The quizzical expression of the monkey at the zoo comes from his wondering
whether he is his brother’s keeper, or his keeper’s brother.
– Evan Esar
Clinical Evidence and Individual Case Reports
You have just read a book on improving the care of your animals. Their regard for us, as our own experience confirms, is exemplary; their heal ing effect on our behavior is practically miraculous. One of the more unusual studies conducted took place in Czechoslovakia to determine the effect of animal companions on individuals in long-term isolation. The data concluded that the company of animals is so vital to the physical and emotional health of humans that they should accompany people on space flights.
Recent studies show that pet owners are less likely than non-owners to contract heart disease. Plus, owners who have suffered heart attacks live longer than their non-pet-owning counterparts. In fact, animals in the home have been proven to be more effective for calming their hyper-tense owners than a leading blood-pressure medication. According to research at New York State University, married couples with pets report closer and more satisfying relationships as well as lower blood pressure under stress and following arguments than non-pet-owning couples.
Perhaps most impressive of all are the documented instances in which animals’ natural heightened instincts allow them to predict seizures in their owners before they actually happen, alerting the people beforehand in sometimes life-saving situations. Cats, dogs, and even iguanas are some of the unlikely heroes in these stories. Pilot studies, with remarkably accurate results of nearly 100 percent, show that some dogs, due to their extra- sensory olfactory abilities, are able to smell certain types of cancer—melanoma and lung cancer—at very early stages. In fact, the bloodhound—who tracks by scent alone and can follow a human trail for over fifty miles—is the only canine breed whose “testimony” is allowed in the United States judicial courts.
Several years ago, the American Veterinary Medical Association stated that sufficient clinical evidence and individual case reports exist confirming the benefits of alternative healing methods such as herbs, acupuncture, chiropractic, and homeopathy. Acupuncture, in fact, was recognized as “an integral part of veterinary medicine.” One study in Venezuela reported that dogs who were given acupuncture along with antibiotics for ear infections recuperated significantly more quickly than those given only the medications. Recovery time was hastened; pain symptoms decreased notably.
One veterinarian, an adamant nonbeliever in the connection between emotional states and physical illness, recently received confirmation of this connection from an unlikely source—his own cat. An abandoned feline—covered with a persistent and unsightly skin rash—was dumped at his office by people who rightly presumed on his compassion. Since the cat’s future looked bleak and homeless, he took her in. Much to his amazement, after several months in a stable home with no treatment other than regular doses of love, the cat’s skin problem disappeared altogether.
A significant number of people have witnessed improvement in the quality of their pets’ lives through alternative methods of treatment that recognize and address the body-mind relationship—combined, of course, with love. Two-thirds of Americans currently use holistic therapies for themselves and their families—why not for their pets as well? Since medical diagnosis of a pet’s problem is clearly an integral part of pet care, a truly holistic approach need not be a question of one versus the other. In fact, holistic therapies complement standard allopathic treatment. Flower essences, more and more, are making their way into holistic care—for people and animals alike.
The following example from Rena Ferreira, D.V.M., illustrates this point: “An eleven-year-old springer spaniel was in for surgery to remove a large mass next to his rectum. These surgeries can be difficult no matter the age, but for this old fellow I was particularly concerned about his recovery. We used acupuncture needles to enhance anesthesia, allowing us to use less medication and inhalant, and also for post-op analgesia. As he was waking we could see he was very uncomfortable. Pear Essence was rubbed onto his ears and he settled right down into a nap. We kept the analgesic injection close by in case we needed to use it, but it did not become necessary.”
Tools for Improved Pet Care
Children and animals as well as adult humans can appreciate the beauty of nature. Out for a walk, Calvin, of cartoon fame, discusses the fate of a dead bird in the path with Hobbes, his stuffed-tiger friend.
Contemplating the beautiful but expired life form before them, Calvin ruminates on the miraculous nature of existence—its fragility, temporal nature, and preciousness.
“It’s very confusing,” Calvin concludes. “I suppose it will all make sense when we grow up.”
All too often when we do grow up, we become preoccupied with the demands and resultant stresses of existing in this world. Animals can link us back to nature. In so doing, they help us reconnect with ourselves.
The gifts that animals offer to this world are indeed far-reaching. In fact, one could even say they are faultless barometers of our behavior. Our relationship with animals, in this sense, gives us the opportunity to claim our highest potential as human beings. “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress,” cited Mahatma Gandhi, “can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
Great people recognize greatness in the animal kingdom. In honor of its citizens, Albert Schweitzer has left us this humble legacy: “Hear our humble prayer, O God, for our friends, the animals. Especially for animals who are suffering; for any that are hunted or lost or deserted or frightened or hungry; for all that must be put to death. We entreat for them all Thy mercy and pity, and for those who deal with them, we ask a heart of compassion and gentle hands and kindly words. Make us, ourselves, to be true friends to animals and so to share the blessings of the merciful.”
Anyone who has ever cared for pets—whether they be scaled, furred, feathered, or fleeced—knows from direct experience the joy and fulfillment they usher into our lives. Our animal friends, from mongrels to prize-winning purebreds, touch our hearts. We laugh at their mannerisms; we cry at their passing. Their accomplishments make us proud; their illnesses cause us pain. Our animal companions wait for us by the window, the gate, the barn door. They are there for us through thick and thin, through our rockiest ups and downs. Without attending a single self-help workshop, animals possess extraordinary relationship skills—they love without condition.
Flower essences allow us the opportunity to be there for them. These natural remedies help our animal friends to heal from accidents, illnesses, and surgeries. They restore our pets to healthy behaviors, dispelling their fears and needs. They assist gently, non-invasively and powerfully, without side effects. Flower essences are a significant, time-proven addition to the care we offer our animals.
Those who share with me their flower essence stories about their pets do so with animation, excitement, and enthusiasm. It is never “just a cat” or “only a dog” whose story they are recounting. It is a beloved, respected life companion. Flower Essences for Animals is not a book to convince you that animals deserve better care. Its purpose is to give you, a loving pet owner, the very tools with which to do it. Their enrichment of our lives is immeasurable; may we honor them a thousandfold in return.