Monday, May 25, 2009

Interview with Jenny Smedley, Author of Forever Faithful: Dogs That Return

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.

Maureen: Jenny, your book Forever Faithful: Dogs That Return tells the wonderful story of how your dog Ace came back to you as “KC.”

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.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Forever Faithful: Dogs That Return

In Forever Faithful: Dogs That Return, author Jenny Smedley achieves something that many people would think to be impossible: she presents convincing evidence that dogs (and other animals) can come back into our lives after they have died, reincarnated in the bodies of other creatures who somehow manage to find us, so that we can resume our souls' journey together.

Even the most skeptical reader will have to admit that Ms. Smedley's story of her own experience with the death and rebirth of her beloved dog is built on more than just mere coincidence.

I was immediately sucked into Jenny's account of Ace, the mixed-breed black puppy who frantically escaped from a home in which she had been cruelly mistreated, on the day that her owner deliberately scalded her with steaming hot water. Of course, Jenny wasn't actually present as an observer of these events, but she intuited what had happened, from Ace's perspective, and the details feel just right.

After a few weeks of surviving on her wits, and on scraps from kind strangers, the injured puppy collapsed on a beach, where she was gently scooped up by a big-hearted woman named Maggie, who worked at the local Animal Rescue Centre. Having been physically restored by a month of recuperative care, the scarred and still-scared puppy was ultimately adopted by Jenny and her husband, Tony, who had recently lost their sweet dog, Snoopy. It was love at first sight.

"The pup and I locked eyes, and then, with no excitement or fuss at all, she left Maggie's side, and pulling the lead out to its full length, she walked to me, then turned around and sat down beside me, her shoulder against my leg. I was breathless. I felt tears welling in my eyes, and I could see them in Maggie's too. 'Well,' I said, smiling, 'that seems to be that.'"

They called the puppy, "Ace," and, because of the way in which she had instantly bonded with Jenny, they had to wonder whether Ace might actually be Snoopy. Whether that was true or not, Ace had a nobility of spirit and a way of connecting with people that made Jenny realize that she was truly an "advanced soul." Ace literally saved Jenny's life when an out-of-control ram was about to gorge her with his horns, and she miraculously survived a bout with a malignant mammary tumor, in spite of the veterinarian's dire prognosis.

When, after 15 years, Ace's body gave out, and her quality of life deteriorated, Jenny forced herself to make the decision we all dread: to gently cause Ace to leave her physical body with the help of an injection. Jenny was inconsolable for weeks thereafter.

"Some dogs are such a great part of our lives that their demise drops us into despair. I just didn't know how to cope with my loss. She'd been my best friend, an animal soul mate, and I couldn't face life without her. I felt guilty. I felt as though I had killed my darling Puppy, even though I knew that given a real choice I would never have taken that decision."

Some months later, Jenny and Tony went to Sedona, Arizona, where, on September 13th of that year, Jenny had a consultation with a clairvoyant named Claudia Coronado, who told her that she had a message from "your dog," describing a big black dog with white whiskers: Ace!

Claudia calmly told Jenny that the black dog wanted her to know that "you two are united through all time and space." And, stressing the importance of what she was about to share, Claudia relayed Ace's main message, "Today I am young again.

Jenny was appreciative of the fact that Ace had come through during the reading, but didn't realize the significance of her dogs words until many weekslater, after she had returned home, and found an ad in the paper for some Lab/Springer mix puppies.

She initially discarded the ad, but mysteriously, it popped up again on the coffee table several days later. Jenny decided to call to ask about the puppies, and was stunned to learn that they had been born on September 13th, which she instantly recognized as the day that the psychic had said that Ace was "young again." She knew then that she had to meet these black puppies, who had been born on a nearby farm.

When Jenny and Tony arrived, six of the seven puppies were wriggling and writhing and whining and rough-housing. But one was decidedly different:

"One puppy didn't do any of that. She sat, poised and elegant, to one side, quietly aloof and waiting for the melee to clear. When things calmed down, the farmer opened the french doors onto the garden and the swarm of pups shot outside like a black and white tide, for a play, but this one coal black puppy didn't follow them. She finally got up and walked over to me. We regarded each other. She was extremely quiet for a puppy. No jumping, no squeaking, just a calm regard. She clambered onto my knees and settled herself there. She gazed up into my face, making complete and unabased eye contact. Tony crouched down beside me and she casually flicked a paw onto his arm, as if to say, 'Hi, I've been waiting for you.' looking directly into his eyes just as easily as she had mine."

Jenny thought that the puppy's demeanor was rather remarkable, but it wasn't until the little dog rolled over on her back that she knew for sure what her heart had been trying to tell her. This puppy was missing a nipple, and it was the same one that Ace had lost when she'd had her mammary tumor excised. There could now be no doubt. Ace had returned!

The new puppy, named "KC," has taught Jenny that reincarnated animals are both the same, and yet distinctly different, from their previous selves, and she has also shared many other wondrous lessons about the nature of life, death, and the way in which a spirit endures and evolves.

If you have ever experienced the magic of a dear animal's reincarnation, or if you long to be reunited with one you have lost, Forever Faithful: Dogs That Return will provide solace, consolation, understanding, and most of all, hope.


My interview with Jenny Smedley will be published in this space tomorrow. Jenny's latest book, Pets Have Souls Too, has just been published by Hay House.

Monday, May 4, 2009

An Interview with Madeleine Walker, Author of An Exchange of Love

As part of my "Conversations with Animal Authors" series, I am pleased to publish this interview with British writer Madeleine Walker, who graciously answered my written questions about her practice of telepathic animal communication, as described in her book, An Exchange of Love: Animals Healing People in Past, Present and Future Lifetimes.

Madeleine is pictured here with the members of her "doggy team," "Winnie" and "Teazle" (the terrier), who help facilitate her workshops in the UK. This delightful photograph was taken by Madeleine's son, Cameron Walker.


Maureen: Your book, An Exchange of Love: Animals Healing People in Past, Present, and Future Lifetimes, takes the concept of “animal communication” to another level.

Can you briefly describe your own process for making a telepathic connection with an animal?

Madeleine: I always offer my services with complete love and respect and open a heart-to-heart connection mentally, sending those messages and building up trust between the animal and myself. I always "ask" how I can be of service to them and their human carers and for the best possible outcome.

Maureen: You demonstrate, in story after story, how you have been called in to help individual animals who were suffering from physical problems, or who were in emotional turmoil, and the most amazing things happen.

Instead of simply telling you where it hurts, the animals often show you that the origins of their distress lie with events and traumas that occurred in their past lives. In many cases, these animals have chosen to reunite with the people who shared these past-life traumas so they could be healed together, now, in this lifetime. These are remarkable stories.

You use a process called “soul retrieval” to heal the physical and emotional scars that had been inflicted in past lives, and to then integrate the healed “blueprint” of the animal back into his present-day self. Can you describe how you do this?

Madeleine: This is a technique taught to me by horses, where they showed me telepathically, what was required, by facilitating a visualization of a sort of holographic image of the traumatized animal, in its previous incarnation, but this time seeing it healed and whole and then physically blowing the image back into the physical body of the animal, after it has somehow passed through me. Horses have now shown me a whole new technique, where I can work on the human companion’s trauma, by rewriting their script, thanks to the animal’s input which I am really excited about!

Maureen: You say, “Animals so often displayed symptoms that appeared to need addressing, when the real reason for their treatment was to flag up an urgent problem in their owner’s life.”

An interesting case of this occurred with the formerly gentle yearling colt, Neville, who had suddenly and inexplicably started to threaten and nearly attack Graham, the person with whom he had previously enjoyed what you describe as a “cuddly” relationship.” When you asked Neville why he had changed his demeanor toward Graham, he told you to ask about Graham’s new job, and about his left leg.

Can you talk about the case of Neville and Graham, and how you worked to resolve it?

Madeleine: This was a fascinating case and most unexpected – especially for Graham, who was only there out of curiosity, as his wife was so worried about Neville’s antics! Poor Graham became the entire subject of the session as Neville orchestrated from his paddock and divulged the strange series of events that led us to understand the root of the problem, which was a negative energy attachment that Neville was trying to flag up.

Sometimes animals can appear vicious but they are not attacking the person, they are trying to attack the negative energy that may be around them. By alerting us to this we can remove it and all will be well! Neville kept shouting in my head that Graham had picked up a negative energy from his place of employment which he had just started--he even described what Graham was doing there which really freaked Graham out! He also asked me to ask Graham if he had been feeling anything strange in his leg, to which Graham said that he had been experiencing a strange tingling sensation that had started very soon after beginning his job.

Neville showed me a young boy who had been abused and Graham told me that in his place of work, children visited this lovely place for respite and adventure holidays. I felt that Graham had somehow attracted this energy, helping the boy, but it was then affecting his relationship with Neville. However, Neville somehow knew that by behaving this way, someone like me would be called and the energy would be removed by me shamanically and that healing could take place. I use my pendulum and visualize the pendulum "drawing" the negative energy off and then I cleanse the crystal pendulum in water which is carefully disposed of. Immediately, the tingling ceased and the next morning Neville was just as cuddly as ever, even though Graham was slightly puzzled by the proceedings. He was at least very happy to resume peaceful relations with the lovely horse!

Maureen: There are parts of your book that are difficult to read, in that they include vivid descriptions of the violent and brutal deaths that were suffered by animals—usually horses in battle situations—in their past lives. Yet you had to mentally “witness” this carnage and physical agony in order to heal the problem that the animal before you is experiencing.

You say that after being confronted with many of these violent visions, you had asked your guides why you were being shown such horror, and they told you that “horses hold the war consciousness for man.”

Can you talk a little more about this and perhaps help us to understand how we might recognize the effects of this trauma in our own horses, and help them to heal?

In particular, how we might be able to use positive visualizations to release the past-life trauma that may now be showing up in the form of a physical ailment or lameness?

You did this so effectively with the dapple grey mare, Wynn, who had energetic metal fragments of shrapnel that were stuck in her tissue’s cellular memory from a past-life battle, leading to problems with her hocks that had been unable to be fixed using conventional veterinary care.

Madeleine: This is a huge subject and difficult to write a concise answer to, but in a nutshell, I believe that horses have been used in our battles throughout millennia and I feel they are reincarnating again now with these symptoms, again to flag up lessons for mankind.

I have recently been working with elephants in India who have of course been used in battle for centuries as well and also carry this war consciousness and the need to heal this now for mankind and the planet. We need to realise NOW the damage that we are doing to our fellow man and the planet, which cannot continue.

The animals know this and I feel this is their most important message. I feel it is just opening our minds to be shown what a trauma might be emotionally or physically and being prepared that it might not be from this lifetime. If the images you invite from the horses are disturbing, just keep asking what needs to be healed and how it can be done--you will be shown the tools necessary. The animals will show you. Trust your guidance, however strange it may seem – like me having to visualize "picking" out the bits of shrapnel from Wynn’s backside! I then visualized filling each "wound" with healing salves and light: this seemed to really help with her soundness issues and she has made a remarkable recovery.

Maureen: During your healing work with animals, you have encountered malevolent energies and entities, and have learned how to prevent them from latching on to you and draining your positive energy. You talk about the importance of wrapping yourself in cloaks of protection or visualizing streams of white light surrounding you to shield yourself from taking on unwanted energies.

Can you describe any specific techniques you use to protect yourself, both during and after a healing session with a trouble animal?

Madeleine: I have some wonderful animal guides--namely two lions who help remove really nasty energies. Sometimes they will prevent me from doing it myself and will step in to work with the energy; I visualize them destroying and transmuting it.

I always visualize a negative energy being transmuted into a positive image once removed, as it would be very irresponsible to just leave it floating around in its dark form. I always invite protection for all concerned at the beginning of my day and invite a colour and shape to be wrapped within – sometimes a lilac orb or a golden flame –whatever the universe decides I need for my forthcoming cases.

I feel very protected and loved by this, and I always ask to work for the very highest good of all. I ground myself afterwards by placing my hands against the earth or walk in woods to connect to the trees who help me ground and remain focused. Drawing your expanded energies in a little can help from being on "alert" mode all the time so that you can preserve your energy and not get too drained.

Maureen: It’s not just people who can be affected by the sinister energies. You have worked with many animals whose disturbing behavior can be traced to their awareness of spirits lurking from deaths or trauma that previously took place in their home or on their property. You describe this in the case of Dudley, the Wheaten Terrier, who seemed to be in a “permanent state of anxiety” until you discerned that he was in torment from the negative energy lines traversing his property and from the spirits of animals who had died in a part of the house that had functioned as a butcher’s shop in the long-ago past.

In your experience, how can we protect ourselves and our animals from this type of negative predecessor energy?

Madeleine: I feel that it’s important to fill a home or environment with light. I use crystal bowls or drums or incense. These methods are not always appropriate in a stable, so I would check with a crystal pendulum, and then place crystals within--mainly rose quartz. If any energies are felt, then a pillar of light can be created to ask the "lost" energies to go to the light.

Maureen: You talk about the fact that you are assisted in your healing work by “power animals,” including two lions, and that you are guided by your dog, “Pillow,” who is now joyfully in spirit.

Do you have any advice to others who would like to be able to discern their own power animals or to connect with their deceased animals in spirit?

Madeleine: Just sit quietly, sending out your unconditional love to your animal friends in spirit-- maybe holding a photo--or just ask them to guide you and be open to their responses. Ask for help from the animal kingdom and just watch what happens. I have been helped by many different creatures, both in the physical, from cockroaches and flies, to etheric animals like hyenas, T Rex and unicorns! Just expect the unexpected!!

Maureen: You mention in An Exchange of Love that you are a vegetarian.

Were you always a vegetarian, or did you stop eating the meat of animals after you came to know them better through telepathy and your soul retrieval work? Do you feel that being a vegetarian enhances your intuitive abilities? And, do the animals intuit that you don’t eat meat, and do you think they are more trustful of you because they understand that?

Madeleine: I’m not sure the animals trust me because I don’t eat meat–I hope they trust me because of my loving intention. But of course I feel that I cannot eat the beings that are working so hard to heal us! And perhaps being very mindful of everything I eat vibrationally, helps me be clearer in my thought processes.

Maureen: You state that “Everyone who is open to the concept of telepathic communication can learn to communicate with every living thing on the planet—and possibly the spirits of those who have died too. It’s simply a question of remembering your long-buried skills. It only depends on how committed you are to deepening your connection to all that is.”

And then you issue a challenge: “How prepared are you to delve into yourself?”

Why is it necessary for us to delve into our own inner selves in order to make a meaningful telepathic connection with animals?

Madeleine: I feel, like with any healing work, we really have to work on ourselves to be as clear of baggage as possible, to be clear channels of healing and trust. We have to look at our issues and egos and make sure that we honour ourselves and all creatures with integrity and nonjudgmentalism. There is always work to do to learn more about ourselves--it is all about empowerment, both within ourselves and the animals that guide us so beautifully.

Friday, May 1, 2009

An Exchange of Love: Animals Healing People in Past, Present and Future Lifetimes

Madeleine Walker's An Exchange of Love pushes the boundaries of what it is possible to achieve through telepathic animal communication beyond what we might have ever imagined. There is no other way to say it.

As any animal communicator will tell you, it is the animals themselves who are our best teachers. Through her work with animals, initially as a communicator and ultimately as a holistic healer, Madeleine has been transformed by the animals she has worked with, and her trust in their messages, and in the messages of her spirit guides, has enabled her to accomplish many small miracles.

Ms. Walker's philosophy is deceptively simple. As she explains it:

"The words, 'an exchange of love,' represent the ability and willingness of one to

heal another. This form of communication works on many levels. First there is
the one-to-one link between myself and the animal on a physical and mental level.
All I feel at this point is a giving and receiving of overwhelming love. When trust is
established, even the most apparently aggressive and dangerous animal relaxes,
and the communication begins."

Among the challenging cases that Madeleine Walker chronicles in her heartfelt account is that of Shannon, a mare who had become anxious, unpredictable, and even dangerous. Though Shannon's person seemed to understand that her dear horse harbored no malicious intents, she had begun to despair because it had become virtually impossible to work around Shannon, let alone to ride her. As Madeleine began to communicate with her, Shannon revealed that the source of her agitation was to be found in many of her past lives, when she had been a victim of a predator or had been powerless to escape from some attack:

"She showed me a lifetime when she had been a dray horse in London during the

blitz. A bomb had fallen on the building where she had been stalled and she had
been hit and mortally injured by the fragments of metal, wood and stone. The
sense of helplessness and inability to escape was overwhelming. This seemed to
be a repeated pattern as she showed me many lifetimes of trauma."

To help animals like Shannon, whose present-day behavior belies trauma, injury, or terror suffered in previous incarnations, Madeleine has developed a technique whereby she processes the energetic "holograms" of the animals's past selves by allowing them to pass through her and then, after they have been transformed, she reintegrates them back into the animal. With Shannon, as with so many of Ms. Walker's animal clients, this unique form of "soul retrieval" has often successfully restored a sense of peace to formerly tormented animals.

For animals who have physical ailments which have stymied medical diagnosis or have not responded to conventional veterinary prescriptions, Madeleine conducts what she describes as "psychic surgery," whereby she uses "the power of the mind to move and change energy," a technique she has learned from the animals themselves. Using her intention, visualization, and her sincere desire to work for the highest good of her animal client, she creates "light crystals," which "do not exist as a physical reality," but which can be placed "within or around the body. . .depending on the specific needs of the client." They have achieved wondrous results on horses with inexplicable back pain and even on dogs such as Toby the Lab, who refused to walk on wooden floors until Madeleine placed a cushion of energetic crystals between the pads of his feet.

For aspiring animal communicators or for anyone who would like to enhance her connection with animals through the use of telepathy and intention, Ms. Walker has encouraging words:

"Everyone who is open to the concept of telepathic communication can learn to

communicate with every living thing on the planet--and possibly the spirits of
those who have died, too. It's simply a question of remembering our long-buried
skills. It only depends on how committed you are to deepening your connection
to all that is. . .Learning to listen is the first part; really hearing is the important bit."

An Exchange of Love is a collection of profound and moving stories, and best of all, they are all true. They will expand your understanding of what animals feel, sense, think, believe, and experience, and most poignantly, allow you to peer into the depths of animals' connections with their human companions, and of ours with them.