Do you have a rescue dog or cat? Are you thinking of or planning to adopt one? As you know, there are hundreds of wonderful dogs, cats, puppies and kittens who need homes. Adopting an abandoned animal, stray or surrendered pet is such a blessing for that furry one. If you've done this, you can feel and often see the gratitude this lovely being exudes every day.
Many shelters do their best to find out about the animal's past. They'll do as much "behavior testing" as time and staffing permits and they will happily share with you what they find out. However, it is also very common for animals to "hide" their feelings out of fear. I have worked with animals whose personalities seem to suddenly flip. Mild mannered, sweet "Dr. Jekyll" suddenly turns into frightened, destructive "Mr./Ms. Hyde." What's happened?
You Need to Find Out Why
The worst thing you can do at this point is to freak out and return him/her to the shelter. This will only make him feel rejected and abandoned again and drive whatever feelings he was trying to get up and out, get stuffed down deeper where they can turn into even more destructive or neurotic behavior. This will likely mean he will not get successfully adopted.
1) Get out the Rescue Remedy, Composure, CBD... Every new addition to your home should be petted with Rescue Remedy before you put her in the car to head home! Add 2-3 drops to your hands, rub them together, and gently pet your new family member. One drop on your fingers and a stroke of the head on a cat is enough. Keep putting drops of RR in the water bowl every time you change it. Tell them, "This will help you feel safe and calm." Petting Rescue Remedy on your animals at home a few days before the adoption will support them in more easily accepting the newcomer. "Composure"* treats will also ease tensions and support calm acceptance.
2) If you haven't made an appointment with me or another communicator of your choice, before bringing her home, get on our schedules ASAP. We can help you hear what your new friend needs you to know, how to help her feel safe and make a plan going forward to support her physical, mental and emotional needs. This will save you both SO much time, stress and eliminate the guess work about what caused her to be this way. Click here if you're new to me, here if you're a returning client.
Some Secrets Need to be Kept
If your new friend has "secrets," sometimes they are better kept that way. I once worked with a rescue dog who had been mistreated by his previous person and didn't want to relive the trauma by sharing it OR having his new person tell everyone about his traumatic past. Understandably, he wanted a fresh, new start unencumbered by the past. For him, it was healing enough to be in a calm, loving safe home at last. Other animals may need TTouch, massage, Reiki, Flower Essence support, homeopathy or other therapies to help them shed the old patterns and be fully present. In an animal communication session, we can find out exactly what's needed. I include links to resources and follow up support in my sessions.
Remember to do your research whenever you're planning to adopt a rescue. And, when you fall in love with that cute face online or in person, be sure to find out as much as you can about where they came from and any special needs they have. Prepare your other animals (be sure they're happy about adding another cat or dog to the household). Get a special bed, blanket, crate just for the new family member and be prepared for some surprises.
With the right support from all human and more-than-human family members, your holistic vet, and an animal communicator, you'll ensure everyone has a good path to easier integration and happy endings!
With Love, Your Voice of Animals, Kate
* Composure Calming Supplement