Dog Walks and Soul Contracts
For all you dog parents out there, are your dog-walks a heavenly part of your day? Are they a chore? Or are they filled with stress and dread?
Whether to a city park, a dog-park, the countryside or the beach, heavenly dog-walks can make our day and give us a deep appreciation for our wonderful world. They can ease away the stresses of our lives and connect us with nature in a way we probably wouldn’t do if we didn’t have a dog to walk. And that’s to say nothing of the benefits of the exercise they bring.
If you feel that your dog-walks are more of a chore than this idealized image, then it could be that you are cheating not only yourself but also your dog out of the chance of a divine experience.
Those stress and dread dog-walks are a different matter altogether. If you’ve ever had an over-reactive dog, you know how difficult they can be. How terrible the dread is of meeting another dog and being dragged around as you try to stop them from getting into a fight. Sometimes no matter how much training we do, our animal friends never seem to make it to the good manners stage.
So what can we do to make our dog-walks more like the slice of heaven they should be?
Well first of all, let’s consider why dog-walks are so important and what it means for our canine companions to be exercised.
Most dog parents understand the value of physical exercise for their animal friends. Not only do they need to move their bodies to keep fit and healthy just as we humans do, but it can also be the only time of social contact with other dogs that many of our pets have.Some dogs really don’t care about meeting other dogs, they are so enmeshed with their human families. Others crave the social contact that dog-walks bring, even if it’s only through the sniffs and smells that they encounter along the way. I always think that sniffing the neighborhood must be like reading the newspaper for us humans, and a head out the car window must be like surfing the Internet!
So yes, we know the physical benefits of exercise and we can often see how important it is for our dogs to expend their energy - I know if my two dogs have too much pent up energy they play a little too roughly and get carried away and at times even tear up their toys!
Sometimes the behavior that we think of as ‘naughty’ happens due to too much unspent energy in their bodies. Dogs with too much energy and nothing to do can get bored and have to find an outlet in order to feel comfortable. This outlet may be chewing something in your home, digging up your garden or barking all day long. And once they discover that this behavior helps them to release some of their energy and feel relief, it may become a habit that they turn to, even when they are well spent.
Working off their energy is especially important for young dogs, those who have a naturally high energy level, and dogs of working breeds who have been bred for physical endurance. In fact with enough exercise, many of our dogs’ ‘behavior problems’ spontaneously disappear.
But something that many people don’t realize is that our animal friends not only have to release their own physical energy, but also the emotional and psychic energy that they pick up from us. They pick up this energy of ours as part of their soul contracts with us. Having a soul contract means that we have come to this physical plane together with a plan to help each other along our spiritual journeys. We help them by loving them and providing them with a life where they can feel and grow as individuals. They help us by being exemplars of unconditional love and by absorbing and reflecting back to us what we have going on energetically.
Often, they act as a kind of buffer-zone between us and the emotions we find difficult to express. By doing this they are helping us to process these emotions and the associated vibrations and so are relieving some of the effects of these unexpressed energies. In fact, they are so committed to helping us in this way, that often our pets manifest the very same illnesses and conditions that we do. They do this to relieve our burden by channelling some of the energy through their own bodies, even if it means that they share our suffering as a result. There are many cases of this, some more dramatic than others. My friend’s partner for instance, battled his way to recovery from throat cancer and then a year or so later his dog died from throat and neck cancer herself. This is no coincidence and I feel sure that one of the reasons for his recovery was the fact that his faithful friend took on some of that energy herself, as part of their soul contract.
So getting enough exercise is essential for our animal friends to be able to release some of these energies and frequencies that they have absorbed from us and for us. They need physical movement to move the energy out of their physical bodies. When they are fully spent, they can relax and be calm in the moment, enabling them to come back into balance.
So now that we know how important exercise is for our canine companions, what can we do to make it as likely as possible to have a ‘heavenly-experience’ type of dog-walk? The answer to this again comes down to the concept of energy management, theirs and ours. By managing energy I mean two things: First of all, if your dog is a high-energy individual, walking with him or her can be quite a challenge. It’s not so much that they are willfully disobedient as such, but it often happens that when a dog is brimming-over with energy, he or she actually cannot control his or her excitement and enthusiasm for a walk, or in seeing another dog. The answer to this is more exercise and finding other ways to expend their energy. Playing with your dog, for example is a great way for them to burn off steam. Using ‘nose-games’, where they play scent-based hide-and-seek games, are particularly good for tiring them out. Once their energy level has been brought down by some kind of physical or mental activity, you will find that they are much more cooperative to walking nicely on the leash and can control themselves much better.
Managing our own energy is the second important aspect of having a heavenly dog-walk. “Well, I walk my dog at the end of a long day so my energy is already low”, you may be thinking, but this isn’t exactly what I mean. Managing our own energy means that we should realize that our thoughts and feelings are also energetic vibrations. We think that the thoughts we have stay inside our heads and are privately hidden from the eyes of the world, but this is not altogether true. As an animal communicator I know that the animals around us feel our feelings and receive our thoughts often in picture-like form. So if you are occupied with the worries and stresses of the day on your dog-walk, and your mind is doing the ‘wild-monkeys’ thing, the energy that you will be broadcasting out into the universe will be one of fragmentation and disorder. This will be the energy that your dog is feeling and so his or her behavior will reflect it accordingly.
This energy may be interpreted by them as you not feeling safe or in energetic control and in extreme cases if you are feeling angry or resentful about something, it may appear to your dog as if you are in fight or flight mode. It’s hardly surprising in this kind of situation then, that your dog feels he or she has to step in and take control of the situation, to keep all of you safe. This can sometimes be the basis for the aggressive behavior that your dog has towards other dogs or people on walks.
‘Focus’ is another part of energy management that people often don't consider. When I stay at my parents’ home in a quaint English village, the spare bedroom has a small window that overlooks the street. And because of the shape of the narrow roads that come together into a junction at the centre of the village, it means that I can hear every word that people are saying on the street below. It's as if the streets are acting as an echo bowl reflecting even the quietest sounds up to me. I like to sit in this window and watch the village life go by, and I have often been surprised to overhear how people talk to their dogs as they take them on walks. I say surprised because anyone eves-dropping on me would swear that I’m talking lovingly to a child of about 4 or 5, and although I realize that this isn’t everyone’s approach, I always presumed that people spoke with at least kindness to their dogs - after all, they’re our best friends, right? But no, so many people speak with impatience and even annoyance to their dogs, who may be wanting to stop and sniff or to cock a leg. Many of the dog-walkers are deeply entranced by their cell-phones, talking to someone, texting or reading something online and not focussed on the walk at all. Often only a minimum of their effort is given to their dog or to the walk. Sometimes they are trying to hurry things along, and are pushing their dog to do his or her ‘business’ so they can turn around and go home. As I look down at the dogs’ reactions, my heart swells to see them wagging their tails and trying their best to be a good boy or girl. I see that this dog has been waiting all day, and looking forward to this walk with their person, only to be given almost no attention as their owner’s focus is far from them or the walk. Actually, it’s quite heartbreaking to see!
So how can we transform our dog-walks into the heavenly variety?
Well, now that we know that exercising our dogs helps them to release the energy that they are taking on for us, it makes it easy for us to reframe our thinking about their walks. With this new realization what may have seemed like a chore in the past, can be approached with more appreciation and the idea that the least we can do is to be as fully present for them as they are for us. And so my first recommendation is to be in the moment.
That means being present and bringing your whole self to the occasion. Leave the cell-phone at home and take this time to connect with your dog in this activity you are doing together. Also, realize that if you take the time to ground yourself and control your own energy and what’s going on in your head, then your animal friend will reflect this back to you and your walk will be more relaxed and enjoyable for you both. The vibration of a quiet mind will ripple out into every other part of your life too. This simple change will influence the whole energy of the walk and can make a big difference to the actions and reactions of your canine companion.
Give your dog time to have an extensive sniff around and don’t hurry them along to fit into your schedule. Sometimes they want to take their time to decide where ‘to go’, or they may want to stop and munch on some grass. If you have to get up earlier to give them more time, then do so. I know it’s not easy to fit everything we have to do into our busy lives, but the non-human person who loves you so much and who is working hard keeping up their part of the soul contract deserves as much of you as you can give.
I also take the opportunity of a dog-walk to have fun with the telepathic communication my dogs and I enjoy. I send them a ‘picture’ from my mind of the route I want to take and see if they pick up on it and go that way. Another fun thing is to give them choices so that they can practice being individuals and making their own decisions. For example I let them choose if they want to go out wearing a collar or a harness. And talking of harnesses, if your dog is a strong puller and difficult to control, you may want to try one of the anti-pull harnesses that are on the market today. This also could make a big difference to the quality and enjoyment of your dog-walks.
The key here is that you enjoy yourselves together and make this time a divine moment. Walking with your canine companion is a great bonding experience that can enhance and deepen your relationship with each other. Not only this, but quieting your mind can also deepen your relationship with yourself.
The animals we care for don’t arrive in our lives by coincidence, but are following the divine plan that we souls have set into motion before being born into this physical form. Let’s fully realize that and do our best to make sure that we honor and respect them for the heavenly beings that they are. And let’s hold up our end of the soul contracts we share by giving them the very best part of ourselves.