Laura Marjorie Miller is a professional, certified animal communicator. Her business, O Best Beloved Animal Communication, serves sanctuaries around the globe. She coaches clients in animal communication approaches so they will have evolving relationships with the animals in their care. Today, she’s sharing her top tips to get your Pooch travel ready!
For most of us, the approaching summer holidays are our first opportunity to travel again after a long while. We and the dogs in our family may have gotten out of the habit of travelling. Or, over the pandemic we may have adopted a new dog whom we have not travelled with before. It’s almost a guarantee in 2021 that we are having to imagine our way forward into a new world. That makes many people nervous, and add to that how our animals are going to do on our excursion!
As a professional animal communicator, I can offer an unusual perspective that you can use to support you before and during your trip, to enhance traditional behavioural training methods. A strength of Animal Communication (‘AC’) is that it addresses the causes of symptoms. By activating your intuition to perceive what your dog perceives, AC creates a fundamental understanding between you and them so that you know why behaviours arise, because you know what your dog is experiencing directly from them.
Communicating With Your Dog
Tips For Em-barking With Your Dog
I’ll share three approaches you can use. All are based in premises that have led to
positive results for my clients. Do read through them first before launching right in! And for all of them, have a notebook and pen or pencil close by. The real key to this practice working for you is believing it is real.
So take a leap of faith—it is real, grant yourself permission to be a child again, back to the time in your life when you still could hear what animals were saying and longed for that and believed—and knew—it was possible
Approach One – Planning A Pawfect Trip
First of all for a peaceful holiday, ASK YOUR DOG WHERE THEY WANT TO GO. This
might sound outlandish but that’s because it’s such a basic premise it simply blows your
mind: Why hadn’t we thought of this before? This is how you do it:
When your dog is being relaxed and still, sit near them and slow your breathing rate down. Become aware of any tension you are carrying about your upcoming trip. Notice if you are uptight around this issue and if you are, simply acknowledge that fact. If you own that honestly, it won’t skew your impressions.
Now, let yourself feel in your heart something you absolutely love about your dog: their endearing underbite, their loyalty and steadfastness, the games that they make up.
Dwell in this feeling for a moment and in your heart tell them silently of your love for them. Now, with your heart and mind, silently say:
‘[Arthur], I need your help with something. Would you help me please?’ Wait a moment and if it feels right, then move ahead: ‘I want to plan a holiday for us. Where would you like to go?’
Now, what pops into your mind? Any image, any association, no matter how outrageous—the weirder the better, especially if it makes you laugh or smile, write it down!
If you already have ideas of where you want to go and are choosing between places, try something like:
‘[Arthur], which one would you prefer between [x] and [y]?’
As you name each place, visualise about that place’s qualities, especially sensory qualities. As much as you are able, imagine it from a dog’s point of view. What would they experience there? Sheep bleating along a country path, a fun fair, the scents of the seaside…. At hip-height or lower, with a super-powered nose, how would a dog experience these places?
Write down anything that pops into your mind: the name of a place, a vision, a sense memory, a word, if one place is feeling more ‘lit up’ than the other.
Once you start getting information, stay with it until you feel like the moment has passed and you would be pressing the issue if you kept going—stay here until you feel yourself start thinking about the information.
Note: This exercise might give you some clarity about whether you really want to go to one place instead of the other. Make sure your dog knows it is okay if they choose differently and that how they feel makes a difference to you. Be willing to make a different decision because of them, without secretly resenting it. Good communication is often about compromise.
If it’s a place your dog is eager to go, instead of dragged along to, they will be invested in it as your collaborator and you will have a better time right from the start.
Approach Two- Your Dog’s Concerns
If the trip is already set, WHAT ARE YOUR DOG’S CONCERNS?
Follow the sequence as above to get into the communication. When the time comes to start asking questions, inquire silently:
‘[Arthur], is there anything you are concerned about when we go to [Cornwall]? Then stay still, and breathing, and note what appears in your awareness.
Imagine you are in your dog’s body experiencing things from their point of view. What are they worried about? Another dog who’s going to be there? Are they confused about the ocean? Write down anything that pops in. Stay with what is coming in until your brain starts to reason about or analyse the information. Afterwards you can read over your notes and figure out how to mitigate those worries for your dog or make choices so these things are not even factors. You can plan your trip in a way that makes it easier for your dog.
Approach Three- Your Concerns
If there’s ANYTHING ABOUT THE TRIP YOU ARE WORRIED ABOUT—the presence of other dogs, your dog remaining in the cottage, them being surrounded by unfamiliar people—go into the quiet, loving mindset as above.
Then gently communicate something like: ‘[Arthur], when we are in the village, there will be a lot of new people and dogs about, and a lot of excitement. We don’t know the area and I would feel better if you were near me so I would like you to stay close to me even when you are excited so I can keep track of you.’ Be with your dog in the space of what is going to happen ahead of time.
Establish this understanding between you so that when you are in the new situation, you can envision it and re-send it to them, remind them of it. You know how desperately your dog wants to please you and help you. Note: Always put things in positive terms instead of saying No or Don’t. Imagine as clearly as you can what you want rather than the alternative.
Show Gratitude To Your Furry Friend
When you have completed any of the communications above, thank your dog: ‘Thank you [Arthur] for sharing with me.’ Then sharply exhale and retract your attention back into your body. Sometimes the answer to a problematic behaviour is so obvious we don’t see it. Some city-dwelling clients of mine were dismayed when their dog messed in the seaside cottage they were renting. They had trained him, Don’t go to the bathroom in our apartment, go outside! But to him, ‘outside the apartment’ meant that anything outside the apartment literally counted as outside—including a timeshare cottage that carried the scent of other dogs definitely qualified.
He was being obedient, he just needed more understanding of what they meant. We modified the definition of ‘outside’ to mean on the other side of walls and corners, outside human-built structures as a whole. He grasped the concept and on his next trip, which they had been worried about, he travelled like an absolute miracle. Animals have very specific ideas of what they like and what they want to do. The problem has been historically that humans don’t usually ask them. Including your dog in the creation of your trip is a big step—it is a basic, fundamental transition in how we see the world. But what you are also opening yourself up to, as you are willing to listen, is a screwball delight that takes you all the way back to childhood. And a way that eases the apprehension in your heart.
If you try any of these approaches,I would love to hear of your pooch-initiated adventures and the different kinds of experiences you have! You can reach me directly through email at [email protected], and through my Twitter and Instagram at @obestbelovedac. I wish you joyous travelling!
Plan With Your Pooch!
Has Laura’s communication article inspired you to plan your next excursion with your dog? If so, head to our website for all the best dog-friendly spots. Let us know where you’re going in the comments!