Jenny Smedley is a well-known and highly regarded author, animal intuitive, past life consultant and angel communicator, based in the UK. In addition to Forever Faithful: Dogs That Return, she is the author of at least nine other published books, including Pets Have Souls Too, issued earlier this month by Hay House.
Jenny graciously agreed to respond to my questions about her intriguing book, Forever Faithful: Dogs That Return, reviewed here yesterday. She is pictured here with "Ace," the subject of that story.
Many of us have longed to have a beloved animal companion come back to us. Is there anything a person can do to encourage an animal to reincarnate, or is it entirely up to the animal’s spirit?
Jenny: I don’t honestly think you really have a choice – it seems to happen naturally with those animals you share a special bond with. However, I think what you can do is to enhance the bond. You can do this like it says in the book: by tuning in and making a special effort to feel your pet’s energy and to notice when they seem to be reflecting yours.
Maureen:In your case, you were definitely not looking for another dog when you found KC, but an amazing sequence of events led you to her. How can we attune ourselves to have an open heart, and an open mind, so that we will recognize opportunities to be reunited with our animal companions in new bodies? And how will we know for sure that it’s really the same animal, when we meet him or her?
Jenny:I think this kind of spiritual openness comes naturally when you develop in any area of spirituality, and there are many paths that lead you there.
The very first thing I would do is to learn to meditate, because this is the key to an open mind. You can do it alone, or with the aid of a CD, or in a class of like-minded people – whichever suits you best. Then practice as much as possible. On top of that, read books that you’re drawn to, whether they be about angels or past lives – whatever draws you. Play with crystals and possibly divination cards – anything that gets your spiritual side thinking and moving. If you do get a sign or a message, put skepticism aside, and see where it leads you.
Maureen:One of your interesting discoveries was that animals who reincarnate do not come back as mere clones of their prior selves. Their reincarnation is a progression of their soul’s journey, and as such, we need to recognize that while the “new” animal has the same spirit as the one we knew, his or her habits or temperament or knowledge may not be identical to that which was embodied in the “old” animal. Can you elaborate on your experience with this?
Jenny:Though underneath it’s the same soul, it will be in a new physical body, with all the limitations or special talents that body is capable of. There is also a possible change of breed or even species, so for instance if you have a cat that was once a dog, the cat characteristics will occasionally be a bit "dog-like," etc. Be open to that.
You’ll find also that sometimes the pet will seem to have total recall of their past life, and at other times their personality will show new traits. KC knew everything that Ace knew, and recognized the people Ace knew, but she also had a new puppy perspective on fun, and as she’d had a better start than Ace, she wasn’t so timid. Having said that, there are times when she is nervous of the same things Ace was, but with no current lifetime reason for this.
Maureen:You also learned that even though Ace’s spirit had been reincarnated in the body of KC, you could still communicate with Ace! That was a new concept for me, and I’m sure it will be new to many of your readers. Do you feel that you are still in touch with Ace, even though KC is here, with you on earth?
Jenny:Absolutely – she still comes to visit in spirit. This is because all of us, human or animal, leave our greater part in spirit all the time. Our human/dog/cat, etc. part is very small compared to the whole. I find it of great comfort because this means that you and your beloved pet are never really apart, because there is always a part of each in spirit to be reunited with, even if their physical self is on the earth-plane. Likewise babies and young children who die are never really alone without their parents in spirit.
Maureen:At the end of your story about Ace and KC, you talk a bit about how we can hone our telepathic connections with our animals, and you describe the channel we use to connect as communal energy, explaining that we are all connected to everything and everyone on the planet. How can we better develop our capacity to communicate with and enhance our ability to be energetically in tune with animals we know, and even those whom we don’t know?
Jenny:By recognizing that energy travels between us and our pets, and that we can’t hide our mood from our pets like we can with people.
Start by trying a bit of telepathy. Be in another room from your pets and mentally call them to you. You’ll know when it’s working, because obviously they’ll come. Then mentally ask your pets what they’d like to do and see if they send you an image of it. If you don’t know an animal, just sit quietly without looking at him or speaking to him, and project a very calm mood. If the animal adopts the same mood and perhaps comes closer and sits or nuzzles you quietly, you’ll know they have accepted your energy.
Maureen:I loved your discussion of the fact that dogs are reflective of their person’s mood, attitude, personality, and mental state of mind. So much so that you attribute many of the behavior problems we observe in dogs to imbalances in the people they live with. You say: “the more badly behaved a dog is, it means the more unhappy their owner is, deep inside.” Animal communicators are well aware of the extent to which animals can mirror what’s going on with their people. How can we help our animals by working on ourselves?
Jenny:Use your pet as a barometer. Observe their behaviour and then look inside yourself. Deep within, where perhaps even you couldn’t see them, you’ll find your inner feelings. Most of us, most of the time are like a swan, all serene on top but paddling like mad underneath. So, for instance if your pet is being hyper-active and apparently "naughty," try calming yourself, slow your breathing and physically relax. After a few minutes you’ll find your pet is resting quietly. This is always the right energy to project, so work on it.
Maureen:And finally, you mention that you and your husband gradually evolved away from eating meat, as you developed a deep awareness of the suffering endured by animals who are raised to be killed for food. My own path is quite similar to yours, in that I no longer eat meat, and the seeds of my choice not to do so were planted while I lived on a farm where lambs were routinely slaughtered each fall for food. Have you found that your honoring of animals’ souls by not ingesting their flesh has changed you energetically, or taken your ability to communicate with them to a higher level?
Jenny:That’s a very good point, and yes I would agree on both counts. I am feeling animal’s thoughts more, but it’s especially noticeable with injured wild animals. An injured bird for instance, if you pick it up, will normally view you as a hunter (forward facing eyes) and so will assume it has become your prey and often go into shock and die. I no longer have that problem. Wild birds that I find injured remain quite calm and bright-eyed when I handle them.