Archive for March, 2011

While talking (amongst other things)about people who SPOIL their dogs, Jeni took me by the hand and showed me the way to the Oxford Dictionary. As a former Latin teacher I do remember the verb “spoliare” and it means: to plunder. The “spolium” was what the Roman soldiers were allowed to steal in the conquered territories. Sounds great doesn’t it?
What is the contemporary meaning of “to spoil”?
I quote from page 1239 in my beloved copy of the Oxford Dictionary:
“1. Plunder, deprive by force or stealth; 2. Impair the qualities of; 3. Injure character of…by indulgence; 4. Maim or kill; 5. Decay, go bad;” (end of quote)

Do the many “nice” dog loving persons who write me and talk to me about how they are spoiling their dogs have any idea what they are really doing?
When I tell them or when I write to them about the negative energy this spoiling generates for their dogs, they often say I KNOOOOOW!!!(Just like John Cleese’s wife in Fawlty Towers)By exclaiming I KNOOOOOW they show me clearly how they have trouble dealing with their own issues.

It is my opinion that spoiling a dog (or a child for that matter)is nothing else but cruel.
No animal mother in nature will ever spoil her children.
We do.
So, why is it cruel?
Because if we spoil a dog, it means that we are not offering stability, harmony, leadership, guidance, clear communication and calm assertive energy. To our spoiling the dog can only respond as a dog, meaning that (s)he will get our message and take charge of the human pack (=family). When there is no human leader of the pack, the dog will automatically take the position of the leader. When that happens, the “nice” dog loving persons will start calling their dog a BAD dog or a PROBLEM dog.
The hardest thing for me is to explain to these “nice” dog loving people what they are really doing with their pets.
I am not alone there.
A very famous colleague has the same experience.
Cesar Millan writes on page 84 of his book “Cesar’s Way”:
“When we humanize dogs, we create a disconnect for them. By humanizing them, we’re going to be able to love them the way we would love a human, but we’re never going to achieve a deep communion with them. We’re never really going to learn to love them for who and what they truly are.”
On page 92 of the same book he writes:
“….I understand that people have the best intentions in mind when giving a dog affection first…..But we must…remember that by doing so, we’re fulfilling our own need for affection, not the dog’s.”

Let’s go back to what I was asking myself about how a “nice” person spoiling her/his dog is nothing else but cruel for the dog? Because millions of times spoiling a dog leads to what the carers call a BAD dog and bad dogs are being put to sleep.
That’s why.

Again I walk back to my beloved and well thumbed Oxford Dictionary and read on page 812 about the origin of the word “nice”. Like so many words in English (and in all the other Romance languages like Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese) the word “nice” goes back to the Latin word “nescius”. Nescius is related to the Latin verb “nescire” and that verb literally means ne-scrire or NOT-KNOWING, or IGNORING.
Exactly.
Millions of “nice” people are spoiling their dogs to death because they do NOT KNOW what and who a dog really is. In many cases they refuse to accept that a dog is not a human being. I am also sure they do not know a lot about their real true self, neither about how they are abusing their pets for the fulfillment of their own needy love and affection, for soothing their own feelings of lack, for calming their own nerves, for mitigating their own fears, for softening the sense of being disconnected from nature and the universe.
The dogs, unfortunately for themselves, are willing to provide all that for their human carers but the result is that they SUFFER from instability, disharmony, nervousness and stress.
But you know, all that suffering of pets and their ignorant carers can be changed if the humans are willing to learn.

Sometimes I have the privelege of working with dog carers who really want to learn. While teaching them how to behave correctly with their pets, I witness how they discover what calm assertive energy is. How much more confident they start feeling when offering clear guidance to their dogs and how the richness of a more balanced and harmonious life is revealed to them by means of a natural relationship. Not just with their dogs, but also with themselves, their husbands and wives, their friends, neighbours, children and grand children.
It sounds incredible doesn’t it?
But it is NOT. It is real.
I have witnessed it many times in people who are willing to learn.
Are you willing to learn?

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I once had a friend called Peter. He was what could be called a jolly good fellow. But he was also an alcoholic. There was an ongoing battle between Peter and his wife. She was constantly hiding bottles of alcohol, but Peter was very good in finding them. He was also good in denial. Whenever he had a bruised nose, arm or leg because he had once more fallen flat on his face, it had never anything to do with the fact he was intoxicated. No it was because there was this rotten carpet, or a loose tile, or a bad staircase that was the cause of his accidents. He was in denial until the very last bottle he drank. Then he fell flat on his face for the last time and died.
But I do not want to talk about junkies who are in denial with their addiction. Today I am writing to you about the denial I see in some of my clients.

Understanding what my dogs tell me, gives me a warm feeling of satisfaction. Noticing how they understand what I want, fills my heart with friendship and love for them.
Have you ever had similar feelings?

When I visit clients, I often experience positive vibrations between myself and their dogs. Strangely enough many clients call their pet a MAD dog. It fills my heart with pure joy when I see how these so-called MAD dogs respond positively to my body language. Often I can notice the asking look in their eyes, telling me clearly:

I Am Not Mad; I Am In A Position Where I Do Not Want To Be. Please Help Me. I Do Not Get The Leadership I Want.

Sometimes the carers of the dog see the changes in their pet a few minutes after my arrival. They might say things like: We have never seen our dog like this with visitors. The process might take a few minutes, or it might take an hour, but without talking to the dog, without touching and without looking at her/him, I am telling this stressed animal:

You do not have to worry anymore. I am in charge now. You can relax.

As soon as the dog gets the message (s)he will become calmer, lie down and then I can wait for something that makes me really happy. That something is a deep sigh I will notice when the dog lies down on her/his side and closes her/his eyes. We now have a relaxed dog. Maybe this dog who was running, jumping, barking and panting just a few minutes ago, can feel relaxed for the first time in years. When this happens I am filled with gratitude for my beloved teachers. As you know, my beloved teachers are dogs. When I imitate the behaviour of a stable pack leader, all dogs recognize the signals and respond to it accordingly. Why would they not respond? I am speaking to them in their language, which is of course body language.

One day I received a magnificent present from a dog that had bitten his carers several times. When I visited my clients, they were eager to show me their wounds. The dog showed me something else. He showed me he was eager to learn and he responded immediately to me. I could do everything I wanted to do with him. Although I had never seen him before it was as if we had known each other for a long time. Unfortunately the clients did not get the same response from their dog, as they had difficulties implementing what I suggested.

A few months later I got an urgent message from the same clients telling me:

We need your help because we do have a big problem with Bobby. During our evening walk we were just standing with Bobby on the lead, when suddenly Bobby decided, as he does quite regularly, to jump up and bite our hands and arms.

Immediately upon entering the home of my clients I felt the dog was asking me urgently for help. While I was looking at him out of the corner of my eye, he was sitting right in front of me. He did not move, but was sitting still like a statue. That moment I felt I could do something unusual with him. I faced the sitting dog, looked in his eyes, while very slowly bending my body forwards. The dog gazed into my eyes for a few seconds, averted his look and lied down.
I was so grateful for the trust he put in me, I could have cuddled him. But I did not do it. I kept my calm assertive energy vibrant in the room and looked at my clients. I saw the surprise on their faces. Here they had a dog that is biting them, while this man who calls himself a dog listener only has to look at their pet in order to make him lie down.

(((I have to warn you here: If you are not a professional, please do not do this with any dog because you might get in serious trouble. What I did was not an innocent game. It was the result of decades of experience and of a deep feeling of understanding between an experienced human and a trusting animal.)))

Back home I did send my clients an email message, adding a list of rules to be observed by them when dealing with their pet.
A few days later they replied how they were doing their best and…. how they were making exceptions to my rules.
I am not going to say I felt like a MAD DOG, but I felt angry and agitated.
These clients have a real dangerous situation at home (Had they forgotten how they had written to me: When we came home from the walk our arms and hands were covered in blood) and nevertheless they are, like Cesar Milan writes, happily paddling down the river of denial.

Denial is a powerful force in human lives. For some of us, our dogs become projections of our own Egos and we see them the way we want to see ourselves. However, until we see ourselves the way we really are, we cannot help our dogs. One of the hardest things for any human being to do is to admit a mistake and change a behaviour. Most clients keep on telling me how nice their dog is and how they adore her/him. At the same time they are blaming their pets for the unresolved issues in their own lives. For me as an observer it is obvious they are avoiding these issues or are unaware of them.
If you are having difficulties with your dog, the first thing to do is take a good, honest look within. The second thing you have to do is to cultivate calm assertive energy.
If clients are not willing to do that, it becomes very difficult for me to help them.
But if you have the courage and the consistency to travel on the road of personal development, there will be very positive changes not only in the life with your dog, but most of all in the life you lead with yourself and with anyone around you.

With love.

Bruno

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When there is something wrong in the bathroom, we call the plumber. He arrives, has a look and repairs what has gone wrong. But what have you learned from this plumber? Will you be able to do the repairs yourself in the future?
No you will not.

I am not an electrician.
My father was an electrician. Clients called him when something was not working in their home. Father got in his car, found the cause of the problems and did the repairs for his clients. If an electrician has repaired something in your home, will you be able to do the repairs yourself in the future?
No you will not.

I am not a mechanic.
If something is wrong with your car, you visit the workshop, a mechanic has a look, finds the cause of the problem and fixes your car. Are you now able to fix your car at home in the future?
No you are not.

Let me repeat this again:
I am not a plumber, I am not an electrican and I am not a mechanic, because your dog is not a leaking tap, a faulty fridge or a stalling car.

What am I?

I AM A TEACHER.

Arriving at the home of a client I always find the cause of the problem.
Finding the cause of the problem is easy.
Teaching the clients how to behave correctly with the dog is another kettle of fish.
Teaching takes time.
Learning takes time. The older we are, the more time it can take.
Fortunately for us, dogs are very fast learners.
Dogs change their behaviour as soon as I have arrived in the home of my clients.
Why is that?
Because I have learned their language. They do not speak with words. They communicate with body language.
As we use the same language, the dog understands me and I understand the dog.

Example.
Clients tell me they are unable to call the dog when he is outside and barking at people walking past the fence. As I have ignored the dog since I arrived in the home of my clients, the dog has recognized in me the behaviour of a pack leader. The moment the dog runs out and starts barking, I clap my hands, take on an inviting body posture and a second later I can praise the dog for shutting up and come running to me.

Teaching is a magnificent experience when I am dealing with clients who really want to learn. It is beautiful to see how they become more conscious of what they are doing. It is very satisfactory to notice how this leads to a better understanding between animal and human. Finally I feel very fulfilled if my teaching results in the appearance of a calm assertive behaviour in my clients.

Let me ask you a few questions.
What kind of (foreign) language did you ever learn in a few hours?
None.
Not even your mother tongue.
What kind of important activity in life, like walking, swimming, riding a bicyle or driving a car did you learn in a few hours?
None.
Do you think it is possible to learn everything you need to know about your dog in two hours?
No, that is impossible.
Nevertheless, many clients suppose I will come along and fix their dog, as if it is a malfunctioning television set.
No. Your dog is not a leaking tap, nor a broken fridge or a stalling car.
Your dog is a magnificent sentient living being, acting as a mirror for your own behaviour. (S)he is very straightforward, very clear in her/his communication. (S)he never lies, blames or criticizes.
I will teach you all it takes to lead a harmonious life with your pet.
How long will that take?
I cannot answer that question because I do not know how fast you will learn.
But I can promise you that the problems will disappear and that your quality of life will increase enormously. If you are (just like your dog is) straightforward, honest and clear in your communication.
Remember, I am not a plumber.
I am a teacher.

Kindest regards fromd Brunothedoglistener

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