I work with a lot of older animals. And two question arise. Is aging itself the problem? Or is it our attitude about aging the problem?
From where I sit, most people see aging as the problem. I hear all the time what the animal can’t do anymore. People really get concerned about this and think something is wrong.
I’ll share a story from about 19 years ago when I was starting out as a communicator.
I received a call from a woman who was seriously considering putting her older dog down. She was concerned since her dog did not chase the ball anymore, slept more and that there was no quality of life for her dog.
I opened up to the dog and she wanted to know what the big deal was about chasing the stupid ball. She did not care at all that she did not chase the ball and lying in the sun sleeping was really nice. The dog was confused the woman wanted to kill her because she did not chase the ball. She wanted to know why chasing the ball was so important and why couldn’t the human enjoy sitting in the sun with her?
I explained the dogs point of view to this woman and she was so relieved that her dog was fine and the dog was relieved it got to stay.
I was floored. I am grateful to this day for that woman and dog. I learned a huge lesson about aging and how animals see it. They just are with it. No judgment, no worry, no quality of life issue. Those are our attitudes.
Going back to the two questions. I don’t see aging is the problem. And as I say that, yes there are changes and sometimes issues to deal with. It is simply life in an older body. Our attitude is a whole different story.
I am going to sit in the sun with my aging cat and think about my attitude. I have no doubt she will set me straight.
I am amazed how often when working with animals, the issue comes up, they do not like their name..
They have no concept of the alphabet. For them it is the energy in the name. How we string letters together to form a name creates an energy that the name vibrates to. When a name is not working for an animal it means the name is not a vibrational match for that animal.
Think about your own name and how it feels to you. I know people who have changed their name as the name they were given did not feel right to them. It is really important how our name feels to us.
It is the same for animals. If the name is not a vibrational match then there is discord. Animals feel the discord just the way we do, only on their level. It is not a thought process for them.
When I am asked to help name or rename an animal I get quiet and I ask for four, what I call, embodiment words.that are a reflection of who the animal is. Example: Dog female Beauty, Feminine, Wise, Loyal. This dogs name wants to reflect these qualities. A name like Fluffy is not a reflection here. A name like Bella is.
With the animals pushing me today I said ok I will write about names and explain how very important it is to them. Often I have people tell me their animal came to them already named and they are having a hard time with the name. I tell them they are feeling it from their animal and it is ok to create a new name that has a better feel.
I see it as a wonderful opportunity to think outside the box of what I know. Sit with your animal and see what comes up. Sometimes it takes awhile. That is ok. It is also a chance to share something that is important
Don’t listen to what any one else says. Trust yourself and your animal. Make it fun.
I want to build on the last post.
When we look into our dog’s eyes, we are looking at them through our filters, our beliefs and our emotions. It puts a spin on what we see. No judgment, it simply is how we see the world.
My writing the last post was to bring the animals side or point of view to the table. By having both human and animal point of view on the table it allows for a fuller picture for all of you to look at. We see our side easily, it is the animal side that is harder to see and understand.
All the animals are asking is for us to take a look at their point of view. In seeing both points of view it opens the door to see a meeting place in the middle. There is no right or wrong, it is simply point of view.
The outcome between the human and dog in the last post was; the human listened to her dog and decided not to put the dog down, at that time. She was relieved not to have to make that decision and to know her dog was ok. It was just a misunderstanding.
My writing was to give all of you an opportunity to stop and ask yourself what am I seeing here? If we can stop and step back it allows us a resting place to see the bigger picture where there is more information. With more information we can make wiser decisions.
What are people really seeing in their dogs eyes as the dog is nearing the end of its life? I hear so often from people that their dogs eyes are sad, or their dog’s eyes are telling them it is time to be put down.
In a case I recently worked on the the human was convinced the look in her dog’s eyes said; it did not like its life anymore and he wanted to be put down.
What the dog showed me immediately was he was picking up from his human that the human was not pleased with him and was going to kill him. They have no fancy words like euthanasia or be put down.
What the dog eyes were really saying was, what have I done and why do you want to kill me? He was doing his best to do his job so he could stay in the pack.
He made it clear he was far from ready to go. Actually what he wanted was to be allowed to go in his own rhythm or to die on his own with no help. What his human saw in his eyes and what the dog was saying with his eyes were two different things.
I am writing this as I see so much misunderstanding. It is not as cut and dry as we think it is. Maybe, if we stop for a moment and put our way of looking aside and look at it from the animals side, we will see something different.
What is really in their eyes?
I recently worked with a dog whose pack leader had died the month before. The dog’s human was concerned the dog was grieving the loss of its pack mate, as there had been changes in the dog’s behavior and health. This person was worried she was going to loose this dog too due to grief.
Immediately, as I worked with this dog he showed me how hard it was without the leader dog and it was now up to him to lead. He was stressed and the stress was causing problems physically. This dog was a middle of the pack dog, not a lead dog.
Going back to hard wiring, pack law, which says someone has to lead the pack at all times. It is not a thought process. This dog was simply feeling the hard wiring and was responding to that hard wiring. The job was beyond this dog’s capability and that is what the human was seeing. It was a lack of this dog’s ability to lead, not grief.
I explained to the human she had to step up and be a stronger leader. I showed the dog he did not have to lead and the human would lead. He relaxed and the human understood what she had to do.
I am learning it is important to remember they are animals with instincts that are hard wired into them and they function on that wiring at their level, not ours. When those lines are kept clear there is less pressure, a better seeing and understanding of what is going on.
When we can step outside ourselves it is amazing what there is to see.
After the last post a friend called to tell me what just happened with her older dog. He slipped through the upright posts on a stair landing and fell 8 feet hitting his head.
She said the first thing she did was calm herself before going down to him. Then she went to see if he was injured. As she was checking him I opened up to him. It was interesting what was more important to him in that moment was his leader was calm. Her calm radiated to him and he relaxed. As he relaxed his body could take stock of itself easily without stress.
As he does not see or hear very well her calm helped him to orient himself to the space around him again. He stood up and shook himself and started walking. He took a couple of stiff steps and then walked normally. He showed me he was ok and he had a strong calm leader which really made it ok.
Her husband was already fixing the railing making it slip through proof. It has been an on going unfolding of making changes to keep this little guy safe yet allowing him as much freedom as possible.
This really drove it home to me one more notch that staying calm with an animal when something happens is a huge benefit to them and ourselves.
Two weeks ago I went to print the post I had written and what came out of the printer was surprising. The file was compressed in on itself and unreadable. I looked at the screen and the same mess was there. First it was, oh $#!%, then fear and finally stay calm there is a solution. This event put me on an odyssey which had a great outcome. I found a man who is now my go to guy for computer glitches. Staying calm was the key. So here I am rewriting.
I worked on several cases of lost dogs that were in different areas of the country, each breed was different and how the dog went missing was different. The consistent thread that ran through each case was the level of upset of the humans
I am seeing a correlation between the level of human upset and the dog coming back. I started to see when the human calmed down there was a higher rate of the dog returning.
Think about it, we emit a negative vibration when we are upset. Our animals feel that. They do not have the ability to understand the why, they just know the human is upset. An upset leader of the pack is not a good thing for pack safety. If we do not have a safe leader the dog will stay away, it is survival for them that is hard wired. It is not a thought process.
When we get calm and become a strong leader again that is a safer feeling for the dog and the dog is more likely to come home. Now does that guarantee the dog comes back? No. It does create a higher possibility though.
I am seeing over and over how our upset emotions affect animals. Not just in lost dogs, in all areas of our interaction with them. People are always asking me what can I do for my animal to make their life with me better. More and more my response is be aware of your emotional state and if you are having an upset address it. Does that mean beat yourself up? No. Simply be aware and do something to get calmer.
The gift to your animal will be huge. .