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We met by chance at the airport.  She was a student with a 9-month-old Scottish Deerhound, a rescue who’d had several homes.

The usual mix of exuberant and clumsy, he also had digestive distress that matched his person’s emotional ups and downs.  I thought he was probably feeling nervous about the future.

Were the ups and downs related to the dog’s behavior?   That wasn’t it–the woman said she was a med student and under a fair amount of stress.

I told her to be sure to tell her dog:  it’s not you, it’s me.   She laughed but I pressed on.  Seriously, I said, you can tell pets anything and they’ll get it.

(I learned this early on in an impulsive, poorly-developed, double or maybe triple-blindish study with an out-of-control control group.  My volunteer was completely unwilling, nobody got paid and we went through a tremendous number of towels.  We told a previously combative cat he needed a bath and he went and got in the tub on his own and sat quietly while we washed him.)

But back to our feature:   the conversation vis a vis the deerhound got me thinking about rescued animals and the confusion they often experience.  That brought me back to my early training, when I learned a critical tidbit for newly rescued animals:

Tell them they didn’t do anything wrong but their person isn’t coming back.  Encourage them to let go of former ties.  Tell them you look forward to having a special connection with them, when they are ready.

Some animals need more than just these few words; that’s where an animal communicator can help to ease your new pet’s transition.   But others will understand and make the necessary adjustments.

It’s also good to voice your commitment to caring for them as long as they live.

 

 

 

 

 

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