I recently read an article about a five-year old boy with Down syndrome who wandered away from his home in Texas. The family dog named Alejandro followed him and stuck by his side, even after the police found them, healthy and fine, walking by railroad tracks. The officer at the scene said he was moved by the loyalty of the dog, who never took his eyes off the boy as the police gave the child water and put him into the patrol car for some AC. What struck me was the dog’s calm focus. The officer said Alejandro never barked nor acted aggressively, but just stayed by the boy’s side giving him all of his nonstop attention.
It's a beautiful example of how animals can be so present and clear. I’m sure Alejandro knew the boy needed to be watched and protected, but he remained calm. He knew there was no reason to imagine worse case scenarios…he stayed in the moment and concentrated his love and energy on the little boy, a constant presence of support.
When I was in Costa Rica a few years ago working with Cosmo the horse, we did an exercise where I tried really hard to guide him to run around the pasture and jump over a low bar. I’m sure I was furrowing my brow and doubting myself and my leadership capabilities the whole way, but each time we took a break, Cosmo trotted up to me with the lightest, most playful energy. He came right up into my face with the most loving intention, and it warmed my heart. He was reminding me to enjoy the moment instead of focusing on criticizing or pressuring myself. He made me see the present moment holds so much to be grateful for...he was guiding me out of achievement mode to here-and-now-connection mode.
One of my favorite memories of my cat Willow was one night when I was trying to fall asleep but couldn’t turn my brain off, and I felt a soft touch on my face. I opened my eyes to see Willow facing me, lying with her head on the pillow, having just brushed her paw gently across my cheek. She looked into my eyes, and I was instantly brought into the present, our connection, and our loving bond. This was before I ever thought to study animal communication, but at the time I knew she was helping me get out of the stories in my head and appreciate what was in front of me there and then. A few months later she crossed over, and I hold endless gratitude for that moment.
In all of these cases, Alejandro, Cosmo, and Willow were just being. And wow, what they accomplish from just being—pure safety, love, and connection. We humans will always come up with things to worry about. But the more we slow down and breathe, the healthier and more balanced we become. I recently did a guided meditation that led me to look at the picture of what defines me—my beliefs, the way I grew up, my occupation—and then look at the me who was observing that person. The observer is our essence, and our essence is the energy of love (that has all the human stuff on top of it). When you get down to that core being, that core is just that—being. And the animals know that’s bliss. 🐕🐴🐈♥️