Life is a journey, we never stop learning. Just as we are all individual, so are our animals. However, we are also able to quite confidently understand certain species specific needs which, if not met, will cause stress to our animals. Listening is a key skill for successful relationships, most people acknowledge that if we are not truly listened to it can be hurtful at best and truly damaging at times. It can mean our physical and emotional needs are not being met and that always comes at a price.
I have been exceptionally lucky over the last few weeks to be introduced to a mentor who is truly a gifted expert in his field, and importantly an expert in human potential too. Having a mentor in your life that knows more than you do and has your best interests at heart can be life changing, they will oversee your journey to becoming the best version of you possible, and to achieving your goals. But how is this relevant to the animals in our lives?
Do you listen to what your animals are telling you? Do you really listen?
Do you take time to research your animals needs – from food, environment, companionship, exercise to name but a few;
Do you strive to make your animals life the best possible – keep them physically and emotionally balanced?
Do you have an animal ‘mentor’ in your life? Someone who really understands your animals needs and can help guide you to make the best decisions on their behalf?
Unfortunately I see all too often that people do not take their responsibility towards animals seriously. I see health professionals who feed their animal’s poor quality food and the wonder why their animal’s health suffers; people that in all honesty should know better due to the fact that they clearly understand the impact that poor nutrition has on their bodies. It is not that they do not love their animals, but that they are not really listening to them and researching their needs. If you understand that food is your medicine then you perhaps should understand that the same applies to your animals?
I see other people that tell me that their dog is quite happy being left at home all on their own – they are not, fact, but perhaps it is that they have just given up complaining as no-one listens?
I see people who keep their horses stabled all day, and think that is acceptable, but then will not spend any money on giving them the physical and environmental stimulation and nutrients they need, but will spend a fortune on lessons in an indoor school that offers no enhancement to the horses at all. Keeping a horse restricted all day with no social interaction is not acceptable physically or emotionally to the horse, or a dog in a house all day on its own, or a guinea pig in a hutch – but who is listening to the animals when they cry for help? I want to scream on behalf of the animals and I can assure you the animals are screaming – sometimes silently and sometimes more overtly! What happens when they scream overtly – they get punished, called rude and told ‘this behaviour is not acceptable’ (often with physical violence) – well to whom is this behaviour not acceptable because to the animal the humans treatment of them is certainly not acceptable, but the poor animals have no control over their environment so they depend on us ?
But enough of doom and gloom – what can you do about it?
Research your animal’s needs – knowledge truly is power BUT only if it is applied;
Find an animal mentor – someone who is truly an expert in their field, and follow their advice. Your animals will soon tell you if you are getting it right;
Really listen to your animal’s needs, sometimes what they are not ‘saying’ is as important as what they are! If your animal is not energetic, playful, with a shiny coat and good social skills then there is something wrong, most times what is wrong is the decisions that the owner is making for them!
Change your mind set – when you truly believe that your animals have the same rights as you do you will be rewarded tenfold, and your interactions with humans will also improve exponentially.
Start today, your animals are worth it and so are you!