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.