Dogs may rank as our very best friends in the animal kingdom but have you ever wondered what your canine chum thinks of you, or if they are even happy?
You certainly would not be the first to as highly-esteemed Animal Communicator Pea Crowley knows only too well.
The UK’s foremost exponent of animal communication, she has helped hundreds of pet owners deepen their connection with a beloved pet and, in some cases, has even use her knowledge of this intuitive language to save lives.
Pea sat down with loaded to reveal more about animal communication and where we might be going wrong with our pets.
loaded: So how does interspecies communication work?
Pea: It works energetically. It’s not verbal, it’s about pure energy and interpreting the energy of the impressions an animal sends out to you. Thoughts, feelings, emotions – these are all electromagnetic energy so the basis of communicating with another species is learning how to read the energy they are expressing to you. So it can be like having a conversation but what you are interpreting is the energy they are sending to you.
loaded: When did you first pick up on this connection to animals?
Pea: I didn’t even know any of this existed in 2004, that was when I adopted my first dog, a Beagle cross. The animal rescue home invited me to an animal communication workshop. I thought it was just the latest politically correct way to read dog’s body language but would be helpful for me to understand my dog better. I went along and was skeptical at first but I started to witness people getting information and realised there was no other way for them to be getting this. It went from there.
“There’s an advanced technique you can use where you can move your point of view into the animal’s point of view”
loaded: You’ve encountered so many different cases involving some troubled pets – do any in particular stick out in your mind?
Pea: There was a Jack Russell called Marmite who got trapped down a 12-foot disused mineshaft. He had been down there a whole week without food or water but I managed to guide his guardian to his location within an hour of me communicating with him.
That’s how effective this kind of communication can be because they can share so much information through pictures and thought forms and sensations.
I also remember a terrier. He had gone down a rabbit hole and the soil had caved in on him. He’d been down there three days. There’s an advanced technique you can use where you can move your point of view into the animal’s point of view and I did that and could literally taste soil, which is why I knew the tunnel must have caved in on him. He was able to give enough detail that his guardian was able to find him.
loaded: So what are the clearest signs that your dog is unhappy?
Pea: Just doing anything out of character. Taking themselves off and separating themselves from the pack is another one, because they are normally pack animals. Being quiet, not wanting to exercise, nibbling is also often an indication of pain.
loaded: Have you ever encountered a situation where you thought a dog didn’t like their owner?
Pea: Dogs are pretty incredible as a species because they are so loyal to us. They do sometimes complain though, especially about their names. They will often say to me that the name they have been given doesn’t feel like them. Sometimes they will say there are certain things they would love to be changed. Sometimes given the opportunity, dogs will come up with stuff like they need a firmer bed, or a bed in a different location. Sometimes they want to be warmer. Sometimes they want to go on longer or shorter walks.
loaded: What’s the easiest step towards building a stronger relationship with your dog?
Pea: To see them as an equal and consider what their feelings are on things and how they are fitting into your family. It’s really useful to talk to your animals even if you are not communicating with them on an energetic level. Just to talk to them, because they love that. They love to be asked questions. I have a lot of clients who will tell me they don’t communicate with animals like I do but they talk to them and know they answer them back. They might change their body language or verbalise it with a woof. They might even ask them which walk they want to do today and they will head off in a particular direction.
loaded: Is there such a thing as being too close to your dog? Letting them sleep in your bed, for example.
Pea: It depends on whether the dog can remain in balance on a behavioural level, if the dog is on the bed a lot and getting close to one guardian and not the other it can cause problems like jealousy. So I think it’s fine as long as the dog remains in balance and doesn’t upset any relationships with any other animals in the house.
“Cats are a bit more like humans in the sense that they do think about themselves”
loaded: Are there any specific behaviours among owners that might piss off a dog?
Pea: There are two things. One of them is to exclude them from things – they hate that. The other is to be shouted at or hit because they just don’t understand what they have done wrong.
loaded: what are the key personality differences between cats and dogs?
Pea: Dogs are extremely loyal. Cats are way more self-sufficient. They can be very dog like though. Some cats, for example, might follow you on dog walks. Cats are just way more independent. Dogs go out of their way to try and be helpful. It depends on the individual cat, some our tolerant but a lot are not, whereas dogs will put up with an awful lot.
loaded: There’s this idea that cats are quite moody – would you say that is true?
Pea: I wouldn’t say moody, I would say that cats have very good self-esteem, generally. Cats are a bit more like humans in the sense that they do think about themselves whereas dogs are generally so generous hearted that all they do is think about pleasing their guardians and fitting in. They always want to be part of the pack.
loaded: Are there any other notable differences when it comes to the other pet groups?
Pea: Horses are quite tolerant and generous. One way that humans are bit misguided when it comes to horses is that they always want to dominate them and it feels like that comes from fear because they are so big. But if you entered into a mutual relationship of respect with a horse they would do anything for you.
loaded: Is that why they are so suitable for stuff like riding?
Pea: Yes, they are very generous. You have to push a horse a long way to get them to react. Whereas with a cat, you only have to do one thing for them to show you they are not happy.
loaded: So which would you say are the easiest breeds of dog to get along with?
Pea: Golden retrievers are generally known for being very easy going while Labradors are just desperate to please people. So loyal and very easy to manage
loaded: And the most difficult?
Pea: Beagles, on the other hand along with Pugs and Terriers, are lot less easy going. It’s important that people do their research before bringing an animal into their house, just to check that they are going to be able to cope with them as a breed.
Thanks to Pea for speaking to loaded.
Pea teaches people how to talk to their own animals and other animal species through workshops held worldwide and specialist animal retreats. Her next retreat is a Hawaii Cetacean Communication Retreat which also includes swimming with wild dolphins, watching Humpback Whales and night snorkelling with Manta Rays, 5 – 11 March.
Pea is also available for private consultations, just head to http://www.animalthoughts.com/ for more information.