Have you ever been surprised to discover that the solution to a longstanding challenge was right under your nose the whole time?
Once you see it, it’s obvious. But before you see it, you can go along not seeing it for years. That’s where I was many years ago.
I was living alone in a house with five of my own dogs and two or three foster rat terriers at a time. I’d been fostering dogs on and off for years. Those last few years (okay, ten, it took TEN years) always included one, but usually two, and sometimes even three, highly aggressive dogs.
Most of these dogs had behaviors I knew about beforehand and volunteered to take on. Most of them were passed to me from other foster homes who didn’t have the dog behavior education and training experience I had. Those volunteers were overwhelmed with trying to care for such challenging dogs and I had a soft spot for the misunderstood dog. When I gave the dogs a sense of safety, treated them gently, and supported the health of their whole bodies, it would lead to more relaxed behavior around people and other dogs.
But the changes only went so far.
My life at home with these dogs had some fun and calm times. Those were the moments I would share with others. The moments I rarely shared were exhausting, sometimes chaotic, and defined by relentless dog rotation routines with double barriers, individual outside times, and switching out of safe groups. And profound isolation.
And dog bites. No matter how well I read body language or how careful I was, I was bitten many times. I even had a lie rehearsed if ever my first aid wasn’t enough and I had to go to the hospital.
You know when you finally hit the end of your tolerance and need a seismic change?
I finally began to get curious at a deeper level: Why do I believe that I can’t have safety in my own home? From growing up in chaos to choosing dangerous partners as an adult, I had simply never experienced safety at home. Oh.
What would it be like to have safety at home? I didn’t know yet, but I had a pugnacious foster terrier named Perry who was teaching me the other part of my answer. When I started paying attention, I saw how he immediately mirrored my internal state. No matter how sweetly I behaved on the outside, that little stinker acted out how I was feeling on the inside.
I said I wanted harmony in my home, but to truly have it would require some inner transformations. It took commitment, time, and patience with myself, but I did it. Once I transformed on the inside, my outer behaviors naturally shifted toward clearer boundaries and all doggie family members began to exhale and soften with me.
You have access to a team (me and my guides, your dog, and you) who can open the doors to what you need to know to resolve your challenging situation. With this teamwork, it can happen a lot faster for you than it did for me back then!
For those interested in my background certifications, structured courses, and titles, here is a short selection of those related to animal and/or intuitive reading skills. Currently, I am in the Eden Energy Medicine Certification Program.
Licensed WEBB Energywork Practitioner – Whole Energy Body Balance (WEBB) Method by Dr. Edward Bassingthwaighte
KPA CTP Certified Dog Trainer Professional – Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training & Behavior, including many years of continuing education
Certified Intuitive Energy Tracker – Ana Maria Vasquez, Animals as Messengers
Reiki III (Reiki “Master”) – Usui System of Natural Healing, practitioner since 2000
Eden Energy Medicine for Animals – Madison King, Eden Energy Medicine
Masters Level Medical Intuition – Tina Zion
Owner, Pet and Service Dog Trainer, Behavior Consultant – In Tune: Dogs and People, LLC
Annual Instructor of Dog Behavior Transformation – OLLI at University of Georgia
Lead Trainer, Behavior Consultant, Foster Home for Challenging Dogs – New Rattitude Rat Terrier Rescue & Adoption, 10 years
Behavior Analysis Foundations – Susan Friedman, Ph.D., Behavior Works
Training and Handling Aggressive Dogs and Working Aggression Cases – Michael Shikashio and Trish Loehr
Animal Hospice, Geriatric & Special Needs Care – Spirits in Transition
TTouch for Dogs – Sage Lewis, Tellington TTouch
Oracle Card Reading – Colette Baron-Reid
Oracle Card Reading and Coaching – Denise Linn
Bachelor of Science in Biology– University of Central Oklahoma