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News from Dr. Monica
The Pet Communicator

June 2017     
In This Issue
Leo, The Pit Bull
Leo, The Cat
Can I Actually Change A Pet's Behavior
Getting Back to Normal
Dr. Monica Diedrich, The Pet Communicator 


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To begin, I want to apologize to all of you who told me you were waiting for my next Newsletter but never received one. The truth is, I didn't write the next edition at the usual time, and then more time passed all too swiftly. But I'm here once again with a number of things to share. 

This April, I traveled to Argentina as I do every year, but this trip turned out to be very different from one of my usual visits. Instead, I received a call ahead of time telling me that my elderly Mother was very ill and had only a very short time left to live.  

During the 7 weeks I was in Argentina, my time was first spent with hospital visits and errands and beginning to sort through things. Then after my Mother made her transition back to Spirit, my focus had to be on the incredible number of details that always follow a person's passing.

This meant that I couldn't keep a normal schedule of pet communication appointments, but I was able to talk to a few clients who needed my help right away. I can be very busy, or even be distressed myself, but when there's a true emergency, I know and understand your need, and on those occasions, I do everything I can to be there for you. 

Two Leos

Even though I was unusually busy in Argentina, several emergency requests needed immediate attention, including two where both pets were named Leo. One was Leo, a 5-year-old male pit bull, and the other was Leo the cat.
Leo, The Pit Butt 
The request for help for Leo the pit bull started out by saying: "Leo has cancer again. He is going into surgery on Monday." My heart sank and I knew I had to help in whatever way I could. 

I have known Leo all of his life. He's a very sensitive, but anxious pit bull who is very attached to his mom. Surgery meant he needed to be sedated, and he also needed to stay in the hospital for a day or two, in a cage, and away from his humans.

This kind of separation and stress has proven difficult for him in the past, so Leo's Mom was worried about the effect this surgery and hospital stay would have on him. I needed to explain to Leo why he needed surgery and what was going to happen.

I looked at the picture of Leo da Lion, a sweet pit bull, sitting "pretty" waiting for his treats, and talked with him right away.

He complained about something we were not aware of before . . . his head was hurting. That was no doubt because the tumor inside his ear was touching his brain. 

I explained to him that his veterinarian needed to take the tumor out right away, and that taking it out would hopefully stop the hurt. I also told him he'd need to stay at the hospital for a couple of days after the surgery until he was well enough to go home. 
Leo doesn't like going ANYWHERE by himself, particularly to the hospital, so he was definitely distressed about the idea of having to be there, and he hated the idea of being in a cage even temporarily. However, the surgery itself was not such a traumatic idea for him. He was much more concerned about asking me to find the cause of his terrible headache, and doing something about it.

Was he worried about the pain he might feel after surgery? Not at all. He is very stoic and definitely lives up to his formal name, Leo da Lion. 

Animals always seem to understand when I explain the reasons why, so he was a little bit more relaxed after he'd shared his concerns about being away from his home and family for a night or two.

Of course, the vet didn't know exactly what he was going to find once he got in there, and that was another concern. But I'm happy to report that Leo had a successful surgery, and we're all happy with the outcome. Only part of his left ear had to be removed instead of the entire ear as originally thought. Whatever cancer cells still remained around the surface can be treated with medication since this is a slow-growing type of cancer cell. 

Leo wore the "Cone of Shame" for 10 days until his stitches were out, and now he is enjoying his happy home life again. Most importantly, we listened to what Leo had to say and prepared him well for what was going to happen, and that conversation helped to reduce his stress level.
Leo, The Cat
My second client named Leo lives in Chile. He's a 4-year-old black cat whose problems reminded me that jealousy is alive and well in the cat kingdom.  Leo's human mother not only has six cats of her own (four males and two females), but she also runs a Cat Hotel in a separate "house" on her property, so the smells of many, many cats always engulf Leo's home and HIS yard.

This Leo was a very unhappy camper, and he had started showing it by marking his territory all over the house. This led to the other cat residents doing the same thing. Can you imagine living in a home where six cats are marking??

I needed to talk to Leo right away. 

He was a very upset kitty. It all started when Mom rescued the last two cats from the streets, bringing her own cat family to a total of six (Leo was third in line). These last two were Toms (a word describing an un-neutered cat who enjoys the favors of female cats). Although they were neutered soon after she rescued them, the two newer cats were still competing to be number one. 

Leo thought the best way to claim territory was to mark everywhere. It started at the front door where the new cats had been brought in, then it continued on his mom's car tires, the back door, the door to the bedrooms, the windows, the walls under the windows, corners of rooms, living room, and particularly his yard where he spent most of the day. 

Adjacent to his yard is the "hotel" that houses cats when their families go on vacation. There might be anywhere from 10 to 20 hotel residents at a time. They all come in cars, they all stay for a week to three months, and some of them have access to HIS yard. This, in Leo's mind, was the ultimate insult, and it had to stop.

After talking with Leo, I had to tell his Mom something I seldom ever have to recommend. It actually seemed as if Leo might need to be in a different home because I just couldn't convince him that he was loved, and that he needed to stop his marking behavior. 

But . . . Mom wouldn't even consider it. So . . . after talking further about Leo's problems, we came up with a plan. She's going to give Leo some special space. For his enjoyment, she may be able to provide a room where he could share time with some of the female resident siblings he likes, and most importantly, she's going to give him his very own section of the yard.

There was no easy solution for solving Leo's problems, and Leo's Mom is still working on making the changes, but I think he might just like them. 
Can I Actually Change A Pet's Behavior?
I need to emphasize something very important here, because many people do not realize it . . . I can not change the behavior of your pet. A pet has to decide to make his or her own changes.

I can explain things. I can discuss ideas. I can request nicely that pets begin to do something that is in their own best interests . . . but . . . I will never be able to change their behavior if they, themselves, don't want to change it!
How Do You Find MY Pet?
It was very unusual to have consultation requests only a few days apart for two pets with the same name. This coincidence reminded me of another question I'm very often asked: How do you find MY pet? Or, How do you know it's MY pet you're talking with?

Well, the first answer is that I usually have a recent picture to look at, and geographically, I know where the pet is located. The second answer is, when I talk about the problem at hand, only the pet who has that problem responds to talking about it. 

When I look at the picture and I start explaining the reason for our conversation, I immediately receive some kind of response from the pet.  This way, I know I have the right one, which in the above cases, were the right Leos.

When I call them by name, they do answer. Sometimes they tell me they don't like their name and never answer to it at home. Other times they like their pet name better than their given name. They may have opinions about their names, but they will all talk with me, so if you want me to look for your pet, I will find him or her, and I have ways to validate that I'm talking with the right one. 
Getting Back to Normal

Being back home again makes me appreciate all that I have, as well as all that I'm able to do when I use my gift of communicating with animals, so it is with great pleasure that I'm once again able to resume a normal work schedule, and to sit down to write to all of you.

After such a long absence, there are, of course, many, many people waiting to see me, call me, or Skype with me. Please do be patient while I make time to see and be with each and every one of you and your beloved pets.

Thank you all for subscribing to my Newsletter, and for being so patient with me! 

My love goes out to all of you!
Dr. M.

Dr. Monica Diedrich
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