Pet Loss Grief Support Animals in our Hearts  Animal Communication Teresa Wagner
  • Everything that lives is holy.

    William Blake

copyright 2007 Teresa Wagner
all rights reserved

Along with the love and joy, living with beings of different species can present challenges. The cultures of every species, our natural ways of living on the earth, vary greatly. Behavioral problems often occur when an animal acting naturally according to their culture (e.g. barking or digging, jumping up in greeting, or sharpening little claws in our furniture), clashes with our preferred way of living (e.g., wanting peace and quiet, a yard without gaping holes, or an unfrayed sofa).

In addition, everyone’s tolerance level for certain behaviors varies. In attempting to work out what we perceive and label as "behavioral problems" it’s very important to be clear about our boundaries and needs, to give on-going, careful consideration to what we can live with and what we cannot and why. It's equally important that we learn about and take into consideration the natural, and often important, cultural and social needs of our animals required to keep them healthy and happy. For our animals to be able to meet our expectations, we must both communicate clearly with them and be realistic about what can be expected. It helps to be open to the ideas, needs and requests an animal may reveal in a telepathic conversation, and to be willing to express empathy for their reasons for doing what they’re doing, even when we don’t condone the behavior.

An animal communication session is not about commanding your animal to behave in a certain way. It's about respectfully finding out why an animal is behaving a certain way, educating them about why their behavior is unacceptable or worrisome to you, and negotiating changes.

The remaining material of this document has three sections:

  1. BEFORE YOUR SESSION: Thorough preparation to save time during the session
  2. DURNG THE SESSION: What to expect and how to get the most out of the session
  3. AFTER THE SESSION: Tips and techniques to reinforce what was discussed or agreed upon

I wish you many blessings and look forward to talking with you and your animal soon,

Namaste'
Teresa

BEFORE YOUR SESSION:

Please read through the following questions, reflect upon them, then send your responses to my office e-mail (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) at least 24 hours before your session so I have a chance to read them beforehand. Please limit what you send to two pages. Please send your information in typed, not handwritten form if at all possible. Thank you for taking the time to do this. Doing so will definitely allow more time during your session for me to actually talk with your animal. Additionally, the increased clarity that may result from specific reflection upon these issues may help and support you both before and after your consultation in working with your animal toward the changes you desire.

  1. For each animal:
    Name, Species, Gender, Age and Basic Physical Description or Photo (and breed information if important or significant), how long you have lived together, and how you came to live together

  2. What is the behavior(s) causing you concern?

    1. Please describe the behavior(s) as specifically as possible, including any relevant context.
    2. How long has it been going on?
    3. Have any other significant things changed in your animal's life near the time the behavior problem began (or worsened) ? (i.e. animal or person coming into or leaving the family, home change, diet change, training change, activity change, health change)
    4. If your animal were to turn this issue around and "behave ideally," what would that look like?
  3. Please describe as specifically as possible:
    How does the animal's behavior impact you?

    1. How does it make you feel? (i.e. does it make you
      • angry?
      • frustrated?
      • impatient?
      • exasperated?
      • confused?
      • feel disrespected?
      • worried about them?
      • concerned?
      • curious?
    2. Why is this behavior unacceptable? Or worrisome? Some examples:
      • Costing money to buy new furniture/carpet/for vet visits, other expenses?
      • Extra time and energy needed to clean up messes?
      • Sleep deprived/cranky next day if kept up at night?
      • Afraid that someone will get hurt?
      • Worried that something is wrong and want my animal to have the best possible life
    3. Regarding this behavior(s), are you mostly concerned about:
      • the impact your animal's behavior is having on you and your life?
      • concerned/worried about your animal?
      • both?
  4. Have there been any attempts to try to change the behavior (i.e. your own efforts, working with a trainer, behaviorist, other animal communicators, TTouch, flower essences)?

    1. If so, what were they and how have they helped?
    2. Are there consequences/changes you have considered if the behavior does not change? (i.e. may have to sleep in garage if continue to meow all night; may be crated when people not at home if continue to urinate on rugs)
      If so, please describe:
  5. In summary, ask yourself (no need to send this to me, just reflect upon it):

    • What is it that I really want and why?
    • Do I believe this is reasonable, considering my animal's species, breed, age,
      environment, or other factors?
    • Is there anything that I might be doing to contribute to the problem?

WHAT TO EXPECT DURING YOUR SESSION:

My stance is not to “take a side” and lecture your animals about what they are doing that is unacceptable to you, or to lecture you about how you might not be meeting your animal’s needs, or to tell you what you should do. Rather, as in the process of mediation, my goal is to help both you and your animal clearly understand each others’ positions and feelings regarding the problem, to be sure everyone involved understands how the problem impacts everyone else, to identify the deepest known root cause of the problem, and to help negotiate solutions. Though each situation varies, a typical consultation regarding a behavioral problem progresses with these elements:

Understand from Your Perspective

First, I will make sure I understand your situation from your perspective, clarifying what you have described in the pre-session questions about the problem: Exactly what is your animal doing or not doing that is unacceptable to you, why is it unacceptable/ it's impact on you, what you have tried so far, and what an ideal change would look like to you. The time is takes to do this is considerably shortened when you send your responses to the questions in advance of the session.

I have found that it is equally important to define the “why” of the problem as it is to define “what” it is. When I tell animals “why” you're concerned about a behavior, it helps them understand what you value. This often influences their choice to support you and what is important to you easier. For instance, each human whose cat is going out of the box may have a different reason about why this is not acceptable to them. One person might not be able to stand the smell while another might resent the work of clean up. Another person might be concerned about the cost of replacing carpet and yet another might not care about any of these, but may be concerned that her spouse is threatening to give the cat away if the behavior doesn’t stop. It is important to communicate to our animals not only the “what” of a behavioral problem, but “why” it is of concern to us. It helps give them a better understanding of our needs and the human culture to which we are asking them to adapt, and often increases their motivation to make the changes we ask for.

Connect with the Animals

Once I am clear about your human perspective of the problem, I then connect with the animals and ask them to help me understand their experience and their perspective of the situation. In specific pictures and words, I describe the behavior you are concerned about, in a neutral tone, void of any tone of reprimand and without an immediate request for change. Rather than beginning with demands for change or threats of consequences, I begin by asking animals gentle, clarifying questions to help us better understand their experience of the same event(s) that is not working for you. Rather than asking "why do you do that?" which makes most of us defensive, I will ask neutral questions such as, "could you tell me what this is all about for you?" or "I want to understand. . . what's going on for you when you such and such happens?"

I'll let you know all info I receive on this so you have a chance to respond—whether with need for more clarity, more questions, or any comments you want to make to your animal after hearing what this situation is about for them. We may go back and forth a few times, as needed, to clarify this information. Sometimes, this information immediately makes clear to the human what needs to be done to help the situation and we move right into negotiating or describing changes.

If their reaction doesn’t easily and quickly reveal the reason for their behavior, then I use more gentle, probing questions to identify the deepest level root cause (that they are aware of) about why they are doing what they’re doing. Sometimes this is accomplished quickly, especially when the root cause is something easy to remedy in the physical world (i.e. “I don’t like the smell of the new litter; please can we go back to the old kind.”) Other times, it can be very complex and involve long-standing, deep seated emotional issues-- either within your animal, or perhaps involving your animal and other human or animal family members. Sometimes there are past life issues connected to the current problem and animals may want to explain the related issues and lessons they are struggling with. The more complex the issues, the more time it can take for discussion.

Sometimes, learning the root cause of what is creating emotional pain or imbalance for someone we love can be a deeply moving experience. It gives us the opportunity to empathize, re-state our love and commitment, and to truly collaborate in resolving the problem with clarity and compassion. Others times, we may learn that the animal simply wants what they want because they want it.

Finding the root cause of the problem is extremely important and an absolute prerequisite to negotiating successful solutions that take into account the feelings and needs of the animal. Attempting to work out solutions without awareness of the cause of the problem is futile. To simply tell an animal to do what you want them to do without explaining why, or without soliciting their reasons for doing what they do, will usually not result in long term change (any more than it would with a child or spouse.)

Explaining to the Animals

Once I am clear on the animals' perspective and have translated it to you, and are sure you have enough information on that, I then explain your specific concerns and requests to your animal, taking care to be sure the what and why of behavior that is undesirable to you is clearly understood. When animals are not clear what you mean, or have questions about what you expect, we may go back and forth a bit to be sure they are clear.

From here we can then brainstorm, discuss and negotiate solutions that are workable for both parties. This might also be a time to discuss possible consequences (e.g. “if you don’t stop pulling at the leash every time we take a walk, which you now know hurts my arm, we won’t go swimming in the lake”). As important as it is to be sensitive to our animals’ needs, it’s also important to be clear about our own needs and boundaries--what we can live with or not. Being honest and clear about our needs, and compassionate and empathic about their needs, can go along way toward developing and agreeing on reasonable solutions.

Throughout the session, try to be open and empathic to the animal's perspectives and needs, and to possible compromises that might be needed to resolve the issues. I will work hard to encourage the animal to do the same with you. I may suggest flower essences or other resources that can help heal the root cause of the issue, or lessen the symptoms of the undesirable behavior.

AFTER YOUR SESSION:

  1. Be optimistic and realistic .If you have been experiencing serious, long-standing problems, please do not assume that there will be immediate and lasting change from one session. Just as we wouldn’t expect therapy for a deep-seated problem with our human child to produce an immediate and lasting change from one session, working with our animal’s behavior can also take time. Further sessions, and/or support for their expected behavior change, such as dog training or flower essences, may be needed. Though I can guarantee opening lines of communication and clarifying the issues between you, I cannot guarantee that your animal will change his or her behavior. However, when the root cause of the problem is exposed in a session, when both human and animal sincerely agree on solutions and follow through on commitments made during the session, change can sometimes occur very quickly. Please be assured I am very committed to helping you reach acceptable and lasting solutions.

  2. Keep your agreements, and visualize them to keeping theirs
    Follow through with anything you've agreed to during the consultation, including any "consequences" you may have discussed that will occur if the behavior does not change. It's also very important that we continue to look at how our own behavior, attitudes and emotions may be effecting our animals' ability to follow through with changes we are expecting.

  3. Consider using specific flower essences that may have been suggested during the session. Please remember the flower essences do not work well when not matched to the root cause of a behavior. For instance, to choose an essence for "aggression" from a generic list of essences for animals without learning directly from an animal what the root cause of the aggression may be, is not an effective use of flower essences. If essences are recommended during your consultation, they will be chosen specifically for the current situation and energy of your animal, discovered during the direct, two-way conversation with your animal. One of the greatest gifts of flower essences is that they "take up where the talking leaves off," providing powerful healing for both symptoms and root causes. To find more information on ordering and using flower essences, visit the Flower Essence section of our Web site.

  4. Be willing to re-negotiate if necessary
    Just like in our human relationships when we ask someone to change their behavior for us, sometimes further discussion and re-negotiation may be needed. Just like people, sometimes animals say yes to a change, then later change their mind or forget.

  5. Consider working with a professional trainer for your dog or horse. An animal communicator can telepathically describe to your animal what you mean by "stay" and the safety reasons for it for your dog, or describe what you prefer your horse do when spooked, but animal communication is NOT a substitute for quality, in-person training for dogs and horses.

    To find a trainer in your area, and for a list of what to look for in a trainer: Association of Pet Dog Trainers; http://apdt.com/po/ts/default.aspx

    Recommended books on dog training:

  6. Consider using this simple but powerful technique below to lovingly reinforce the behavior change that has been discussed in your consultation.

Picture the Behavior You Want with a Positive Feeling Attached

A ten second technique to help you shape behavior and send love

You do not need to be in a perfect meditative state to use this technique! However, it is important that you do it at a time when you are not particularly stressed, anxious or deeply preoccupied with other thoughts.

It is especially important to not use this technique when you are stressed about , angry with, or upset with your animal. It is, of course, normal for us as humans to feel frustrated, angry or overwhelmed when our animals behave in ways that destroy our material things, wake us up at night or any other myriad of things that can disturb our lives together. This technique does not in any way presume that we will not have moments of negative reaction to such behavior. If you yell or cry occasionally in your frustration, you can still use this technique successfully. If you do meditate, including this technique/communication to your animal during your meditation time would be ideal.

Just always be sure to use it when you are not upset. The reason for this is that the technique includes both visualizing behavior and sending positive emotions. Just like with our human to human communication, we cannot fake a positive emotion when what we're really feeling is a negative emotion. Many of us doing telepathic work have found that though animals do an incredible job of learning our language and will use words in their telepathic communication with us, it seems that the true heart of telepathy is pictures and feelings. Images and feelings seem to carry much more weight than words. And so, the technique utilizes both.

  • Close your eyes, and hold a picture in your mind of the behavior you WANT your animal to do (going in the litter box, coming when you call them, scratching on their post, etc.). Just picture them doing it.

  • As you picture this, send your animal great and gentle love from your heart, as well as gratitude for behaving in this manner.

    It's also OK at this point to add words such as: "It makes me so grateful; it makes me so happy to have you do this, thank you."

    However, unless you have already remembered and are using your full telepathic abilities to "hear" your animal's replies, it's a good idea when using this technique to just stick to sending the picture, the positive feelings, and just a few words, if any. If you start sending too many words, it might get muddled. It's of course fine to do that at other times, but keep it separate from this technique. There is something powerful about the simplicity of repetitive pictures and love being sent. Imagine how lovely it might be for you to have someone who loves you send you a picture of you doing something "constructive" and sending great love for you with that picture!

  • It is also extremely important to NOT hold a picture in your mind of what you don't want them to do. If they receive this picture it can be confusing about what you want them to do. So again, if you are in a place of (understandable!) anger at once again finding urine on your carpet, that is definitely not a good moment to use this technique. Wait until you are calmed down.

Like all forms of communication, this technique is not a guarantee that your animals will do what you want just because you asked them to. But it typically yields much more positive change than yelling, threatening, crying or ignoring the behavior! It also often brings greater intimacy into the relationship because of the repeated act of sending love and gratitude each day.