So, it occurred to me today that I’ve been in business for 10 years. OK, really it was the technology that tracks my work anniversaries that sent me a notification. You would think that 10 years is a big milestone and I would have it memorized. Well, it IS a big deal, but I don’t celebrate the timing the same way that technology tracks it. When I opened my doors for business, it didn’t start the way you might think. Take a trip down memory lane with me….
By the time 2005 rolled around, I had put myself through college – graduating with honors and two degrees, built a successful career working in executive management and had purchased my second home. My immediate fur-family consisted of Tucker – a senior Doberman Pinscher, Rufus & Yazhi – my cats, and Indy – an Arabian Gelding. With ambition and determination I made most of this happen before the ripe age of 30. Life was pretty awesome. I couldn’t complain. But I was missing something. I wanted a career that was more fulfilling and in something health and healing related….one day.
Sadly, Tucker’s health started failing. Though it’s not uncommon for a senior dog to start having some issues, it’s never easy see him struggle and in pain. Any dog-mom knows what I mean. He was my baby! Handsome, stoic, gentle, and “perfect”. His blood work came back abnormal, indicating that his liver was not functioning properly. I worked with the vets and also put him on some supplements. They optimistically estimated we had about three more months together. I was devastated. I wanted to do more to help keep him comfortable, make him happy, and have him here longer. There weren’t a lot of alternative options out there for supportive care, but I asked around, kept digging and researching. There’s nothing like the fierce determination of a “mom” trying to help her baby. I discovered essential oils and they gave me hope. I knew they wouldn’t cure Tucker, but my goal was to keep him comfortable. I worked diligently to find out what to do to help Tucker and began a regimen with him right away.
I kept dabbling in things, soul searching and looking for the “perfect career”, yet nothing was jumping out at me. Inadvertently, I had a conversation with a woman who suggested I take some classes on Reiki. Reiki – a Japanese energy healing technique. What? Yes, that’s right, “Reiki”. At the time, I knew nothing about it and it even seemed a bit scary. Being a Christian and coming from a working background in Western medicine, “energy work” stretched my beliefs and challenged me. Needless to say, I was curious and open to learning, so after getting a little more information, I gave it a whirl and found out I had no reason to be scared. Experiencing the healing; both giving and receiving it, was powerful. I immediately went on to take another course, completing my Reiki, level II Practitioner certification. Then, without hesitation, I designed some business cards and named my company, Peace of Mind, Body & Soul. “Open” for business…
Well, OK, sort of, but not really. Yes, I had business cards, yes I was a certified Reiki II Practitioner, yes I was helping people and animals use essential oils and I even set up an agreement with a local massage therapist to practice Reiki out of her facility on an on-call basis. BUT in reality, I was still entrenched in a successful career and it was just too risky to even consider doing anything much with my newly formed business. It helped my animals, it was a hobby, I enjoyed learning and I was drawn to it. Period.
Tucker’s health continued to deteriorate and I had to make the difficult decision to let him go. My baby was gone. My heart was broken. I didn’t see the light at the time that I had him for nine months longer than my vet thought he would make it. It was days shy of his 12th birthday, February 14, when we said our final goodbyes. I was beyond devastated and lost and full of grief. Anyone that has lost a loved one knows how this feels. I had my dear Tucker for 10 years, though it seemed as if he’d been with me for a lifetime. Forever my Valentine, now my angel.
A month or two passed and I was still missing my dog terribly and having trouble figuring out how to move past the grief. The “how it happened” now escapes me, but somehow I connected with an animal communicator and set up a session to help me with Tucker. I didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t know you could “talk to a dead dog”, I didn’t know you could “do it” over the PHONE, and I didn’t know what to believe, but I didn’t care – I wanted and needed something to help me find peace. To help me honor my dog without so much of the emotional pain. I was willing to give this a shot. And I did. And it helped. A lot. I was finally able to release the guilt associated with making “the decision”, was it the right time, did I do the right things for him, did he suffer and so much more. I got the validation that needed to let go and start healing.
Following the session, the animal communicator mentioned she had a class on animal communication coming up. I thought, “No way! Tucker, now my angel, is still guiding me”. Of course, I should take the class. Reiki had already opened up my intuition and I was excited to learn how to apply intuition with my true passion, animals. I took the class. I learned, I cried, I laughed and I loved it! I promptly took the level two class. I added this new modality to my tool belt (and my business cards) and began contacting my friends and family with pets so I could practice. Practice I did.
I added a new family member, Bodi, my Boxer/Great Dane cross from Boxer Rescue of Minnesota on November 7, 2007. I loved him from the moment I found him on Petfinder. At four months old, I embraced this new little soul and re-opened my heart to experience the unconditional love of a dog. My house was now a home again. My amazing cats, Rufus and Yazhi quickly adjusted to their big “little” brother too.
As time passed, I continued to take random classes, read educational books and achieve certifications on related healing topics and techniques. I always focused on how I could help my own animal companions more and still searched for my perfect career in the back of my mind. I loved the learning, exploring and doing it on my terms. I was also still fully committed to my current career in “Corporate America”, so there was no sense of urgency to make any decisions.
Fast forward to January 2010. My corporate career had turned quite tumultuous due to recent mergers and a major downturn in the economy. Employees had quietly disappeared over the last two years since the mergers and the only executives were now owners, making it impossible to maintain my position as Vice President of Operations. One afternoon in January, I sat down with my former boss who let me know my position was being eliminated, but not immediately because they still needed some of my skills and information to help transition me out. As disappointing and scary as this was to hear, it was my moment of clarity. I already knew my next career path; healing animals. I had already compiled years of training and experience, had a healthy a savings account and now the perfect opportunity to take the chance.
I didn’t waste a minute. I bundled up all my certifications, healing techniques, training and experience and packaged them into my old, yet new-founded company, Peace of Mind, Body & Soul. I also went on to completed my massage certification by an accredited organization to formalize it. Not long after, I changed the company name to better reflect my true purpose and focus on animals, renaming it Animal Intuition. I haven’t looked back: Excitement. Fear. Ambition. Determination. Perseverance. For the Love of Animals.
Though I don’t technically celebrate Animal Intuition’s anniversary based on my first printing of business cards, now 10 years ago, I do celebrate and honor my milestones that have gotten me where I am today. That and Tucker, my beloved Doberman.