie said she was sorry, but she was really nervous while I was gone and was afraid that I wasn’t going to come back. Maggie had been adopted and returned a few times before I got her and had spent time in several foster homes, so I know she always worries about being passed along to someone else.

Polly asked her if she’d feel better if I told her exactly how long I was going to be away. Maggie said that would be great. Shortly after that visit, my dad had emergency surgery and I flew to New Jersey to be with my family. I left Maggie with Abby (who was not sure it was a good idea).

Before I left I told Maggie I’d be back to get her after six mornings (I visualized the sunlight in the morning) and six supper dishes. Maggie always closes her eyes or looks away when I get in her face and talk to her, so I had no idea if she understood anything I was saying or was just thinking, “blah blah blah, enough already.” So I left her. When I talked to Abby on the phone after a few days, she said Maggie had been perfect; she hadn’t peed inside, and she was really happy and relaxed and was playing with her toys—a much different dog than she’d been on her first visit. Nancy – Durham, NC

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Carol's Cats

I have had a multiple cat household since 1989. The first time I added a cat to the existing household (adding JR to Bob's domain) it was a nightmare, with open fighting going on for over a year. The second time I added a cat to the existing household (adding Lilah to Bob and JR's domain) the open fighting continued at intervals until the "new" cat was removed from the household (something like 8 years later).

Finding Polly and her services has been a godsend for my furry friends and me. Polly assisted with various behavioral, health and general communication issues and as a result my household of three cats finally achieved an uneasy peace. You have assisted both Bob and JR with her energy work and I observed a visible positive response from them on each occasion. The referral she made to a veterinary acupuncturist for Bob definitely improved his quality of life and extended his "good" time with us. The peace of mind I received in being able to consult with Bob about leaving his body when it was getting ugly for him was beyond price, and it has continued to comfort me as my life goes on.

On numerous occasions one of the cats has told Polly something I haven't -- something she could only have known if they had told her. This, and knowing their basic personalities helped me to trust when I was hearing more unusual information about them from Polly. The advice based on what the kitties have told her has invariably been good. At times she has relayed commentary from my feline friends that was hilarious, point-of-view stuff. It was funny and helped me to better understand them.

Because of a flare-up of irreconcilable differences between Lilah and JR following Bob's passing, with Polly's help I was able to get Lilah's active consent when I had to surrender her to the no-kill shelter. It made a difficult decision bearable, and I later heard from the shelter that Lilah had been placed as the only animal in a home with a single woman who was able to made Lilah queen of everything, just as she needed.

JR mourned Bob terribly and you were there to help me find out when JR was ready to welcome a new friend. I was ready before JR was and you helped me avoid making the mistake of rushing. Bringing Galen home with JR’s consent was a completely different experience from my previous new-cat-introduction experiences. A couple of hisses (literally a couple) and JR and Galen were fine together. As I recall, in a little over a week they were even fine even while unsupervised. It still amazes me.

Later, receiving Polly's assistance with JR when his body was failing him was also an incredible gift to me. She was so patient working with JR and me to helped us decide together if it was time for him to leave his body. Again, with Polly's patient and compassionate assistance an agonizing decision was made bearable.

When Galen was ready for a new friend, I brought home Wiley. On the second day, Galen told Polly he was fine with Wiley. I was the one who needed reassurance from Polly to let them be together unsupervised the following day. Though I left for work with Galen hissing at Wiley, I returned home late that afternoon to find them bathing each other. Since that day they have only grown closer.

Carol – Seattle, WA

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Becky

I write this is in loving memory of a treasured companion of mine, Rebecca Sue, a beautiful tabby I rescued back in 1987. Becky's gifts were her heartful and gentle innocence, her playful spirit and her sensitive, fresh and comforting way. A real lover. She moved with me to the Norhtwest along with my other 'girls' and patiently adapted to a number of changing situations and living spaces with relative ease.

She had always been healthy except for a health crisis when she first came to me, so in 2002 when she started losing weight suddenly and dramatically, I pursued both traditional and alternative healing approaches. Getting no definitive answers and little results, it was becoming more and more obvious that she was declining. She was not eating and when she did she threw up, yet she was alert and active. Several sessions with Polly confirmed that she wasn't in pain but that she felt her body was wearing out and she was ready to leave this form. I was, however, very conflicted. The daily stress of failed attempts to sustain her were countered with her vibrancy and willingness to keep going. This allowed me the time I needed to get clear about what to do.

The day came when I knew it was time to let go of Becky and I asked our holistic Vet to help with the transition. Polly agreed to be at the vet's to hold the space so I could be fully present with Becky. Polly energetically cleared the room and assisted with Becky's release. Polly was also a compassionate witness as I ritually rubbed Becky's fur with rose water, laid her body on cedar and wrapped her in bright blue silk tucked with pink flowers in final honoring of my sweet friend.

There was something else she did that was extremely helpful. I had been afraid of making a mistake with Becky, maybe doing the wrong thing because the level of stress I was experiencing was escalating. At one point, I was opening as many as eight cans of food at a time trying to find something Becky would eat. Sometimes I would be up all night because Becky was throwing up or not doing well. Polly shared a story with me about one of her own experiences with a sick pet and the story reminded me that it was appropriate for me to also consider my own well-being in the decision making process. Hearing the story allowed me to let go of some of the pressure of deciding to let Becky go. It was Becky's last and most loving gift.

I really appreciate that Polly is such a committed advocate for the animals she works with and is persistent in giving them voice. She was also patient with me when I was confused and emotional about making this important decision.

Betty - Clinton, WA

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Koda

Polly was the first animal communicator I’d ever worked with. I initially consulted her after we adopted Koda, our Australian Shepherd/German Shepherd from the local humane society. Koda was a very good dog but had some things we wanted addressed. He had the habit of eagerly lunging towards people and pulling on leash. He also barked at other dogs while out on our apartment's balcony.

At the appointed time I phoned Polly and we did a quick review of my questions and the things I wanted to talk about with Koda. Polly then put the phone receiver down and began talking with Koda. I sat down on the kitchen floor and watched Koda, who was lying quietly next to me. Animals are used to communicating telepathically but this must have been the first time a human addressed Koda like this, because I could follow the entire conversation just by watching his reactions.

I knew the moment Polly started speaking to him because he suddenly sat up and looked around for the person attached to this voice he was hearing. Later, Polly told me he had been very surprised to hear from her, and that the “Who? What?” reaction I saw was essentially what his response was to her. I had asked Polly to begin by telling Koda he would spend the rest of his life with us, and I figured she had told him this when he suddenly relaxed and had a big doggy smile on his face. Polly reported that she got a huge grin when she had passed on this piece of information. Throughout the session I continued watching Koda process the information that I couldn’t hear or see, while some very thoughtful expressions crossed his face and his ears twitched actively. At one point later in the conversation he suddenly looked at me with a stricken, sorrowful look in his eyes, and very gently placed a paw in my lap. This was not the normal playful way he’d do that, so I knew this must have been when Polly was talking with him about the importance of good behavior in this human world. She later confirmed that he had gotten very scared while she was explaining to him that unruly dogs could be taken away from their people. After all the questions had been asked and all the issues addressed, Polly came back on the line and while I took notes she told me about the conversation she had with Koda.

If I had any doubts about animal communication beforehand, Koda’s behavior following this session would have wiped them out. He started walking quietly on his leash and now waited for my okay before going to visit other people. He had told Polly he was simply curious and wanted to know about everyone. He told her he knew he hurt me when he pulled on leash, but thought I should just let go of the leash. Polly had explained to him that it was for his own safety that I wouldn’t let go, and had shown him that cars could hurt or kill him. Ever since then, he has been a model canine on streets and around cars. As for the balcony, that was put to the test almost immediately. He had been standing outside when the dog next door started yapping at another dog passing by. Normally Koda would instantly lose his mind and start barking and running around. This time he calmly turned around and trotted back into the house without uttering a sound and looked at me to make sure I had noticed. I praised him profusely and he looked very pleased with himself. Of course, he is not perfect and has had occasional lapses, but the very fact that he tried after everything had been explained to him has been heartwarming.

What I like most about Polly is her grasp of the issues at hand and her ability to explain situations to animals in a way they can understand. She has a very good knowledge of different types of animals and asks some very educated questions. She really works with people and their animals so they can better understand each other and to further their relationships through good communication.
Robin - Seattle, WA

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Oro

I had the pleasure of being given a beautiful 8-year-old orange male tabby named Oro in December of 2002. His humans were moving into a condo and felt he would do better in a place where he could get outside, which is something he loved to do.

He came to live with me and seemed to adjust pretty fast, but did have a few health problems. Oro had asthma and hair thinning and falling out by his tail. I was concerned for him because of this huge and fast change in his life and we were not getting anywhere with standard veterinary care.

My homeopath suggested I contact Polly to see if she could help us. That's when I set up an appointment with her. The first session took place by phone and I have to say it was awesome. We discussed Oro's diet, his health and why he was living with me.

The greatest thing is that my kitty and I get to know each other on a deeper level. He has a great personality and a "tough guy" approach to life, although I do think he is softening. He has some interesting ideas about life and food and such, and it helps me to see the world from his perspective.

We visited Polly in person as well, where she was able to do hands-on work with him after talking with him. I was again extremely impressed with Polly and with her genuine love and compassion for the animals. It is obvious she has a real gift, because he met her Oro was drawn to her and laid on her lap to soak up the energy work. He was like a sponge.

Polly, Oro and I talked about getting another kitty. I was thinking about getting an older female and Oro said he wanted a young male cat "who he could teach," so we started looking and found a young male.

Several days later I called Polly so she could talk with Oro again and it was an opportunity for me to bond deeper with him. I have to say I am pretty attached to this boy and love to see how he thinks about things.

It turns out he thought I had gotten the young cat to replace him. I almost cried when I heard this -- why would I replace this very beautiful and special love in my life? I am amazed at the ideas he gets about things, but when I learn what he's thinking his behavior and some of the looks he gives me make more sense.

It's all about communication if one is going to have any kind of relationship with another living being, right? Now, Oro, Dude (the new kitty) and I are waiting for Polly's class on animal communication to happen.

Terri - Edmonds, WA

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paws@tonglenhealingarts.com