Lying in bed at 3 o’clock one morning and not being able to get back to sleep it struck me as the ideal time, meaning no interruptions, to try to meditate and practice how to connect to an animal.
Looking back, I was very ignorant in thinking that I was just connecting to the soul of the animal, it did not enter my brain (sleep deprived mind) that it can happen in the present moment. I was hoping that it would send me back to sleep.
Alas, it worked and I woke up my extremely angry Alsatian Rottweiler cross Sasha who barked at me crossly from the room in which she was sleeping (she had a couch to herself), writes Diane Budd.
I don’t know who was more shocked me or her, but I received a mouthful about “waking dogs up in the middle of the night” and “did I not have any manners, it's simply rude!”. I immediately apologised profusely, promising never to attempt any further conversations in the early hours of the morning or late at night ever again.
Needless to say, I did not get any sleep after that. My mind was buzzing with what had just happened and it was a major learning curve for me.
My life changed dramatically after that, it opened a door that I had never imagined possible, not in my wildest dreams. If anyone had told me early on in life that I would one day work as an Animal Communicator I would have been the first one to burst out laughing. Yet here I am 14 years later, living and still loving it. No two days are ever the same.
Some days I work from home and do distance sessions for animals all over the world, and yes, I now check the world clock to see what time it is wherever the animal is.
Other days I am on the road working with a variety of animals, such as a grieving donkey who has just lost their best friend to the monitor lizard who wants to know if her lizard is pregnant and wants anything else in her diet.
There have been a few occasions where things have come out in the session that not the entire family wants to hear.
One such session was well underway and as we were winding up the Staffie casually mentioned that the wife often has the smell of fudge on her breath. Which was enjoyable to the dog, but he wished that his mistress would share her sweet treats with him. Most dogs have a sweet tooth and will often request things to be shared with them.
I prefer not to judge any person or animal and act as the intermediary, something similar to emails – my function is the inbox from the animal and I send the messages onto the outbox, which is the client.
Hearing this information, the husband seemed to tense up and looked at his wife “you’ve been eating fudge! Where?”. Seemingly caught out the wife tried to play it down and said she had only had one piece” to which the teenage daughter replied, “Mom, it’s like every third day”. The husband’s face grew redder and it looked like he wanted to explode.
He looked at me at pointed a finger at his wife. “She has put me on this ridiculous diet for about two months now! No cheating allowed I have been told. It’s been the hardest two months of my life and now I find out from the dog that she has been eating fudge. Hypocrite.”. And with that, he left the room.
We wrapped things up pretty fast and I was happy to be on my way.
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We share our lives with our dogs in a very intimate way, in our home. They are exposed to our moods, foods, comings and goings and even have to put up with the uncle who has smelly feet.
They have an opinion on most things, just like we do, and it really helps to know certain things, like what they feel about their food, what their favourite colour is or what their favourite walking route is. It all leads to the same thing: is there something that the owner can do to make the animal's life a little better or easier.
Sometimes we need to negotiate a behaviour change that it works for the owner and the dog.
Bentley is a gorgeous cross Poodle who wakes his owners up at 4.30 every morning. He showed me he hates the alarm clock so he prefers to wake them up instead and then wants to play.
The owners set their alarm clock for 5.30 and really don’t appreciate being woken up at 4.30. Instead of reprimanding Bentley about this which is a negative but can be turned into a positive by the way that you put it to him, I told Bentley he was doing an excellent job of waking his owners up instead of the alarm clock. They were extremely proud of him but they just had a small request to please wake them up an hour later at 5.25. “Sure” said Bentley and he was rewarded with a treat the next week when he woke his owners up at 5.25 instead of 4.30 every morning.