Oh dear, how times does fly.  It’s already the end of May and I haven’t really been able to “talk” to my animals as I had hoped.  My problem it seems my mind never really gets a chance to calm all the way down and clear of all the things zipping and zapping in there with all the thoughts of the duties of the day.  Worries about money, enough food for all the animals, getting chores done, work stuff, people stuff, neighborhood stuff, family stuff…It all adds up to make for a crazily buzzing brain.

So I am not having talking sessions with my dogs, birds or horses like an appointment with a shrink.  Instead, when I need to tell them something or ask them something, I do it throughout the day as we go about our daily routines.  The difference of how I used to go about our routine before and now, is that now I say what I’m going to do next, either aloud or in my mind, while directing my attention at the dog (s).  I take time to acknowledge their presence, their feelings, their thoughts.  I have noticed that it makes me slow down and show them more care, patience and love.  I feel their desire to see me happy and that they worry when I worry.  I don’t want them to be upset because I am upset.  I want them to feel safe and happy.  I need to change my frame of mind, take deep breaths, relax and concentrate on all that is good.  Specially on the best part of my day which is the time I get to spend with them.

At Amelia Kinkade’s seminar the students were to take notes of the first thoughts that came to their minds as they asked the dogs (or the birds that I also brought with me) a set of non consequential questions like what’s your favorite food, friend, toy, etc….  And then moved on to more specific questions.  I found out that Rosebud will bite Scooter at times because she is frustrated by his impulsive behavior.  She does not like it when he gets over excited and pushes his way through like a linebacker, specially when going down the stairs.  It’s just funny they got this because my dogs were behaving fairly well at the seminar so they could not have seen that Scooter is an impulsive pup.  Or the they run down the stairs at my house and Scooter shoves his way through.  But they got those images from the dogs.

Little Lola the Schipperke belongs to my daughter who moved back home after college.  Eventually, some day, she will want to move on her own.  I guess Lola knows this for she always sits a little ways away from the other three dogs.  The way she behaves around the others seems like she doesn’t really like them.  On my list of questions for Lola I had one that said “is she unhappy living at our house?”  Many of the students in the seminar said that Lola knows she belongs to my daughter and she’s afraid to get too attached to the other three dogs because some day she will have to move away.  Hmmmm… Interesting.  How did they  know that?  Lola acts a bit aloof also, and someone in class said that Lola thinks she’s better than the other dogs. Haha! That is Lola! She does act like a little snob sometimes.  If I ever walk the four dogs together she tries to pull away from the rest and she won’t look at them.  When people stop to greet my dogs, she will go off to the side and pretend she’s “not with them.”

Funny little things like these anecdotes make me realize how much communication really goes on.  Amelia has been able to help with some medical issues as well, like when a cat told her she wasn’t feeling well in her tummy.  Turned out the cat was pregnant and about to deliver!.   My Sugar gets very offended if someone touches her hind legs when she’s laying down.  So I wanted to find out why.  Apparently she’s been bumped around too many times by larger dogs playing rambunctiously at the park so her pelvis was a bit off and sore.  This was confirmed by Liz Heinrich, my physical therapist friend who came along with me that day to the seminar.  While Sugar had been waiting for her turn, Liz was doing some body work on her and noticed that.  Liz had done some adjustments in that area before too, but how would anyone in that seminar have known that?  So very interesting that Sugar communicated that to them.

Anyway, I would love to be able to communicate better with my animals but for now I’m happy that there are those more gifted than me to do it for me.  I’m content that they are all healthy and getting along with each other.  That they are obedient and not getting aggressive over food or toys with each other.   When I hear or read about so many behavioral issues with dogs, I’ll take mine any time just the way they are.  They are such a blessing.  I will keep talking to my “fids” through my heart.  You do too.

Elena Flyer is a Californian owner and lover of animals: horses, dogs, birds – you name it! She is actively involved in the community whether through therapeutic dog visits to healthcare facilities, or volunteering at Labrador Rescuers.

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