Indeed!!! We have really good experiences with animals (cats, dogs and horses), though not many yet.
In fact we should put this question in the experiences-page, and probably this will be done anyway, but it’s interesting to mention it here for now.
We’d already heard that cats can react ‘strange’ to people with an Akaija. A woman told us that she used to visit a friend of hers, one with a cat. Always as soon as soon as she entered her friends home the cat took of, not to be seen again. This cat simply didn’t like her, or whatever. But when she showed up with the Akaija for the first time, the cat sat down on the floor in front of her and stared at her for minutes, like frozen on the spot. Her friend remarked ‘Well, that’s weird behaviour for my cat!’ Finally, after minutes, the cat turned around, walked a few steps, and then stopped, sat again and stared for another while.
Story like this we’ve heard more than once. Funny too is that cats like to play with the Akaija around the neck of its owner. But… cats are easily amused by hanging and dangling objects (as I can tell, because I love cats), but when horses start acting this way…
In the Netherlands there are certain area’s along the rivers, floodlands you can call them, in winters they are flooded by high waters in the rivers. These lands are natural parks and the government has allowed these lands to be used for wild horses (a Polish breed) to live on. People can walk there and sometimes see these horses from far. This man had bought an Akaija a few weeks before and while he was walking alone there, he was approached by number of these horses. They came directly in front of him, and licked where his Akaija was hanging! ‘It was such a strange experience!” he said. After a few minutes the horses simply took of, leaving him alone, standing surprised by what happened to him.
Because we have so many positive reactions to the Akaija we thought that maybe the Akaija is very useful for horses, so in 2007 we started an experiment.
We had contacted a few horse owners, asking them if they were willing to share their experiences with their horses and the Akaija.
One of these, a young woman, had 2 horses. Her horses got the Akaija attached to their halter. She later told that one of the horses needed only 5 minutes to find out that something-strange had happened and immediately started rubbing and rolling, and managed in no-time to crush the Akaija. The other horse needed more time (24 hours), but as soon as it knew why she felt differently, that Akaija too was crushed. So much for the experiment.
Another woman owned 3 horses. One pretty young horse, one old one with several health problems, and one adult horse, but little bad tempered, because of bad treatment in his youth. The younger horse didn’t get an Akaija, because she was healthy. The other two got an Akaija. But the owner, careful as she is with her horses, first asked the horses if they would be willing to do this experiment, in the hope it would do them good. So they started the experiment together.
First thing she noticed after a few days was that the young horse was jealous. All day long she was licking the skin around the Akaija’s by the other horses. So after one week we decided to send another Akaija and then all was very well, because the young one was striding through the pasture with an air of “I too have an Akaija!”. This behaviour was very remarkable.
Something else that she noticed during the first days, was that the skin of the older horse, around the Akaija, was much warmer than usual, easily noticeable with her hands. We have heard this more often, also from people, that the skin can feel warm around the Akaija, and that other people can feel this too. Sometimes (in rare cases) the skin even can be red, and the Akaija can feel like burning hot (without really being hot!)
Like with people, sometimes (not always) the Akaija starts processes indicating that ‘things’ are being worked out. So with the horses. The older horse had one day that it couldn’t get on his feet. The owner wasn’t alarmed, because she already knew that nature is the best healer, and the next day the horse good stand again. There also was a small wound on one the legs from which oozed pus for several days. It wasn’t infected, she said, it only needed to be kept clean and she felt as if this was part of a healing process, detoxification.
The 3rd horse, being treated bad in her past, appeared to be much better to handle since it had an Akaija.
At this very moment we are in contact with a woman in the Netherlands who treats small children with autism. Also some kind of behavioural problems. The Akaija seems (!! we are not sure yet, because we only have a very few cases) that these children get help through the Akaija to be more friendly, open, and more communicating. Maybe the Akaija is doing something that causes certain problems, physical and/or behavioural, to be relieved in some way. Children… horses… adults… we’re all one!
About the horses, the owner said that it took several weeks to see really important changes, but that over the weeks and months, there was a constant line of improvement by all the horses.
But… if you use your Akaija for horse… please communicate with your horse first. Explain what you’re going to do. Otherwise your horse will notice something has changed, he/she doens’t understand this… and will get it off asap.
At the moment (one of my present activities, Spring 2008) is to develop a rubber donutshape tool, in which an Akaija can be hanging. The donut-shape protects the Akaija against crushing, and the donut can be attached to a key-chain, or whatever seems fit, to attach to a halter. I already have a company to cast/make them for us, and we will make an appointment with this company to check the materials, etc. I might take a few months, but hopefully before the summer we have something useful for the Akaija and horses.
As far as dogs are concerned, we know of two sheepdogs who got an Akaija. Both the dogs are old and have had serious incontinence problems. Both dogs are said to be nearly free of complaints since they have an Akaija.