Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Phoenix and the animal communicator

I have had an animal communicator talk to each of my recent dogs at some point in their lives. While I’m sure there are some frauds out there, the women who talked to Connor, Jamie and now Phoenix have told me things that went beyond simple generalities that anyone with a little information about dog training and dog sports could come up with. They told me things that were specific to the situation, as well as confirming some of my own intuitions about my dogs.

The process is not as simple as having the communicator instruct the dog you want him to heel with heads up attention every time you go in the ring or telling him to just “go where I tell you” when running agility. I ask the communicator the question, she asks my dog and receives a flow of images and emotions in return, which she translates into words I can understand.

Here’s the transcript of Phoenix’s recent conversation and the thoughts and insights he relayed to me through the communicator. I definitely tried to keep my questions as open ended as possible and not lead her toward one conclusion or another.

First, she had to make contact with him. After I told her where I live (general vicinity, not exact address) and what Phoenix looks like (reddish brown fur, black overlay), she checked with me to make sure she had the right dog, describing him as intense, high energy, very athletic, very buff, a dog who loves to run. She “saw” an image of him running in a big open field. (This could be the hay field behind our house where we frequently walk.) She said he loves to run and he runs so fast he thinks he’s flying. He would view being able to run as a good reward.

My first question was about our out-of-sight stay issue. She told me he is very concerned (not afraid of, just concerned by) small dogs in the line up. Some of them are not very nice. He pictured a small terrier-type dog. There is also a white dog who is not very nice but is okay as long as it stays put. (I worked stays with Kathy and her samoyed Jazz a few weeks ago. There is no love lost between Jazz and Phoenix.)

Phoenix breaks the stays to find me because I keep him safe and he keeps me safe. That’s how it is. She suggested I use lots of positive mental imaging to support him while I’m out of sight and cautioned me not to think “Don’t move, don’t move” because dogs don’t understand negatives, which would turn the thought into “Move, move.”

He said he did not understand that I would come back. She assured him I would and he seemed surprised.

When asked if anything had happened to him during stays to make him fearful, he said no. There were often a lot of disruptions outside of the ring but that didn’t bother him. If there were disruptions in the ring, they didn’t involve him. Then he returned to the image of a little terrier-type dog causing trouble. (I really wonder whose dog that is!)

When asked why he was frequently sharp with other dogs who got in his face, he said they needed to learn some manners and he would teach them manners. Besides, the other dogs don’t need to be that close to me.

He has a large personal space. She said he showed her an image of a bubble all the way around him. During sits/downs, the bubble elongates. He is fine with dogs on either side of him during stays but his personal space extends further in front and behind him and he does not want any dogs in that space, sneaking up behind him or approaching him head on. He likes people much better than dogs.

He wants to know where I am all the time. It’s important to always know where I am. How can he take care of me if he doesn’t know where I am?

He sees no reason to give me eye contact 100 percent of the time in heeling. He knows where I am! He can see my feet. He told me not to worry so much about eye contact.

He overthinks things and is always reading me and trying to figure out what I want. I need to keep positive pictures in my mind of what I want him to do, not worry about him doing the wrong thing.

When we are in the show ring, he sees me as the leader because the judge talks to me and not him. I am obviously the leader who gets respect. Outside the ring and in training, he thinks we have an equal partnership.

His job is to take care of me. Other dogs do not need to be close to me. If he can’t intimidate them non-verbally, he will intimidate them physically. Some dogs are okay to be near me but most aren’t.

Phoenix and my father-in-law have never gotten along, so I asked about that. She said my F-I-L doesn’t like Phoenix so Phoenix doesn’t like him either. Phoenix says whenever he is around my F-I-L, my F-I-L is thinking about a GSD that bit him several years ago and my F-I-L is sure Phoenix is going to bite him, too. (Yep, that would be the neighbor’s not-so-lovely GSD. He is no longer alive.)

When it comes to The Farmer, Phoenix said, “I’ll share her. If I have to.”

He had a question about weave poles. He wanted to know why he had to do more of them. We had to work on this one for a minute. I haven’t been asking him to do more than 12 poles but I HAVE been asking him to do them without me running alongside him. At the agility trials last weekend, I was able to leave him in the poles several times and position myself for the next obstacle. Phoenix was concerned that I had “left him” in the poles and wanted permission to leave the poles and come with me. I told him no, it was very important for him to do all of them, then he could catch me. He said okay but it seemed like the poles were “longer” when I wasn’t near him.

Then he asked about the “moving house.” The communicator explained that Phoenix calls anywhere he sleeps his “house.” He wanted to know where the “moving house” went. The communicator asked if I had an RV. I said no . . . but I had (had being the operative word, at this point) a tent. That was it! He wanted to know where the tent went after we abandoned camp and went to a motel last weekend.

He also said he likes staying in motels better because I am more comfortable there. He could tell because I enjoyed my shower on Sunday morning. He was laying at the bathroom door and knew I enjoyed all the hot water. He wants me to be comfortable.

I asked about his relationship with Jamie. Phoenix said when he arrived, Jamie “moved over.” He was very specific that Jamie had not moved up or down in pack structure, just over. It was a lateral move.

Of course, I had to ask about cats. His response was: Squirrels, rabbits, cats, they’re all the same. He wants to catch one but doesn’t want to hurt it. Wants to touch it so he can be the winner. Then they run and the game starts all over. If he hurt one, it couldn’t run again. Right now, the cats always hide and he can’t touch them, so the cats win. He doesn’t have a kill instinct. He wouldn’t kill a cat.

He wants his crate covered at shows. Please cover the crate! That way he doesn’t have to defend his territory. He can rest. He doesn’t have to watch everything. When his crate is covered, his “bubble” is much smaller. Otherwise the bubble extends beyond the crate.

He loves mental challenges. He’s very athletic and physically hard but very emotional and sensitive. He needs to take care of me because I am his support. When we go for walks on a leash, the leash keeps ME from getting lost, that’s what the leash is for.

We had a little time left so she talked with Jamie, too. He told her the bed (lambskin pad) he sleeps on in our bedroom gets too hot. That’s why he starts out sleeping on it, then shoves it out of the way. But he doesn’t want to go sleep anywhere else because that is HIS spot. He thinks we should put a stone floor in the bedroom so it would be cooler for him.

He wants to jump in the van and be able to go straight into his crate. The way I currently have the crates set up, he has to jump up and turn hard to the right. He doesn’t like that.

He doesn’t like going to the chiropractor at all but he likes the woman chiro better than the man chiro. The woman has better hands.

He also still likes to show off and be the center of attention.

If you’ve had an animal communicator talk to your dogs, I’d love to hear about your experiences.


  1. I too have used a communicator at length with the last rescue I took in and it helped oh so very much (read it on Louie's blog www.louiecc.blogspot.com)! Yes, this gal sounds like the real deal (there are some fakes out there and I've run into one before) and isn't it great to realize what things your "gut" told you are validated and how some of the generalizations he gave will help in your training? My experience has been very very good!

  2. I love the animal communicators. I'm going to email you about yours. I LOVED Phoenix's reading. Parts of it made me almost teary-eyed, particularly about how the leash is so YOU don't get lost. I love how he cares so much about taking care of you. I know there's problems with anthropomorphizing dogs, but come on. They're a lot more human than people give them credit for.

    I've only done it once with Layla & Casey, but here's their "conversation"; I wrote it down while we were on the phone so I didn't forget anything. This person came recommended by a few people where we train. The woman's given some super freaky exactly detailed things (for example she told one lady, "He misses when you put the oatmeal in his dish") but we didn't have anything crazy. The ()'s were from the original transcript I wrote. I only added one set of []'s, and that's from today.

    1) Layla likes the "loping" (how she envisions running) and jumping. She's iffy about the dogwalk (reasonable since she fell off it twice). She finds the weave poles difficult. She doesn't like the A-Frame but does like being up that high.
    2) She likes tracking a lot, she likes doing outdoor things and it's almost like running free, but there are so many distracting good smells (her being distracted isn't disinterest, it's just an actual distraction)
    3) She likes horses because they're so big and aren't scared of her. She is very tired of everyone being scared of her being so big.
    4) She likes the cat - considers it an uncontrollable toy. (The cat says that she likes Layla, and she swipes at her to 1) because she can, 2) make sure that she's still there and that Layla knows SHE'S still there, so she doesn't roll over on her. The cat & Layla are closer than Layla & Casey and Casey & Mia. The cat swipes at her without her claws fully out, because she knows that Layla has so much fur, it wouldn't make much of a difference, and if she really wanted to hurt her, she'd get her nose)
    5) She's excited about my shoulder surgery so that she can do the therapy work all the time.
    6) She loves car rides, doesn't matter where the destination is.
    7) She LOVES the library, but gets sad at the hospital because everyone is scared about dying. She'd like to alternate between sick people and dying people, and healthy people. It's a "rotten sweet smell" that's repulsive to her.
    8) Obedience is okay. Neither like nor dislike. Likes the fact that she's out and doing something with me, doesn't much care what it is. She doesn't mind the people watching her in obedience, because everyone's calmer and the dogs are calmer, but she DOES mind the people watching her in agility. Their energy is very wired up, like a very nervous intense energy, and she doesn't like it - but not enough to make her not want to do agility at all. When I take her to the start line, envision Layla in a white bubble (like the witch in Wizard of Oz). That'll help her focus more on me and less on other people watching her.
    9) She'd like to try swimming and weight pulling again.

    1) Casey considers himself my dog - "Whose else would I be?" [I asked that because he was really Pat's and Pat's ex-wife's, and I didn't know if Casey still considered her part of his family, but apparently he doesn't consider Pat part of it anymore either!] He said that I must think he's smarter than he is. He never gets jealous or questions why Layla goes somewhere he isn't. He knows he isn't the smartest dog, and doesn't care. He likes raw beef bones.

  3. It was SO great to finally meet you in person this weekend at the agility trial! Phoenix is a blast to watch! Congrats on your Q's!!

    I think Phoenix's reading was fascinating. I think it's incredibly sweet that he wants to take care of you. :)

    I would LOVE to try an animal communicator with Falkor. He has been doing some strange things lately and I would be very interested in hearing what the communicator had to say. I would love to know who you used if you don't mind sharing.

  4. The only dog I had someone talk to was my old rescue mini-poodle. I got his as an old, old dog, but I don't know how old. He wouldn't eat at all when I first got him. I had most of his rotten teeth removed and he still wouldn't eat. Bloodwork was ok, we just couldn't get him to eat. I took him to the communicator who said he was owned by an old couple and the man fell down and he ran and ran and then couldn't find his way home. He liked to go to something that looked like Bingo Night because she saw a bunch of feet and legs with droopy stockings. He said he was used to people food on a plate and she told him he had to eat. The best part was he said he was worried he might get lost again and I told him about his microchip and his collar and tag that says "Reward- please call..." He wanted to know if a reward was like the long thin treat I gave him on his first day with me- that was his favorite. The first day my mom gave him a Puporoni and he always did love those. Even though she said he said we picked out his name together- Blossom (really I made it up as soon as I saw his picture) either he was being polite about his girly name or she got that wrong. But she sure got the puperoni right. And about a week after the visit he was eating much better and continued to improve. I think I should take all my dogs.

  5. That is so interesting. I have been meaning to call her and haven't got around to it yet. I really need some help figuring out what is the deal with Coach! I'm glad Phoenix has decided Jazz is OK if he stays put. We'll just hold off on any training with the poorly controlled Coach until he too can stay put and not get in Phoenix's face! I really loved reading this!