Have you ever experienced a time when you could hear what your dog was thinking or telling you loud and clear?
Even though I’ve been connecting and working with dogs for most of my life, this awareness jumped out at me when I met Tina.
Back in 2002
Back in 2002, I was studying at a private veterinary school on the small island south of FL. I was miserable, coughing, and exhausted from long hours of study and a stressful environment. But I didn’t want to go the town doctor, because in addition to sick patients, he had chickens and cats that roaming through his open cinderblock windows.
My fellow vet students felt the same way I did and we would always say; “if I get deathly sick, get me on the next plane to US territory!”.
So we could avoid x-ray’s in the parking lot with the chickens, we did a lot of our own medicating and treatments, all legal of course! When my friend saw me at school that day, looking exhausted and coughing uncontrollably, she said, “What you need is Elderberry because it stimulates the body’s immune system and helps coughs”.
I was already swallowing Echinacea complex pills trying to beat the bacteria attacking my immune system. But we obtained whatever we thought might work, so we didn’t have to go to the doctor with the chickens!
I came home to my small apartment, ready to plop down on my single mattress bed and was greeted by Tina, my black and tan island Shepard that was 30lbs of skin on a little muscle with big pointy ears. She was a rescue dog, from a junk yard living in survival mode to feed her puppies.
She was looking for food and shelter from me, other than that she kept her distance laying in the yard with the other student dogs basking in the sun, which was her favorite past time.
I was in Survival mode too. Being so far away from home in order to pursue my vet education, leaving Sade my German Shephard lab dog behind, who died the day after I left the U.S, so my heart was still healing and I was also keeping my distance from Tina too.
I needed to lay down, I was feeling worse, but first I checked to make sure the glass patio door was secure.
We had been broken into once before. The Islanders would break into our apartments because they thought we were rich Americans with our cell phones and computers! I secured the door between the kitchen and bedroom as Tina and I headed to bed. I retrieved the machete and a knife out of the closet to lay on my night stand, to aid me in protection.
Tina is right next to my side, she’s following me everywhere as I stumble around checking the doors and getting ready to sleep. I am basically tripping over her, as she has been showing this behavior the last few days. This is unusual since she has kept her distance.
But I fell on my bed exhausted quickly falling asleep. Then I woke up, to a shadow of a man at the end of my bed. Maybe it was the sun shining through my windows with bars, as I keep blinking my eyes to get a clearer picture with my heart pounding loud in my chest.
And I’m groping for my weapons on the side of the bed, keeping my eye on the shadow at the same time, and then in the same spot, Tina pops up with her pointy ears on alert as if to say, wait a minute, don’t get the machete out just yet! What are you seeing there? Shadow man not rea! Tina real. Shadow man, not real!
As I watched Tina, and really listened to her, I realized the shadow man, just might be the combination of healing plants and self-medication!
I looked at Tina who was still staring at me and I said, “I hear you, it’s the plants”
Tina looked at me smiled as if to say, yup you got it and walked outside to bask in the sun.
Yes, Tina and I were communicating on a deeper level. I didn’t really realize it at the time, but from that point on, we ditched our survival mode and become bonded best friends playing on the beach together. When I came back to the states, she happily came with me, although a little grumpy about the cold weather.
5 years later
It wasn’t until 5 years later, when I was infected with the mosquito born West Nile Virus that I began to understand the intuitive nature of our relationship.
You see my nervous system was in survival mode since being attacked by the virus. After busy days I would have what I called a ‘replase’ from nervous system exhaustion. It was on such a day that I could feel my body starting to fatigue with a headache. I was tripping over Tina as I was getting ready for work. Actually she has been sticking to my side the last few days. I notice her looking up at me with those sweet brown eyes and pointy ears on alert. It is with a smile, that she’s telling me again, survival mode is not reality; Tina Real, headache not real! I tell Tina “I hear you… I hear you…I hear you!!” She turned around heading for her fleece bed circling several times to find the right comfy spot satisfied with herself providing me the message, again.
From that moment Tina was my guide, to stop a West Nile Virus relapse before it started, until she passed away in 2013.
Since I’ve become aware of this health intuition I could relate to my dog clients reality, to support them recovering from an injury and my journey as well.
Today I help owners..
Now I help owners work with their dogs special super powers for a stronger pawer pup.
The last 6 months I have noticed dogs are more aware of my presence through their body language. They will turn to look at me through a car window or try to cross the street to greet me while on a walk with their owners. Today as dogs and I pass each other on the street we silently acknowledge our communication and openly say ‘I hear you. I HEAR YOU!’.
Leave a comment about how you and your dog communicate.