What many people in modern society don’t yet appreciate is that the way to gauge an animal’s intelligence is not by asking that animal to figure out a contextual problem, by testing the animal’s memory, nor any other method that is commonly used today. It is by looking at how animals live.
When you’re feeling upset, does your cat slink over to you and sit by your side? When you’re feeling lonely, does your dog suddenly drop a ball in your lap and start woofing to try and entice you to play? When you’re feeling down in the dumps and go to the barn to visit the horses, does one horse immediately nuzzle you with loving kisses? When you’re taking a walk through the woods and in a good mood, does it seem like the birds are singing to you?
Animals not only possess the capacity to understand the full range of our human emotions, they also possess the capacity to experience their own full range of emotions just as deep and turbulent as ours. Yes, you read that correctly. Animals have the same emotions that people have.
I know there are some people, even great animal lovers, who don’t yet grasp this, but it’s what I have witnessed every day working with animals and people, and it’s what I believe you will come to realize. It’s not a coincidence that when you’re feeling lonely, your dog shows up and asks you to play. Your dog understands and experiences your loneliness and is subsequently handing you a solution. It’s hard to feel lonely when you’re out in the yard throwing the ball again and again with your dog, who is fully enveloping himself in the moment with you, loving, running, barking, and playing.
Animals are so clued in to our human emotions that they often take those emotions into themselves. As an animal communicator, countless people have brought their dog or cat or rabbit or cow to me because they were worried the animal was grieving the loss of his companion animal too hard. When I would intuitively connect in with the animal to ask about this though, I would most often receive an answer that would stun the animal’s people.
Of course animals grieve the loss of a beloved animal companion because there are definitive daily changes and things that can no longer happen: the two can’t sleep next to each other anymore, steal each other’s food, or hunt together, for example. But what may surprise you is the deeper answer to what is usually going on.
More than likely, the animal will tell me that he’s feeling sad because his humans are so sad. And while this is not what people usually want to hear (many would rather focus on helping cure their pet’s sadness than on dealing with their own grief), understanding what is really going on can be a huge help.
Wild animals are very perceptive at noticing changes in their world. Natural selection has hammered this into their DNA, in fact, but in the wild, it could keep an animal alive to notice the emotional changes of those around her. To that end, today’s domesticated animals still do this.
My travels as an animal communicator have proven to me that no emotion (and therefore no situation) is too complex for an animal to understand. Animals have talked to me about sadness, worry, fear, and anxiety but also about longing, jealousy, excitement, anticipation, and wariness. If it’s an emotion that we can feel, it’s an emotion that an animal can experience as well.
When you discount the emotions and perceptions of animals, you miss the point of how animals can assist you in your life, and it will be hard to accept the deep work the animal wants to do with you.
© From Animal Lessons by Danielle MacKinnon. © 2017 by Danielle MacKinnon. Used by permission from Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.