By Susan Deren & Carol Thompson

NOTE: Susan assists with all Multiple Pet Issues, regardless of the species…multiple dogs, multiple cats, multiple dogs and cats…even birds!

Everyone has encountered someone with an annoying habit.  People that continuously move towards you when they talk, otherwise known as “space invaders,” would be an example.  Such behavior makes the other person want to stay away.

The same holds true in the world of animals, especially when two different species live together.  Sometimes first impressions can make or break you.  So, how that first encounter is handled between a cat and a dog can have a strong effect on their relationship.

In the world of the feline, a cat would greet a dog face to face, often touching noses with the dog.  Canines will also greet face to face, but then will quickly move to greeting on the other end, so to speak.  Felines don’t understand this behavior and then begin viewing the dog as a “space invader.”  They will often slap the dog with their paw to let them know that is not acceptable.

Canines don’t understand the cat’s reaction and will often persist in an effort to complete their greeting.  The next day they will engage in the same greeting behavior with the cat.  Eventually, every time the dog gets anywhere near the cat, the cat will either hiss or swat the dog.

So, is there any way to fix this relationship?  Yes.  Although the canine’s greeting manner is instinctual, this behavior can still be altered.  Susan has successfully communicated with dogs in these situations resulting in the dog now greeting the cat only nose to nose.  The cat then stops hissing and swatting the dog, thus also serving as a reward to keep the dog’s new greeting behavior in place.  Additionally, Susan also instructs the owner with techniques to ensure the correction continues.  Sounds simple, but many clients report developing relationships between canine and feline and, at last, the space invading has ended!

Susan offers Animal Readings via Phone, Facetime, Skype, or in person in the New England area.   95% of her readings are via Phone, Facetime, and Skype.   She does not need to physically be with an animal in order to communicate with it.





Copyright © 2019 Susan Deren & Carol Thompson - All Rights Reserved


By Susan Deren & Carol Thompson


Some people are very selective as to who they spend time with often preferring the company of just a select few. In contrast, some are happier with a variety of people in their lives. Then others prefer to spend most of their time with just one person, like their spouse or significant other. So, which category would you say your dog falls into? This personality factor can play a major role in how well they will accept a new animal into the home.


Traits of the Velcro Dog

Have your friends nicknamed your dog "velcro"? Is your dog always at your side no matter where you are in the house? When you take your pet to a dog park, is socializing with the dogs not his priority? You know what I mean, he'd rather just be with you. If you live with others he may want to be with all of you, but isn't too accepting of visitors or friends.

This would be considered a true human pack animal, devoted to his humans, loyal to them. If you have a dog like this he views the small group of people in his life as his dog pack. He'd rather socialize with human family than other animals.

This type of dog may have a hard time accepting another animal into his home. In fact, he may have an easier time accepting a new human into the house than another animal. A new pet may be viewed as a threat to the bonding he has with his humans.

If you decide you want to bring another dog into the house, let's look at some of the issues that can arise and steps you can take to help "velcro" acclimate to the newest pack member.


Just Like Bringing In A New Child Into the House

Remember, animals are very similar to humans. Like us, they have personalities and emotions. This situation is no different than when a new baby arrives in the household and your oldest child begins acting out in protest to the new addition.

His version of a temper tantrum may be evidenced by:

- withdrawing from activities from you or your family

- aggressive behavior attacking or biting the new dog or you 

- depression or anxiety

- obsessive pacing or licking

- loss of appetite

In Susan's readings, some of these animals actually used phrases the owners were using to address the new dog: "I used to be the cutey." "Why are they calling her precious? They used to tell me I was precious." Some animals even asked, "Am I not enough for them?" So, understand that they, just like human children, are watching how you behave with the new addition.

Let's go over some steps to help this dog understand they they are still special to you.


Helping Your Dog Acclimate To The New Dog

In nature, younger dog pack members always treat the older dogs with respect and reverance. You must observe this innate canine behavior in all of your activities. You are in charge of the pack, so it's best you know what rules dogs follow out in nature. Dogs will acclimate much easier by utilizing the following practices.


1. In the mind of the canine, the senior dog is above the new dog, this would include those that were members of the pack first. This respect is shown by always attending to the senior dog first.


2. Feed this dog first, before you feed the new dog. Dog packs follow this practice.


3. Greet and pet this dog first, before you do the same with the new dog. Again, you are honoring the elder member here. If the new dog tries to cut in, push them aside and tell them they must wait.


4. Make sure you do not share your dog's toys with the new dog. Susan has actually had clients where the senior dog attacked the new dog when it started playing with its toys. This is a territory violation. Give the new dog its own toys. Make sure they each have their own toys in separate piles. It's similar to when you were a kid, did you really want to share your Barbie with your sister? You didn't want her to touch any of your stuff right?


5. Tell your dog that "you are very important to us, we love you." Yes, talk to your dog. Tell them you thought he would want "some company" so you brought in another dog. It's important to let this dog know that they are still special to you. So, try not to spend extra time on the new dog. No one likes it when their brother or sister gets all of the attention. No favoritism, treat and love both of them the same.


Other Options

If all else fails, Susan offers Animal Readings via Phone, Facetime, Skype, or in person in the New England area.   95% of her readings are via Phone, Facetime, and Skype.   She does not need to physically be with an animal in order to communicate with it.  




Copyright © 2019 Susan Deren & Carol Thompson - All Rights Reserved

"Helpful Tips and Ideas For Dealing With Pet Loss"


By Susan Deren & Carol Thompson

When an animal companion passes, many people feel as if they have lost a close friend.


With humans, we gather and attend wakes and funerals to remember and heal.  However, with animals there is little guidance for the grieving process.




Gathering friends and family at your home can be a respectful way to honor your pet’s life.   Some of my clients prefer to call it a “Celebration of Life” rather than a “Wake.”  It becomes a chance to share with all who loved this animal the moments that defined who this animal was to them.


Creating a book of pictures that reminds you of their unique personality has become a common theme for these events.  As the book is passed around and stories are shared, there’s laughter, tears, but most important… there’s an uplifting sense of joy in remembering their life.  I have many clients that have found these Celebrations of Life helpful to them.  Don’t be embarrassed to express your love via a tribute to your animal in any way you choose.





If you Google the above phrase you can find local groups in your area that meet regularly.  Some of my clients have found that sharing this process with others going through the same loss makes them feel like they are not alone.  Many Veterinarian Hospitals and Veterinarian Schools are also offering Support Groups as well as Pet Loss Hotline Services.  They stress that the goal is not to provide counseling but rather to offer emotional support to pet owners as they work through their grief.





It is not uncommon for pet owners to seek traditional counseling to deal with their grief.  The loss of someone you love can be just as emotional with a pet as it is with a human.  The need for closure and resolution is no different than when a human friend or family member passes.





 While you are going through this loss, keep in mind that friends and co-workers who don’t have pets may not see this as a “loss.”  If they don’t understand your grief, keep in mind they have never experienced a connection to an animal.  They may not understand your pain.  You may want to seek out your friends who have pets at this time if you need to talk about your loss.  Be patient with the non-animal people.  Again, they just can’t see or comprehend what you are experiencing.





Many clients have asked me, “How long should I wait to get a new pet?”  There is no right answer to this question.  You may have friends that tell you that getting a new pet will help you get over the loss of your pet.  However, not everyone deals with grief the same way.   You, and only you, will know when you are ready to bring another animal into your life.  Don’t let friends or family sway you.  When the time is right, you will know.  In my experience, life has an interesting way of pointing us in the right direction at the right time... just when we need it.







Copyright © 2019 Susan Deren & Carol Thompson - All Rights Reserved