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HUMANE SOCIETY: Talking with the animals

Dawn Armstrong
Special to the Tribune

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – Dr. Dolittle did it. Albert Schweitzer did it. Animal Communicators do it. Veterinarians do it. If you’re a pet guardian, you do it, too. We talk to the animals, and they talk back. All it takes for positive communication is learning to listen.

Veterinary feline specialist Cindy Houlihan talks to her feline patients, telling them exactly what she is going to do before making a move.

“I’m going to draw blood and as soon as we’re done, you’ll be able to go home,” she tells a patient. “I know you won’t like it, but if you lay still, I won’t have to start over and we’ll get you home faster.”

According to a Pets Matter article, most of her patients emit a big sigh, lay on the exam table and staff proceeds with less stress, too.

Dr. Houlihan was coached by animal communicator Lisa Turek.

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“You don’t have to be psychic or have a special gift,” Turek said. “It’s something you can learn, just like I did.”

The secret, she said, is staying positive and visualizing the desired result.

“Your dog or cat may not understand your words, but they understand the intentions behind the words so the more positive energy you send out, either through your words or your thoughts, the more positively your pet will respond,” she said. “Picture them doing the things you want them to do.”

For example, prior to a planned trip to the veterinarian Turek suggests repeated visualizing of the event, just as many athletes do. Go step by step in your mind acting out what the process will be, from finding the cat to successful entry into the carrier, and a positive experience all the way back home.

Dr. Kimberly May of the American Veterinary Medical Association agrees.

“It’s a skill that can be innate or learned,” May said. “Veterinarians, zookeepers, and pet owners know when an animal isn’t feeling well. It’s a lot of science and you use your intuition, too. That’s how it is possible to talk to animals.”

Modern methods for training new riders require on the ground sessions in equine communication before anyone saddles up. Horse and rider get in sync first. While researching “Dog-Human Relationship & Communications,” behavior consultant Scott Shwarts discovered “the way humans use their behavioral repertoire seems to be the greatest influencer on a dog’s behavior.” Scientists Voith, Wright, and Danneman reported that it is a poor pet-owner relationship rather than poor obedience training that results in the majority of behavior problems. The relationship itself is the key component. Trainers know that human emotions run down the leash. If you are anxious or fearful, your dog senses it and reacts accordingly.

Marty Meyer, Telepathic Animal Communicator, explains that with their sixth sense “animals can read our thoughts and feelings, and with practice we can read their thoughts and feelings. This is what animal communicators do when they ‘talk’ to your pets.”

A Del Monte Foods survey indicated that 49 percent of dog owners believe they know exactly what their dog is thinking. More than a third (34 percent) say they’ve had an entire conversation with their dogs without saying a word. In any case, a clear conversation between active listeners maximizes the mutual benefits of the human-animal bond.

– Provided by the Lake Tahoe Humane Society and Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals to help “Keep Tahoe Kind.” Dawn Armstrong is the executive director of the Lake Tahoe Humane Society and SPCA.


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