When dogs come to see me, I first allow them to walk around my office and check the place out. There are lots of good smells everywhere, and all dogs love to explore them. Once they get the chance to do what comes naturally for them, they relax. As my four-legged clients are settling in, I pull up a pillow and sit on the floor next to them. As I run my hands over their bodies, I gently introduce them to the energy work. I let them move about freely as they need. As they feel the energy tingling from my hands they like to take little breaks to process it. Some dogs are surprised by this sensation and will turn around, look and sniff at my hands. “What do you have in your hands”? I always honor their needs. This quickly establishes a trusting relationship between us.
Some dogs will start talking right away; some take a little bit longer to settle down. All dogs have their own speaking style just like people. Some talk in short sentences, taking breaks in between their thoughts, others talk in run on sentences and it can be challenging to keep up with them. A dog that will talk in fragmented sentences, whose thoughts and attention span are all over the place, remind me of people with Attention Deficit Disorder. “I love when my owner…what’s that on the wall? I need to go out. What’s that noise? Are you coming?” These dogs can be challenging to read, but are always brilliant once I help them to focus. Each dog talks of their feelings of love, happiness and sometimes of their disappointments and concerns.
Animals communicate to me with thoughts, feelings, or images, like snapshots, that I receive almost as if they were my own. Sometimes the thoughts don’t make sense to me, but are dead-on to the dog’s owner. Sometimes a dog will talk in feelings. I will feel its sadness, or an adrenaline rush, or confusion, these are not my feelings; they are the dog’s feeling. Once they know they can trust me they will share what they’re feeling with a sense of relief.
It’s easier to communicate when I quiet my mind. Sometimes as the dog sniffs around the room I will sit with my eyes closed and allow random thoughts to drop into my mind. With some dogs you can tell what they are thinking by the way they move their bodies. (Thank you, Fawn, for your tutorial.) If they hold their heads low and avoid eye contact, you know that they are feeling insecure and need to talk. If they are bouncy and moving about seemingly care-free, you know that they are happy. A happy dog’s biggest complaint may be that you changed his kibble! These are only generalizations, though, as each dog presents in his or her own way. As with humans, each dog communicates differently.
Dogs will look the other way when they don’t want to change a behavior. It’s very funny and very clear to everyone when this is the case–not much different from what you might see in humans who don’t want to change, no matter how their behavior affects others.
It helps to get things going when the owners bring questions. I am a problem solver, a relationship counselor between dog and owner. Often humans will come with lists of what their dogs are doing wrong. What they don’t realize is that some of an owner’s behaviors are upsetting to their dogs. Once we get it all on the table and both parties have a chance to speak, then they come to a better understanding of each other. As long as the human does their best to live up to their part of the agreement, the dog will try to live up to his. It’s important to remember that everyone has an opinion, and sometimes people don’t want to change their opinions. This holds true for dogs as well.
Dogs are pack animals and we are their leaders in healthy dog-human relationships. They look to us for love, food, water, guidance, shelter, protection and direction. (Not to mention lots of cookies.) Have you ever noticed how much your dog watches you? They spend much of their time being aware of us, whether they are sleeping or awake. If we move they are aware of it. They see us when we’re strong and also when we are weak, whether it is a physical illness or an emotional illness, it can cause them much concern.
Most dogs don’t want the leadership role. They are happy to follow at our heels. When we allow them to take the lead some dogs will get insecure and possibly aggressive. They need us to define boundaries for them because it keeps them from getting anxious. It’s part of what keeps dogs emotionally healthy.
When we are troubled it rocks their emotional boat. They can act out in uncharacteristic ways, confusing for all concerned. When we open up our hearts and communicate to them by projecting our thoughts, (the same way they send thoughts to us) it can help to calm their nerves.
Our dogs are very wise and the older they get the wiser they become. They are an expert at reading our moods and as I have learned over the years, our minds.
When I do readings, my focus is on helping the dogs to express themselves. If they’re in conflict with their humans, we come up with compromises, by asking the human or dog to adjust their behavior.
Sometimes we humans send very mixed messages without realizing it. I am the dogs’ advocate and their voice.