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. 😊 

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