A Newsletter and Resource Guide

When We Know Better, We Do Better…

Undoubtedly, most of you are aware of the recent issues regarding commercial pet food recalls. Many animals die from toxic pet food each year. The questions that arise from the sacrifice of those animals are: “what in the world have we been feeding our animals?” and “what is actually in our pet ‘food?’” For the most part, I believe that the use of the word “food” is a flat out lie!

Let me explain. Over the years, we have been told again and again (via commercials and well-meaning vets) not to feed our animals “people food.” How many times have you heard that or thought that? Let me ask you this, if they aren’t eating “people food,” then what are they eating?

High quality pet foods will say “chicken,” “beef,” or “lamb” as their protein source. The meat is the first ingredient. Lesser quality foods will contain some type of meat “meal.” The poorest quality commercial foods (including ones you may get from your vet) contain meat by-products, animal by-products or animal digest as the protein source. This means your beloved animal is being fed meat that is not fit for human consumption. If it’s not fit for human consumption, is it fit for your animal? No! In a nutshell “by-products” means your animal is being fed one or more of the “4D’s.” That stands for “dead,” “diseased,” “disabled,” or “dying animals. These are animals that come to the slaughterhouse for processing. There is obviously something wrong with them and the FDA will not allow them to be used in the “human” food supply. It then goes into commercial pet food!

The other source of meat in pet food comes in the form of “rendered” animals. This term applies to road-kill, dead animals on the farm, zoo animals, dead large animals from individual homes and…brace yourself…dogs and cats that have died or been euthanized from our local vet hospitals and shelters. When your animal dies, you are given a few options in caring for the body. You are asked if you would like to bury the animal yourself, have your animal cremated or sent to a “general disposal.” General disposal sends your animals to a rendering plant where they are turned into meat by-products and it is this protein source that ends up in dog and cat food. It is now well known that euthanasia fluid survives “processing” and chemically remains in the protein source which is in turn, fed back to our animals. Unbelievably horrible but true!

Grains in general should not be found in dog or cat food. MOST commercial foods are high in grains and what is used for the most part is, again, “not fit for human consumption.” These are fillers and have no nutritional value and are harmful to the animal’s immune system.

“What can I do?” you might ask. My recommendation is to support your state’s legislation to change the fact that the pet food industry is “self-regulated.” Therefore, there are no regulations regarding what a company can and can’t put in pet food. Insist that the FDA regulate the industry and protect your companion.

Now for the good news! Remember, when you know better you do better. Spend the money “up front” on your animal companion by purchasing the highest quality food available or making it yourself.  If you do that, you will most likely spend less money later on in vet bills and long-term chronic illness caused by low quality pet food. The food should run you about $2+ a pound for high quality food. You always get what you pay for! Also, remember, “buyer beware!” There are some expensive, low quality foods out there, promoted by western veterinarians. Some of these are the WORST products on the market. (Like Hills Science Diet and Purina Pro Plan.) Check ALL labels before purchasing, no matter who recommends it!

If you do chose to feed commercially made food remember that it really isn’t designed to be an animal’s only food source. Supplement the commercial with fresh food such as small amounts of steamed broccoli, kale, cauliflower, squash, apple or occasional non-fatty meats.

I highly recommend making the food your self. This will cost about the same…but there is more time involved. You will need to get support about what the type of meat to feed, important vegetables to use and to avoid. Never forget you MUST add vitamin and mineral supplements that are species specific.

Change the diet slowly, over a 5-7 day period. On day 1 add 20% new food; day 2 add 40% new food and so on until you are at 100% new, high quality food. This will allow “picky” eaters to make the change slowly and there will be less of a chance for loose stool issues.

You will notice smaller stools (more digestible protein and less grain) and you want to watch for weight gain! You will most likely need to measure the food and feed your animal much less than a ‘lower quality’ pet food.

If you would like to chat about the food you are using or how to make your own food please feel free to contact me. If there are health issues to consider before changing the diet, I will be happy to recommend a local alternative vet.

Raven can be contacted at:

[email protected] or

530-926-4339 M-TH 12-5pm


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Winter & Your Animals

Here in Mt. Shasta we have been experiencing overnight lows in the single digits and daytime highs around freezing. A rule of thumb we use in the cold is when you let an animal out int he cold, stay with them. When it’s too cold for you to stay outside, it’s too cold for them and they should be brought in.

Walks in the cold are fine and upon returning home, check your dog’s paws for ice balls between the pads and wipe them off to remove rock salt or other deicing chemicals. Ingesting those chemicals can cause inflammation of the digestive track.

If you live near a pond or lake, be very careful about letting your dog run across the frozen water. They can fall through and it is extremely dangerous for the dog to be in ice cold water and for you to then attempt to rescue them! Keep them on a leash near those types of water sources.

When playing in the snow, remember short haired and short legged dogs get colder a lot faster than long haired and/or long legged ones.

Health issues can also play a role in cold affecting our animals. Diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease and some hormonal imbalances can compromise an animal’s ability to regulate body heat. Very young, very old or animals that are not generally in good health shouldn’t be exposed to the cold for long periods of time.

I am not one to recommend that any animal sleep outside full time, but if your animal does have to stay outside, you must be sure that they have a water bowl that will not freeze and shelter with a flap so that their space is draft free.

Also you must provide straw or bedding that can be up off the ground and is always dry. Your animal may also need a food with a high protein source during extreme cold. Consider purchasing a higher quality food with “chicken” “turkey” or “beef” as the first ingredient on the list.

If you are going to keep your animal out full time, please, consider allowing your animal inside on nights that get below 40 degrees.

“Before” You Add a New Family Member

I have had many calls recently with people at their wits end after bringing home their new companion animal. I also recently adopted a “rescue” dog and although we planned ahead, it is still a stressful time for the entire family.

Here are some of the basic things you need to take into consideration before bringing your new companion animal home:

1) Know the characteristics of the breed you are intending to get. Do your research thoroughly and understand both the good and the challenging aspects of the animal. Know what you are getting into!

  • Ask a behaviorist or your vet for information about the breed.
  • Consider getting an older animal as they often are easier to care for.

2) Call around to your local vets to find a good behaviorist or training support and be sure that they use a “positive only” management style. Don’t be afraid to ask direct questions about their background and years in the profession.

  • You will want to have a consult “prior” to the animal coming to live with you and also regular follow-ups for support.This is vital if you already have animals and are adding a new one to your home.

3) Understand that the entire family must be on the same page with regard to training, rules in the home, words used for training and helping to exercise and care for your new companion.

  • Avoid giving an animal as a holiday gift. Instead, give an IOU and pick out the animal together when the family has “vacation time” to get adjusted and spend the time needed to have a successful.

4) Plan on not traveling or being away for 30-90 days to give the animal a chance to adjust.
5) Set up your house before the animal comes home. “Puppy proof” your home, even if you are bringing in an older animal. You never know their old habits.
6) Plan on keeping their routine very structured for at least 6 months until they adjust and completely understand the rules of their new home.
7) Keep the food the same for a few and when you do change it, do it slowly over a 7-10 day period so there will be no digestive/bowel issues.
8)For dogs, get them out to go to the bathroom every hour or two and then slowly stretch it out as they adjust to their new environment.
9) Remember that old habits or underlying issues often begin to show themselves as the animal settles into your home. Often this is at about 4-6 weeks after the animal arrives. Expect it! This is where animal communication comes in handy. We can find out the animal’s history and emotional issues. Flower essences will support this phase. Five Flower Formula and Animal Rescue Formula are essences I highly recommend using as soon as you bring the animal home.

Understanding what you are getting into will help alleviate disasters later. Remember that it is up to you to get your new animal companion acclimated to their new home and lifestyle. It’s your job to develop management strategies along with house rules and dog/cat rules so that your new best friend is set up for success as soon as they get to their forever home. This takes planning, support and a lot of work, but it is really worth it in the long run!

Finally, as you think about adding to your family, please save a life and adopt or rescue your next companion animal!

We Are All Connected

I’m curious about our intimate relationship with Nature. If we open our minds and allow other kinds of teachers into our lives, we might just realize we have much to learn from Nature and the natural world through observation, humility and a willingness to stay open.

Take for instance the H1N1 virus (swine flu.) The other day I heard that a pig farm up in Canada had experienced an outbreak and that they believed the human farmer had given it to the pigs! This recent virus outbreak is an opportunity to really understand how inter-related we are with all of Life. How we treat all of Nature matters.

To me, this is a clear reminder that we are all connected. And when I say “we” I mean all beings on the planet (and beyond…but we can leave that discussion for another day!) Plants, animals, insects, worms, soil, rocks, sky, oceans, fish…all of Nature. Through human arrogance, we have disconnected ourselves physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually from the Web of Life. We are unplugged! It’s no wonder we are so unhappy and unconscious as a species. To the extent that we are dissatisfied, we are disconnected.

Via our global warming crisis and other environmental disasters, we certainly are learning that we are not physically separate from nature. How do we act as if we are separate? Every time we use our car. Every time we use a cleaning product that isn’t “green” or naturally biodegradable. Every time we throw out something that could be recycled. Every time we purchase products wrapped in something that can’t be recycled. And even those of us that do the best we can with recycling…every single time we “take out” the trash! I ask you, “take out” the trash to where? Ultimately, it’s all our backyard isn’t it?

Which leads me to the spiritual aspect of our separation. What if spiritually we aren’t separate from any single aspect of Life? What if Gaia, the Earth, is waking up just as we are? If we all are evolving towards something new- a place where we understand our inter-relatedness. Our perceived separateness is simply the “human” condition…an illusion from which we are attempting to wake up from.

My vision? The step would be a world where we respect ourselves and all Beings equally. Where we finally understand that if you pluck one aspect of the Web, the entire system vibrates.

All my relations,


Workshop: Healing Animals, Healing Ourselves- The Gift of Flower Essence Therapy.

I have been asked to be one of the presenters at a 4 day workshop, hosted by the Flower Essence Society, this Memorial Day weekend. The workshop is called “Healing Animals, Healing Ourselves- The Gift of Flower Essence Therapy.”

Class highlights include:
· Overview of the most important flower essences for animal and human caretaker healing
· Selection methods – how to make good flower essence choices and assess effectiveness
· Methods of application and specialized techniques for administration of flower essences
· Animal Communication: Listening, Learning and Loving
· Healing the Healer: special considerations and challenges for animal caretakers
· Observation and direct experience with animals in need of healing
· Case studies and questions: submissions from class participants
· Walks in Terra Flora Gardens to attune to flowers and animal life
· Special topics: Animal Rescue in Natural Disasters, Working with Wildlife, Adoption, Birthing and Dying

Guest presenters include Kathy Edstrom, Dr. Share Siwek, Teresa Wagner and myself. This workshop will be lead by Patricia Kaminski of the Flower Essence Society. If you work with animals or want to understand your own better, you might want to consider attending. You do not want to miss this! For further information please visit this link at The Flower Essence Society.

Flower Essence Emergency Kit

During these changing times, each of us should be prepared to care for ourselves, our family, our animals and our community without assuming we will have immediate access to alternative or western medical care.

This is the list I believe we all should have as part of our first aid kit. If you can only afford a few I would own Five-Flower Formula, Self-Heal, Yarrow Environmental Solution, Fear-Less and Post-Trauma Stabilizer.

You can order these essences directly from Flower Essence Services. Or you can call them directly at 1-800-736-9222.

This list is from the  Flower Essence Repertory (copyright) by Patricia Kaminski and Richard Katz (Reprinted by permission from the Flower Essence Society.)

Flower Essence Emergency Kit

Angel’s Trumpet: for wartime and natural disasters; to assist peaceful transition in dying process, conscious transition of soul out of body

Angelica: protection and guidance from the spiritual realms, especially for those who have opened up their psychic centers too quickly

Arnica: easing shock and trauma, especially with physical injuries; re-uniting soul and spirit with the body

Canyon Dudleya: inability to cope in emergency, tendency to hysteria and overwhelm

Chamomile: to calm distraught emotions

Cherry Plum: out of control, hysterical, suicidal or destructive due to extreme stress

Crab Apple: mental and physical cleansing; for wounds and toxins

Dill: nervous overwhelm due to assault on the senses through noise, light, air, smoke, etc.

Echinacea: experiences which disintegrate the sense of Self; deeply shattering experiences destructive to the core Self

Five-Flower Formula: for all cases of emergency or first aid, for immediate calming and centering

Golden Yarrow: ability to cope and to help others despite one’s sensitivity

Indian Pink: keeping centered amidst intense activity; leadership in crisis

Lavender: restoring calm after nervous burnout

Love-Lies-Bleeding: wounded, bleeding or dying; extreme pain which pushes soul beyond its limits

Purple Monkeyflower:
extreme fear or hysteria of a psychic or occult origin

Queen Anne’s Lace: for blows to the head, especially when vision is distorted

Red Clover: calm and centered despite group panic; dispels hysteria; promotes leadership in crisis situations

Rock Rose: profound fear of imminent death, destruction or annihilation

Saint John’s Wort: spiritual protection in injury or life-threatening situations; to restore inner light; protection during out-of-body states

Self-Heal: recuperation and rejuvenation; wholeness of etheric forces to counteract physical stress

Star of Bethlehem: soothing and balancing in cases of shock and extreme trauma; restores harmony and peace

Yarrow: protecting against physical or psychic negativity in the environment

Yarrow Environmental Solution: resistance to radiation or other environmental toxins; geopathic stress

And from the Florish line of FES flower essences:
Fear-Less: Red Clover, Mountain Pride, California Valerian, Oregon Grape, Mimulus, Rock Rose and Green Rose. Emergency indications are for use during any natural disaster or personal calamity. Works well in tandem or alternation with Five-Flower Formula during the most intense and immediate episodes of panic and chaos. To deal with residual stress and ongoing symptoms, use Post-Trauma Stabilizer.

Post-Trauma Stabilizer:
Arnica, Bleeding Heart, Echinacea, Glassy Hyacinth,
Green Cross Gentian, Fireweed & Five-Flower Formula. Emergency indications are for loss or disruption of any kind that creates bewilderment, numbness or shock in the body-soul complex – including amputation or debilitating injury within the physical body; loss or disruption to one’s home, community or environment. For relief work in any natural disaster or war zone – to address prolonged levels of shock and trauman and to help victims re-build and renew; beneficial for both humans and animals.

In Times of Change~Five Flower Formula

We are now experiencing what some have foreseen for quite some time: change. The virtual collapse of our banking and credit systems can be seen as a wake up call, if we choose to look at it that way. Let’s face it – the way our country has been living is NOT sustainable! This time of change calls for a deep re-evaluation of our lifestyle, priorities and our footprint on the planet. We can and should do better.

This is going to require sacrifice on all our parts. There is no one who can tell you how much change is coming or how seriously it’s going to affect you, your family/animals and community. All we know is that it will affect all of us.

You can begin now to learn what you need to know to help your family (including animals) through these times. If you have grandparents alive, call them and ask them how their families made it through the depression. What did they feed their animals back then? Collect the wisdom of the elders.

Do you know how to grow food? Do you have services to barter? How can you cut back on all expenses without being scared? Can you make it a game at home and have fun with it?

“Back to basics” is something I believe we have been craving. Some things we now consider necessities weren’t even around 15-20 years ago. We can do just fine with less.

In times of change, I would recommend knowing the basics around the use of flower essences, first aid and the use of herbs for healing. A basic item needed at home is Five Flower Formula (FFF), made by Flower Essence Services. (1-800-736-9222) This combination is based on Dr. Bach’s popular formula called Rescue Remedy. I prefer FFF because the flowers used are grown biodynamically and the quality of caring in making this formula is unsurpassed. This formula seems to be much more potent than Rescue Remedy. This essence is used for relieving stress, anxiety, trauma and for emergencies. It is used for immediate calming and centering. In these times of change this is the main remedy I recommend you always have nearby.

And remember, the stress we feel is also felt by our animal companions. They too should be receiving flower essences during this time. We are all connected.

Healing Animals-Healing Ourselves

I have been asked to be one of the presenters at a 4 day workshop this Memorial Day weekend entitled “Healing Animals, Healing Ourselves- The Gift of Flower Essence Therapy.”

Class highlights include:
• Overview of leading flower essences for animal and human caretaker healing
• Selection methods – how to make good flower essence choices and assess effectiveness
• Methods of application and specialized techniques for administration of flower essences
• Animal Communication: Listening, Learning and Loving
• Healing the Healer: special considerations and challenges for animal caretakers
• Observation and direct experience with animals in need of healing
• Case studies and questions: submissions from class participants
• Walks in Terra Flora Gardens to attune to flowers and animal life
• Special topics: Animal Rescue in Natural Disasters, Working with Wildlife, Adoption, Birthing and Dying

Guest presenters include myself, Kathy Edstrom, Dr. Share Siwek, and Teresa Wagner. This workshop will be lead by Patricia Kaminski of the Flower Essence Society. If you work with animals or want to understand your own better, you might want to consider attending. For further information please visit:


Poetry: Leap of Faith

Leap of Faith

by Wendy L. Brown

Standing before a fork
in the road
there is not a right answer

or truth cast in stone, there are
choices and plans and desire,

there is the heart of fire and
twist of fate,
there is the unveling

of who you are and who you
are becoming.

This I have found after
bargaining with my hopes

and my destiny. There is only
a still quiet voice within

that tells me trust what you
know and then surrender,

leap if you must, let your wings
unfurl, let your angels play catch.

We drink dreams from a
sliver of moon.

Animal Communication

Animals communicate regularly via telepathy, body language and sound. Telepathy is the most basic form of communication, an ability all animals (humans included) are born with but because of our society and culture, we seem to have lost some of our innate perceptiveness and therefore our ability to use telepathy as a means of regular communication. We all have the innate ability to be telepathic, but like all abilities it must be recognized, nurtured, trained and used.

Wikipedia decribes telepathy as mind-to-mind communication. The word “tele” in Greek means “distant” and the word “patheia” means “to be affected by.”

Traditionally telepathy is described as a means of communication via pathways other than the traditional five senses (sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch.) In my experience, I hear the thoughts verbally, sense or feel the emotions and physical conditions and see images or pictures. It feels like our traditional five senses but what is different is the avenue through which I access the information.

Before a session, I intentionally go into a state that allows me to be in the place of “inter-connectedness” with all beings. From this place, I can reach the “being” I intend to speak with.

Where Science is….
Science is now catching up to what some of us already know on an experiential level. Quantum physics understands that time and space are not what they seem and that when we drop the confines of these beliefs, we can and do experience major shifts in our perceptions.

Science has also found an innate connection between particles (like neurons for example) that come from a common source. If you affect one particle, it affects the other no matter the distance between them. The terms science is using for this phenomenon are non-separability, non-locality or entanglement. It is unclear to science how far this phenomenon extends or how deep this inter-connectedness runs.

Another name for the space that encompasses this interconnectedness is “morphic fields.” The morphic field links or connects groups: animals, people, families and all manner of “inanimate” objects like protons and neurons. Science, with its current limitations, cannot tell us yet how large these fields can extend.

Earth based wisdom teachings tell us that everything is inter-connected. In my opinion, the only limit to inter-connectedness or the morphic field are the limits we put on it by our acquired belief systems. It is because of the inter-connectedness and through the morphic field that one is able to connect with the animal or person during a session.

The amazing part of this work is that is that you don’t have to be in the same room. It can be done in close proximity or over a long distance. It is through practice and intention that animal communicators are able to reach into the morphic field telepathically and connect with the client.