Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Keeping Our Chakras Healthy






Chakras are literally the body’s etheric energy centers that bring through and interpret the creative energy of the higher realms, and we unknowingly use the energy that comes through them to create and / or sustain our reality and keep our bodies physically healthy.
Keeping our chakras healthy is as important as keeping our physical bodies healthy, and as our collective vibration continues to rise, more people will become aware of the chakras, and the necessity to treat them respectfully and maintain a strong, clear connection to the energy they bring through.
We cannot treat something correctly, however, if we do not know it exists.  And, most of humanity still has a lot to learn about the spiritual nature of our existence, including our chakras. Here I will discuss each chakra and give a few accompanying paragraphs about what we can do to keep it healthy and flowing.
I’m sure most of you know about the seven basic chakras. However, it is believed that we have even more chakras beyond the basic seven that will activate as we continue to raise our vibration. So, let's begin with the root chakra.

#1: The Root Chakra
For those of you who do not know, the root chakra is responsible for our basic creative and survival-based instincts. We rely more on our sacral chakra and our third eye/crown chakras for creativity, but the root chakra plays a role in doing anything creative and especially anything that is meant to help us survive.
Our instincts are stored in the root chakra, and we can call on it for assistance with any aspect of our lives that has to do with survival.
To keep the root chakra healthy, we need to listen to our intuition. Even though we receive intuitive impressions primarily from the third eye and crown chakras, if we listen to our intuition, we will be led to make choices that help us survive and keep ourselves sustained in the best and healthiest ways possible.
The more we listen to our intuition, the stronger and healthier the root chakra will be, and after so long of following our inner intuitive guidance, we will find that our root is as strong and healthy as it is meant to be.
We have to be willing to hear out our intuition instead of endlessly following the wants and desires of the ego, which usually run against the wisdom and guidance our intuition gives. With practice, patience and determination, our root chakra will be strong, healthy and brimming with energy that will enhance our sustainability.

#2: The Sacral Chakra
The sacral chakra is our main center for creativity, sexuality, and emotion, and there are plenty of things we can do to keep it healthy. There are also plenty of things we can do to keep it out of balance, and if we aren’t careful, we can damage it by way of our actions and our refusal to, again, listen to our intuition.
We will find that listening to the intuition is very important when it comes to keeping every chakra healthy, and this can especially be said for the sacral chakra. It is one of the more acutely sensitive chakras, so to keep it healthy and brimming, we will want to make choices that do not bring it out of balance.
We do not want to overstimulate ourselves in any area . . . .  creatively, emotionally, mentally, sexually, etc. We want to keep an even amount of energy flowing through this chakra at all times, and we do not want to deplete or overflow it and cause it to fall out of balance.
Balance is the most important thing to practice when it comes to keeping the sacral chakra healthy.  You will be very happy that you made an effort to keep your sacral chakra healthy when you see how much it enhances your creativity and the enthusiasm with which you embrace life and every situation you face.
Above all, keeping our thoughts, actions , nd emotions in alignment will keep our sacral chakra in alignment.  We will also want to routinely do something creative that gets the sacral chakra’s juices flowing if we want to keep it strong and healthy.

#3: The Navel (or Solar Plexus) Chakra
As its name suggests, this chakra is located behind our belly button.  To keep it healthy, we want to make sure we do not overstimulate it by eating unhealthy foods. We also want to scrupulously monitor our eating habits and what we choose to put into our bodies.
Overeating will overstimulate the navel chakra and deplete its ability to bring through any real or pure energy, but eating the right amount of healthy and supportive foods will empower it to bring through a healthy and flowing amount of energy for us to use for a wealth of different purposes.
Even though it has specific uses, the navel chakra lends its energies to assisting the rest of our chakras with their primary functions.
For example, the navel chakra could send energy to the sacral chakra in an attempt to assist this chakra with any given creative pursuit we take up. It could also send its energy to the throat or third eye chakras to help them with any specific tasks they are involved in, and generally, it acts as a balancer for the rest of the chakras.
However, the navel chakra cannot balance anything if it is out of alignment itself, so we will want to take care of it and remember to think about it the next time we sit down for a big and tasty, yet unhealthy meal.

#4: The Heart Chakra
It is pretty clear what this chakra does for us. Like a lot of seekers have learned, it holds some of the purest love we can store within our physical and etheric bodies, and we can call on it for assistance when we are having trouble finding the loving energy that helps us thrive . . . . creatively, spiritually, emotionally and physically.
It goes without saying that love is everything. It literally makes up everything in existence, and this is why we want to have a healthy dose of it swimming through the heart chakra.
To take care of this chakra, we want to willingly and routinely express the inner love that is helping us evolve, which, of course, comes directly through it. The rest of the chakras bring this energy through as well, however, the heart chakra brings the love through in a much purer and more potent way than the rest of the chakras.
We want to keep our heart chakra in use as much and as often as we can if we want to continuously feel its energies. If we ever feel depleted of the love we have come to share with the rest of humanity, we can call on our heart chakra (and the rest of our chakras) to express it through us more purely.
Chakras need to be used regularly in order to stay healthy, and this can especially be said for the heart. Of course, we bring energy through it whether or not we realize it, but the energy flows much stronger and purer when we make a conscious, concerted effort to bring it through.

#5: The Throat Chakra
The throat chakra (along with the sacral) is partially responsible for our creativity, and it feeds our self-expression. We physically express ourselves by speaking through our throats, but there is a deeper spiritual component to our expression that most people do not realize.
The throat chakra’s primarily responsible for our ability and willingness to express ourselves, and it can be used to achieve truly amazing things. In order to keep it healthy, we want to keep our physical throat as healthy as we can.
We do not want to damage or mistreat our physical throat, because it could damage our throat chakra or, at the very least, make it difficult for this chakra to help us express ourselves.
Obviously, we want to take care of our bodies in general if we want any of our chakras to be healthy.  However, keeping our physical throat healthy is essential to making sure the creative and expressive energies flow through as healthily as they can.

#6: The Third Eye Chakra
This is arguably the most popular chakra with the consciousness community, and for some seekers, it is the only chakra they really know anything about.
Along with the crown, the third eye helps us perceive spirit and the vibrations we can share with everyone around us in a much more real and direct way.  And, with meditation and other attunement methods, we can perceive a wealth of greater creative and spiritual energies and even find enlightenment.
It takes a lot to find enlightenment and there are various stages of it that we have to traverse before we find it in a real and pure sense.  That being said, we can utilize our third eye to assist us with achieving enlightenment.
In order to keep our third eye healthy, we need to focus our energy on it whenever we meditate or do anything that is intended to align us with Spirit. We also want to routinely practice bringing our creative and spiritual energy through it, otherwise it will go stale if it is not routinely used.
If we are motivated enough, we can bring through a wealth of greater spiritual energy that we direct through the third eye and use to help ourselves and the people around us find a higher vibration.  And, the more we practice bringing this universally pure energy through the third eye, the stronger it will become.
It also helps to use our meditations in an attempt to perceive the third eye.  Also, if we meditate long enough, we can actually physically and ethereally perceive it and travel through our third eye to what is called a ‘portal to the other side’.
Certain power structures have attempted to suppress knowledge of the third eye in an effort to keep humanity unaware of the sacred truths of our existence.  However, a growing number of seekers are becoming aware of it and using that awareness to strengthen their perceptions of it, keeping it strong and healthy as a result.
This brings us to our final chakra.

#7: The Crown Chakra
The crown chakra is the center for our purest and most direct spiritual development . . . . even purer than the third eye. The third eye plays a very important role in keeping our minds, bodies and spirits healthy, but the crown chakra helps us bring through a wealth of energy that is even purer than what we bring through the rest of our chakras.
The crown and heart chakras have a lot in common, as the energy that comes through both of these chakras is stronger and purer than the energy we receive through the rest of our chakras.
To keep our crown chakra healthy, we should practice daily attunement to a higher state of consciousness in whatever way works best for us.
We can practice spirit communication, which will help us sharpen our perception of our crown and every other chakra; we can practice meditation, dancing and every form of spiritual attunement under the sun; or we can simply enjoy an enlightening spiritual conversation with a fellow seeker.
If we do this, we will bring a wealth of creative and expressional energy through the crown chakra, which will travel down and express itself through the throat and heart.
We use all of our chakras to bring through energy or express ourselves, but certain activities and practices will strengthen certain chakras. Such is the case with the crown chakra, which thrives when we practice the spiritual attunement methods that help us find a higher vibration with a greater degree of ease.

In Conclusion
Hopefully, the information offered here will help those of you who have wondered what you can do to keep your chakras as strong, healthy and flowing as possible.
We want our chakras to be pure and healthy if we want to do anything significant or helpful here on earth.  And, if we are willing to do things that balance them out and enable them to receive the energy that helps us evolve more purely, we will have little difficulty doing anything that requires this energy.
As long as we keep all of our chakras aligned, everything will flow with grace and ease.  As a result, our willingness to contribute to our ongoing conscious revolution will strengthen exponentially.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *



Via Holistic Pets & Peeps!, I offer Holistic Lifestyle Consultations, Aromatherapy, Energy & Spiritual Healing, Grief Recovery For Pet Loss, All-Natural Premium Pet Food / Pet Products & Nutritional Products for Pets & Peeps as well as Whole Food Plant-Based Nutritional Coaching and Holistic Therapies using essential oils and oil-infused supplements. Services are available for animals and people. ♥

Pet Parent Furrends . . . .


www.PremiumPetFoodStore.com


Dear Pet Parent Furrends . . . .

As you may or may not know, one of the companies I work with under my Holistic Pets & Peeps umbrella is an amazing company here in the U.S. who developed a premium line of holistic pet foods, treats, and other pet care products. These products are all formulated by our holistic vet and are products that I consider superior to much of what is currently being offered in the stores today. How much do you know about the food and treats you feed your fur kids? Do you know whether or not your pet's foods have been involved in a recall?! Or, do you know how old your pet's foods are when you purchase them off the store shelves?! Those products can be as old as 12 months . . . sometimes older.
Not exactly what I'd call fresh. ☹️

I convey this information to you for a couple of reasons.

First, I am asking you to at least TRY samples of the foods and treats I am offering. You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain . . . especially optimal health for your pets.

Second I am asking you all for your support. I'm not one to ask for much, so I would truly appreciate it if you would visit my website, let me know if you have any questions, then share it with your pet parent friends and / or clients! Of course, if you prefer to get in on the revenue sharing aspect of these products, I can also help you with that.

I truly believe in these products and have used them for years. Prior to partnering with this company, I did extensive research on them, their manufacturing process, and their commitment to our pets. Let me help you improve your pet's health, keep them safe from giant recalls of their food and treats, and save you some money while I'm at it!

Thanks in advance for your support and sharing of this information.

With Gratitude . . . .

Raven & the Furkids 🐾💜


www.PremiumPetFoodStore.com



Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Make the Holidays Even Happier with Young Living's November PV Promo!






Extra cheer ahead ~ November’s holiday-inspired PV promotion!

This month’s PV promotion is filled with festive favorites to get you in the spirit of the season! Place your qualifying order and you’ll get Christmas Spirit™, Pine, Frankincense, and more just in time for your holiday celebrations. With so many YL favorites in this month’s rewards, you can keep these goodies as a gift to yourself or pass them on to friends!

Do you wait until the day after Thanksgiving to get in the spirit of Christmas, or are you ready to celebrate months before? Whether you patiently put off decorating and celebrating or rush into the festivities, the November PV Promotion is here to help you get ready for the holidays!

Reach any of the following PV minimums with your November order and get these incredible Holiday Essentials for FREE!!! Remember you can qualify for the promos TWICE each month ~ Essential Rewards + Quick Order!!! 


300 PV (Retail Value: $210.44)

* 15-ml Frankincense* ~ With Biblical ties to Christmas, Frankincense is a wonderful oil to elevate the spirit of the season. Apply its uplifting aroma by massaging it into your chest, temples, or neck.

* 15-ml Pine* ~ Bring the freshness of the forest inside! Pine is the perfect complement to your real or artificial tree when you diffuse the woodsy, rich aroma throughout your home.

* Christmas Tree Ornament** ~ Trim the tree with this oil-infused ornament! Designed with a festive snowflake pattern, this glass orb includes an essential oil basin and diffuser sticks to help you spread your favorite scents of the season.

* 15-ml Eucalyptus Radiata ~ Fill your home with the crisp, clean scent of Eucalyptus Radiata just in time for holiday guests! Diffuse it on its own or with complementary oils such as Orange, Lavender, and Rosemary.

* Bonus Essential Rewards exclusive ~ 15-ml Tea Tree*: Prep for holiday hosting with help from this home cleaning must-have. Use Tea Tree for DIY linen spritzers, household cleaners, and air fresheners to keep your home cozy and comfortable.

* Bonus Essential Rewards exclusive: 5-ml Christmas Spirit™ ~ It doesn’t feel like the holidays until you bring out the Christmas Spirit! A YL exclusive, this warm, nostalgic essential oil perfectly blends Orange, Cinnamon, and Black Spruce.


250 PV (Retail Value: $113.73)

* 15-ml Pine

* Holiday Ornament

* 15-ml Eucalyptus Radiata

* Essential Rewards Exclusive: 15-ml Tea Tree & 5-ml Christmas Spirit


190 PV (Retail Value: $72.04)

* 15-ml Eucalyptus Radiata

* Essential Rewards Exclusive: 15-ml Tea Tree & 5-ml Christmas Spirit


100 PV (Retail Value: $13.49)

* Essential Rewards Exclusive: 5-ml Christmas Spirit


*    *    *    *  

YL Essential Rewards ~ Earn points to redeem for FREE product and loyalty gifts along the way!

* Months 1-3 = 10% of ER order back in points
* Months 4-24 = 20% of ER order back in points
* Months 25+ = 25% of ER order back in points
1 point = $1
Loyalty gifts awarded for 3, 6, 9, 12 months of consecutive Essential Rewards orders!

*    *    *    *
Not yet on Essential Rewards? What are you waiting for? Connect with me (or your enroller or upline leader) for more information about our amazing customer loyalty program!

www.HolisticOilsForPetsAndPeeps.com




*Members in APO/FPO/DPO areas need to call 1.844.760.2123 to place their order. Because Frankincense and Tea Tree are listed on the dangerous goods list, members in these areas will need to call to receive ER points in place of the oils. Assistance will be available November 1 ~ 30, Monday–Saturday, 8 a.m. ~ 8 p.m., MST.

**Christmas ornament is fragile; handle with care. 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

8 Reasons You Should Be Using Vetiver






When it’s time to unwind after a long day, or if you need to buckle down for a project in a relaxing environment, look no further than Vetiver essential oil. Vetiver oil provides a sweet, woody aroma that can be applied topically or diffused to help create warm, welcoming spaces. The uses of Vetiver oil are numerous, from providing the perfect grounding scent for a decompressing massage to creating the ideal fragrance for soaps and perfumes. Find out more about the vetiver plant, as well as some key Vetiver oil benefits, and if you decide you need to give yourself a mid-blog Vetiver oil hand massage, we’ll understand.

1. From the Earth

The vetiver plant is a perennial grass native to tropical regions in Asia. Vetiver is a fragrant grass with long stems and flowers, but Vetiver essential oil is derived from the root of the plant. Vetiver roots can grow 7–10 feet long, and their deep, tangled webs help make the plant tolerant against drought and protect against soil erosion.

2. Into the Bottle

Vetiver oil is steam distilled from the root of the vetiver plant. It produces a warm, woodsy scent that’s slightly sweet and earthy.


3. For Men

The woody, earthy scent has been used for its fragrance for centuries, and a popular use of Vetiver is adding a warm aroma to men’s soaps and colognes. You can create a personalized scent by adding Vetiver essential oil as a base note for a masculine DIY perfume.

4. Study Scent

Let Vetiver’s complex and uplifting aroma help calm your mind so you can focus on the tasks that require the utmost attention. Perfect for study, difficult work tasks, or even curling up with a long novel, Vetiver essential oil’s fragrance creates a relaxing atmosphere where distractions lose their sway.

5. Thicker than Thieves®

Vetiver oil is known for its viscosity. Incredibly thick, it can sometimes be slow to flow from the bottle, but patience is a virtue, and there’s nothing wrong with your oil! Because Vetiver essential oil is so thick, we recommend adding it to a carrier oil before you put it in your diffuser.

6. In the Tub

Relax from head to toe with a warm bath, aided by the calming aroma of 15–20 drops of Vetiver oil added to your evening soak. If you want to dim the lights and hit play on your favorite chill-out tunes, that’s between you and the Vetiver.

7. On Your Body

Combine a few drops of Vetiver essential oil with V-6™ Vegetable Oil Complex for use in massage. All those unused “free foot rub” coupons that your significant other gave you last Valentine’s Day? You won’t regret putting them to use in an experience that can be deeply calming and moisturizing.

8. At Home


Create a blend for your family that is warm and relaxing. Use 3 drops of Vetiver essential oil, 5 drops of Lavender, and 2 drops of Ylang Ylang in your diffuser to set the stage for nights in playing board games, reading, or just getting through homework and chores in a calmer atmosphere.

Ready to get started on your own amazing essential oils journey? Learn more here:




Sunday, October 29, 2017

Four Common Skin Problems in Dogs



scritches

Skin problems are some of the most common complaints in veterinary medicine, right up there in the top three. Surprised? It shouldn’t be too shocking when you consider that the skin is the body’s largest organ, one subjected daily to the elements. And for dogs, skin is one of the organs most frequently affected by allergies. With well over 100 different causes of canine skin problems, it can be hard to sort out why your dog is red or itchy. So, how do you even begin to understand why your pup is scratching? Easy … you start with the basics. Today, we’ll take a look at the most common skin problems veterinarians see at the clinic.
In order to understand skin disease in dogs, we need to know the difference between symptoms and causes. The cause of skin disease is the underlying condition that predisposes a canine to the problem, such as a surface infection or something more serious, like endocrine disease. The symptoms are the outward physical manifestation of those causes. Common symptoms include itchiness, hot spots, hair loss, and scaly skin. Pet parents often feel frustrated when they very carefully and completely describe a set of symptoms but their vet can’t definitively determine the source of the problem. That’s because for every itchy dog, there are many experiencing multiple causes! Getting to the root cause of a symptom is the only way your vet can provide complete diagnosis, and hopefully provide your pooch with some relief.

Happy-Shiba-Inu

The most common causes of skin disease fall into four distinct categories: infection, parasites, endocrine and allergic disease. While this is not an exhaustive list, these categories account for the vast majority of problems.

1. Infections: Multiple organisms can take root and cause disease in the skin. Vets see bacterial infections such as Staphylococcus, yeast such as Malassezia, and fungus such as Dermatophytosis (which causes ringworm). These infections can cause a variety of symptoms such as hair loss, itchiness or redness. In order to determine the cause, your veterinarian often needs to look at a sample of skin cells under the microscope or send hair to culture. It is very important to know which organism is causing the infection to minimize time to resolution and make the patient comfortable as quickly as possible. Guesswork just doesn’t cut it very well! The right treatment makes all the difference.

2. Parasites: You only signed up for one dog, not the hundreds of bonus fleas or mites they can sometimes bring in. In addition to being gross, parasites can transmit infection to our companion animals (and sometimes to us), possibly leading to irritation and secondary infections when the itchiness becomes unbearable and dogs start chewing away at their skin. Some of the most common skin parasites are mange mites, fleas, and ticks. The good news is, once your vet identifies the parasite, treatment options are pretty straightforward and will eliminate the problem.

3. Allergies: Lick, lick, lick, chew, chew, chew. If you’ve ever been woken up at 2 a.m. by the incessant sounds of a dog attacking his own skin, you know just how affected pets can be by the intense itching of allergies. In dogs, allergies fall into three major categories: flea, food, and atopy (environmental allergies). Those three distinct causes all look very similar from the outside so it can take some solid detective work and diagnostics to definitively name the culprit. While time-consuming, it’s obviously well worth it! Because allergic disease is a chronic condition, it’s one that we must manage rather than cure. The more specific is in their knowledge of the cause, the better they can manage the problem over the long term.

4. Endocrine: Disorders of the endocrine system can manifest in the skin in a variety of ways. Hypothyroid dogs may have thickened, greasy skin, while canines suffering from Cushings may have a distinctive pattern of hair loss on the trunk. While these skin symptoms are secondary to the main disease process, they offer important clues as to what’s really going on.

So, what can we as pet parents do to avoid doggie skin problems? Causes such as parasites are fully preventable with the right medicines, but allergies can be very difficult to prevent. You can, however, work on maintaining the health of the skin by giving your pet proper nutrition, and by adding essential fatty acids through skin-and-coat supplements. Perhaps the best first line of defense is by using dog-appropriate shampoos and conditioners that don’t strip the oils from the skin with harsh chemicals.

little-squirt

Life’s Abundance takes canine skin and coat health seriously. The first time you use Revitalizing Shampoo, you may already notice a change in your dog’s appearance after the first bath. Thanks to its unique formula, coats will be shinier and fuller, with less dander and no more “doggie smell”. With moisture-activated odor neutralizers, our shampoo features antioxidants and organic herbal extracts that penetrate into the hair shaft and promote coat health. Also included are kiwi and mango essences, selected because they too enhance the health of the skin, as well as leaving your dog’s coat smelling clean and fresh. 
Unless otherwise instructed by your veterinarian, you should not bathe your dog more than once every 2-3 weeks. If your dog’s coat could do with some freshening in between baths, use Bath Fresh Mist to neutralize odors and condition the skin and coat. And it’s so easy to use … simply spray and brush into in the coat. You will love the aroma and your dog will enjoy being pampered!

Golden-sheen

Nothing is lovelier than petting a dog with a beautiful, soft coat and healthy skin. With vigilance, premium nutrition, and regular veterinary care, your dog can have the skin of a movie star! And, perhaps best of all, your pooch will enjoy the sweet, sweet relief of life free from itching.


Not yet a part of the Life's Abundance family?! Get shopping for your furkids here:


Saturday, October 28, 2017

The Real Reasons Why People Prefer Cats


Ask any pet lover if they consider themselves Team Cat or Team Dog, and you’re probably going to get some strong opinions. Although the number of U.S. households with dogs exceeds those with cats, felines win in measures of overall numbers. According to the latest survey, about 94 million felines live in the U.S. right now. Clearly, plenty of people play for Team Cat. 


After a long dark era where cat lovers were given a hard time (crazy cat lady stereotypes, anyone?), I’m pleased to see the merits of living with cats far outweighing any negative remarks. In fact, we seem to be enjoying a great renaissance of cat appreciation! Even in the virtual world, cats rule the internet thanks to endless YouTube videos. They're beautiful, mysterious creatures who share a deep and abiding connection with us mere humans. What’s not to love? 

kittens

If you spend enough time talking to people who consider themselves cat people, a few common themes emerge. Let’s take a look at some of the top reasons people find themselves gravitating towards Team Cat ….

  1. Ease of Care. When you bring home a puppy, you wind up with a 10-page list of requirements covering training, harnesses, toys, and socialization. Cat parents view such lists with mild amusement. By comparison, cats are pretty low-maintenance. Once you cover the basic necessities such as food, water, and a litter box, the rest is just bonus points! 
  1. Independence. Cats are naturally independent, unlike dogs who long to be part of a pack. Of course, certain cats are more social than others, but overall they aren’t as stressed by alone time as your average dog. To many people, this laid-back relationship can be very appealing! Like the cool kid in school who's a bit aloof, you almost love them just a little bit more.
  1. Big Personalities. Interestingly enough, both dog lovers and cat lovers mention personality as one of the reasons they chose one over the other. Clearly, they’re both right. It’s all about who meshes best with the family!

On a purely personal note, certain types of people tend to gravitate towards feline companionship. Folks who describe themselves as introverted, laid-back, shy, refined and independent seem to be naturally inclined toward the feline temperament. There are some who also claim intelligence as a trait of cat people, but as someone who adores both, I’m not going to touch that one!

napping-in-bed

As for the notion that it’s mostly women who love cats, nothing could be further from the truth! Cat dudes are loud and proud with their love of all things feline. A few feline fans who just so happen to be famous guys include Christopher Walken, Macklemore, Marc Maron, James Franco, Gilles Marini, Russell Brand and Ian Somerhalder!
Of course, there are many among us who simply can't pick one over the other. In fact, more than half of cat households are also dog households. I have been blessed with cats, dogs, and a few other types of pets throughout my life, and I love them all equally! While it’s fun to play up the differences between dog people and cat people, we’re all animal lovers, and that’s what matters the most.
So, how about you? Are you a charter member of Team Cat? 


Friday, October 27, 2017

Supporting Military Service Members



soldier-dog-companion-service

A few months ago, one of our military veterans received a hero’s farewell. In Muskegon, MI, hundreds gathered to witness the passing of Cena, a black Labrador who retired in 2014 after serving three tours of duty sniffing out explosive devices in Afghanistan. After his recent diagnosis of terminal bone cancer, his caretaker made the decision to end Cena’s life with dignity, and some well-earned fanfare. Cena was one of many military service animals who have saved countless lives for decades.
We reflect with gratitude on the history of those who have served, both human and companion animal, alike. For those of us who don’t serve and are fully entrenched in the civilian way of life, military life can feel like foreign territory. Given that so many have given so much, we’re left to wonder, “What can we do to help?” To that we say, “We’re glad you asked” and we encourage you to open your heart to these following possibilities.

Foster During Deployment: If you answer “no question, my dog / cat” when asked who you’d want with you on a deserted island, fostering an animal for service members deployed overseas may be the role for you. Like anyone, active military service members can and often do have doggies and kitties. They also have the unique hardships of extended out-of-town training, deployments and living far away from a network of family or close friends. Lest these difficulties bar service men and women from being pet parents (or worse, surrendering a pet), there are organizations that exist to “matchmake” service members with volunteer pet boarders. These groups seek private homes and boarding facilities that would care for a military foster pet for as short a period as a couple of weeks, up to one year and everything in between. If you live near a military base, check for a regional service in your area or visit one of the national services like DogsOnDeployment.org.


anxiously-waiting


Adopt a Hero: In an ideal scenario, a retired military working dog (MWD) is to ultimately be adopted by their handler partner, but this is not always possible. If you are a fan of dogs who demonstrate a real drive and purpose, perhaps you have a place in your home for a retired hero! The 2016 National Defense Authorization Act was cause for great celebration because it means that retired military working dogs are now, for the first time, assured of being returned to the U.S. Previously there was tremendous advocacy and expense required on the part of the handler or other caring humans to get these dogs back home. Some adoption organizations currently have waiting lists for MWDs, but this new act could mean an increase in the number of retired working dogs seeking forever homes. To learn more about retired MWD adoption, please check out U.S. War Dogs Association and Mission K9 Rescue.


reach-out-online


Make a Contribution: There are approximately 2,500 U.S. Military Working Dogs currently in service around the world. Consider spending the time to assemble a care package for one, two or even a few of these remarkable canines and their handlers. A little bit of comfort can go a long way towards helping service members endure conflict hardships and feel connected to home. There are also a handful of non-profit groups that facilitate medical care, housing, and adoption for retired military dogs ~ all of which need financial assistance. And let’s not forget our local law enforcement agencies! These groups are often under-funded and under-equipped for their K9 officer programs, relying on grants, private donations and out-of-pocket contributions from their officers. Project Paws Alive works to centralize fundraising efforts for departments actively seeking help. Or simply contact your local fire rescue, sheriff or police department to learn about their specific needs and how you might be able to help.


veteran-and-husky


Become an Advocate: As ‘excess and out-of-service equipment’, Retired MWDs do not receive government funding to support their integration into civilian home life. It’s not uncommon for them to have costly medical needs, or to be without a safe place to heal from the effects of Post Traumatic Stress. Others simply need temporary housing or even just transportation to their new forever home. There are also ‘guardian angel’ volunteers who keep track of MWDs re-apportioned to private contract companies in hopes they may be assured a loving home when their service finally ends.
In light of everything our service members do for us (human and canine), embrace that patriotic spark and let your gratitude inspire action. And be sure to share your own stories in the comments section below!

Read more about Cena here: 

www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jul/27/military-dog-cena-jeff-deyoung-michigan