Connecting with Animal Friends


“The deeper I listen, the more I enjoy a conversation.” ©Dr. Penny, HNL Zoo, HI

Friends enjoy each other’s company, look out for one another, and raise each other up to do more than either could ever do on their own.  But don’t expect them to be the same – differences are what keeps it interesting!

Welcome to the new paradigm of Veterinary Medicine, where every interaction with animal pals can be therapeutic for BOTH of you! It is a practice, which can become a way of life, contributing to global health with all species.  Everyone is invited to participate in Connection Medicine.  Before you know it, you can have endless varieties of Best Friends Forever, reaping reciprocal benefits everywhere you go.

Basic skills to begin rejuvenating relations with animals:


“Practice a vacation a day, until vacation becomes your day.” ©Dr. Penny with B, Westcliffe, CO

1. Take a ‘vacation attitude’.  Imagine you are a visitor in a foreign land with NO idea how things are done.  Be patient and humble.  Watch closely, listen and learn.  Drop expectation and judgement.  Be open to having an enjoyable time, while discovering a new way.  Be curious.  Act like an alert detective.  Use all your senses.  Be respectful.  Let your new friend show you the customs of their land.  As a guest in their home, begin by doing it their way.  As Covey would say, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”

Healthy bonus:  Don’t take my word for how to have a wonderful vacation.  Study your best times ever.  As you do, notice that good times have more to do with your state of being, than who you are with or what you are doing.  As such, ‘vacation attitude’ is something you can practice and refine.  Meanwhile, you are releasing healthy neuro-peptides into your system.  You are practicing Mind Body Medicine.


“Animals know how to love in ways we don’t. To know love completely, we must experience love every species way.” © Dr. P and curious friends

2. Touch with heart. Think less and settle into your body more.  Move your focus from your head down to your heart area and breathe a little slower and deeper than normal.  Settle into a comfortable rhythm.  Then simply notice what you notice as you get to know your animal friend.  Sense and feel more than think and analyze.  Continue slow, deep breaths.  Relax, breathe, feel inside – that is home base.  No chit chat required.

Healthy bonus:  If we put a heart rate variance monitor on you, it would show a pattern of coherence.  This means your system is not stressed! Your body batteries are charging, and you are at peak physical, mental and emotional capacity.  When in this state, those around you having a stressful day can tap into your coherent state of being to restore their own battery.  This includes animal friends.


“Everyone has a special gift to offer. All they need is someone open enough to receive it.” ©Dr.Penny

3. Have a two-way conversation. Have you ever been around someone talking non-stop?  Do you lose interest after a while?  Animals are the same way.  Most people constantly talk at, groom on, or teach lessons to animals.  Very few listen or receive input.  People often bombard with energy output.  It is like continually throwing a ball and never catching it.  Become a good listener.  Play catch.  Discover the resting point in the middle of output and input.  Pause there.  Animals love this point.  It is where quality interactions begin.

Healthy bonus: Study how input and output feels inside you.  As you watch ocean waves move in, pause, and move out from shore, feel the difference.  As you touch an animal, do your hands talk or listen?  Is there a smooth way to switch from give to receive?  Do they propel one another?  This more effortless balanced way of relating, we call flow.  It is where reciprocal healing is possible, ∞, and everyone walks away rejuvenated.  How?  We amplify a human-animal resonance field through non-resistant focused attention.  This happens every time we “join up with” the electromagnetic field of our horse in two-way conversation.


“Awakening what is possible together” ©Dr. Penny, CO

4.  Circle Up.  Friends can raise each other up to do more than they ever could do on their own.  Why did you choose each other?  Is there a deeper reason for your adventure?  What discovery awaits?  Where is the magnet on your heart propelling you?  New possibilities blossom every time friends gather.  We all change and grow.  Helping each other discover our greatness is what friends are for.

Healthy Bonus:  Bring the traditional power of circle to your modern-day life.  The ancient practice of circle allows collective wisdom to emerge.  Current rapid growth in consciousness adds a quantum leap in possibilities.  When combined with the invincible love between you and your animal BFFs, it can get explosive, in a very good way.  Whether circling up with animal or human, plant or ocean … one, many or all … together we can leapfrog … discover new facets of love, power, intelligence, talents … whatever is needed … practical evolutions to current realities … beyond what we could ever do on our own.  This includes the interdepended health of us and our planet.


“Why limit yourself to an apple a day?  A new friend a day keeps the doctor away!” © Dr. Penny.  Photo by Cindy Coker Photography, WA

  Warning Disclaimer:  Connection Medicine is solidly rooted in>29 years’ experience in Western and other forms of medicine.  The more you practice, the more likely you and the animals in your life may experience the following side effects:  Life altering inspiration, insight, innovation; resolution of old patterns of disease as they are replaced with more vibrant ways; periods of intense personal empowerment, compassion, reverence and love of all, requiring integration down to a cellular level.  Be sure to report such side effects to your health professional or Dr. Penny immediately. 😊 

I Have A Human-Animal Dream…

"Circle Up" ©Dr. Penny with wild horses of South Dakota

“Circle Up” ©Dr. Penny with wild horses of South Dakota

As Sir Winston Churchill said “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.” For these modern times, I might add, “And the inside of a human for the outside of a horse”. For you see, I have a dream, a human-animal dream, a reciprocal dream …

Horses have a huge electromagnetic field – much bigger than humans. It is documented by science. Anyone who has spent time in the presence of a horse has felt the uplifting influence of that. In fact, many of us are much like crack addicts, returning again and again to horses for our ticket into the ‘natural high’. Horses help us discover what our own aligned presence feels like.

What if we were to embrace this gift horses bring and take it one step further? What if people develop their own abilities to align … and come together with animals and other humans to amplify that field further?

Simple techniques and biofeedback measures (such as HeartMath) can be used to build personal coherence. By practicing such skills, not only can we reduce stress and improve our personal well-being … we open the door to working with others in ways we dream of and yearn for the most.

As we learn to connect and leap-frog to new heights with others, what becomes possible? Could group resonance bring forth new levels of both human and animal genius? If so, can win-win ways be developed like never before? Could new ways of being, synthesized and amplified within a co-created field, replace old ‘health and other problem’ issues?

As science fiction as this may sound, it is already happening. It used to be rare in vet practice … but I see it often now … those special moments, when everything comes together, so beautifully, in such an effortless way, it feels like magic. I walk away from an appointment feeling more alive than ever before thinking “What a great new client!” or “What an amazing horse!!” or “Boy am I having a good day!!!” But there is more to it than that.

What used to be a one-way-doctor-treat-patient is turning into a multi-dimensional exchange between everyone present. Humans and animals synch up to create a field that resonates beyond what anyone could do alone. Within that field, new talents are born and qualities integrated. When a healing circle arises, everyone (not just the patient) walks away rejuvenated.

Is there a way to intentionally create a space for humans and animals to raise one another up, to both benefit from? YES.  By identifying key elements to bring us into connection with one another, we have a much better chance of synching up a bunch of liberty loving horse types to create a non-force field of positive change in the world!

The way I see it, anyone interested in freedom based, equal reverence partnership, and “playing well” with others are leading edge pioneers. As we all forge these new ways, it is changing what is becoming possible in veterinary and human medicine … as well as contributing to the health of the planet. The old Lone Ranger ways are closing, as we learn new collaborative ways with exponential potential. The old black medicine bag  could soon be replaced with new vibrant ways of well-being, created between all species.

For you see, I have a dream, a human-animal dream, a therapeutic way of life in the world dream. Where everywhere we walk, drive, sit, be … we join the world around us … in aligned awareness … to see, feel, listen, touch, do with empowered presence.   As we admire a tree, we feel a caress returned … and beam back a new spin … growing one another’s gifts … give and receive dissolving into a looping flow of reciprocity … in the new win-win game on the planet … cultivating unconditional love.

Maybe it is your dream too! Funny enough, no one can do new partnership ways alone. We need each other to bring this synergistic way more into practice.

So horse friends … inside for outside and outside for inside … one for all and all for one … LET’S RIDE!! Dr. Penny

PS.  If this sounds wonderful but far fetched, check out free webinar summarising 2014 research out of University of Arizona at called “Heart-to-Heart Communication With Horses”.  And yes, I do happen to be a certified HeartMath Coach!

PPS. Awhile ago l was getting 1000 spams a day and increased security. Now l hear people can’t ‘leave a reply’ below. Sorry for the inconvenience til l get it sorted out. Would love to hear from you – give me a buzz or better yet, let’s get together for a human-animal soul gathering in your neck of the woods!


Anything is Possible with Everything – The Practice of Connection Medicine

"Connection Medicine" ©Dr. Penny with equine friend at dusk in CO

“Connected Being” ©Dr. Penny with equine friend at dusk in CO

Ha, yes, well sitting on my couch, I am actually getting pretty darn decent at connection. In one breath I can be somewhat tuned in, and in a few more I can deepen to the point of never wanting to leave.

“When I stopped trying to understand why the horse had joined our meditation group, it became clear. I slowed and deepened my breath to match his. Soon I was adrift in a beautiful world without thought. It was that feeling like just before you drop off to sleep where you are so tired you completely surrender. Only I did not fall asleep. Such a deep love was bathing me that it seemed unnecessary to ever sleep again.” ~Excerpt from ‘Horsey Heaven’

But then there is the whole reality check of showing up somewhere besides the couch thing, that can shatter that peaceful serenity in an instant. So don’t blast off that couch too quick! Savor the transition. Bookmark the state between deep restful being and bringing it into living.

"Waking Up on the River" ©Dr. Penny, Skykomish River, WA

“Morning Mist” ©Dr. Penny, Skykomish River, WA

“As soon as you wake up in the morning, notice how absolutely comfortable your body is. Sink into where your body touches the bed and the wonderful coziness of that. Or let that separation dissolve and simply feel the beautiful gentle buzz of being an energy ball. Flip flop on that edge. Feel the sheets on your skin and then go a bit deeper back to where you do not.” ~Excerpt from ‘Wakeup Sleepyhead’

That moment of sweet still suspension … that cellular aliveness in love and pure potential … that relaxed excitement to be reverent curious openness … that comfortable in your own skin bubbling cauldron of power … just before a ripple occurs … the state where you have become rejuvenation …. THAT IS HOW TO MEET THE ANIMAL (or person or common dandelion) YOU THINK YOU ALREADY KNOW.

"Master Teacher in Disguise" ©Dr. Penny, Front Range Equine Rescue, CO

“Master in Disguise” ©Dr. Penny, Front Range Equine Rescue, CO

“You receive the gift of meeting someone whose heart has blossomed through the years; who maintains a sense of humor; whose eyes see beauty that others do not; who spreads joy wherever they go; that loves life more with every breath. You meet a rare and sacred gem that can be disguised as a silent old rack of bones.” ~Excerpt from ‘The End Result’.

Animals can be easier to cultivate still awareness with than people. But with a few skills and a little practice (thank you it is possible with people too. Once you are tuned into still awareness together, eventually ripples start to form and a game of heart tennis begins. I love the exquisite amplification on the circling up, mutual ascension that can occur when more than one heart is engaged. A new version of completeness, differently yummy than what is possible alone, arises.

“You wonder what it is. Then you see the twinkle in their eye and realize who it is. It is the essence of your animal partner dancing with you, through you, giggling you from the inside out. You have never had the spaciousness to feel this delicious way before. Eyes deep with reciprocated warmth surround and bathe you. Trust, fascination and reverence bounce back and forth.” ~Excerpt from ‘Healing Circle’.

"Connection in Movement" ©Thelwell

“Ride As One” ©Thelwell

Such an experience is a more comprehensive way to experience ‘synergy’ than mere physical cooperation. Ok, next is connection medicine in movement. This is when the practice truly becomes funny, and you can’t help but laugh with yourself (as a loving parent watching a child learn to walk, AND also the child delighting in one step would), as you bumble along.

“Everywhere she goes, Easter has an entourage. The chickens, cats, dogs, wild ones, all like to be with her. Kind of like the pied piper. One day she invited me along to show me some things. Keen to learn and excited to join her, I leapt to my feet. As I did, I saw her eye twitch and realized all her other friends had begun to scramble and scatter.” ~Excerpt from ‘Motorcycle Man’.

But glimpses of the real deal will blow your socks off now and then.

“I couldn’t help but stare mesmerized as I had been watching the palm trees moments before. The movement was so beautiful. My fingers had become the individual leaves, my hands and arms the stems. Soon my body was the trunk. For the rest of the evening, I watched myself move in perfect flow and harmony with trees, wind, ocean and music.” ~Excerpt from ‘Party with Hawaii’.

"Surfs Up" ©Dr. Penny, Hanalei, Kauai

“Surfs Up” ©Dr. Penny, Hanalei, Kauai

Then there is creating your own little ditty along with another point of creation. Yup, like the surfer dude doing tricks. Not trying to fix the ocean, simply enjoying the ride. It is like writing a few words in your journal only to find yourself swept into the world’s next great novel; or some idle doodling that takes on the life force of a masterpiece. Where you end up and what will be created when the dance comes full circle and re-enters still point, you will never know unless you dance the dance.

“That is what it is like to apply a therapeutic modality in a non-intrusive way to an animal. Tune in energetically to what is already playing before you join in. Otherwise the conductor may shake the stick at you. It is kind of like joining in to sing “Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream” at the right place and tempo, so the rest of the group is not forced to scramble to synch up with you”. ~Excerpt from ‘Rhythm’.

"A Glimpse of Riding the Wake" © Dr. Penny at Telegraph Cove, BC, Canada

“A Glimpse of Riding the Wake” © Dr. Penny at Telegraph Cove, BC, Canada

Sometimes even then you will not know the fullness of your creation. But if you pause for a moment to savor, you can sense it, the miraculous beauty rippling out, and you realize you may have done your very best days work ever. How do you know? By how good you feel.

“To determine if an interaction is healing or not consider the following definition: “Healing is anything that moves us towards a greater sense of physical, mental, emotional, and/or spiritual well-being. Healing is an intentional movement towards peace ~Salt & Neimark.” When everyone walks away rejuvenated, we have caught a glimpse of our fifth holistic mark.” ~Excerpt from ‘Expanding the Definition of Holistic’

At the point where everyone walks away rejuvenated, ‘holistic’ medicine might better be called ‘wholeness’ practice. Add Connection Medicine to everything you love to do with animals and the land. Develop your own win-wins with a variety of creatures. Join us in growing what is possible for you, with all.