belisleIf there’s one lesson that we’re learning in 2009, it’s that we are all interconnected. And we are finding that we benefit by strengthening our sense of community and embracing a more open communications style with each other. Interestingly, more and more people are also finding comfort, solace and connection by including their best and most loyal companions – their pets – in their day-to-day communications.

What is animal communication? In a nutshell, it’s the process of sending and receiving thoughts, images, impressions and feelings using two-way thought transference.

How exactly do you go about communicating with an animal? If you’re of a certain age, you may remember the TV show “Mr. Ed” in which a wisecracking horse moved his lips as he conversed with his owner. Real animal communication is done at a deeper telepathic level. Just like a child absorbing his parents’ unspoken beliefs and attitudes, an animal can listen to your thoughts and be aware of how you feel. You’ve probably already experienced this…when your cat snuggles nearby to offer comfort when you have the flu; when your dog eagerly anticipates your arrival home after a long trip; when your parrot calls out your name to greet you in the early morning. They know better than us the illusion of separateness.

A point of commonality that animals have with humans is that their ability and willingness to communicate depends a lot on their individual personalities. While all animals are very telepathic, some are more cautious than others to let you into their world. Many are noble, calm and patient while others are hyper, anxious or timid. That’s one reason to initially try to choose a pet that matches up well with your own personality type.

The following are a few basic steps to follow when learning how to communicate with your pet:

  • Don’t look directly at the animal. Many people think that they will pick up on a message better if you stare into their eyes. Quite the contrary! You’ll do better by closing your eyes and focusing on sending them your energy and love. In fact, they don’t have to be physically with you to hear you.
  • Hold a vision in your mind’s eye of what behavior you want to reinforce in your pet. For example, visualize your dog promptly coming in from the yard when you call him. This will reinforce whatever words you are using to communicate your message.
  • Respect the element of free will in every animal. If you’re a parent, you know that telling a child not to do what they want often strengthens their resolve to do it anyway. Listen to your pet and get them to work with you rather than, “Just obey because I said so.” Offer an explanation of why you are looking for a certain behavior.
  • People tend to have different communication senses… they hear words or see visual images or feel emotions. Work with your strength when communicating with your pets and trust that you can receive answers in any of these forms as well.
  • Oftentimes people pick up a response from their pets in a dream. A sick bird, for example, may appear to be happily perching again with its mate or lovingly acknowledging you by fluttering its wings in front of your heart. Don’t dismiss such messages as inconsequential.

A major benefit of animal communication is that it can give you valuable clues into the best course of care for your pets. Imagine being able to directly ask your pet these questions: “How do you feel? Is this the food that you like? Where are you hurt? Are you OK with having another cat in the house? Do you like the fit of this saddle?”

Animal communication is a complementary approach to proper veterinary care; of course, it is never a substitute. But communicating with your animals helps you understand their particular physical and emotional needs, as well as get a glimpse into their unique life purpose.

It can be said that animals are like us in wanting safety, a sense of belonging and an experience of love. Love is the strongest force in the world, and through it you can talk and listen to anyone or anything. As we accelerate in our understanding of interconnectedness and our world becomes ever more interdependent, communication with all forms of life is becoming accessible to anyone willing to keep an open mind and practice the art of two-way heartfelt communication.

Dr. Katherine Belisle is a veterinarian working with the Southfork Animal Hospital in Lakeville as well as South Metro Animal Emergency Care in Apply Valley. She has a special interest in exotic animals and alternative medicine for animals and teaches the class “‘How To Communicate with your Pets.” For more info, contact Katherine at kbelisle@charter.net.

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