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Monday, February 15, 2010

Your dog, the mind reader

On our way back from Hawaii last week, our friend Heidi called her mom from Sea-Tac to update her on her arrival at home.  Heidi's mom had been dog-sitting their Westie during Heidi and Ron's absence.

"Bogie was upset last night and didn't sleep well at all,"  her mom had told her.  "He thought you were coming back last night.  He was very restless."

Now, it's fairly well accepted (albeit not understood) that dogs do have "E.S.P." and seem to know when their owners are returning home from work or a trip.  There've even been books written on the subject.
To satisfy the skeptics, however, it's about as easy to figure out some of this canine "mind-reading" as it is to understand the interpretations of a human "psychic."  I don't for one minute doubt that dogs and humans possess these extra-sensory skills...but for both species, their readings must be greatly enhanced and backed up by their keen powers of observation.

Let's take Bogie, for example.  Bogie's been watching his "grandma" for ten days.  He can tell there's something different about her energy as the day of Heidi's return comes closer.  Grandma may not be consciously doing anything to display her anticipation of the reunion, but dogs don't need outright signals or audible words to pick up on these feelings.  Bogie could sense by his grandma's actions, energy and aura that something wonderful and dramatic was about to happen, and that it involved Heidi.

As it turns out, Bogie wasn't the only one confused about Heidi's return.  Her mother had also gotten the dates mixed up, and had been expecting Ron and Heidi the day before.  Hence, her mother was giving out even stronger signals to Bogie that "something was up."  No wonder neither of them slept well that night.

The moral of the story:  your dog is so incredibly in tune to your body language and energy that he seems to read your mind and be capable of predicting the future.  So why shout your commands or flail your arms to get hin to do something?  He can hear you quite well, just by looking at you.

Try this exercise to reciprocate your dog's keen power of communication through observation: when your dog is in a quiet mood, sit with him in a quiet spot.  Place a hand on him, just to physically connect you to him.  Think a "whole" thought, like "All is well," or "I am here to protect you," or "You are very important to me."  Whole thoughts are easy for your dog to hear and feel, and will reassure him in the moment, which is all he is capable of comprehending.

Later on, try transmitting similar "whole thoughts" to your dog from across the room.  Smile if you want, but it's not necessary.  Your dog will pick up on your true emotions and your sincerity.  He'll get it from your energy, not from a phony visage.  (That's why they love us when we look our worst, and why we can't fool them into thinking we're angry with them.)

Finally, be aware that when you're getting ready to return home from work, school or vacation, your dog will likely cross your mind in a positive way as you envision the reunion.  Voila!  You've just communicated with your dog from a great distance.  You've told him, without realizing it, that "All is well.  I am nearer."  No wonder he goes to the window and waits for your car when you are still a mile or so away from home. You may as well have called him from your cell phone!

Blackberries, Ipods, cell phones and other gadgets have lessened our dependence on mind skills for communication.  As a result, we're evolving away from the mental powers of communication we once had.  Take a lesson from your dog, whose mind (like yours) is so complex that no electronic can duplicate it.  Learn to listen, observe, and speak with your mind....and maybe you can become almost as smart as your dog!

1 comment:

Beverly in Yakima said...

I certainly believe my dogs seem to either know times of the day or are able to read different signs. About 4:30 in the afternoon they start hanging around me (5:00 is dinner time) and 2:45 in the afternoon as well -- 3:00 I leave to pick up the kids from school. When I pick up my keys they absolutely go nuts. I have to make them down-stay to calm them down. Often, if they're outside, I'll just open the van door by remote and they'll already be in the van waiting for me. One time as I was getting ready to go get the kids from school, my big dog got so excited, she almost took me out at the knee.