Miss Vanilla Bean


As always, my life is filled with interesting furry critters.  My latest brush with brilliance in the form of a doggie was Miss Vanilla Bean, my niece’s beautiful, sensitive 2 year old pup.  She was coming to stay at our house overnight while my niece moved her family to Seattle.  My two pups, Oliver and Humphrey, were told ahead of time what to expect and that Miss Bean had recently had some interactions with other doggies who did not respect her, as they should.  She arrived cautious and wary, as expected.

Instead of a calm and mellow greeting, Humphrey and Oliver’s joy at having her arrive at our house was a cacophony of various verbal greetings and crazy displays of joy at a new playmate.  Miss Bean handled it in stride and did her best to take in the tidal wave of sensory overload that ensued.

As the hours wore on, it was clear that she needed to feel safe in this new space with new people and pups and she began to employ her personal toolbox. She wanted these “boys” to know that she was strong and could take care of herself; that she was not to be abused in any way; that she was ever vigilant if they stepped out of line and would be dealt with accordingly.  Her desire to please my niece, to fit into the “mix”, to play and be rowdy and yet still feel safe was very obvious.

She is also very cautious around tall men from previous bad experiences. I employed some tapping on her and we talked to her in loving, positive, empowering ways. My husband and son were able to win her trust by getting down at eye level with her.  Eventually she was able to follow my husband around the house in her darling curious fashion, lay on my son’s lap without fear, and become comfortable enough to roll on her belly in a crowd of people and pups.

Just like people, animals carry their stories with them and they perceive each situation based on “old” stories.  Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT or tapping) is an effective way to help animals release old traumas and begin to have experiences that allow for more joy in their lives.

It is my honor to facilitate these transitions with people and animals and I can’t wait for my next grand adventure along the path to wholeness! Come walk with me.




Oscar, The Instigator


An Abandoned Oscar

Oscar, the pot-bellied pig, lives in my neighborhood. I have walked by his house with my dogs for the last 9 months so we have gotten to know each other.  He comes running to the fence when he sees us round the corner, obviously excited for human and animal interaction.  I have stood at the fence with my dogs’ noses poking through the pickets and he has been mildly curious about them but always seemed more interested in me. He has made a lot of eye contact with me and we’ve had some good conversations! He’s asked me if he can come on walks with us, wants to know if I’m Humphrey’s mom, tells me he’s bored, asks me why no one talks to him, and other delightful banter. He’s convinced me that I am a natural animal communicator and for this, I will always be grateful!

After being out of the state for the last 3 months, I walked my dogs by his house and saw an emaciated pig. His “area” has been enclosed by staked mesh fencing, obviously to deter an escape. He didn’t have access to his dirty bowl of rainwater and there was no evidence of food. The large dumpster parked next to his house was filled with furniture and when I returned that evening hoping to talk to his people, the house was dark and empty. I returned with 20 carrots and celery stalks, which he ate at lightning speed and was able to pull the netting aside to create a path for him to access his water bowl. I promised him I’d get to the bottom of the situation.


Prison Camp for Pigs

The next day I encountered the movers when I took him food and they told me the woman who owned him had moved to a neighboring town. They reported that when asked what she intended to do with Oscar, she wouldn’t respond. The movers then told me they’d fed him a couple of heels of bread and had draped the hose over the fence that morning to fill his water bowl. With disgust, they shared their feeling that she intended to leave him there to fend for himself.  During this conversation, several neighbors stopped by in their cars to tell me they had noticed his emaciated condition and had been sad for him, but apparently no one had fed him or reported her. 

After feeding Oscar for 5 days, he looked better physically but was obviously still agitated.  I explained to him that I would not abandon him and would make sure that he had somewhere fabulous to live.  Thus began my quest to find him a new home. An endless round of phone calls resulted in shelters that were over-filled; a police department that referred to him as “bacon” and said he’d be sent to a slaughterhouse; sage advice from a pig rescue organization that advised me not to advertise him on Craigslist or he would end up in a backyard barbecue pit. 

Afters days of searching, the fabulous Patty Hill with a pot-bellied pig rescue group in Portland was able to arrange for Oscar to be transported to Circle of Life Farm, owned by the remarkable Beth Timmons in Tangent, Oregon. Thank you Beth for giving this Remarkable Pig a home in the beautiful Oregon countryside! And thank you Oscar for propelling me into this incredible journey…you have my heart, dear boy!


Oscar is on his way to Circle of Life Farm