Kimmy’s Story: Life Lessons From Our Katrina Survivor
Kimmy is a two-year old rottweiler who adopted us on December 1, 2005 and joined our family of one horse, one mule, two other dogs, three cats, one snake, numerous chickens and three humans. This in itself is not remarkable since many animals find their forever homes in a variety of ways. What makes this event special is that Kimmy is a Katrina survivor, one of the thousands of animals rescued by courageous, dedicated volunteers in New Orleans in the devastation left by Hurricane Katrina. On September 26, 2005, two volunteers from A Rotta Love, a Minnesota rottweiler rescue group, drove to Davenport, IA to complete the transport chain that would bring five weary, traumatized survivors of Hurricane Katrina to the Twin Cities. Kimmy was from the Ninth Ward and was in sad shape, emaciated and with sores from the toxic chemicals covering her body.
I personally feel that the volunteers who offer foster homes to rescue animals are SAINTS and the couple who fostered Kimmy did a marvelous job of bringing her back to health and stability. They brought her to our home to meet us and I was immediately impressed with the fact that they were interviewing us even more carefully than we were questioning them. Of course, Kimmy captivated us all by herself. Our other rottweiler, three-year old Remy, took one look at her and it was love at first sight. They have played together non-stop ever since.
Rescue animals nearly always have issues and Kimmy was no exception to that general observation. As a professional animal communicator I am often contacted by people who have adopted an animal who has stolen their heart only to find that love alone is often not enough to overcome severe health or behavioral issues. Many rescue animals suffer from fear and abandonment issues which can manifest as separation anxiety, fear of loud noises, aggressive, destructive or timid behavior, and territory or food aggression. My job is to find out from the animal what the underlying problem is and what we can do to help them recover. From talking with hundreds of animals over the past ten years I have been led to explore many healing methods including telepathic communication, soul retrieval, essential oils, flower essences, energy interference patterning, depossession, TTouch, and shamanic healing. I have used all of these in varying combinations to help my human and animal clients to achieve health, balance, peace and serenity.
Within hours of her arrival at our home it was obvious that Kimmy had been a loved family pet who had been traumatized but never abused. She was sweet natured, friendly and eager to play with the other dogs. She was also extremely food aggressive and obsessive/compulsive about chasing shadows. As the weather has changed from snow to showers we have also discovered that she is terrified of thunder and lightning. However, the one thing that broke my heart was the sadness in her eyes as she grieved for her lost family. Telepathic communication is based on emotion. Telepathy means the ability to feel over distance, just as telephone means the ability to hear over distance. My ability as an animal communicator is expressed as extreme empathy. I feel what the animal feels. So one day I literally broke down in tears as I felt the depth of Kimmy’s emotional and spiritual pain. I became determined to ease that pain to the best of my ability, using whatever tools were needed.
Kimmy was still underweight, so the first step was to put her on the raw food and bones diet we feed all of our dogs and cats. Her health improved as she reached her ideal weight and her coat became soft and shiny. Her teeth are now clean and white, and her eyes are bright. Healing her physical ills was the easy part of her recovery. We have always fed our dogs in their crates, so it was easy to manage her food aggressive behavior of growling and bolting her food. It was not so easy to convince her that such behavior was not necessary at all. Gradually, over a period of five months she has relaxed to the point where she seldom growls anymore over regular meals which we feed twice a day. The turning point was putting the TTouch body wrap on her while she ate to let her know that she was safe and protected. It’s a different story where treats are concerned. Rawhide treats and bones still bring out the growling protectiveness.
I also started using essential oils on Kimmy right away as the oils have physical, emotional and spiritual healing properties. It is most important to use pure therapeutic grade-A oils to achieve optimum results, so I only use Young Living essential oils. The blended oils are scientifically formulated to address specific issues so I was able to target the treatment to her particular problems. I started with Valor to promote emotional balance and self-confidence, followed by Hope to relieve depression, TraumaLife to ease the memories of what she’d experienced, and Release to help her let go of that trauma. The most obvious effect of this protocol was a dramatic decrease in her obsessive/compulsive shadow-chasing behavior. At first we could barely distract her at all from lunging at shadows, whether they appeared on the floor or the wall. She would become so enthralled that she was unaware of anything else. As her emotional health improved we were able to interrupt this compulsive pattern. The final tool that completed the healing was the addition of the TTouch body wrap and relaxation strokes. Today, Kimmy will briefly look at shadows, but is easily persuaded to focus on something else.
To date, the most benefit has resulted from a shamanic healing technique called soul retrieval. When a person or an animal has suffered from a traumatic experience a portion of their soul may take that experience and leave. It may return spontaneously but many times it does not, leaving the person or animal feeling vulnerable, incomplete or just like some part of them is missing. It is more difficult for them to cope even on a daily basis and they search for something to fill that void. Symptoms of soul loss may include chronic depression, addiction, chronic pain, anxiety or self-sabotage. When I did the diagnostic journey to determine what was needed to help Kimmy’s wounded spirit, I was told that she had suffered soul loss from both the terror of the storm and the loss of her beloved family. The journey that returned the missing soul part to her had a profound immediate effect as well as more subtle changes since. The depression lifted quickly and though she is still sad on occasion it is not as intense or long-lasting. Her confidence has returned and she is not shy or timid. Her play with Remy has changed to a more equal relationship where she will initiate tug-of-war and even ambush him. She runs to meet us and pushes forward to get her share of treats and loving.
Kimmy has brought so much joy to us that it is wonderful to see her happy and spirited. Watching her heal has validated my own belief that the tools we use merely remove the obstacles that try to keep us stuck. Her own indomitable spirit did the rest. We are still working on the fear of storms but I have no doubt that she will come through this as well. It has been a real lesson in the qualities of courage, trust and adaptability of the essence of who we all are, animals or humans, children of God.
Mary Stoffel is a professional in animal communication, shamanic healing, energy healing and a teacher. She recently left the corporate world where she worked as a project manager for a major computer firm and now focuses her energy on her holistic healing practice, helping her animal and human clients achieve physical and spiritual wellness and balance. Mary can be reached at 763-444-8146 or www.humanimal.com.