Does My Animal Have A Purpose?



"Let's Have A Chat!" Podcast #11 is available here.

Show Notes


For an animal to feel well and be joyous, we need to consider the whole animal: we need to nourish and honor its physical body, engage its mind in meaningful ways, allow for emotional connection and expression, and consider our animal’s spiritual gifts.

Nicole Birkholzer


:: Meet Tucker, a black labrador mix. Each time someone walked by their house, which happened frequently, Tucker ran to the front door, peeked through the glass, and barked his little head off. As soon as he did, Jen called out to him, "Tucker, stop it. Enough."


But Tucker didn't listen.


This exchange happened several times throughout the day, and each time, Jen got more aggravated and annoyed …" KNOCK IT OFF, Tucker. ENOUGH already."


I couldn't help myself. The second night of my stay, Jen was preparing dinner, and I decided to try something.


As soon as Tucker jumped toward the door and barked, yet again, I said, "Good watchdog Tucker, thank you." My words stopped Tucker in mid-bark. He looked at me, then turned back to the living room and went straight to his dog bed. Message received, problem solved. By the time Jen came out of the kitchen to get on Tucker’s case he was resting quietly and Jen was the one with the confused look on her face.


:: Animals are so much more intelligent than we give them credit for. We are simply unaware of how purposeful our animals feel about their life.

Turns out, according to ASPCA's National Rehoming Survey, pet problems, among them

barking is one of the most common reasons owners surrender their pets.


:: When we understand that animals always have a reason for their sometimes undesired and sometimes unexpected behaviors, we can prevent animals from becoming a statistic.

Because animals are often so purposeful, let’s chat about it and shine some light on the topic.

:: All that shifted when the industrial age changed us to work less with the body and more with our mind and technology. And that changed the lives of animals tremendously as well.


:: When the work of horses was suddenly no longer essential and turned into entertainment, racing, and showing horses, the purpose was no longer about achieving something meaningful together but rather achieving a superfluous goal often without having the horse’s best interest in mind. Horses became a commodity you could sell or trade easily to upgrade yourself to the next level of commerce.


:: Dogs suffered a similar fate. Nowadays, people often buy or rescue a dog based on looks and size. In my work as an animal communicator I often counsel people who didn’t realize that the cute brindle package with the pointy nose they saw on the web would grow into a shepherd mix who will not be satisfied with a walk-in Central Park.


:: Many of the unexpected or undesired behaviors our dogs have are based on their genetic propensities and when they can’t fulfill their purpose their behaviors become a habit and with that annoying to us.