At one of my Animal Communication practice group sessions, when the group was sharing reflections of what their takeaway was from the evening, one of the students shared in wonder, “I did not realize it could be that easy. It is just like having a conversation with a friend.”
She had been conversing with one of her cats about an annoying, demanding behavior and she gained clarity through the conversation that her cat was asking for snuggles instead of treats. When she understood this, guilt, as well as frustration, came up on how she had been responding to the tone of the meow. I reminded her to be as compassionate with herself and invited her to reflect on if there was something she needed to ask the cat so that she could respond in a loving way instead of responding in frustration to the cats’ demand. Taking her own needs into account, she was then able to request the cat to ask for the snuggles in a sweeter tone instead of the demanding NOW and it would be easier for her to respond compassionately.
This sentiment was then echoed within less than 12 hours when I met a friend on a walk and she said, “I did as my dog requested. When she was barking and barking at another dog I told her calmly there was no need and invited her to keep walking.” And with wonder, my friend added, “It worked–she stopped barking and we walked on. It was so easy.” The dog had requested her human speak with clarity and tell her what she wants instead of yelling what she did not want.
Animals and kids are the greatest teachers — so honest and pure. I remember when my son was 3 and we were on a walk with him in a stroller and two black labs on Flexi-lead leashes. The dogs had this habit of what I called “circling the wagons”. They would constantly be circling us and I would be high-stepping over the leashes, contorting my body in all sorts of way to keep the leashes untangled while moving forward. My frustration level was off the charts and my voice and response to them matched it. When, once again, they circled the wagons I screamed, “Zoe and Jetexas enough!” as I gruffly untangled the leashes and had ripples of waves of anger cascading off of me. From within the stroller, a sweet voice wisely suggested, “Mama, you know if you tell them calmly what you want they will listen.”
After much laughter, frustration, and gratitude I agreed to give it a try. I sat both the dogs down and told them “Zoe and Jetexas I would like us to move along in a flowing manner with each of you staying on your sides of the stroller and no more circling of the wagons. ” That walk was a turning point for the next three miles, as we moved as a flowing unit with ease and little corrections. If there was a correction, I calmly told them what I wanted. It was that easy and it can be that easy for you, too.
Photo by Matheus Queiroz on Unsplash