Itchy Dogs?

tilly chilling gardenHow we finally fixed Tilly’s appalling Seasonal /Food Allergies

Tilly is a Tibetan Terrier, a breed that can be prone to itchy and sore skin, these dogs can suffer with allergic reactions that can traditionally  be really hard to fix without chemical intervention. This is how we did it holistically and simply, and not just us, but many of our breed!

We adopted Tilly (5)  aged 2 with a sketchy history of her former life, most probably a Puppy Farm breeder. When we got her she was intensely itching. It drove her mad. For a couple of years I did the best I could, kept her short haired to keep an eye on it and considered what might be making it worse.

Then I entered the world of Holistic Therapy for Animals. I was lucky to be receiving and finding wide ranging information about helping our dogs to be healthy.  I realised quickly that the home and outside environment was instrumental in creating an allergic response, some things we could manage and some we could not. Those I quickly responded to were:

  • scented candles and melts (I now make my own soy candles scented with organic essential oil)
  • fabric,  air and carpet freshener (I use spring water and a mix of essential oils in a spray bottle and for carpets add essential oils to bicarbonate f soda, shake on carpet with a flour shaker and vaccuum up)
  • clothes wash and conditioner (already hypoallergenic)

I then consulted with a Holistic vet who felt if we could not sort her out an allergy test such as Hemopet Nutriscan

With the help of the Vet we then worked on her Allergies from the place they orginated – the Gut.  Nutrition is the key to all allergic responses.

Years of very poor nutrition had damaged her gut and it needed to be reset , so it no longer had a histamine response to food. We put her on a turkey only diet and added a range of supplements. This was somewhat effective, although she still cannot eat lamb or beef.

Then last year a few things happened. I attended Bach Flower Therapy training with Animal Magic Training in Norfolk and I got hooked on these marvellous remedies. Tilly had a particularly bad flare up, where she was literally tearing her fur out, and I was being sent often, a fabulous looking wash for itchy skin.

I took Tilly to the vet, I believed her flare up was allergic in basis but also fungal, I looked carefully and felt a check was in order. He looked at her for a few moments to announce she had an allergic flare up, my question was why, what was wrong with her skin? The view was it wasn’t worth finding out when there was a drug which could stop it! I paid my £50 and said no thank you.

My Bach learning has told me that Crab Apple was a cleanser inside and out. It also works with historical feelings of being unclean or dirty. I needed a case study so Tilly became my first.

I made a mix up of some of the things I had been told about in the videos circulating at the time.

  • 50ml cold fresh green tea (soothing for the skin, spring water can be substituted)
  • 50ml apple cider vinegar (astringent for the skin and supports antifungal)
  • 5ml colloidal Silver (all round antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal)
  • 4 drops of Bach Crab Apple remedy (energetic vibrational therapy for cleansing)

I used this on her sore areas 4x daily for 2 weeks  and whenever she seemed uncomfortable. I also added 4 drops of crab apple to her food in this time. Within the 2 weeks she was considerably less itchy and uncomfortable. Her skin was smooth and calm.  I then went to a “need to” basis with the wash. Within a few weeks she was no longer itching.

9 months later she rarely scratches, her coat is beautiful, as is her general health and she has not succumbed to the seasonal allergies her breed friends are currently suffering with.

I have offered this remedy to many people over the past few months and always had wonderful feedback at how quickly and thoroughly this clears up the issue. Please share, and comment if it has helped you.

Namaste from us all, especially Tilly x


Next Steps ….

In the past year I have moved on in my learning both academic and spiritual. I have undertaken and achieved a Diploma in Animal Magic Reiki and Canine Behaviour, I am an accredited Animal Magic Healer . I am continuing to study for Master Healer and I have achieved Master Trainer in Animal Reiki. I am currently studying Bach Flower remedies for animals and continue to investigate the power of healing with leaf essence energy. I have added Dog Training to my interest and when the time is right I will undertake accredited training with the Institute of Modern Dog Trainers with the view that current Dog School Training is not addressing the needs of dogs living in our modern busy households, and not meeting the needs of well  meaning owners and their families. This is definitely a work in progress!!

As a result of the training and particularly the networking I undertake at courses I attend and online I have a wide circle of like-minded and gifted friends and acquaintances. I have learned so much from them.

So what are the next steps? I have transformed BlissButterfly into Peaceful Paws Therapy and Training to reflect where I feel my learning will take me. I have set up a set of Animal Reiki Training sessions from a chance to bond with your animal through a calm and focussed day where there will be chances to understand how Reiki can influence behaviour and wellbeing as well as other ways to create a calm environment. I also offer Animal Reiki Level 1 Certificate and attunement and Level 2 Diploma and attunement. I am also beginning to host other excellent practitioners locally.

Its a busy time and I need to stop and reflect often to ensure I remain grounded and in flow. This is my “”Go to” meditation and grounding track, Genghis and Tilly love it too!

Its all part of a grand plan, I am just taking the scenic route…




This Image popped up on my FB feed from my son, whose own life  journey has been somewhat scenic. It resonated very strongly with a thought I awoke with today.

All my life, from as long as I can remember (about 18 months to 2 years are clear early memories for me) I have been passionate about animals, all animals. I would find cats and have them as a pet for an hour or so, or collect caterpillars and wait for the butterflies, I had an imaginary dog, with a real lead and collar, named Gawks. I could draw him right now. A large Dachshund , deep brown with a dark muzzle and a smile, who sat next to me wherever I was, we chattted, he heard and we shared our life, I “lost” him on holiday aged around 4.

A children our television time was very limited but one of the programmes I was allowed to watch , and became my favourite, was Animal Magic, filmed at Bristol Zoo with the wonderful Johnny Morris voicing the views of the animals as he went about his fictional role as zoo keeper. I gained  a “reserve” in a competition for story writing from an animals point of view, a Polar Bear I recall.

During this formative time (aged 10 +) I was convinced my adult life would be as a Vet. I worked hard at school and did well. However as I entered the High school years, although my written subjects were high level, and my science understanding was at the top of the year, my mathematical understanding was poor, I now know I have a learning issue known as Dyscalculia, where numbers can mix up and digits become disorientated. Although I was diligent in my studies, the system for allocating exam level courses prevented me from continuing high level science studies, because my maths did not reach the required level and my dream was stunted, at just 14 years old.

I chose a career in teaching and have been very successful, for almost 40 years  I committed more than my full time life to the vocation.

During the years from 14 I have been privileged to share my life with a multitude of animals, including those of my parents and son, always learning from them.

Most recently my lives journey, destiny, the workings of the Universe, brought me to a Facebook Group of like minded animal lovers, albeit very specifically breed related. Here I have been privileged to learn from people who have immersed their lives in the dogs, their temperament, personality and health needs. A steep learning curve at times. Through these wonderful friends I have been guided to other places in the wonderful world of the internet and been provided with a substantial book list. I have read and researched and asked questions and striven to learn. In the past 18 months my animal knowledge base, particularly canine has taken a steep learning curve. As a result I have been asked to share this knowledge amongst this group and other groups I now belong to. Teaching others (my lives training) is how we learn best, how we discern our knowledge, passion. Finding the gaps in understanding is how we develop this knowledge and understanding further, researching and reading and trying out. I am privileged to be asked to help others with my knowledge and share my experiences, making it clear I am not “trained” as a specialist but have specialist knowledge and understanding and more importantly deep experience, from applying the research in my own work with my own dogs, whilst every dog is not the same, many routines, techniques and resources can work in a multitude of situations.

My book shelf is burgeoing and growing daily. My online and paper learning time is becoming more like a Uni timetable. I am loving every minute! I have collections of articles and research papers on such diverse subjects as aromatherapy for dogs and vaccination and worming. The common thread is Animal Care and Welfare, particularly Canine. I have a list of the accredited courses I wish to attend after I have completed the 4 I am currently involved in. I am adding people therapies to the list. I realised very quickly that domesticated pets are deeply affected by the needs of the humans around them, their disease or emotion can be a reflection of their peoples needs.

I am so excited to be attendeing a conference in December dedicated to Natural Canine therapies and new and exciting techniques and research

So my journey is coming full circle, almost 50 years after it began.

I truly believe this is because I now have the life experience to bring the best to this learning and its imparting in supporting so many other people and their animals.

The plan was there all along, I just needed to be the right person at the right time. That time is almost now, not quite, I feel there is a little more to do before I can meet my life’s desire .

Watch this space!


Reflections … “training to perform” or a 2 way respectful loving Communication?


Its hard to know you have moved along in your thinking, learning and relationships with your animals (or people actually) until something hits you hard in the face or heart and makes you react, even if the reaction is internal and emotional. This has happened to me recently.

For the last 18 months I have been reading, researching, asking questions, listening to replies, sifting through the answers which fitted and made sense, trying out some, discarding some and adopting others, in an effort to learn about Fear Reactivity (leash reactivity) for Genghis my Tibetan Terrier. I have had some amazing support and advice and some I now realise was emotionally dangerous for my guy or just plain unhelpful, rude or bullying.

At a recent event I was approached and given unsolicited advice on what I should do to “stop him disrespecting you and behaving badly.” Apparently I “needed to MAKE him submit to others”. Actually that’s the very last thing he should be being MADE to do. His emotional safety was already stretched, but still within safe limits. He was looking to me for his choices and begging me to stay calm and keep him calm too.

And that was the moment, my breakthrough, for the first time I really heard him, heard his pleas, his trust, his respect and love for me, through a glance up and eye contact, returned with a smile, a pat and his chicken delivery, our agreed sign his choice was correct. All this as I was dealing with the rudeness of the human bullying me into following the advice which I was assured from another person was good and the results of the persons dogs were testament to the skills and knowledge expressed and  being demanded of me. I was in mental turmoil, untrained as a trainer, I still knew this not to be the case, all my research and support told me otherwise. So I hadn’t registered his communication, it just occurred.

As we moved about the event I was complimented on his behaviour again and again, amongst so many dogs he was calm and happy. I realised that actually the compliments were warranted, he WAS so much calmer than before and so much more in tune with what choices he should make, checking in regularly and us agreeing together intuitively what we would do next, who we would avoid or choose to meet.

I have thought about this event and my moment of enlightenment and how my understanding of animal communication, “training” (how I hate that word, but I am struggling to find and alternative), performance of behaviours requested by a human to a cue, and the huge diversity of expectation, understanding and knowledge, there is amongst animal owners (especially dog lovers) at every level of ownership, from dogs as family members, to pet owners (dogs have their place and are not included in the everyday family activity), to working dogs,  to breeders or show dogs. Of course none of these are mutually exclusive categories, I do not suggest they are, but it is an example of the difference in perception that we have of our relationship with the dogs within our lives.

I have watched other relationships between animals and their people and my personal observation is this. I realise that not everyone has experienced the communication I have with my two dogs. I think back and realise I probably “heard” my other dogs too, but I was not in a spiritual, or cognitively emotionally literate place to recognise that was what was happening. Some people have dogs , believe they are part of their family/pack but actually show them otherwise by their lack of communication and bonding. They are kind and loving and care for them well,  but they do not understand the emotional and spiritual needs of each particular animal. The people I watched “training” or “asking for performance to a cue” formally in the event activity or as part of their movement around the event, did not seem to communicate at all. The dogs carried out a learned task, to a verbal or visual cue achieved through many many repetitions, in tiny steps no doubt, in many many sessions, to perfect the result, whether that is a show ring trot and stand, or a trick to entertain, or a recall or a sit/stay. What I could not see in my observations were any sign of a communication, innate, intuitive recognition of what each party was expecting and achieving, the kind you see so often across a huge field with Collies herding, or between a person with great horsemanship and their horse.

So my reflection outcome is this. My work and play and downtime with my dogs will now be shared, we will decide together, I can guide and suggest and encourage, using the well researched psychological tools that are so successful in getting the dog to do what is expected, but we will communicate about it, decide if its working for us all, not just me. We will be faster to ditch the stuff that is not good for our learning and adopt the stuff that we enjoy, love and helps us bond more deeply. For any one reading, please listen hard to your dog. They all communicate, its a two way thing, hear what they say and respect it. if they have to resort to howling, whining or barking or jumping up to tell you what they feel or want or they get the cue wrong or ignore you, that is because you haven’t listened, not because they haven’t learned.

PS … Since this experience He has hardly left my side, glancing up to say HI or to let me know the time ( tea time, walk time). He responds faster to the cues for behaviour expected and looks straight at me to be sure he has got it right, I think he as is surprised to hear me as I am to hear him.

The Beginning (July 2015)

The image you see at the front of my blog is one that was gifted to me by Spiritual Artist Jo Fildew from a photograph. She used it to create an image and to offer her insight into my spiritual journey. This is her thoughts…

transforming, emerging, becoming.

New Pathways opening as old close, Trust and follow the joy within the Heart. 
Bridge from old to new being walked.
Energy gateway supporting transition from old space to new. 
Trust and Faith to support personal expansion.
Releasing self judgement, all is perfectly unfolding for love to become, 
acknowledging Divine Spirit within and the strength and support
 to release and manifest inspired ideas.
Bringing Faith and Trust in Divine Order beyond judgement
 to the Garden of One's Life and recovery of Divine Peace and fulfilment.

I was blown away, by the image which I love and have now adopted
as the butterfly Icon which is nowthe image for my 
Therapy Work and inspires the name of this blog.  

As I explained in the introductory Blog, I have had Spiritual support from 
Angelic Reiki and Celtic Cards ... each time the same message. New Pathways,
 an emerging spiritual journey, gifts to offer. 

And so it begins ...

How my story begins … a reflection… (November 2014)

In 2006 I was diagnosed with a serious heart condition. For a year I could not work or take part in physical activity I had a lot of thinking time! In April 2007 I had the procedure that should have cured the condition. I had a medical emergency during the procedure, a catheter pierced the wall to my right ventricle and my heart needed stitching up. It was very scary and during the 2 hours of trying to keep me going before surgery a lot of thoughts flashed through my head. The most significant (apart from my husband and children) was about ensuring I made the most of the new life with which  I was being entrusted.

I was so motivated to return to work as a Headteacher at a school where the children families and staff were a significant part of my life. On reflection I think this is where my Healing Journey began. I know I made a huge positive difference to many families in real need.

5 years later the terminal illness of my father, my mums dementia diagnoses and the terrors of a Government organisation that does not recognise the needs of real people, people in great emotional, social and financial need, saw me quit my beloved job.

In the past two years I have been ill myself, I now believe much of this is caused by negative emotions, mainly grief, for my parents, my job and other life changing experiences , its been a time of finishes, exits, terminations. In order to seek wellbeing of body and soul I turned to a new Reiki healer and to my special friend who helps guide me with cards. The Reiki healer told me I have a kind and compassionate aura and energy and that it is all positive, that I have new starts coming and an abundance waiting, and because of my positive energy she imagined I would be a Reiki practitioner in the near future. I was totally surprised, although interested I have never thought to practice. I asked the cards, the same answers came. So my journey began.