Today I encountered my favorite walking companion! His name is Fillmore and he lives about a mile away from my home. I anticipate whether or not I will see him as I set out on my walk this cool morning. I reached the end of the path along the irrigation ditch which lines the edge of the mesa. This is where I turn to go up the hill. As I walked up the gravel road, I glanced out over the valley below. This time of year it is a patchwork of fading green farmland with fields that are made of stripes of drying hay. I see that the tips of the Cottonwoods along the ditch are now filled with golden leaves. The corn field adjacent to the road stands with rows of dried yellow stalks, gently clattering in the breeze. As I arrive at the top of the mesa, I glance towards the porch of the house where Fillmore lives. And there he is! He trots out to greet me, his eager copper brown eyes peeking out from his effusive mop of hair. He has his routines, I’m told. I don’t always see him. He doesn’t just go for walks with me, he visits neighbors and is friends with another dog who he apparently drops in on for social visits. I count myself lucky when he’s available. As he bounced along next to me, his hair flopped in matted tendrils, dancing with a life of it’s own. His hair is one of his most charming attributes. It hangs off his undercarriage in a fringe of twisted yarn-like mats. When he trots ahead of me it swings back and forth like a dusty skirt. But, no matter. He’s always happy to see me when he’s not busy with something else. And I love his rumpled appearance. We depart together as I head back towards home. He trots along with his nose to the dusty path, sniffing everything and falling behind me. Then he thunders past me, a mess of flying hair and scattering dirt. He always stops not far away. He wants to make sure I’m coming, his eyes catching mine under the fringe of bangs. I smile. “Yes, I’m coming.” He walks beside me for a while; he is just the right height for my fingers to scratch his furry head and ruffle his ears. Then he needs a drink of water after all his enthusiastic exertion. He simply pushes down through the weeds and alights in the water, lapping up what he needs while doing a little swimming. Of course, when he gets out he stands right next to me to shake off his sopping wet coat of now muddy hair! We wind along together in happy silence towards my house, the sun warming us both. When we finally amble up the rough steps to the top of the hill and arrive in my grassy yard, Fillmore and I say goodbye and he turns and heads back home. He knows the way and has other errands to run.
What is it About Scruffy Dogs?
I have always been completely smitten by a face full of coarse whiskers, wispy eyebrows and hair that will not be tamed.
Maybe it’s simply the endearing messiness of the look that is so disarming.
Perhaps secretly it’s something we wish we could get away with in our tidy civilized lives!
Can you imagine being able to leave the house in rumpled clothing with our hair protruding at odd angles and actually being completely enthusiastic about the laughter and delight of strangers who want to connect with us?
As an animal communicator I don’t have to think about my own “scruffiness”, since I work remotely and don’t need to leave the house. In fact, a dog’s cute appearance can actually hinder my work!
Having a strong visual sense makes it hard to connect to deeper levels of quiet awareness. I have to shut my eyes and go within, but instead I’m distracted by the crazy hair, the shiny black nose, and the soft, friendly eyes. So irresistible! This is where I have had to learn to connect with and hone my own natural strengths and tendencies.
My visual sense allows me to absorb the details of an animal- the cat’s shiny coat and beautiful markings or the horse’s relaxed lips and flowing mane. Or the dog’s wiry hair! It doesn’t allow me to drop beneath that incoming information to connect with the essence of the animal and to access the energetic information that lives there. Knowing this about myself was the doorway into learning to be an animal communicator.
In the mean time, the endearing messiness of a scruffy dog will always make me smile and I’m fine being the tidy person that I am.
Are you aware of your thoughts and intentions as you approach your horse with halter in hand? Our thoughts are incredibly transparent to horses and having an awareness of them can help your interactions with your equine friend. A story might help illustrate this more clearly. My own horse, Copper, likes to eat the loose hay on the ground in my small hay shed. I sometimes just put a halter on him and let him walk up the hill on his own to the hay shed.
This particular day I had gone to check on him as his foot had been sore after stepping on a rock. Putting the halter on him, I was thinking about him walking up the hill and eating the hay. But as I stood with him I could see that his foot was really bothering him. I didn’t think Copper would be comfortable walking up the hill, so I took his halter off and dismissed the idea, forgetting the clear picture I had in my mind of the whole scenario.
As I stooped to look at his foot again, Copper began nudging me with his upper lip. He rubbed it back and forth on my leg, my hip and my jacket and then even took the collar of my jacket in his teeth and pulled it gently! This was highly unusual behavior for him, being of a polite nature. When I reached for his foot, he pawed the ground vigorously a few times, keeping his foot out of my reach. I couldn’t figure out what he was trying to tell me in such a demonstrative fashion!
I went back to the house feeling baffled by the whole interaction. Much later it dawned on me that in fact my mental picture had been so clear to him that he was urging me to reconsider letting him out! I took the other horse out of the paddock and let Copper choose to come along without a halter. He had no trouble going up the hill where he enjoyed eating up the loose hay. I had to consider how deliberately he had tried to communicate with me that he liked my idea and wanted to go along with it. I wonder how many other thoughts swirl through my head unconsciously as I interact with the horses! Certainly this was a lesson in paying more attention to them.