animal wisdom wisdom of animals Jan 09, 2024
Angry looking lizard

Fluffy FEELS? Really? I thought animals were just automatons and, like Mr. Data in Star Trek, did not have their emotion chip turned on.

No, I don’t really think that, but there are people who do (probably no one who reads this blog). I think they think that for a couple reasons:

  • It’s how they were taught. ”It’s just an animal.” Like ”It’s just a lamp.”
  • If the animals have feelings, that might mean I can hurt their feelings, and then I have to feel guilty. Well, if you must….

Animals are VERY CLEAR about how they feel, and then it’s done. They don’t hold a grudge. They don’t dwell. “Are you irritating me? Take that!”, says the cat, claws out, and the next moment they are calmly allowing you to pet them, or are looking out the window contemplating how best to catch that robin in the tree. Yumm yumm. All that done and done action might have some people thinking there’s not much going on behind those eyes. Au contraire! They just don’t have the need to hang onto stuff. We could take a lesson. 

Away with you!

Animals are also masters at understanding the emotion of others. (Like yours.)

Watch a group of horses some time - and I mean really watch them. Feeding time, if they’re fed outside in a group, is always entertaining. We have four horses, and there is a definite pecking order, and occasionally a little drama. Tango, our oldest, is the leader of the food brigade. If he wants that pile of hay LiLi is munching on, he walks over to her, gives her a “look”, and she moves off. “Look” disappears, and he happily chows down. LiLi doesn’t need a whole lot of encouragement to move away because she knows the ”look” and feels the emotion behind it, and she’s learned that if she challenges Tango he’ll beat the tar out of her. She’s bigger than him, but he’s wily.


In the same way, if you are a rider (or if you’ve just been subjected to going horseback riding with a horse-crazy girl or boy friend), you know that how you feel about your equine partner makes a huge difference in the kind of ride you have. Or maybe you don’t, so I’ll tell ya. If someone is afraid, the horse picks up on that immediately, and will start looking around for the source of the fear, not realizing that it is himself that’s causing the fear in the human. Horse starts acting up a bit because when they’re afraid their first response, if possible, is LEAVE, and if they can’t do that, then they will FIGHT. Rider gets more frightened. Horse ups the ante. Rider gets even more scared. See how this escalates? However, if you get on that horse knowing that it is a powerful being who gets frightened more quickly than you, and that you being calm will be helpful, you will have a very different experience.


What we don’t want to see

Our smaller pets are also very aware of the emotions around them. When human mom and dad are disagreeing, or one of the kids is having a bad day, there’s lots of negative emotion floating around. Your dog may actually try to help you feel better by doing something that has caused you to smile in the past. Or if she is feeling really vulnerable, she may slink away. But she won’t be her usual happy go lucky self. She will react to the emotion around her.

People often call me because their animal ”suddenly” has developed a behavior that is weird or unacceptable. One of the first questions I’ll ask is ”how long has this been going on?” and then ”what is happening in your house that is different?” There is almost always a correlation between the behavior and the emotions in the house. We are so accustomed to being in a constant state of some emotion that we don’t realize how it affects everything around us (your plants, too - pay attention! They’re talking to you.). If we change our behavior, if we’re honest about how we feel (because we humans are masters at saying “I’m fine” when in reality we’d like to dig a hole and crawl into it), our animals can deal with that. We must be honest about our feelings.


I’m sad. I’m happy. I’m mad. I’m scared. All valid. All things animals understand and will go out of their way to help you with. When the emotion and the thought and the words are all aligned, everyone benefits, including you. It’s a lot easier to solve a problem from a place of congruence than when you’re pretending you feel one way when in reality it’s another.

Not sure how to do this? Pay attention to your animals and their behaviors. They’ll let you know if you’re on the right track.

If you’re still having a challenge getting yourself aligned, give us a call. Over at Harmony’s Heart Coaching, we’ll work with you to help you remember how to be congruent with yourself and what’s going on around you. It’s not easy, but it’s totally worth it. And your pet will thank you. 

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