Sunday is for the dogs (and cats!). Animal Rock 2017 will be an all-day celebration of furry friends.
On Sunday, July 30, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Beach 94th Street Performance Space, Jill Lauri, MBA, MSW, of Healing With Animals, is hosting an event dedicated to animals and those who love them. According to Lauri, the purpose of Animal Rock 2017 “is to Celebrate Our Relationship With Animals - to acknowledge the important role that they play in our lives. My intention is for people to experience the love that animals feel for us, the joy that they want for us, the road to peace that they offer us, and the respect for all living beings that are here to teach us.” The event will aim to do that through a series of events and services for pets and humans alike.
The event will include an animal memorial service starting at 11 a.m., to honor the animals that have passed over. From 12:30 p.m. until 2 p.m., there will be speakers talking about different animal-related topics. Cathy Browne will be discussing feral cats Trap, Neuter and Release programs. Lauri herself will cover the topic of deepening our relationship with animals and healing. Nicole Valenti of the Riverhead Foundation will teach people about proper protocol for helping stranded or injured sea animals. Lastly, Dr. Nancy Gahles will discuss healing animals through homeopathy. Besides discussions, there will be plenty of activities including animal blessings, animal Reiki or healing massage, and plenty of raffles to help raise money for Animal Care and Control (ACC). Local businesses like Boarders Surf Shop, Burn Fitness, Cuisine By Claudette, Thai Rock, Uncle Louie G, and Zingara Vintage have donated prizes towards the raffle. ACC will also be on hand in the hopes of giving animals a new home. They will be bringing a mobile van full of cats and dogs that will be available for adoption between noon and 4 p.m. Current pet owners are also encouraged to bring their pets for all the activities.
Lauri said she was inspired by the idea of Animal Rock from, well, the animals of course. “It was their idea and they inspired me and I ran with it. What I find is when I take my inspiration from them, things tend to go very smoothly,” Lauri said. Lauri wasn’t just inspired by her love for animals. She says it was their idea, and as an animal communicator, she would know.
For many years, Lauri says she has had a gift of being able to communicate with animals. “I’m an animal communicator and I’ve been working with animals for a long time,” she said. “In communicating with a person's animal, I serve as a translator, facilitating a conversation between them. I start by saying hello to the animal telepathically. In response, he or she tells me about their personality and how they see themselves. This often includes their appearance. The animal may also share about their relationship with their person, what they think about their food, how they are feeling physically or emotionally...I relay this information to their person and we begin a three-way dialogue. Communication with the animal offers the possibility for healing in both the animal and the person."
Lauri says she often uses this gift for counseling and healing purposes, including with those who may have lost an animal. She’s also used more traditional ways of helping people. She moved to Rockaway in 2008. “Once I came here, I never looked back. I knew I was supposed to be here,” she said. However, it wasn’t until after Hurricane Sandy that she knew that she should truly use her gift. “After Sandy, I decided it was time to really claim my voice and speak for the animals and do what I came here to do. Everything had prepared me to do it, but it was just time to let go of any fears I had about doing something that was less traditional. After Sandy, there was a lot of fear and it was really an opportunity for the animals to help heal us,” she said. This realization led Lauri to starting her own practice, Healing With Animals, in which she uses her gift to comfort both animals and people.
On Sunday, Lauri will be spreading the healing power of animals throughout the peninsula. The event is open to anyone who loves animals or those who are simply open to learning more about animals. “From this, I want people to connect to a greater joy in their lives, to build a greater respect, and honor our relationship with animals, and for people to walk away with things that may be able to integrate into their own lives. We’re all in this together. If we don’t honor ourselves and other living beings, then we all lose. Through this event, we can honor all living beings and spread the message of how to continue to do that and take it to an even greater level,” Lauri said.