Updated: Apr 30
Abby, a brown and white beauty, shared with me how important her purpose in connecting with humans was. She is a therapy dog, her person explained. Abby shared with me that she was happy to help people, but she was getting a bit tired.
We learned that Abby had moved from a house to an apartment some months ago. As her person told us I felt Abby’s body exhale. Then she rapidly showed me that she was storing quite a bit of unease in her body that she has not been able to release, lately.
I shared with her person that Abby was missing the backyard and that she wanted to rest on the grass. She liked walking on it, but resting on it, for hours, had always been her way of releasing the energy she has sponged up visiting with elderly and sick people.
No wonder Abby was tired. She was carrying more than her own energy around. And that was the moment when our chat got curious … messages overlapped …
Both I, and Jenn, one of the participants saw a grassy patch in the apartment. The size of a piece of sod rolled onto a plastic tray on which Abby could lie on her belly.
Wow, Jenn couldn’t believe it. She and I had both received the same visual from Abby. Only by both of us speaking it out loud did we recognize the importance of us trusting the first intuitive hit that comes in. even when the visual or message is odd. Because if you allow your mind to question the oddity of the visual you will immediately be the land of doubt and fear. But if you trust your first visual, word, sentence, feeling … you are aligned with your intuition.
As I connected with each of the dogs, several of them had anxiety issues that stemmed from their past. They were antsy, shaking or growling to keep others at bay. Whatever experience they had in their past, being pushed around by big boots, being the smallest puppy in the litter, siblings sitting on your head, was clearly still affecting them.
And that reactive, physical response, being antsy, shaky, growly, or ready to fight, tells me that the issue is still stuck in the tissue.
What I mean by that is that some type of experience had enough impact on the animal that the animal's body remembers the impact and can be triggered again.
And again, and again. Causing the animal’s body to react to a trigger similar to that which started the issue in the first place.
When the issue is stuck in the tissue it means that the animals’ - and also human - the body is stuck in a trigger mode. I always imagine this from the animal’s point of view, the moment of shock when you are walking up to your person, and next, you see is a big boot that shoves or kicks you away. Or, the big dog that came with his posse and pushed you in a corner until you were cowering and shaking. Or the mama dog, who constantly picked you up and brought you to new places, always anxious, saliva running all over your head as she once again had you by the neck finding a safe place.
Any and all of these experiences leave a mark, a blueprint in the body. Your animal’s body, your body.
And the issue that is stuck in the tissue has usually two ways of expressing itself. Offensive or defensive. Extroverted or introverted. Bark, snap and bite, or cower, crumble, and hide.