Losing Max


13879209_10153976075177695_5738909930180154822_n (2)

With any luck, we outlive our pets. But Max was not a pet. As his end with me drew near he told me that he never belonged to me and I never belonged to him. It made perfect sense. He was a dog but he was not a dog. A little man of his own.

I’ve had dogs before and they were obedient, or I thought they should be. Not Max. And somehow, I admired him for that. I would call him in and he’d always wait a moment, take a look around, and then, perhaps, come. I came to understand that he was securing the premises…doing his job. We got along just fine, understood one another more than most. Some ‘people’ are like that, they just get you. This is why losing him seems impossible.

After he passed, I kept hearing him, “I’m right here,” and I would feel him at my knee. But it doesn’t seem to be enough. I want to bury my face in his fur and watch his little ears bob up and down as he trots ahead of me down the street. Being a ‘communicator’ is like walking a line between grace and insanity.  I help a lot of people with animals and people that pass. I always hear, “I am right here.” But now, for me,  I wanted more.

After a week and finding it hard to be in this house without this dog,  I allowed myself to dive in. I asked, “Are you okay, Max? Am I helping you?” I am sharing what I heard in hopes to help someone else but mostly, in hopes to allow it all to sink in.

Max: “I am helping you.”

Me: “How are you helping me?”

Max: “You can’t let me go and I am helping you. No, you can’t let me go.”

Me: “What do you mean?”

Max: “You want me back. You want me, ‘Here Max, here Max,’ and I can’t come, ‘here Max, here Max.’

You see, I am not ‘here’ with you. I am ‘here’ with everything. I no longer can come when you call me. I no longer will, ‘sit, sit, sit.’ I am ‘here’ where I can run forever. I can do anything I please. I can live forever in this one place but I cannot have you ‘here’ and you cannot have me ‘there’.

We are separate.

I no longer have all the fur you desperately want to have all about you. You see me like I used to be but I am now a whisper. I am a breath. I am with you always and forever as this little tiny voice whispering ‘I love you.’

I am a breath breathing in, breathing out.

As you breathe in and out you keep me alive with every breath you take only because I am inside of you.

When your heart beats my heart beats and when you rest I rest.

I am all the love you’ve ever held within your heart for me.

I am everything you’ve ever asked of me.

I am you and you are me.

I can never leave you, nor do I wish to.

You are my every breath – you are my last breath.

I live in you.

So don’t be sad.

Don’t cry.

I have no fur for you to bury your face in.

I am only breath, your breath.

So breathe deeply.

Love wholeheartedly.

Give everything you have to those who need it most, just like you did for me.

You were never mine to begin with, and I was never yours.

We belong to the wind, we belong to the sky. You and I are eternal. We just don’t see it until we die.

I love you more than anyone has ever loved anyone, you love me the same.

We are eternal.

Because that love has a life of its own we breathed life into that love and made it real – it’s eternal.

Do you understand?”

Me: ” I do. I’ve always known ‘love never dies.’

Max: “And now you see it. You can live with this. You can call me and I’ll be right by your side, right here, looking up at you and you can look down at me and smile. Just you and me. I’ll be with you forever. And once in a while you’ll see me out of the corner of your eye and you’ll know I came back for a moment, just a flash, to let you know that I am really here, waiting for you to join me where the sun always shines and you can stay outside forever.

You were the best, best, best, best friend any dog could ask for. I loved the treats, you kept them coming. I love how happy you always were to see me. And I especially loved our long, long walks. Thank you for taking me on so many.

I am very happy I got to say goodbye the way I did. You didn’t have to hurry me off and I got to rest in your arms with my head on your lap. I love that.

I am here, still, right where you left me.


I love you, Max”

So that’s the way it is. I get to be with my dog, through tears, I get to “see him” in every breath and with every heart beat. If you love hard enough, love never dies.




The Waxwing: A Lesson in Trust


img_7403As a wildlife rehabilitator, I originally thought raising orphans to be the most challenging part of dealing with wildlife until it came to releasing them. While mixing and matching formulas and coming up with creative ways to feed a variety of little beasts can be both difficult and time consuming, the process of releasing them into the wild so they can adapt and acclimate has always been the most difficult part for me.

Recently, I had a lone cedar waxwing born late in the summer. Like so many of the birds I get, it came with its own back story involving someone intervening and trying to do the right thing and there being cats in the neighborhood. (Almost always the parents are right handy trying to take care of their own babies, thank you, and if people who loved animals so much could keep cats inside, our songbird populations wouldn’t be at an all time low…little public service announcement.)

Now, a waxwing is an absolutely beautiful little bird with a dark mask, a tuft of feathers that it can raise atop its little head, a buff color breast and a bright school bus yellow strip along the tip of its tail. They reach out and over to pluck berries and fruit from your hand or off the tray and they are most delightful to raise.

This particular little one couldn’t fly and while I worried that it had a damaged tail or a wing issue, I really felt that it was just young and needed a bit more time. I had recently been able to release a pair of mourning doves into an established wild flock and they were doing great, but this little one was a problem for me. You see, I didn’t know of any waxwings still in the area as it’s almost October and most have begun to fly off, following their food source south. However, waiting any longer would give her little hope of joining a flock or ever being wild.

So I took her to the river and we searched up and down along the shores for other waxwings. Kayaking down this river in the summer months I love to watch the waxwings dipping and diving along the banks but today it was silent. This is where the blessing of hearing God and animal communication becomes both a blessing and a struggle for me. I simply asked God, “What do I do? I was hoping to find waxwings here.” And as always, I immediately hear His words. “It is fine. Let it go.”

The waxwing, too, told me it was ready. I asked a million times. I asked for a sign that it was the right thing to do, worried that she wouldn’t be able to feed herself. I heard, “The signs are all around you,” as a variety of winged river flies floated around my head. You see, waxwings eat insects, too, and I have seen my waxwing pick berries while on the fly. I did know she could catch them. Still, I argued. I didn’t want to leave her to the elements, alone and afraid.

Along the banks were blueberry bushes with berries that were just the right size for her. How did I know she would be able to pull them from the stem? Again, I asked and again I heard, “This is right, let her go, leave her behind.” I needed more proof, but being somewhat trusting, I decided to place her in the bush and see what happened. Nothing happened.

I waited and waited and she waited and waited. I put the berries closer to her and she just stared at them. I plucked one from a branch and she took it from my hand. Not a sign of being independent. Still, I heard, “You need to let go. Let her go.” Still I heard her say, “I am ready.” Still, I wanted a sign. I wanted to bring her home where I knew she would be safe, but I feared it meant wintering her over and risking any chance she had at being a free bird.

I decided to sit back and take a moment. I took a long moment. I said to God, “If you want me to trust you, I will trust you. I will put this bird in your hands. I am no longer in control. I do not need to control. Thank you, Lord.” At that moment, the bird hopped to a higher branch and plucked a big juicy berry from the branch. She stood up tall and looked all grown up. It made me smile and I was just about to marvel in that moment of coming to the realization of letting go when in a flurry of wings and feathers, four waxwings flew overhead chiming their sing-song little hearts out and this beautiful little bird that I was so worried about flew up to join them.

“You just need to let go,” I heard.







“Why are you crying?” the horse wanted to know.

The girl had been trying to explain that the horse would be leaving the stable to go back to its old stable. “Because I won’t get to see you as much as I do now. While you’re here, I can see you any time I want. When you move, I won’t be able to be with you.”

The horse couldn’t seem to comprehend why this was a problem.  “When I close my eyes, I can see you.” There was no sense of worry. “When a horse imprints on a person, and this happens in every lifetime, the horse carries that person everywhere they go. It is easy.”

Truth or words of comfort? “When you are away from me, I am with you and while I am away from you, you are with me…so simple.”

There was no sense of being separate, not at all. The horse knew this was news for the girl, but he was firm in his understanding of this ‘truth’.



Looking at the sway-back mare, you didn’t have to know much about horses to tell she’d been around for a while. She was a little black horse who was specific in explaining where she wanted a rider to place their weight and seemed pretty ecstatic when Pat mentioned that she didn’t need to take on any more riders if she didn’t want to. She wanted clarification, “I don’t have to be ridden?” Pat was glad to tell her what she wanted to hear but wanted specifics, “No, you don’t have to be ridden but what about the babies? Can the babies still ride you?” The horse explained that they could if they had to but she would prefer not to be ridden because her back hurt her so. As the other horses chimed in, “I’ll take the babies, I can ‘ride’ the babies,” Pat teared up. “We’ve been together a long time and it’s so hard watching her get so old.” Without skipping a beat I heard the horse, loud and clear, “Look at you, you’re getting old, too!” It was a great moment.



What if you made a horrible mistake which would cost your life, you knew exactly how to save yourself, and couldn’t get anyone to help you because you couldn’t tell them? That must be what it’s like to be a pet reliant on owners when no one can speak ‘dog’ or ‘cat’. This is why we need more animal communicators.

I got an email from a friend of a friend asking for help with his dog. Evidently, this much loved pet was lethargic and wouldn’t eat. A visit to the vet left the family with nothing to go on except to wait and see and hope for the best. In communicating with the dog, without ever meeting him or knowing the breed, he told me that they could give him some Cream of Wheat and applesauce through a syringe. He wasn’t going to eat it but it would help. Having worked with animals for years, I associated the applesauce with constipation and jumped to that conclusion.  I asked if this was the case and he said he had a blockage. I passed that information along, making sure they knew the dog would fight the syringe. This was clear to me because the dog was very clear on the use of a syringe. 

A few days later the owner contacted me again. Sure enough, the dog was fighting taking the foods in and had no improvement. Again, I asked the dog what we could do to help and, as if I hadn’t heard him the first time, I heard, “I have a blockage. I need to get to the vet. I have a blockage. The Cream of Wheat and applesauce were simply for a little nutrition. I have a BLOCKAGE.”

I passed this along which gave them reason to push for an x-ray. It seemed that the dog had eaten a Kong ball and two chunks of it were lodged inside. One was in the intestines and one in the stomach. The veterinarian operated and the dog, after a few days in the hospital, returned home to his owners.

Not only was this a life saving event for the pup, it taught me several things. First, I need to be more careful in communicating. Because I jumped to the conclusion that asking for the applesauce meant constipation and I never checked with the dog, I didn’t get the full message in the beginning. Another thing I liked about this was that the dog was so adamant about the use of a syringe. I learned later that the owners saved him when he was a little puppy and they had to feed him by syringe. He knew exactly what that was and exactly what it was used for.

Lastly, this event occurred at a time when I most needed assurance in what I do in listening to animals. Until this, sometimes thought I was making up these conversations in my head and I’m sure that it appears that way to some. However, since this clear and definitive life saving conversation, I won’t doubt myself again. At least, I doubt that I’ll doubt myself again. When I began hearing in the very beginning, God did tell me that doubt was the hardest thing to overcome. So true. I’m so thankful that the owners had enough faith in the words I shared and they moved forward toward a better understanding of God’s love for all.



Several of the horses I’ve communicated with recently appeared to be very connected to God and heard him directly in the healing work, even calling Jesus by name.  I don’t know why this was surprising to me but it did remind me of something God had me write down when I first began to hear His voice. I was asking how it was that He spoke to me so clearly, especially considering that I never found myself overly worthy for such a gift. What I heard then stands out as one of the most beautiful messages I’ve received. God IS speaking to all of us, even the animals and even to you. I appreciate the opportunity to be able to share it with you as follows.

March 27, 2011

I will tell you this Suzanne, everyone does not hear the Lord God in the way that you do hear the Lord God,  they are not willing and ready and able to jeopardize all they have in order to tell everyone who they are beholding to…you are, this is why you hear me in the way that you hear me….it is the truth, however, that I am speaking to every living person at every single moment in very, very, very, very, very, very, many ways…this is the truth of your Lord, God.

This is the way that I communicate with man, “Whisper, whisper, whisper”…loud “bang, crash”…tiny “rumble”…singing brook..chimes…gongs…loud noises…all vibratory levels of communication to get man to notice the world around him and to respond to it in a way that is pleasing to His God and maker. How do you respond to the world around you? You hear me say to you, “Heal this person”, “Do this thing”, “Act this way,” and then you go and you do it as instructed. For others it will not be the same, for others they will hear, “Chirp, chirp, chirp,” and they will feed the birds, for others, they will hear, “ahhhhhhhh,” and they will feed the children, for some others, they will hear me say, “Help me, help me, I am dying,” and they will save the world.

It is you who knows how I sound inside of your head but it is I who put that sound there. Ahhhhh, now you see, don’t you? Now you can understand me in a way that you have never understood me in the past, now you know how I speak in this world and how I get others to respond to the sound of my voice.

Let me tell you the story…

I said to a man, “Can you hear me?” and the man said “Yes, Lord I hear you loud and clear.” Then I said to a second man, “Can you hear me?” and he said, “What? Who? Do I hear something?” So I resigned myself to allowing him to listen to the river and in the river I sing to him, I sing, “Aahhhhhh, I love you….. Aaahhhhh, I need you…… Ssshhhhh, you are so beautiful.” And so, he gazes at the river and he hears my voice, only he does not know that it is my voice, he only knows he needs to stare at the river. Do you understand?

Then, there is the third man and he could not hear me either, and I say unto him, “Do you hear my words?” and he says, “No, I do not, Lord. I can hear your voice but I cannot understand your words.” And for him I must speak another language and I must tell him how to go about rescuing his fellow men in a language that he will understand and with a practice that he can relate to. For, it is in his practice that he will hear me and it is in his voice as he sings to me that I will echo back to him so that he can hear my words through his own ears and in his own heart.

                So how the Lord speaks to you will be different from how the Lord speaks to others and when the Lord speaks to you , simply say, “Thank you”. Simply say, “Dear Lord, thank you for speaking to me in a way that I can understand you soooo clearly and I do not need to accept or deny your voice, for in your voice I find the freedom to be who I need to be. For in the voice of the Lord your God, you are one with Him and you need not look any further. For in the end you will be just Him and you and you will not need to depend upon the love of others or the mercy of your creator. In the end you will only want Him to comfort you and to hold you and to rock you gently and to tell you that you are loved. In the end you will come to find your place amongst the stars and in the end you will be well prepared, for all of your life you have been listening to the Lord, your God, and he has been speaking to you in a way that you can understand him…..

“Lord I want to hear your voice”,

“You can hear me, just listen”…ahhhh the whisper of the wind….

“Lord I want want to hear your voice”

…ahhhh the chirp of a bird, hhhhhhaaah

“ I want to hear you call my name…”

“I am calling you and you will come…”

It does not matter who you are or where you are from or who your mother is for I am your father and when I call your name you will recognize my voice and you will come to me saying, “Father, is that you?” and I will call out to you by name and you will know for it does not matter who or what you are, we are all one in being with The Father…

Does not the owl know my voice when I call him by name “Whoooo, whooooo,” and does not the cow know my voice when I call him by name “Moooo, moooo,” and what of the badger when he digs his hole and another badger comes along he must defend his hole and he says, “Snort, Lord God, I have this one hole. Snort!” And God echoes back to him and God calls him by name and God says, “This is your hole, defend it well,” and God says, “This is your agony, wear it with pride,” and God says, “This is your silence, bear it honestly”……..for in the end, very creature comes to know God, for every creature hears God’s voice; be it in Arabic or Hindi or Alsatian Islands, be it in Voodoo or in Christianity, all men hear God. It is what they do with that voice and it is how they respond to that voice that makes all the difference in who they are and who they will become, for God speaks to all………each and every one, but few will answer. Few will say,

“Is that you God? I think I hear you calling my name. I think I know you are trying to talk to me. Dear Lord, please say it in a way that I can understand. “

and when man does this, it is a glorious sound….for all to hear. God is then very pleased for in this reply great things can be accomplished. For in these few words, “God, can I hear your voice? Speak to me,” amazing deeds for all of humanity can bear fruit. For in these few words, “Father, tell me what to do,” you can truly save the world. For, I love you and I want you to all, each and every fiber of being, to know my love as you bestow it upon another….this is the meaning of life, this is what it is really all about…to give the love out that I have heaped upon you in bounty. This is why you are here. This is the call that echoes as I breathe upon you and you call back to me, “Here I am Lord, what do you ask of me? Here I am Lord, what do you ask of me? Here I am Lord, allow me to do your will.” This is my will, plain and simple, easy as pie, do unto others as I have so done for you….with great love, your father, God.



I had the good fortune to spend some time with wolves this summer at Mission:Wolf in Colorado. While I got to communicate with over 20orion wolves, there are several who stand out in my mind. Orion told me that he was an ‘ancient wolf’ and as I sat on the stones writing I couldn’t stop the tears from falling. Of all the wolf communications and all the animal’s I’m listening to, this is the one I wanted to share the most.

ORION:I am a very good wolf. There are no other wolves around here that are any better than me. Not one. No. There are not. I am a good and ancient wolf. I have great knowledge. I know everything there is to know. No one knows the things I know. Not at all. No. No, not at all.

ME: What things do you know?

ORION: Ahhhh, what do I know? I know where wolves come from. Do you want to know where the wolf comes from?

ME: I do.

ORION: I will tell you. Wolves come from a place that is a very, very, very long time ago. Very long ago. It was an amazing time. A very long time ago the Lord God created the Heavens and the Earth. He know that upon this earth He would need to p[lace a great creature. One that was mighty and severe, one that all animals could keep watch for. In this time and place we have much need of a predator such as a wolf. This is the apex predator. Why is a wolf such a great predator you ask of me? I shall tell you. In the beginning a wolf was given three secrets;

#1 Don’t ever let anyone see you cry. The work that you do is important, don’t cry in front of anyone ever. Be proud. Do your work with heart and NEVER let ANYONE watch you as you weep.  Your life will be a difficult one, so difficult and you will cry many times but in all of these times, never let anyone know that you, the great wolf, have given in.

#2 The second secret is this, you will know when the time has come to speak your piece. You will never win, but you WILL speak your piece. Tell everyone that you love them. Never forget that always love comes first and love is not easy. Love is not easy at all. But you will love and everyone will know that you have given everything, you have given every single thing that you have ever been, and then they will come to understand that they were wrong. And you were teaching them every step of the way. The wolf is the teacher and your lesson will cost a lifetime.

#3 All wolves are simple beasts. They are not complex, as everyone wants to imagine. No, wolves are simple. They love one another or they hate one another. They give to one another or they take from one another. They understand one another or they disassociate themselves from one another. It is that simple. Now do you understand the complex range of a wolf’s simple heart?

ME: I do.


This is why, when people ask if they can pay me to do what I do, I refer them to making a donation to Mission:Wolf instead.     http://www.missionwolf.org/



I spoke with a cat the other day who asked for a mouse of her own. She said she just wanted to play with it and promised not to kill it. The owner intervened in the conversation, “But you kill every mouse, we find them dead in the basement if you get down there.”

The cat responded with me acting out her motions, “I just like to play,” and my hands are going through the motions of a cat batting around the mouse and the mouse jumping up into the air and the cat pouncing on the mouse and the mouse being tossed into the air and the cat even chomping down on the mouse, all the time, the cat is pleading, “I won’t kill it.” Finally, it ends with the my arms spreading wide and shoulders hunched with the cat saying, “And then they’re dead.” As if all of that batting around and pouncing didn’t kill them. She also made this little scooping motion of, “after I’m done with them I’ll just toss them out the door.” Her owner shared that when her brother finds the dead mice he just scoops them up and tosses them out the door. Nice to know that there’s no real desire to kill in some cats, though for the sake of the mice, we should give them some lessons on the difference between ‘play’ and ‘maniacal slaughter’.



Snapshot 11 (12-6-2013 10-10 PM)I was able to reunite with the horse I fell off of. It was incredible and unexpected to be met with a wave of unyielding openness. I couldn’t identify what the emotion was, at first, then came to realize what was so amazing, it was this HUGE gratitude in my ability to be forgiving. FORGIVENESS. There is so much emphasis put on forgiveness in the Bible and all of Jesus’ work had to do with forgiveness…”Forgive them Father, they know not what they do.” So when I walked into the stable and the horse kept repeating, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” I was was surprised, “I thought we already talked about this. Of course I forgive you.” I had a discussion with the horse in week 2 when we agreed that it seemed I was in control when I fell off and there was not blame to go around. Instead, I heard the horse saying, “Really, I didn’t know…” sort of like, how could you? I can’t believe you can do that…almost as if forgiveness was impossible and he couldn’t get over that I never blamed him in the first place. It was beautiful and HUGE and BIGGER than any wave of emotion ever sent my way…I literally felt it like a wall…like a wave so real…I could taste it and touch it. The horse kept rubbing its head on me and saying ” really, you forgive me?” It was hard to take in. Thinking about it even now just blows me away.



I had the funniest experience getting to know a dog today. He was gracious and easy to listen to. We talked about quite a few things from how he hates cats because they taste bad to the fact that it really hurts when he chews on his paws but he’s not quite sure how to stop. The first thing he wanted to know was if there was something he was supposed to do that he wasn’t doing properly. “I can lay down and I can sit up but I don’t really do anything else. Is there something else I’m supposed to be doing.” As my hand began to claw the air like a dog giving it’s paw, the dog was telling me that it had a very hard time with that. “My brain doesn’t work very well. I have a hard time getting my brain to work right.” As I was hearing this I realized the dog actually had his paw on my arm. I asked the owner if any of this made sense to her and she explained that they were just trying to teach him some basic tricks such as to roll over. She said the dog couldn’t seem to figure out how to do any of the tricks except to lay down and that the dog gave its paw all the time, all the time except for when it was asked to give its paw. It was a great visit as we discussed how it was dangerous to go in the road, he needed to come inside when asked to, and that he needn’t worry about the cats because they were not his. As for running in the road, he was given an idea of how it felt for animals who were crushed in the road. It was horrifying for the dog to experience that but we allowed him to keep that experience in hopes that it will keep him from going into the road in the future. As for coming in when called, he said he wanted to be outside because he could protect the family and he could see everything that might cause danger if he was outside. The dog was calm and receptive and I was grateful to have had that time with him.