Notes from an Animal Psychic's Casebook
Things Are Not Always What They Seem
By Elaine Harrison
Turid talks (and listens) to dogs in their own language. She has worked as a dog trainer and behaviourist for many years and her 'pet' subject is 'calming signals'. The ancestors of our domesticated canine friends have been using 'cut-off' signals to halt aggression and solve potential upcoming conflicts for as long as humans have been studying them - and probably a whole lot longer before that, too. But because wolves are so very clear and intense in the use of this vital part of their language, the general consensus in the doggy world was that our pet dogs don't use the same lingo. They just don't behave the same way - do they?
Well, yes, actually they do, but they are a lot more subtle because they don't have to deal daily with the same type of volatile situations. Years spent studying the way dogs interact with one another - and with other species - led Turid to realise that all dogs instinctively know and use the same "calming" language - the purpose of which is to avoid conflict by diffusing tense or unpleasant situations. Unfortunately, some dogs lose their language; for instance, those who are not socialised with other dogs regularly (imagine moving to a foreign country where no-one speaks your language, over time you learn the new language, but if you never get the opportunity to use your own language again you can actually forget it!) Or those whose language is 'punished' away (yes, this can actually happen). If a dog is punished often enough for trying to tell you something, it can eventually give up trying. Fortunately, in both cases the language can be re-membered with a little help.
Before I go on to tell you a bit about calming signals and how they can greatly enhance the relationship between you and your dog friends - and how they saved me from getting bitten - I should explain why, as an animal psychic, I am harping on about such a subject. Well it is simple really. Time and time again people come to me to ask about how they can learn to communicate with their animals; they want the A-Z on being an animal psychic and in their eagerness many want to skip A-G, where the G stands for groundwork. Communication takes place on many levels and, though connecting spirit to spirit is pure magic, it isn't much use if you don't understand them the rest of the time! In my experience, the better you understand your animal friends on a physical, mental and emotional level, the better you are able to communicate with them psychically. It is all about getting 'in-tune' with one another and creating empathy.
Working as an animal healer and communicator I would say that about 70% of my work with dogs involves dealing with 'behavioural' issues and, if I am to come face to face with these dogs, I need them to know that I speak their lingo in more ways than one. I also want to be safe! My first experience of using calming signals was with a bull terrier in a rescue centre. He was almost impossible for the staff to handle because of his displays of aggression and fast becoming 'un-rehomeable' as a consequence. Of course, I could connect with him psychically without placing myself in a vulnerable position, but he really needed to know that it was OK - indeed pleasurable - to physically connect with a person, too. We ended up cuddling. From then onwards others became able to handle him and use TTouch (Tellington Touch) work to help him release tension from his body, and he was eventually re-homed.
So what did I do? I 'looked away', 'turned away', 'blinked' a lot, 'licked my lips', 'sat down' and 'yawned'. All the time I was ,of course, watching his language and reacting accordingly. Through simple procedures like turning the head or body sideways to avoid eye contact, blinking, licking their lips or nose, intently sniffing the ground, walking in a curve and yawning, dogs have the ability to signal to others that they do not want confrontation. This in turn gives the other dog (or person) the opportunity to 'back off' from the encounter, or to make their own body language a lot less threatening. And a change of body language results in a change of feelings. If you don't believe me then just try forcing a smile when you are feeling low and see how it makes you feel!
Let's just have a little look at some of the signals dogs use - and which you can learn to replicate:
LOOKING AWAY: Yes, that sideways glance that many humans wrongly interpret as 'looking embarrassed' is actually a calming signal. So next time you are saying 'look, he knows he has done wrong' while gesticulating to the pee on the carpet, the rubbish pulled out of the bin, or the chewed shoe, realise that 'he' probably hasn't a clue what is wrong, he just knows his person is behaving in a very tense manner and he is trying to calm you down.
LICKING NOSE/LIPS: How often have you approached a dog straight on (dogs don't do this to one-another, with the exception of VERY close friends/companions), bent over a dog or wrapped your arms around a dog and noticed it suddenly start licking its lips? He is telling you to be less threatening in your approach! You are confusing him.
WALKING SLOWLY AND CURVING: So, you've yelled at your dog for the umpteenth time to come back to you and he is eventually doing it, but so slowly and in a curve! 'Oh, he knows he is being naughty'. Wrong! He is trying to calm you down and diffuse your obvious irritation. Yelling doesn't work - go back to practising that recall and making sure your dog really thinks coming back to you is THE best option available. Get tense - even if only because you can see that the nastiest dog on the block has just come into the park and you want to protect your pooch from getting hurt - and he will slow down in a bid to calm you down.
YAWNING: This is probably the most used of all signals - and the most misunderstood by us humans. Watch when, and how often, your dog yawns.
WAGGING TAIL: A difficult one for us to copy, but one worth watching for! When combined with any other calming signal a wagging tail is NOT a sign of happiness.
SNIFFING THE GROUND: Of course dogs sniff to pick up the local 'messages', but they also sniff when being approached by another dog/person they are unsure of. If your dog sniffs the ground a lot on his way back to you when you're calling him, check the tone of your voice, you may be giving him a negative signal.
Of course, aggression itself is a form of communication and it is sometimes very obvious what is being said. Or is it? I was once called out to see a dog who had recently been re-homed from a rescue centre. His people had visited him there and handled him a few times before deciding to adopt him, and had never during that time seen any sign of aggression. However, after just a few days in his new home he had become quiet territorial and had snapped at both his people on a few occasions. Sensibly, they had taken him to the vets in case there was something physical troubling him, but with that ruled out and them at their wits end, they decided an animal communicator might be worth a try!
So along went I, calming-signals at the ready, to see just what was going on. Here was a young, physically healthy dog, with no history of abuse, recently re-homed with two people who loved him, exercised regularly, fed well, rarely left alone, spoilt for choice on the toy front and generally, on the face of it, living an idyllic doggy life. So what was wrong? As I entered their house, warned that he may bite if I approach him, I began to explain to his people that I had no intention of approaching him and... the next thing I knew I was being greeted like a long lost friend by a small white and tan torpedo. He dashed around with such delight he was almost a blur. As I sat down he leapt onto my lap and lavished me with licks - all, of course, much to the surprise of his two stunned owners.
Using a few calming signals of my own I eventually managed to get Benjy to sit quietly on my lap and began to connect with him spirit to spirit. He let out a huge sigh, and began to explain what was wrong. He wanted to go back to the rescue centre - he loved it there! He was really missing the lady who ran the centre. Plus, these people were just too quiet and gentle for him, they just weren't what he wanted. He had tried and tried to let them know he didn't want to be with them, but they couldn't understand - they just seemed to be getting afraid of him. Him! He thought that was actually quite funny because he really wasn't scary at all. Would I please take him back?
Oh my! All doggy text books thrown out of the window, how could I possibly explain this to these lovely, kind people? I simply had to be honest and explain that some relationships just aren't meant to be forever. As I stumbled over my explanation and struggled to do all I could to make them feel OK about the whole scenario, I suddenly realised that Suzy was crying. Had I really upset her so much telling her that her new found friend didn't want to stay with her? No! She went on to explain that, in truth, there was an element of relief in what had been said. As much as she liked Benjy, she too had actually realised quite early on in their relationship that she just couldn't bond with him the way she had with other dogs in the past. She knew he had not been the right choice for her, but had done all she could to 'make it right'. Indeed, she felt she wasn't ready yet to have another dog.
Back to my animal psychic's A-Z, one thing I teach people is to drop their expectations when communicating with animals. Don't ever presume you know what is going to be said, because if you do, an animal like Benjy will come along and teach you a lesson!
Benjy did go back to the centre, and I often wonder whether that little bundle of energy actually had some insight into his future; if he knew where he was 'meant to be'? He was re-homed one more time and, once again, he became aggressive and was sent back. The owner of the centre had a real soft spot for him - and guess what? She kept him. So he got to spend his days at the centre with all his chums and his evenings with a woman he adored.
Interestingly, before I sat down to write this month's piece for Planetlightworker, I sensed a strong spirit presence around me and was compelled to sit and channel the following information. I guess this was partly to point me in the right direction for this article - but feel it has further implications, too. For that reason I choose to share it with you:
We are coming into a time of great change for the animals. A time when what we have perceived and believed before will no longer apply. It is time to drop all preconceptions and judgements about our relationships with the animals around us, a time to redress the balance upon this planet. There will likely be something of an uprising - a rebellion - many have simply had enough of the way things have been. Aggression may be displayed where never before, and may well go misunderstood by many. This is a reflex, a reaction to all that has gone before. A mounting of energy, bursting to be released. As we all step into new energies and experience disturbances along the way - then so do the animals. It is not just a human world that is changing! BSE saw many souls departing and we can expect something similar to occur again soon. Look around June time, too. Watch the horses, too.
Those within the sea are moving - changing habitats - changing habits. There is so much movement and change. A greater awareness of the healing power of the dolphins is just around the corner. In times gone past mankind knew how to live in harmony with the animals, to listen to them and respect them. The wisdom of the old ones will now begin to filter through once again - providing a last chance to save many species from extinction. I have heard your call and I am here to help you. the animals are calling you back in a way you recognise from a time beyond. A time is coming when the animals incarnate will be hearing the call of their ancestors, a call to return to their truth. This could be disconcerting for those who live with what they call their pets because they may sense a breakdown in communication, that is, communication in the human terms. Their dogs, for instance, may well cease responding to 'commands' and 'control' as they feel a stirring within themselves to remember the old language.
People must learn to communicate in the universal language of love, respect and understanding. They need to learn to also use their own language of old, that language that is not of words alone. As the energy of Mother Earth changes and reverberates out into the universe, issuing a call of freedom and release - then so do those who live upon her. Questions need to be asked: why did you choose to invite these so called pets into your lives? To control them? To shape their very beings? Or to love them? To learn from them? If they are not allowed to 'be', then many will begin to display what you may call behavioural problems, and this may be their chance to change the way they are seen. There are now many on the earth who understand the animals and are ready to assist with these cries for help. Many may choose to opt out and leave the earth instead - in many ways.
Watch for news of the great eagle, he will appear to many in visions. Look out also for the outbreak of disease among dogs - the vaccinations will not be working. Animals are now entering this planet with even clearer vision and remembrance of home. Their third eyes are wide open and they are super-sensitive. They may be seen by many as being quite 'uncontrollable'. They are here to teach another way of interacting. Connect with them from your heart and partner them - do not seek to control. They will clearly reflect back your own issues as they react to every little energy signal. They seek calmness and balance and will stretch you to the limits to provide it within your environment. This is going to be a time of extremes as many seek to hang onto the 'old' energy of control and domination in extreme measures. Whilst others step into the new energy in joyous reunion with all forms of life.
Till next month....
Elaine was born and raised right in the very heart of England, in the County of Nottinghamshire. Able to see spirits and auras from childhood, she tried to put a lid on her apparent 'differences' as she left school and ventured into the world of journalism. As a writer, Editor and Marketing Manager she enjoyed many years working for a number of prestigious titles and travelling the world in the process. Of course her spiritual quest could not be ignored and soon any spare time was spent exploring mediumship (studying at the world-famous Stansted Hall in England) and healing. Animals have played a major role in her life and animal healing and communication work now take up much of her time. Elaine is also a qualified TTEAM (Tellington Touch) Practitioner. Elaine currently divides her time between her animal work, lectures and demos, mediumship and freelance writing. You can reach her by email here.