Nonverbal communication is a gift that all living beings share, one you’ll need to reawaken to better interact with and care for your animal companions. Most dog and cat lovers already understand canine and feline body language, which is one non-verbal technique. But you can use your other, natural, nonverbal communication skills, and actually begin to see things through your dog or cat’s eyes, and become his/her voice.
You can learn animal communication by taking a class or reading some of the great books available today on the subject. But many of the basics are so simple that we can easily begin nonverbally communicating right away. Remember, long before humans had spoken language, we were able to communicate among ourselves and with the animals; it is a kind of heart to heart communication skill that we all possess.
Did you ever know a set of twins who said they each knew what the other was thinking, or you heard your mother say she had “woman’s intuition” or “just knew something was wrong.” Have you ever had an image of a friend come to mind and then received a phone call from that very person saying,“I was just thinking about you and wanted to say hello”? These are all examples of nonverbal communication.
Those of us fortunate enough to have been raised with animal companions probably “talked” to them all the time—and they “talked” back—without words. You didn’t have to be Dr. Doolittle to do it, either. You may have chalked up your own memories of such experiences to an overly active imagination. But it’s far more likely that, as a child, you were still unencumbered by belief systems that would tell you otherwise.
You can try it anytime with your own dog or cat, simply by listening to your heart, instead of to your head with its endless, meaningless chatter. Just let those thoughts pass by you, and relax and breathe deeply. You’re going to visualize your furry companion coming over to you. Close your eyes so that you focus on every detail: the feeling of your dog or cats lovely coat, those deep, trusting eyes staring up at you, and imagine him walking toward you. Often, even the first time you try it, your cat or dog will be by your side before you know it, so happy that you’ve communicated with him at long last, in his own way.
Please don’t worry about whether you’re “doing it right.” Not every person (or animal) is visually oriented. Visualization is just like imagining or remembering. It may come as actual pictures, like a movie, or as sounds, or a voice, or as feelings, or just a sense of “knowing.” Any way you receive the information is valid.