Bring your dog to work….

It’s not common, but some lucky people work at dog friendly organizations.  I am fortunate enough to work at one of them, and I love it.

I suffer from anxiety and depression, and  while I diligently workout every day and take my medication faithfully, some days just suck.  These are the days I take one of my four legged kids to work.

I often bring Dahlia, as she’s older and calmer than Flipflop, although he’s quite popular at the office for his antics and playfulness.

Dahlia is my “zen” dog, she is just happy to be around people who want to love her, and she adores her momma.  When Dahlia comes to work with me, she happily lays on the dog blanket I keep in my office, getting up only to greet visitors and to receive some scratches behind her ears.

When Dahlia first came to work with me, I was fostering her and wanted to socialize her.  She sadly walked around the office following me, freezing while people came around to meet her. One of my close friends and colleagues cried while she witnessed Dahlia sitting my office facing the wall, my colleague had never seen such a sad dog before.

A couple weeks later I brought Dahlia back, while she still was unsure she was much more relaxed and rather than freeze while people came around her, she contently received pets and no longer sat facing a wall.  Many saw huge progress in her.

I kept bring Dahlia to work every few weeks and every time she was unrecognizable to people, as she became more and more confident.  I even got asked if she grew, as she looked bigger, but of course she hadn’t grown, she was standing taller and prouder.

Dahlia continues to awe my co-workers and  now  when she comes to work she  runs into the office, tail wagging and ready for love and attention from anyone willing to get it from her.

Bringing my dogs to work not only helps me on my hard days, it provides great stress relief to those I work with.  I also bring my fosters in to socialize them with people.

Yesterday I brought my foster Lucy in for the first time. Lucy has done so well with her insecurities, I felt she was ready for the office.  She didn’t disappoint, she was a very good girl and while she still shied away from the men, she was full of kisses and cuddles for the ladies.

After a couple of hours however; Lucy started finding her way to some of the guys, on her terms and was happy to cautiously give them a kiss and play fetch with them.

 

 

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Dr. Doolittle

I wish I had the gift to know what my dogs and cats are thinking at any time.  I have a pretty good idea for the most part, as I bond very closely with my animals, but to actually hear their thoughts I think would be so amazing.  Then again to hear the thoughts of my fosters when they first come would probably crush me.

I do believe that some people possess this gift, and I have had some really cool experiences with some.

My first experience was years ago with my collie/shepherd mix Dupont.  He and I were on a group hike and part of the hike was to meet an animal communicator.  The hike was through a dog adventure group and no one on the hike knew me.  During the hike we all got acquainted, chatted about our dogs and kept to small talk.  We got to the building where one by one, we would enter with our dogs and meet the communicator.  I was a skeptic, but thought it sounded fun and Dupont LOVED his hikes with me.  So figured why not?!

While waiting for our turn, I listened to how amazed those who had their turn were by what their dogs had shared.  But what got my attention is when one of the hikers said that she had asked if her dog, Journey, missed her dad.  She asked this because her dad recently passed away.  The communicator answered, that yes, Journey did miss her dad but her dad still visits him.

I was recently separated and had 100% custody of Dupont.  No one in this group knew of my relationship status, Facebook wasn’t even a “thing” then.  When I went in with Dupont I asked a few light questions.  I asked his favourite toy to which he replied “stuffies”, which is what I always called his stuffed toys.  I then asked “Does he miss his dad?”  Expecting the same response Elaine received.  However; to my surprise, she responded “he does miss his dad, but he’s happy he’s with you.”  My skepticism faded.

Fast forward to two years ago, Flipflop’s daycare hosted a charity fundraiser for The Bello Project (https://www.homehospiceassociation.com/thebelloproject). A session with an animal communicator along with a photo of your pet with Santa was right up my alley. I attended with Flipflop, but Flipflop was not who I was really interested in talking to.

Dupont had passed away 11 months before, and I never truly got over it.  I brought his collar, and handed it to the communicator, who then told me the dog she was “seeing”, it was my Dupont.  She told me Dupont was happy and he did not resent Flipflop at all (a fear I had) and that he knew how much I loved him and he had a wonderful life.  As I cried uncontrollably I started to let go of the guilt I felt over Dupont’s death.  She told me that Dupont didn’t want me to be sad anymore.  When in physical form the only time Dupont would snuggle with me is when I cried, he hated to see me cry.  I still cry every 14th of January for him (the day he passed) even though he doesn’t want me to, he’s worth the tears.

Then we turned out attention to Flipflop, who said that he was happy I brought him “here” because he really likes it.  The communicator asked what I thought that meant and I explained that this was his daycare, so he must enjoy his days here! 🙂

And here we are today, I had started my blog and posted about my insecure foster, Lucy.  After a post I received a message from a fellow blogger: https://joaniemorrison.com/. Joanie explained she was an animal communicator and offered to connect with Lucy to assist.  Having had all positive experiences in the past and nothing to lose, I took her up on the offer.

Lucy used to sneeze a lot, I thought it was stress related, and was right, but what I didn’t expect was Joanie could read her energy and remove any trapped emotions, Lucy stopped sneezing within 12 hours.

When Lucy started sneezing regularly again, I contacted Joanie to ask if she could assist. Joanie worked her magic and then suggested that perhaps Lucy was picking up some energy from me or the others in my home (pets included), causing her to sneeze.  So I decided to hire her to work on my family and I.

It’s been a few days and it’s been an amazing experience.  My energy is higher, Lucy hasn’t even sniffled, my sleep has never been better and everyone is calmer.  Plus I got the added benefit of hearing what was on the mind of my fur kids, which proved to be quite humorous. 🙂

Although Dr. Doolittle may have been imagined as a story to entertain children, the human/animal connection is very real for some very gifted people.

 

 

Can’t teach your old dog new “tricks” – Get it a younger dog!

It’s something we’ve all heard:  when you have an older dog and you get a younger dog (like a puppy), the older dog will teach the puppy a lot.  This is very true, dogs do teach one another.  I have seen my Potcake, Flipflop, teach my fosters.

It sounds pretty simple, you have a well trained dog, you introduce a younger dog into your home.  You fully expect once the two dogs get acquainted the older dog (or in my case the permanent one) starts teaching the other dog.  It’s actually really cool to watch a dog who has never played before learn to play!  Dahlia (my senior rescue) is just catching onto how to properly play and she’s SO excited, as am I.

But what I always forget and sadly get reminded of is, the young dog will also teach the older dogs a few things too.  My best friend described it best, when she said she felt like her puppy was reminding her then 3 year old dog how fun it is to misbehave!

I never really gave this situation much thought before, as Flipflop is only 3 and still a big goof ball in his own right.  So having him wrestle or get into mischief with some of the younger fosters doesn’t really phase me.

But what happened last night sure reminded me about the reverse teachings of a younger dog to an older one.

My current foster Lucy used to be very nervous on leash when I got her, she would bark at everyone and every dog we walked by.  Of course with a lot treats and training, she is getting over this.  She no longer barks at people at all, and is about 80% there with not barking at dogs.  I’m really proud of her, not only because she is learning to relax and trust, but she would also get Flipflop & Dahlia to bark with her.

Last night, I was walking Dahlia on her own, and she saw a dog.  Normally an event that would not even be noticed.  However, last night  Dahlia delighted in barking at the dog and behaving much like Lucy used to!  And then I realized the inevitable, Lucy taught Dahlia to bark at other dogs while walking on her leash!

Reminding me, as I’m reminding you, you can certainly teach an old dog! 🙂

 

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