Probiotics for Dogs. For improving the health of the little brain. Handcrafted in Maine with non GMO ingredients.
In an attempt to further discover new and exciting ways to communicate with our dogs, in order to improve the bond, connection, and understanding between us, let me tell you a tiny but significant story:
I was just eating my dinner, scrolling through Facebook on my iPad. (I know, not very mindful or whatever, but I’m addicted to my iPad/social media, etc.) Eva was laying some feet away, calmly lying on the floor, facing away from me. I had a thought about Eva, and as this thought was forming, I turned my head to look at her. At the same time, she turned her head to look at me, and our eyes met. She got up and came over to me as if I had beckoned to her. I went back to eating, because the thought was not that I wanted her to be near me, but simply wondering why she was being so calm when we hadn’t gone for our evening walk/swim/romp through the woods and pond. Without saying a word, I returned to ignoring her, and she returned to her quiet spot on the rug.
This whole sequence happened in less than a minute. And normally, I probably wouldn’t have thought much of it. I’m used to Sophie being so sensitive to my eye contact that if she’s looking at me, wanting something, and I make the mistake of making eye contact, she immediately takes this as some sort of permission to come over to me and be even more persistent in her begging. So I have to be careful about speaking to her, about her, or merely looking at her because it will usually evoke some sort of strong reaction from her in which she perceives my attention (even a quick glance in her direction) as permission or acknowledgement of her desire. The thing that struck me about this interaction with Eva, was that she was not looking towards me for anything that she was desirous of (unless she was pondering that evening walk?), and the moment I began to think about her, a very clear sequence began which looked something like this: 1. A thought is formed, 2.The movement of my head is a subconscious reflex to the thought (My attention goes to the object of my thought), 3. Eva turns her head to look at me (the object of my thought appears to perceive that attention), 4. Eva, the object of my attention comes over to me, as if I have called to her, but without any verbal or physical gestures other than looking in her direction.
Do other people have these same sort of experiences?
I think we have either underestimated the energy and power of our thoughts, or perhaps the psychic abilities of our dogs… And if it’s possible to communicate to our dogs without even speaking a word, doesn’t that sort of put obedience training onto a whole new playing field? Do we need chains and props and clickers, etc.? Or do we just need to trust the bond we have with our dogs? Of course, I realize we live in a physical world and it’s important to physically interact with our dogs, but maybe incorporating more of the metaphysical could benefit both species.
So I’ve been feeding my dogs The Honest Kitchen Embark formula and loving it. (It’s a raw dehydrated diet, and you can check out the full review here: Canine Supplies with Conscience.) Today I ran out of Honest Kitchen so I had to make my own. This is a sweet potato smoothie for Eva and Sophie. It contains boiled sweet potatoes, raw eggs with shells, kefir, probiotics, baby greens, and Perfect Form (also from Honest Kitchen). Can’t wait for more Embark to arrive tomorrow, it’s too hot to be home-cooking for my doggies! But they love it, so it’s all good.
I’ve learned a lot of my life lessons from obstacles I run into with my dogs. In my attempts to figure out how to live in the greatest harmony with my dogs, and how to create the healthiest, most connected bond I can, I’ve learned many invaluable truths about life itself. I’m sure this is true for anyone when they practice whatever it is in their life they are passionate about, including their career or raising children. But the opposite is also true, when I learn something in an area of my life unrelated to dogs, I simply apply it to my relationship with Sophie and Eva, ét voilá, presto change-o, it works.
Recently I started doing some consciousness work as it relates to prayer, meditation, and shifting focus. Something I’ve gathered in my research about how the Universe operates is that it responds much better to positive statements rather than negative ones. When you say that you “don’t like” something, or “don’t want” something, what you’re focusing on is the very thing you want to go away. This tends to be problematic. As Robert Anton Wilson said: “Most problems exist because the verbal formula you put them in creates the problem.”
So in applying this to my dog training–and I actually hesitate to call it training, because I don’t really believe I’m training the dogs, it’s more like they are training me–I’ve started rephrasing the way I talk to my dogs. A perfect example just occurred a few minutes ago. Eva picked up a sponge that was on the floor, and I obviously did not want her eating it. I gently put my hand on the sponge and said something in the negative like: “You can’t have that.” I may have also given the sponge a gentle pull and said “I don’t want you to eat that.” You know, the normal repertoire of things you would say to a dog or even a child who possesses an object they shouldn’t. Well, she was not going to give up that sponge! So I paused, let go of the sponge and decided to rephrase my request in a positive formula: “I would like…” And as soon as I said the word “would” she dropped the sponge and I picked it up and there was no fuss about it. I didn’t even get the sentence out of my mouth. I believe that because the energy or intention behind the words had shifted, we were no longer in opposition to each other. She was no longer doing something she shouldn’t, she was in the act of doing something she should, which was to let go of the thing I wanted her to give up.
So I’ve started to shift the way I communicate with my dogs. Instead of focusing on what it is they’re doing “wrong,” and saying “no” all the time, I’ve started saying things like, “I would like,” or “I love it when you’re a good girl.” It may sound cheesy, it may sound like woo-woo to many of you. But just try it. And if you don’t have a dog, try it with your children. And if you don’t have children try it with your parents, friends, boss, etc. A small shift can make a world of difference.
All this also makes me realize that we tend to compartmentalize our lives way too much. Because we think dog training is totally different from and unrelated to something like teaching yoga, running a business, raising children or being in a relationship. But honestly, it’s called the Universe for a reason. It’s one song. When you learn how to be a good “dog-trainer” what you may not realize is that you are learning to be good at everything.