What is TTouch?Dogs/ Cats / Rabbits etc. - Companion AnimalsHorses - TTeamArticlesPractitionersWorkshopsResources
contact us
site map

  links newsletter photos testimonials fun & inspiration SHOP  
What is TTouch? Body Work Groundwork TTouch & Vets
Dogs Cats Birds Rabbits/ other Practitioner Training How to do the Touches
Horses - TTeam Playground of Higer Learning Practitioner Training
TTouch TTouch & Vets Puppies Clicker Training
What is Clicker Training Clicker for Shelters Articles Workshops
Practitioners in your Area How to Become a Practitioner Level Explanation
Complimentary Practitioners Products that help Healing Kennels & Catteries Pawtraits Where to buy Books & Products
DOGS      - Workshops      - Client Mornings      - Practitioner Training for
         Companion Animals
     - Lectures/Demos      - Clicker Training      - Puppy Classes CATS HORSES      - Workshops      - Practitioner Training      - Lectures/Demos/Client
13.   EVENTS
      e-mail this page       print this page  


Hello TTouch Friends,

As you can see, this letter has turned into the June/July Newsletter, as is often the case when I’m either out of the country or exceptionally busy. This time I was most of June in the USA visiting family. For those who don’t know me, yes I’m American, but I’ve been in South Africa now for almost 32 years! Hard to believe!

My time in the States was spent with my Mother who is now almost 97 years old and very much in her last days. She has had Alzheimer’s for many years with no ability for verbal communication. She is now permanently bed ridden and can only take liquid foods. This petit lady who now is truly “skin and bones” has always been a constant, stable and loving person in my life. She certainly taught me about unconditional love as I was not even close to the perfect child. I always have had my own ideas of the way things should be done, often not in accordance with the “establishment”! But I have been the most fortunate of children to have always been accepted, loved and supported no matter what the situation.

The reason I’m sharing this with you now is the idea of what is communication? We often think that Alzheimer’s patients are in their own world and don’t understand what’s going on around them, but I absolutely know that they understand much of what is happening around them. I had the most wonderful communications with my Mother where we were totally in tune with each other. It was however, intermittent and usually when we were alone together.

This brings to mind our non-verbal communication with our pets. While there are some people who somehow think dogs should somehow understand the English language and get angry if they don’t, I have another thought for you. How about just relaxing into a quiet space where you can communicate with your pet on another level? Have you ever had a dog look at you in a way that you absolutely know they’re trying to tell you something? Or had a cat come and sit on your lap, just when you need support and a familiar touch?

As these VERY cold winter days carry on, take time for some quiet time with your dog or cat. If you have multiple animals, work on quieting yourself and see if they respond. If you can take one animal alone for a short time, do that as well. I truly believe that if we take the time to listen, we will hear much!  It’s also a great time to do a bit of TTouch on your animal. If you don’t know how, just go onto our website and download some instructions. It doesn’t matter if you’re perfect, just give the animal your undivided attention and see what happens. You might just get more than you expected!

And if you can, please keep your dogs inside at night. Few of us have the proper facilities outside for these freezing temperatures that we are experiencing this winter!

Eugenie Chopin

Certified Practitioner III for Companion Animals


The Dog Rules
1. Dogs are never permitted in the house. The dog stays outside in a
“special build wooden compartment” named, for a very good reason,
the dog house.

YES – YOU MAY START IN OCTOBER! As Life often interferes with the things we want to do, there are many people who wanted to do an Intro, but just didn’t manage. So there will be a number of new people joining the training in October. It simply means that these people will have to do a make up class some time in the future. If you are one of those who wanted to do the training, but didn’t make it to an Intro, there’s still time – just give us a call or email us at info@ttouch.co.za.

As you may know, the training runs over 3 years, with two 6 day sessions per year. Session 2 will take place in October. You do NOT need to have any previous experience to join this training.    Although you have missed the Intro, I am confidant that you will be able to catch up with the work and knowledge. It simply means that you will need to attend an extra course at the end of this training period. There are many people who miss training over the 3 years for one reason or another, so there will be others in the same position.

 However, if it’s possible, you might consider attending a workshop before October. Having a basic knowledge can help you catch up and understand more of the info given in Oct. This is not a prerequisite for you to be part of the TTACT III class, but it is recommended. If you are interested in a workshop, please go to our website at www.ttouch.co.za and look at the Workshop page for details.

At the moment, we have 2 possible training dates. The first is October 19-24. If we find this class getting too full, we will have a second session October 26-31. If at all possible, I would like all new participants to book into the second set of dates: Oct. 26-31, however again, this is not set in stone.

WE have had literally hundreds of requests for Information on this training and it’s very gratifying to see that people are truly starting to understand how effective this work can be!

After the Introductory Session and between sessions, students are encouraged to assist at workshops for further experience and do case studies. The program comprises only 2 sessions a year in order to help students with their finances and the need to get time off work. The workshops are scheduled to include a weekend in order to make it as convenient as possible.

The Program is a comprehensive training of hands on work with Companion Animals such as dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, etc. The training consists of 2 sessions a year lasting between 5 & 7 days, for 3 years.


Practitioner Training




Johannesburg Venue TBA
Session 2  - 6 Days                            with                              Robyn Hood

                     October 19-24

               R3900          + VAT



011 884-3156

NOTE: If we have a large number of people for session 2, we will add a second week October 26- 31. This will keep the class smaller.


We endeavour to help the student to be proficient and confident in the TTouch work. To this end we have a program that we believe gives a steady hands on experience for the best results. That includes such things as:

·        After session 2, the TTouch student is required to do 5 case studies between each session, 15 in total. This is to ensure that the student is doing and experiencing the work as well as getting feedback on what they are doing.

·        After session 2, each student receives a Mentor who is available to help him with these case studies and any question he might have about how to handle a particular situation.

·        At session 2, we begin to take students to a Shelter to work on both cats and dogs. This is to give you an opportunity to experience as many different animals as possible. It also allows us to give back something to the animal community. (Please note that if anyone has an objection to going into the shelter, and we realize that it is hard for some, there is no obligation. There is always an alternative to work with the kennel or your own animals instead.)

·        At session 3, we start to introduce Client Days. This is a morning where we set up Clients and their dogs for you to help in a safe and supported environment.

·        In general, the course is very much a hands on training giving you a great variety of experience with as many animals as possible so that at the end of 6 modules you feel confident to handle the clients and cases that come your way.

·        TTACT students are encouraged to assist at workshops given by fully Certified Practitioners. This is a great learning experience and invaluable to the learning process.

·        The TTouch office and Guild is always here to answer any questions or concerns you might have. Please don’t hesitate to call us if you have any needs!

·        Our Instructors all come from overseas and are the best in the world. One of the beauties of this program is that the same people teach it worldwide and so the information doesn’t get filtered down through many hands. The Instructors include Linda Tellington Jones (creator of TTouch), Robyn Hood (Linda’s sister and brilliant teacher), Edie Jane Eaton (also a Feldenkrais Practitioner) & Debby Potts (teacher par excellence).

·        This program is about helping you communicate with animals, giving people an alternative method of working with both animals and people, our human relationship with the animal world and giving you the tools to do all of these things. The program is dynamic, creative and yet very practical so that the work is clear and easy to understand.

At the end of 2 years, if you have done your case studies, you will acquire the Status of Practitioner–In–Training and are then able to charge for one-on-one consultations with clients.

The cost of the 6-day Introductory course will be R3900 + VAT.

If you are interested in knowing more, please contact Eugenie on 011 884-3156 or email eugenie@ttouch.co.za  or phone the office on 011 884-3156

2. Okay, the dog can enter the house, but only for short visits
or if his house in under renovations.






Western Cape

             1 Day                                with                              Catherine Williams

August 04


Catherine Williams
021 785-4567
082 569 8641

3. Okay, the dog can stay in the house on a permanent basis,
provided his dog house can be sold in a yard sales to a rookie dog owner.

The TTouch class is a great way to learn & absorb TTouch at it’s best. Over a 6-week period, you have the opportunity to go home, practice and then come back for more! SEE YOUR DOG MAKE CHANGES IS A FEW WEEKS!






Class – 6 weeks

Starts August 4


   011 884-3156

Parktown West
One day
(2 mornings)

August 18 & 19 8:30 – 1 p.m.


Sue White

Weekend Workshop

28 & 29 July



    082 451 0433          niki.elliott@wol.co.za

Combining TTouch & Behaviour Modification

July 21st & 28th

2.00 – 5.30



   082 928 0102


Weekend Workshop

26 & 27 August



    082 451 0433      niki.elliott@wol.co.za

Heidelberg Library
TTouch Demo
Saturday Afternoon

6 September


Ilze van der Walt 
082 921 4448

4. Inside the house, the dog is not allowed to run free
and is confined to a comfortable but secure metal cage.

(Working with at risk teenagers and shelter dogs)

The Khulisa Project is a Diversional programme for teenage first-time offenders.

The teenagers are sent on the programme rather than being sent to jail.

Community Led Animal Welfare (CLAW) has become involved in Khulisa and in May this year started running Saturday morning sessions with these youngsters. The sessions are held at their clinic, which is on the Durban Deep Mines property.

So what has this got to do with TTouch? Well, Cora Bailey of CLAW asked me if I would like to help run sessions in which the children “train” some of the many dogs CLAW has in their clinic kennels. The objective was for the children to have the benefits of interacting with dogs, and for the dogs to learn to walk on a lead, sit to command, etc, and as a result hopefully become more adoptable. Cora wanted me to bring the TTouch approach into the programme.

I called in the help of Phyllis Dannhauser, another TTouch practitioner, and so far we have run three wonderful sessions with these youngsters. On our first session we encountered a few children with unwilling, unhappy dogs on the ends of leads. This was not looking very productive! The main problems were, neither the children nor the dogs had the skills to cope with collars and leads, these were not the childrens’ own dogs so there was no relationship between them, the dogs had all suffered some form of trauma and most likely the children had too.

We know that so many people and animals have been inappropriately touched and may have real issues about touch. So our initial focus was to explore the very important area of the senses in general and touch in particular. We also needed to work through the issues of safety, trust and respect and how these are so important when touching and working with animals and people. So we planned very interactive, fun workshops about touch and slowly introduced one or two TTouches per session. We also taught the children how to read the dog’s body language, how to safely approach a dog, how to look for calming signals, and looked at the “fright, flight, freeze, fool around response” and how to respect the animal and its response.

By Session 3 we felt the children had enough skills to start working safely and respectfully with the dogs. They all (dogs and children) had such a good time! Armed with fistfuls of my homemade liver cake, the children soon had dogs trotting about on the ends of leads. Those with frozen dogs were doing “leash stroking” of which Robyn Hood would have been very proud! We had dogs “sitting” and even some dogs ducking between children’s legs!

It was wonderful to see the dogs and the children having fun and growing in confidence. We have more sessions planned where we will also start looking at TTouch for people whilst continuing working with the dogs. I will let you know how it goes.

Finally, there is one young girl in the group who is really scared of dogs. So I paired her up with my own cheerful, Corgi-cross, Aggie. Aggie is the kindest little dog and tries so hard to please. Aggie wove her magic and soon the two were trotting happily backwards and forwards. Aggie worked hard, was exhausted and slept soundly on the way home. What a good day!

We are hoping to change for the better, the lives of a few children and dogs who are at risk.

“There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.”Bernard Williams

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”Lao-tse

Sue White - Sue can be reached at 082-706-2836 or emailsue.white@telkomsa.net

TTouch Practitioner Level 1

01 July 2007

5. Okay, the cage becomes part of a two-for-one deal along with the
dog house in the yard sale, and the dog can go wherever he pleases.

How to Calm Your Dog by Playing Tug

Old view, new view

The old school of thought was that playing tug with your dog would teach him to be "dominant" and should be avoided at all costs. And it is not surprising that this viewpoint still exists. Poorly executed tug-o-war games often excite dogs with low thresholds for arousal, dogs that are fired up easily. They can also provoke dogs into becoming rough with their bodies and/or mouths, to the point of intense assault against the person at the other end of the tug toy.


With a better understanding of the physical and mental needs of dogs, many of today’s behavior and training experts consider teaching tug a useful tool for motivating dogs, as well as for helping impulsive and busy dogs actually learn to calm down and control some of those intense impulses. It is how the tug game is trained that determines whether your dog learns to escalate the intensity of the tug game too rapidly (which is what makes the game risky), or learns to "turn off" when you ask him to stop playing.

Teaching tug correctly is like having an off and on switch for your dog whenever you play this rousing and interactive game. Having that type of control over this delightful game for our canine friends can counter the "dominance" ideas that are raised when the tug-o-war game is discussed.


The underlying benefits

Teaching tug is a wonderful game for all dogs and, when trained correctly, truly benefits dogs that are easily aroused or impulsive. This training forces those dogs to "think" about the process (a great mental exercise), rather than just going over the top with excitement. The game also teaches dogs how to calm down between tugging sessions. Dogs get plenty of physical exercise in the process, an added benefit that helps any dog settle down after the great workout tug-o-war offers.


Preparation for the game

To teach tug you will need a clicker-savvy dog, a clicker, a stash of medium-value and high-value food rewards, a hungry dog, and a soft tug toy. Try to find a tug toy that is easy for your dog to get his mouth around, one that feels nice when he bites down on the toy, as opposed to hard rope toys. If your dog tends to get mouthy when you play, a longer tug toy will help keep your dog’s mouth away from your hands as you teach.


Tips to review before you start:

Ø      Train in a low-distraction environment so your dog can concentrate on the lessons. You can move your training to areas with more activity after you have completed the entire exercise and your dog can tug and release successfully.

Ø      Start this game sitting down, which will imply less excitability to your dog than standing. Be sure to have all of your equipment ready when you bring your dog into the room to train. Hold several of your treats in one hand along with your clicker, hold the tug toy in the other hand, and have the balance of your treats easily available so you can dip into them as you run out.

Ø      Be sure to put the tug toy away after each round, as you want your dog to think it is pretty special, and not just another toy that he has access to all the time. That strategy will keep your dog’s interest when you bring out the "special" toy each time.

Ø      Keep your sessions short (2-5 minutes) so that you leave your dog wanting more. You can progress through the steps quickly, but make sure you are taking lots of breaks in between so that your dog can rest up for the next round.

Ø       If your dog has shown signs of aggression over toys, contact a positive reinforcement trainer to help you deal with the issue before trying to teach the tug game.


Over the next few months, we will look at how the game should progress and give you step-by-step directions to have a positive, fun filled experience.


With Kind Permission from Karen Pryor: Many more wonderful articles can be found at www.clickertraining.com

6. The dog is never allowed on the furniture
7. Okay, the dog can get on the old furniture but not the new furniture.

Starts 1 August 2007

This class will include 4 x three hour sessions on How Dogs learn and                                    6 practical sessions on Clicker Training with Dogs


If you have always wanted to learn a method of training that doesn’t need aversives to be effective, then join us for a Clicker Experience! Although Operant Conditioning and the Clicker have been around for many years, especially in the Marine World and in training many species of animals for film, it’s only in the last 10 years that it has started to become Mainstream in the Dog Training World. Here is your chance to catch up!

:             Without dogs:
Wednesdays: Aug. 1, 8, 15  & 29 7                                18:00 – 21:00                       

                           With dogs:      Saturdays:  Aug. 4, 11, 18, 25 & Sept 1, 8                        9:30 – 11:30

VENUE:            Sandown– Johannesburg

BOOK:            Eugenie Chopin at eugenie@ttouch.co.za  or phone 011 884 3156 for more info.

COST:            Full Class: R1200: this includes the cost of the course, notes, book, treat bag, target stick and a clicker. When you have paid your R600 deposit you are welcome to come and get your book early.

Learning Theory Only: R600: this includes evening lectures, a book, File with notes & clicker


If you have been wondering what the fuss is all about, Clicker Training is basically about re-enforcing Behaviour that you want. It works on the principles of giving reward for correct behaviour rather than using corrections and aversives for unwanted behaviour. As a result, you can establish true respect from your dog without fear. It’s fun to do, the dogs love it and therefore gain in confidence and you can finally understand why they do the things they do and how your Behaviour and actions influence them daily!

NOTE: An aversive is anything the dog doesn’t like! So if you yell at your dog and it likes the attention, it might actually be a reward!


This class is designed to teach those who want to truly understand the concepts of Operant Conditioning, how animals learn, how to get through the barriers that stop the learning process and how to move forward in small enough steps to be successful in anything that you want to teach. If you are a Trainer, are interested in being a Trainer, or just are a dog owner who wants to understand more, then this might be the class for you!

Eugenie’s next 6-Week Clicker & Leaning Theory Class will start August 1st, 2007!










(See details above)

6 Weeks Clicker & Learning Theory Classes Eugenie Chopin

Starts Aug 1st

Sat. Mornings [theory: Wed.]



                                                      Eugenie 011 884-3145  echopin@icon.co.za

8 Week Clicker course

29 September


Claire Grobbelaar
021 979 0848 or 082 784 7524




Resource Guarding By Niki Elliott

Let’s face it, we are all resource guarders. We have burglar guards on all our doors and windows, alarms in our homes and cars, and high walls around our property with electric fences. We believe that what is ours is ours!

Sharing is a foreign concept to most dogs, especially dogs that are “only” dogs in the family or dogs that come from circumstances where they have to fight for all their resources. A dog resource guarder will, like us, guard his possessions. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable to humans, as this situation can be dangerous.

The easiest way to deal with this is to start from puppyhood. Get your pup used to having you come and take his things away. Give them back, but take them for a while. Let him see that even when someone else has something he wants; if he waits patiently he’ll most likely get it back.

Teach a "give" command right from the day you bring your puppy home. “Give” is such a useful, every day behaviour for rescuing your favourite shoes or even a box of snail bait. It is also the start of teaching a formal retrieve, Puppies are so good at picking stuff up in their mouths, so the quicker you teach them to give the item up the better it is for everyone. It is not a good idea to chase your puppy when he has a forbidden object in his mouth, as this will very quickly become a game, which you as a human, will loose every time.

Start by having your puppy’s most treasured toy in your hand. Get your pup excited by shaking, squeezing or bouncing the toy. Then hold it out to him and drop the toy on the floor in front of him allowing him to grab it. When he has picked up the toy get his attention and hold out a really tasty treat towards him. Don’t move towards him, just wait until he comes to you and sniffs your hand. When he opens his mouth to take the treat, say “Give” and the toy will fall out of his mouth. Don’t release the treat, let him nibble it in your hand.  As he nibbles the treat, reach down and pick up the toy and then release the rest of treat. As soon as he has finished the treat, throw the toy again for him to go and fetch. Repeat this game a few more times, until you are able to say “Give” before offering the treat, and your puppy relinquishes the toy happily in anticipation of getting the treat.


This is all very well until your puppy has something really valuable to both you and him. It is very important that you react appropriately. Resist your natural instinct to grab the object. Remember that you have taught your pup a solid “Give” command, so go into your training mode. Play the game in exactly the same way. Don’t make exceptions for different items.  If he won’t give up the object for treats in your hand, drop several treats on the floor. Often treats on the floor are far more tempting than treats in your hand. Whilst he is eating the treats off the floor, slowly pick up the object. If you make a sudden movement he is more likely to grab the item again. If you still have trouble retrieving the object place a trail of treats going away from the object for him to follow, so you can get to it and pick it up.


Keep playing the “Give” game through out your pups growing up, and keep playing it, giving back the toy each time you take it. If you only use the “Give” command when he has something really valuable to you which he does not get back, he will eventually feel it is not worth giving to you and run away with your prize orchid and destroy it!


 Now what happens if you’ve left it too long or got your pup much later and he is already a resource guarder?


Next Month we will deal with this....


Niki is a TTouch Practitioner for Companion Animals and gives regular puppy classes. She can be reached at niki@ttouch.co.za








Bedfordview; Edenvale; Linksfield
Puppy and Young Dog Classes

Monthly Intake – 6 Sessions: Sunday or Wednesday Mornings



   082 928 0102


Puppy Classes for pups under 4 months.  

17 July 2007



Claire Grobbelaar
021 979 0848 or 082 784 7524


8. Okay, the dog can get up on the new furniture until it looks like to old
furniture and the we’ll sell the whole works and buy new furniture…
upon which the dog will most definitely not be allowed.

Frequently Asked Questions about Dental Care

Can I provide good mouth care to my pet without brushing?
We recommend establishing a daily brushing routine as the best way to prevent tooth loss, bad breath, and periodontal disease. When you’re short on time, try our quick and mess-free dental pads or swab an oral solution on your pet’s teeth and gums. These solutions fight bacteria and plaque. Combined with a dental chew or toy to scrape plaque and massage gums, you’re doing something positive for your pet’s oral health even when you can’t brush.

Can oral gels or solutions be used instead of toothpaste in a brushing routine?
Yes. These options are formulated to do much the same thing - to fight odour- and plaque-causing bacteria while helping to break down the existing plaque before it becomes a problem. These solutions can be applied with a toothbrush, sponge, or a finger. In the case of dental pads, just wipe the teeth clean and throw away - it’s that easy.

Can I use
my toothpaste when brushing my pet’s teeth?

No, always use a pet-formulated toothpaste. Human toothpaste can upset your pet’s stomach or even make your pet ill.

What are the benefits of an electric toothbrush over a standard pet toothbrush?

Often when you brush your pet’s teeth, you’ll find your pet wants to bite down on the brush to prevent you from further "bothering" him. When this happens, the cleaning stops. With an electric brush, your pet receives continuous cleaning even when he bites down, and you will spend less time brushing.

Are there pet foods that are better than others to help prevent bacteria and plaque build-up in my pet’s mouth?

Nutritionally-balanced, dry kibble food diets are best for pets’ teeth. We also recommend hard biscuits and rawhide chews for massaging your pet’s gums and to help scrape off plaque.

I noticed many of your dental items promote gum massage. Why must I worry about massaging my dog’s gums?

Even though your dog’s teeth may look alright, bacteria are present and multiplying at the gum line. Just as our gums will sometimes bleed if they are not healthy, a dog’s will too. Then the gums start to recede from the teeth, creating more space for bacteria to grow, and the attack on the roots and jaw begins. When brushing, make sure to gently brush along the gumline and stimulate your pet’s gums, as well.

Do I need to seek professional assistance for my pet’s oral care?

In addition to your home care routine, we recommended that you take your pet in at least once a year to receive a thorough dental exam and cleaning by a veterinarian. These deep cleanings help preserve teeth that can become overtaken first by plaque, then by tartar. Build-up of tartar can lead to gum disease and periodontal disease.

Are there any tell-tale signs that my pet may have periodontal disease?

Common dental disease warning signs in cats and dogs include red and swollen gums, bad breath, reluctance to drink or eat, and weight loss.

9. The dog never sleeps on the bed. Period
10. Okay, the dog can sleep at the foot of the bed.

Home alone…by Heather Whitfield

As Eugenie departed for the States, I felt a little bit uncomfortable having the sole responsibility of making sure that Danilo will be okay and as comfortable as possible not being with his Mom.

I’ve set a follow-up appointment with Dr. Eckersley and made sure if weather permits that Doggy Paddle was lined up as well. At Dr. Eckersley we discussed the effects of the acupuncture and weighed some options and opt to add some additional Homeopathic Medicine to Danilo’s current list. He gave Danilo the following meds:

Conium – An antispasmodic remedy with a slight sedative, which enhances the central nervous system.
Hypericum – What I understand to be a mild antidepressant, which helps with pain relief.

Rhus Toxicodendrom – A remedy for musculoskeletal complaints with progressive stiffness that worsens with cold, wet, or inactivity.

Well, the good news is that Danilo had a huge improvement in just one day. He hardly crosses his hind legs and even look stronger. Dr. Eckersley mentioned that we will only see the full effect in two weeks, but both Florence and Lifned also remarked on Danilo’s improvement. Danilo still seems to be a bit off balance, especially in the mornings, and the hind legs are still not as strong as what they use to be…but hey, for being 17+ years, he is doing exceptionally well!

Shanti, on the otherhand was definitely a tiny bit unsettled the first few days, but regular play sessions and lots of rubs, made her feel more at ease with only me in the office. Angeliques, well, she was just her lovable self, making full use of the heaters and underfloor heating inside…and I’m sure no one can blame her.

Shadow also behaved so well. No arguments with Danilo whatsoever. It seems like she is also permanantly hungry with the colder weather embracing us, and surely came into the office daily to check on me – or was it to come and ask for more yummy treats?

At the end, it was actually such a pleasure looking after Eugenie children…but boy-o-boy, were they happy to see her again, three weeks must have felt like three months to them.

11. Okay, the dog can sleep alongside you, but he’s not allowed under the covers.
12. Okay, the dog can sleep under the covers, but not with his head on the pillow.

A CAT LED ME TO VOLUNTEER By Danielle Thompson

Two years ago, I was adopted by a beautiful black cat whom I named Gary.  A woman I worked with helped me find him, and he became my best friend next to my mom. Both Mom and I worked all day and felt bad leaving Gary alone.  Yet we were hesitant to adopt another cat, because Gary ran the house, and we didn’t know how he’d take to an intruder on his turf.  So the idea of another cat remained only an idea.

I went away to graduate school five hours from my hometown. I was very depressed there and left a week into my third semester. I moved back in with Mom and Gary and felt like a failure. I’d been going to school for most of my life and now, here I was at home again, working at the job I’d held during the summers of college.

I looked into applying to another school closer to home but was very overwhelmed and needed a break.  I was so down and out; I wanted to do something that would make me happy.

One thing that always makes me happy is being with animals. So I began looking into volunteering at an animal shelter. But something held me back from putting in my application. Since I would be home more, I began pushing the idea of adopting another cat. We decided we would leave it in God’s hands. If we found a cat who would love us, especially Gary, we’d know this was the one to come into our home.

One day we stopped to pick up kitty litter at PetSmart. As usual, we went back to look at the rescued cats who were up for adoption. I had always wanted a Russian blue, so a beautiful solid gray cat caught my eye. As we were cooing over the cats, a mother and daughter, who were volunteers, asked if we would like to come back and pet the cats. That had never happened before, so my Mom and I excitedly answered yes.

As Mom walked in directly to the gray cat, another cat made me stop in my tracks.  He was all white with an orange face and tail. I was unable to pass him. After the volunteer opened his cage, the cat was hesitant but after checking me out, he let me pet him.  When I went to kiss him on the head, he rubbed up against my face and began purring. I immediately filled out an adoption application. I also picked up a volunteer application for this adoption agency.

A couple of days later, I had gall bladder surgery, so when the volunteer called to discuss my application to adopt, Mom took the call. We were approved for the adoption. We went to the shelter to complete the process.  I decided to call the kitty Bob after my favorite artist, Bob Dylan.

I brought back the volunteer application I had filled out. I discussed with the volunteer who had approved for us to adopt Bob how I was thinking of volunteering at an animal shelter. I found out that the animal shelter where I had wanted to volunteer did euthanasia, which would have upset me very much to be a part of.  I also found out that the adoption agency that was working at PetSmart was in great need of volunteers at their regular intake center.

At their intake center, they house around forty cats at a time who are not caged but allowed to roam around a building which is on the property of the director of the adoption agency.  If cats are not adopted, they are allowed to live there until their natural death. No animal is killed for not being adopted.

In the end finding Bob not only allowed me to add another member to our family, but also gave me the oppor-tunity to pursue an activity that I had wanted to do.  It saved me from volunteering at an animal shelter where I would have been unhappy. I didn’t realize the amazing way the details of the last few weeks had fallen into place until I read "A Sparrow Led Me To Volunteer" by Julie Johnson Olson in ANGEL ANIMALS: exploring Our Spiritual Connection with Animals.

I had been thinking as I read ANGEL ANIMALS, that nothing spiritual ever happened to me. Then the events of the last month hit me like a brick. I immediately grabbed my computer and began typing.  As open- minded as I try to be spiritually, it took Julie’s story to make me realize the miracles happening in my own life.

The book and Julie’s story in particular are teaching me that not only am I connected to animals but to other people. I also feel that I’m learning that God works through everything and everyone. That makes life so  much more exciting!

Bob has added so much to our little family. Gary loves him. The two cats play together and then fall asleep beside each other. I think our cat Gary has been more loving since Bob began living with us. Gary isn’t lonely anymore and has another playmate.  Bob has a family who loves him, and Mom and I have two boys who add love, laughter and happiness to our lives.  I look forward to helping care for many cats and kittens who will add these things to other families the way that Bob and Gary have to mine.

Thank you for the opportunity, Bob!

BIO: Danielle Thompson is in her mid twenties and lives in Darby, Pennsylvania.



My dog is so funny

He flops down, he rolls on his back,

He asks for a scratch of his tummy.

Then his clear brown eyes gaze into mine.

He says,

“I see your deep, dark pain,

But could you scratch my tum just one more time

And then the world will be just fine!”

Sue White


13. Okay, the dog can sleep alongside you under the covers with his
head on the pillow, but if he snores he’s got to leave the room.


This past month or 2 has seen some horrific stories in the press about dog abuse. Needless to say, we have received hundreds of emails on the subject. There are several petitions going around out there where you can sing your name or email the relevant authorities. In general, the petitions set up on the Internet are more accepted than the ones that are forwarded via email, as they have each name only once. So where there is that option, our recommendation is to just go on line and sign. It’s very east to do. Below are a couple where you might want to get involved with at least a signature.
http://www.ecosystem.co.za/HuskyJustice.asp - for Husky Justice
hfaulman@bremner.uct.ac.za - for Staffie burned alive (Please email your name)

b.   Book of the Month:  “Dogs that Know when their Owners are Coming Home” – and other unexplained Powers of Animals – by Rupert Sheldrake

Since I was discussing communication in my letter, I thought this would be an appropriate Book of the Month! “Sheldrake…proves something that pet-owners have always known- that their animal companions respond to them more subtly and intimately than modern science allows itself to admit.” Spectator

The beauty of this book is that Sheldrake, being a Scientist, has set up controlled experiments to prove this information.

·        dogs that know when their owners are returning

·        Cats that answer the telephone when a person they are attached to is calling

·        Horses that can find their way home over unfamiliar terrain

·        Animals that anticipate earthquakes

Sheldrake, one of the world’s most innovative scientists, explores ways in which our own family pets can teach us to question the boundaries of conventional scientific thought. Much that seems paranormal at present looks normal when we expand our idea of normality.

This is a book of recognition- a recognition that animals have abilities we have lost. One part of ourselves has forgotten this; another part has known it all along!

 c:  Website of the Month:  http://www.petwise.co.za/

Dogs, Puppies, Cats, Kittens and other Pets in South Africa

petWise.co.za is the premier South African online information source for dogs, puppies, cats, kittens and other pets and it is sponsored by the Pet Food Industry (PFI) Association of South Africa. As Membership is free, Pet Wise is growing and they have extended their listings! 

FREE Listings include: Find a Pet: Registered litters, pets for sale, pets needing homes, wanted pets and even lost and found; Find a Vet: Nationwide in SA; Find a Club: Dogs, Cats and other Pets in S;

Find a Service and lastly, Find a Breeder: A listing of registered breeders.

Articles on pet care and pet nutrition and related news and events are published regularly.

The PFI is a non-profit body formed by manufacturers, dedicated to upholding quality standards that ensure the nutritional well being of household pets.

14. Okay, the dog can sleep and snore and have nightmares in bed,
but he’s not to come in and sleep on the couch in the TV room,
where I’m now sleeping. That’s just not fair.
13.   EVENTS

c.    Spay for Aids – Fundraising by the University of KZN 

1 Vet / 13 Master’s student Psychologists / 2 Days / 1 Township / 100 Animals

In August 2007 we are planning to go into the heart of a disadvantaged community, set up a full sterile theatre and sterilize 100 needy animals over a 2-day period.  We require R50 per animal.  The R50 that is sponsored per spay, will be donated to the University of KZN’s ongoing HIV/AIDS programme. These days spaying an animal can range anywhere from R700 to R1300, so R50 really is a small way in which you can give back to the community.

You will therefore be helping the community, the animals and the HIV/AIDS epidemic in South Africa. Please show your support for this project and sponsor a “Spay 4 AIDS”, by donating R50. Your can deposit your donation into the following account or give it to the participants.

Dr. Ilse Gersbach
Absa Cheque acc: 2900148316
Branch Code: 334-712
Keep in touch by emailing your details to: jemimaj@mweb.co.za.

Thank you very much for your patronage,
Dr. Ilse Gersbach
BVSc (SAVC Reg. no D91/3163)

d.    NHT Highveld Horse Care Unit

Please help us by donating any of your old goods, one bucket can change the life of a donkey! We have a number of collections and Delivery points:

Dees Saddlery / THS / Equifox
HCU Fundraising Office 011 314 4404 / 084 579 0643  anevent@wbs.co.za
(also a delivery point in Midrand contact us for directions)
HHCU Center 016 360 3300 horsecare@telkomsa.net

e.    Sterilization Countdown

The Animal Ambulance is in desperate need of another bakkie as their workload is increasing like crazy. They have found one but just don’t have enough funds to buy it. The price R45 000.00 and it will help them to get to extra sick animals out there. With only one bakkie on the road this is impossible. If everyone out there can help us with a donation of even R50.00, we will truly appreciate it. As with 2 bakkies on the road we will be able to help double the amount of sick and abused animals out there. If you would like to make a donation towards the bakkie our bank details:

Animal Ambulance
Acc 62070413928
Branch: 251145

Use ref: bakkie 

Lastly I would like to thank each and everyone out there for your support and kindness we truly appreciate it. Regards, Maria Phelan Animal Ambulance 083 241 4452 animal_ambulance@goggaconnect.co.za

15. The dog never gets listed on the census questionnaire as
“primary resident”, even if it’s true.

Cross Breed – Deserve a good home:
I was hit in the eye with a catty and then some very kind people rescued me. This week, because my eye wasn’t looking so good, I had to have it removed. Now I only have one eye but that doesn’t mean I can’t give you lots of love and affection. I think after everything I have been through, I deserve a good home with a snuggly blanket and a scrumptious bowl of food! Jane is great with other dogs and kids. She has no problems with cats.If you can give Jane a good home, please contact Angela on 083 288 5125

Husky looking for a home: Saskia is a female about 1 yr to 1 and half years old. She has not been spayed and might be pregnant at this stage. If you are interested, please contact Dean Daly Tel: (011) 345-2066 or Cell: (079) 525-1264 or Email: dedaly@afr.ko.com

Beautiful purebred Seal Point Siamese Needing Home:
His current owners adopted “MONDAY” as a kitten 14 years ago. They are now moving to a retirement home that does not allow pets. He is an affectionate, talkative cat in excellent health, and would do best in a home where he can be the "only" pet and cherished companion. Contact Jassy 082 891 8537 or Ann 011 346 1657.

Very special cat looking for a home:
Mommy is the most beautiful, sweet but reserved spayed female domestic shorthaired cat. Preferably with no other cats or maybe a friend who they think will accept her. She is very skittish but once she gets to know you very loveable and playful. If you can assist, please contact Angela on 083 468 3143

Lost Jack Russell:
A male Jack Russell with a undocked tail was found on Tuesday July 3rd, in Jay Rd, Fairleads, Benoni. Unfortunately the owners could not be located and had to take him to Benoni SPCA. He is not neutered, seems to be house trained and very friendly with people. He also seemed to be favouring his left back leg and his tail has no hair. If no-one claims him he will be up for adoption: Benoni SPCA 011 894 2814 or Siobhan 083 399 3999 

Great Dane looking for a loving home:
Skye is a beautiful harlequin grey female pup Great Dane is looking for a loving home, about 8 months lovely nature used to lots of animals and unfortunately is too big for small grounds. Please call Sue on 0843285345 

Angel and Cupid looking for a new home;
These two beautiful crossbreeds are going on 3 and Angel is a girl and Cupid a boy. They have been fixed and had all the shots. They are both precious and I desperately want them to go to a good home with lots of love. If you can help, please contact me Sharon Braby sharonbraby@hotmail.com

Eugenie Chopin, Certified TTouch Practitioner III for Companion Animal

PO Box 729, Strathavon 2031

Tel: 011 884-3156

Fax: 011 783 1515

Email: echopin@icon.co.za, Website: http://www.ttouch.co.za/                 


© 2006 TTouch - eugenie@ttouch.co.za.   All Rights Reserved.