Updated: Jun 3
https://www.deeprootconnections.com/peaceful-transitionsHow I became an animal communicator continued…
If you haven’t read How I became An Animal Communicator (Part 1), I recommend doing that first so this story makes sense.
Okay, let’s begin.
Have you ever bonded with an animal so much, that if you think about the love you have for them, it literally hurts your heart?
I have. That was my bond with Foolish, my horse, my first true love and one of the best teachers I’ve ever had.
(Image: The day I got him)
We spent a beautiful 15 years together. He went to college with me, helped me stay grounded while I tried to find where I fit into this world and was there to help with the adjustment of becoming a mother.
(Image: Kid helping me do chores )
He watched me struggle, flop, flourish and repeat many times over the years.
Our bond was one of those that happens only once in a lifetime and one that had to suddenly and unexpectedly come to an end.
There’s a lot that happened in a short time-frame and it has taken me a while to dissect it and understand the events that unfolded enough to share his final chapter with the world.
I’ll start at the beginning of the end…
My family and I moved to a different state, nothing we hadn't done before. I sent my animals to a trusted friend to keep an eye on them while we settled in and prepared the property to bring them home.
Unfortunately, buying hay in October in Montana isn’t really possible, so I had to wait 7 months until the farmers started to cut so I could grab a years’ worth and bring my boys (Foolish and his pasture mate Rooster) home.
(Image: Foolish, left, Rooster, right)
I’d visit the horses regularly, say “hi” and check-in. On the outside everything seemed normal but something kept nagging at me..something was off with Foolish. I didn’t know what it was. Was I not visiting enough? Was he unhappy in his pasture? Did he need his teeth checked?
I just felt like something was “off” with Foolish.
He looked fine, was eating normally, his vet check and blood work all came back clear. So why on earth was I obsessing over this feeling. He was fine, I was going to get hay in a couple of months, I’d bring both horses home and we would all live happily ever after, right? Not exactly.
Memories of our time together started popping into my head randomly. Great memories, my favorite ones. When these memories popped in, they were so strong and emotionally charged they’d catch me off guard and would typically make me cry (if you haven't noticed, I cry a lot!).
(Image: One of my favorite rides)
I have always had my animals at my house, so having them off-site was a struggle to begin with and I generally missed seeing their faces all day, every day, but this was different…
I missed him in my heart like I miss my animals in spirit. It was weird. I missed him being home. I missed our younger days when we would ride the trails. I missed singing to him while I cleaned out his stall and him watching me with total amusement. I missed his sense of humor, he was sort of the life of the party. It was like he was already gone but he was right here, a 15 minute drive down the road.
That nagging feeling kept popping in and made all of this so much harder and confusing. What was going on? Why did I miss him so much? I could visit him whenever I wanted to.
I convinced myself that everything was fine, he’d be home soon and we could get back to normal.
We were a month away from cutting season and just about ready to bring him home when he hurt his leg. Not like anything out of the ordinary, just a little scrape in the same spot he always scraped. It was an annual thing, Foolish would cut his leg, we would wrap it and then move on with life. No. Big. Deal.
When my friend called me to tell me he hurt his leg and that the vet was coming out in a day to check it out that seemed about right. So, I thought, okay, we are good…I’ve never had an issue before with this type of injury so why would I this time?
I ignored all of my red flags that had been flapping for months and my internal alarm was literally screaming at me, but I shut off my intuition because he’d be fine, he was always fine, we were so close to bringing him home and I was convinced that there wasn’t really any other possible ending.
I held on to what I wanted to happen and ignored what was in front of me.
I failed him in that moment.
At first, we all thought he’d heal, but a few weeks in, the infection wouldn’t go away. You see, the location that he scraped himself at was set up to fail. He had an old wound where he was caught in barbed wire as a colt and had severe scar tissue in his leg and joint.
That scar tissue, from his injury as a baby was acting like a sponge and holding the infection in his joint, slowly eating away the cartilage and everything else around it. Without any blood supply in the scar tissue, the antibiotics we were giving him weren’t helping.
The vet I was using told me it was time to make the call to “put him out of his misery”.
I fired her.
I was pissed. How dare she. I was confused, in denial, panic, self-blame…How could this happen? Weren’t we doing everything right? I refused to accept his fate.
I called every other vet in the valley and ended up sending him to the equine hospital. I wasn’t done yet, and I could tell he wasn’t either. How dare anyone just give up on us…on him. I looked into his eyes and I knew he wasn’t ready.
They say the eyes are the gateway to ones soul and that couldn't be more true.
I reached out to one of my animal communication teachers at the time to get a clear view of what Foolish was thinking and wanting. She asked him if he was “ready” or if he wanted us to keep fighting.
He wanted to keep fighting. I wanted to keep fighting. If he was up for it, so was I.
The new vet I was working with told me the reality of our odds at successfully healing his wound which was a grim 1%.
We had a 1% of a chance to miraculously heal his leg. I decided to shoot for those odds.
I didn’t care what it took, but I was going to either magically cure him or give both of us time wrap our heads around the tornado we were just handed and told to deal with.
The equine hospital conducted a procedure that, in the very least, did buy us some time. He had to live in a small stall for four days before he could come home which he referred to as “jail.”
It was horrible. He was so stressed out, alone, in a weird place...If he was going to die, he shouldn’t have to be in a dang stall for even a minute. This horse loved open spaces. I couldn't handle him being in a tiny box and neither could he.
I was desperate.
During his four days at the hospital, we prepared a special area for him, bought whatever hay we could scrounge up and brought Rooster home. Foolish had to be home with his family, there was no other way. Everyone had to be home.
I started dabbling in energy work at this point to alleviate any other pain or emotional baggage he was holding. I was willing to try anything...
Anything that might help give us one more day, hour, minute...
The moment we brought him home, there was a strong sense of peace that settled in almost immediately. The goats missed him, and gave him a very joyous welcome and Rooster went over to make sure he was doing alright.
Rooster played an important part during the final weeks too. Have you ever seen a horse hug? They're very intimate and intentional. A communication between two friends that I can't even begin to described but I could gauge how Foolish was feeling based on the actions of Rooster. That's a story I'll get into in another post however.
We were all together again, finally.
(Image: Goats left to right: Bo, Harold, Watson Horses: Rooster and Foolish)
During the following weeks, I sat with him every day, all day, except when he needed to rest, changed his bandages 3 times a day and checked in on him during the nights.
I took in all of the details of his body, the texture of his fur, the wrinkles in his nose, his smell, the sound of his neighs and whinnies, the slurping sounds of his lips smacking as he sucked down his grain…
I didn't want to ever forget one single detail of my horse, my boy, my love, my soul mate.
Throughout the month, he sent me messages. Sometimes they were songs, like “you are my sunshine” or clips from a memory. I didn't know how I was going to manage. I'd walk through my house, look out the window, see him out there and crumple to ground because the mere thought of losing him was crushing.
(Image: A week before I made the call)
Thankfully, I wasn't alone. I could ask Foolish how he was and what he wanted on a daily basis.
He helped guide me through his final chapter
by letting me know he was there and what he wanted.
Eventually he got tired and we both had to admit that we officially lost the battle. I knew it was time. As I sat there with my phone in my hands not wanting to make that call, I looked right at him and asked him if it was okay. All week I felt it coming. I knew we were close but I held off selfishly because I wasn't ready. I couldn't be. He was supposed to live forever.
All week, I told him it was okay and that I would be okay and that when it was time, I'd know. I had serious heart to hearts with him. We talked about our favorite memories and how much I loved him. I thanked him for everything he gave me throughout the years and that he is the only reason I am who I am. I promised him I'd always be authentic no matter the cost since that is the lesson he had taught me over the years.
So as I sat there with the vets phone number pulled up, I looked at Foolish as my heart silently broke. He looked at me very intently and then I heard lyrics to a song, “don’t make me wait one moment more.”
He gave me permission. He gave me permission to end his life.
So I made that dreadful appointment for the vet to come out the following day.
(Image: His last night with us, a double rainbow appeared)
He passed as peacefully as a horse can. I lit a candle, had a rose quartz placed on his heart and asked my angles and guides to help assist him with his transition.
After he passed, I sat in my room, numb, unable to process what had just occurred. The whole thing, the move, boarding him at a friend’s house, his injury, my apparent neglect that caused this... his death… I didn’t know where to begin so I just sat there, emotionless.
I shut my eyes to maybe feel something...ANYTHING. I am used to feeling all of my emotions as they come to me but being numb, that was new. So not knowing what else to do, I ran through a short meditation to settle my energy and that’s when I heard it.
I could hear him whinny.
His whinny was unmistakable, so I knew it was him, without a doubt.
Tears silently streamed down my face and not wanting to break the connection I kept my eyes shut tight. I then saw an image of him pawing at the ground like he always did when he was being impatient.
I got a strong feeling that he was not impressed with me being in the state I was in and that he was letting me know he was still around. I had told him that I would be okay and that I knew he would be okay. He was holding me accountable just like he had for so many years.
I knew in that moment, he was okay.
I even laughed because the image he gave me was so classic Foolish.
During his transition, I had asked a friend of mine to hold space for us and when I reached out to her to let her know it was all said and done, she described what she saw on her end during the minutes he passed.
She described to me an image of him rising out of his body and running, running FAST and running free, bucking and celebrating. He was pain free, finally. He not only suffered his infection he also suffered from severe arthritis and had been in pain for years. The image she gave me made me feel a bit better about everything. He was free again, as a horse should be.
While the dagger in my heart still aches when I think of his passing, the experiences I had during his last month, taught me so much.
The memories I was receiving before he was injured were messages and memories, he was sending me. I still believe something else wasn't quite right with him and I think he knew it too. There is so much more to life than we know and understand. I believe in my heart that his fate would have been the same regardless of his scrape. If it wasn't that, it was the "something else" that I felt was "off".
Many animals go through a life review before they actually transition.
At that time, their owners usually unknowingly, participate in the life review, by receiving the memories their pets have while the pet is remembering them. I was receiving his life review memories, which is why they were so charged up with emotions.
Once he hurt himself he continued to send me messages and guided me through the process.
Of course, I had to make the final decisions, but I was able to pass the decisions and questions through Foolish first and get his input. That alone is a gift in itself. Now, I don’t have that guilt that can sometimes wreak havoc on a pet parent, because I know I didn’t wait too long, or do it too soon. He got everything he needed and wanted before his departure.
He gave me the gift, the gift of peace of mind, by guiding me through his final days
so I didn't have to do it alone.
After taking a long, hard look at the events that occurred, I decided that was enough for me to want to help others. If I could have peace of mind after all of that, and know that the decisions I made were what he wanted, then how could I not help someone else have that too?
Peace of mind is priceless as is honoring our pets during their final days.
I’ve held guilt for years because of the decisions I’ve made with other pets. Foolish gave me what I didn't think was possible, being okay with his passing.
So, I decided to come out of the closet so-to-speak with a mission to help others have peace of mind and honor their pets during the most difficult time. I created my Peaceful Transitions sessions specifically in his honor and it is the driving force of why I am here.
I have recently learned that animals plan their departure ahead of time
to help "push" us along our path.
Up to this point, I had been doing animal communication more formally, but still in secret, in a safe group of people, for a while. This whole experience urged me to dabble in energy work and push my boundaries due to desperation. I couldn't be more thankful.
Without the desperation, I never would have opened myself up to energy work which I absolutely love and without this experience, I'd probably still be a closet communicator.
After thoughtful reflection, his passing gave me so much. He "pushed" me past my comfort level.
I don't care anymore about what anyone thinks. He died and forced me to accept my new authentic self...again. Yes, I talk to animals and work with energy. No, that might not be normal or popular or believed by the masses. The only thing that matters is being true to myself and how I can help someone else connect and heal.
I now offer myself to you, the world. I have continued my learning formally with energy healing and am dedicated to help you connect with your animals.
So I guess that's the story of Foolish and how/why I became an animal communicator...
and although he isn't here in physical form anymore, I know he's with me and with all of you. He is continually urging me on and helping me better myself and what I have to offer the world.
He is and always will be a constant reminder to be authentic, no matter what.
Here are a few notes for you if you've made it this far...
~Kim Shotola from the Lightfoot Way was my teacher at the time
~Tammy Billups wrote a very important book Animal Soul Contracts that all pet parents should have