Have you noticed that your dog sometimes reflects the way you are feeling? Interaction with our dogs communicates our state of mind through our body language, voice and energy. Often, they will reflect what you may be projecting on them and it will show up in their behaviour.
I recall when I took our Winnie to dog training and she would react to some of the other dogs in the class while on my lead. When the trainer stepped in to redirect her, it was like night and day. What was going on? After reflecting and tracking back, I found that I was anxiously holding onto a past experience with her where the situation with another dog was, let's say, quite undesirable. I found that I was anticipating that she would react instead of ignore her classmates. She had picked up on my state of mind which transmitted my anxious energy down through her leash. To her, it didn't feel good, nor positive. It wasn't until I changed my energy and approach did Winnie feel safe and relaxed enough to let me be the head of her pack in amongst several unfamiliar dogs.
So how did Winnie change from an excitable dog outside our home to the zen dog you see above? It has to do with energy. Everything is made up of energy; whether it is the dense, low frequency energy that displays as matter such as we see ourselves now or the light, very high frequency energy such as thought which is invisible. Take a moment to have a happy thought, something that has brought you joy or perhaps a wonderful memory. How do you feel? Now, think of a time when your thoughts were negative, maybe when you were angry or very sad. How does it feel like in comparison? What we are feeling is reflected in the body, then projected outside of ourselves. When we feel anxious, that particular feeling is projected into the leash when walking a dog. When we can purposefully make a decision not to project ourselves in an uncomfortable way to our animal companion, our relationship with with him or her will change, especially if it is on a consistent basis. How is that accomplished?
It all begins with us . . .
Speaking from experience, I had to first realize that I was projecting my fear of a repeat negative joint experience onto Winnie. I then made a conscious decision that 'everything' was going to be okay while in dog class. It may not be perfect, but it will be 'okay'. Okay is good! I then took a few deep breaths and did a shoulder check. Were they lifted or lowered, nice and relaxed? Lowered . . . great. Then I loosened my grip on the leash, taking a big leap of trust, that Winnie knew what to do, that she knew she was safe, I was there to protect her, and that neither one of us were going to get eaten. I proceeded by walking tall. You guessed the outcome! What a remarkable difference! With repeated classes of the same process, Winnie became a more relaxed dog. Better yet, I became a different pack leader and she knew I had her back, but in a distinct positive way. Whew!
It's still a work in progress, but Winnie is now a happier dog when out walking. She still has her 'moments' but then don't we all. I come to her in a manner of softness, but firm not brash when she needs it, and she comes with unconditional love and her way of trust, both of us trusting in the process of energy exchange. I love it when she takes time in the woods, to smell the air, takes in the quiet energy there and zens out. She makes me happy. Now who is projecting on whom?
With many Spring Blessings,
Reana Selody Joubert
Pondering, mulling, musing with pen in hand about animals or people, sometimes family or sometimes wild. Oh, and news & events, too.
We acknowledge the First Nations of Musqueam, Tsawwassen, Tsleil-watuth, Qayqayt, Kwikwetlem, Katzie, and Kwantlen whose unceded land we
work, play, and reside. Thank you, Honoured Ones.
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