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I have a business card burning a hole in my Rolodex. It's from an animal communicator. Someone who allegedly interprets mental pictures from animals. I love my dog dearly. He communicates with very expressive eyes and I don't seem to have much trouble" getting" him. But because I'm so attached to him I've been toying with the idea of going that step further to find out what's really in his mind. So why don't I?
Well. Some givens going into the situation. What goes on in dog's heads is important to them. They're not likely to give you a tip on the fifth at Santa Anita. They think about food, toys, other dogs. And although I'm not quite sure how the process works I don't think it's like Karnak the Magician where you can ask questions.
But back to why I don't just call the number and set up an appointment.
Maybe I'm not sure I want to know what my dog thinks of me or what goes on in his head. After all he is privy to all our secrets.
I once read a story, supposedly true, about a cat that peed on his owner's bed every Sunday morning and at no other time. His mommy called in an animal communicator who asked the cat why he peed on the bed every Sunday. The cat replied that when mommy left the house to go to Church some other woman came in with her husband and they both booted him out of the bedroom. So he took a leak just to screw with them.
This may be an urban legend like the poodle in the microwave. But it sure makes you think twice about animal ESP.
I wonder what my boy would say about us to total strangers.
" My mommy drinks wine sometimes and gets sad when daddy goes out? Daddy looks at pictures of naked ladies on the Internet when mommy goes to yoga class. They watch way too much TV. It hurts my ears".
And how do they say anything? Do they use words? How can they say they like peanut butter if they don't know that peanut butter is called peanut butter. To them it's a pill delivery product.
I know that my dog adores me. I believe it's unconditional. But what if I found out that what he was really thinking as he was jumping up at me as I came through the door was "You jerk, you left me alone for five hours and I've got to pee like a racehorse." Little though he is he has the heart of a lion if he thinks I'm being threatened. But what if what he really felt was "I can't believe I've got to step up AGAIN to get between you and this weird looking bum. Don't you know better than to open the door to just anyone!"
I've been racking my brain trying to think of some human benefit from the limited amount of interspecies communication we've had so far. We were able to train dolphins to mine harbors so I guess you could say that that benefits us. But weren't some of them blown up in the process? So, not so good for them. What about poor KoKo. Have we treated gorillas any better since we discovered they could experience bereavement and sadness?
Ultimately, what it may come down to is that I love my dog, and all animals, precisely because I can't communicate with him in any kind of human way. I don't need to reason with him; make a case; persuade him; or be critiqued on my wardrobe. I tell him what I want him to do and sometimes he actually does it. He tells me what he needs and he gets it. We have a pretty good system. If it ain't broke why fix it?
Mary Rosendale is the proud mama of Wally Barker. See his advice column on her blog http://theconstructedlife.blogs.com/clear_and_present When she's not tending to his every need she is a Holistic Life Coach with a unique Coaching service rooted in Buddhist psychology. Visit her on the web at http://www.TheConstructedlife.com If you can't play - what's the point?