The Emotional Side of Sickness and Healing
Dr. Martin Goldstein, D.H.V.M. eloquently said, “How can a pet whose life is devoted to pleasing his master be unaware of his attitude?” Because pets can’t speak people tend to forget that words, and tones, can and do affect them. Because we are so used to expressing our thoughts and emotions with words we may not realize that our body language and energy is equally, if not more, expressive than our words.
Our pets are often our long time companions through all the ups and downs in our lives. When they get sick we have a host of emotions to process and filter. Depending on the illness or disease we may experience everything from the frustration of cleaning vomit or diarrhea off the carpet for the third time today; to anxiety over another night of lost sleep because the dog is up itching all night. We may simply experience irritation that the cat is up yeowling; or it could be as awful as fearing that we might actually lose our best friend. Dr. Goldstein, who treats mostly cancer patients in his naturopathic practice, goes on to say, “Of course (your pet) feels it, and interprets it in the only way he can: as rejection. And when nothing he can do seems able to make his master happy again, how does he react? By growing depressed! Maybe not outwardly, but inwardly. Which ... diminishes his will – and his ability – to survive.”
Of the most healing things we can do for our pets during illness are:
1) Give your pet the healthiest, highest quality, least processed whole food diet available to support health and ease the burden on the body to digest, process and eliminate. Check sourcing and quality control from the company, too.
2) Don’t vaccinate or give unnecessary heartworm or flea/tick medications
3) Get the help of a naturopath for assistance in supplemental needs
4) Work with a vet that supports YOUR desires as a parent for your pet. Not a vet who treats your pet’s condition like another in a line. No matter what treatments you use they’ll be less effective if you don’t believe they’ll work
5) Check yourself – notice if your behavior and energy is being projected onto your pet. If it is, try to find an outlet where you can “schedule time to worry,” discharging that feeling of helplessness away from your pet so you can leave that concern for fate to juggle while you tend to the happier business of doing constructive and positive activities to do with your pet.
6) Breathe – everything CAN be ok. Patients DO heal from disease.
7) Don’t be scared. Remember the quote from Emmanuel’s Book: “If we could launder the word ‘cancer,’ hang it out in the sun to dry and bring it in bleached white and beautiful, I promise you that there would be less cancer and less death from it. Souls would choose other ways. The issue of cancer is the issue of fear – cancer brings a message of fear – that is so prevalent in all your world. And so the illness must be dealt with squarely as fear. Once cancer is cured there will be something else. People have to deal with fear because it is one of the greatest denials of the reality of God.” I can’t tell you how often clients have called the next day to obtain initial blood results only to tell me, before treatment has even begun, that their pet seems a little better. The owner’s new optimism has lifted the pet’s spirits, with real, physical results.” (You may substitute the word “cancer” out for any illness that scares you.)