The Owl’s Corner #3, May 2011 – Animal Client Dependency

May 6, 2011 by  
Filed under Owl's Corner

What is the best way to handle a situation where an animal with anxiety disorder has become dependent on the Animal Communicator?

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Joni W. asks:

"As a professional Animal Communicator I have encountered a problem that I have not run into before in over 15 years of doing this.

"I have client with 2 dogs. One has shoulder pain and we have worked successfully with her and her vet to develop a routine that aids this dogs pain. However the second dog has a strong anxiety disorder, is an empath and HATES change.

"I began working with these dogs in February. First it was 3 times a week I communicated with them and we worked through a lot of issues that this anxiety ridden dog had. Note that his human companion was working with their vet at the same time with medication and with acupuncture and massage.

"The dog got to a somewhat stable place and we decided to cut back on my time to once a month. Well as soon as we did that all his anxiety behavior returned. So we went to once a week. We have been at once week ever since. He then became calm and consistent again. So I was "thinking" about going to once a month and without my discussing it with his person, he went into full anxiety mode.

"Now I know he loves me and I know he doesn't handle change well. For the moment we are staying with once a week.

"My question is: Has anyone ever had a "client" attach themselves to you like this dog has done with me? I do not think it is fair to the human client to go on forever once a week. But for the moment it is worth it to her to keep him calm. ANY ideas anyone?"


3 Responses to “The Owl’s Corner #3, May 2011 – Animal Client Dependency”
  1. KAREN KOBER says:

    The above comments offer excellent consideration. One may consider using Back Flower Essences or Anaflora for anxiety. More than one essence may be necessary, start with rescue remedy. I teach the animal guardians to use massage and/or stroking the aura. Stroking the aura of an animal immediately induces calmness plus it is a wonderful bonding technique. In all communication it is important to always refer the animal to their guardian as their caretakers for a positive relationship. If this dog is contacting you when it is not appropriate (other than session) one needs to thank the animal, give blessings, and block the communication. In an introductory session I have been taught by animals that love is unconditional and for them honor and respect is higher. There are several ways to do this. As long as one honors and respects the animal and their guardian all falls into place. By doing this there is no need to “limit set” the situation. It has already been provided in the introductory phase of the session because the communicator is ONLY the voice between the animal and the guardian during a session. If your needs are being met by the animal that belongs to someone else, one needs to evalute and seek help for why one is doing this and end this triangle relationship with compassion. Remain professional and not incorporate yourself into their lives. Your caring attitude is applauded with joy.
    Abundant Blessings,
    Rev. Karen Kober
    Sister of Peace

  2. Nedda says:

    Dear Joni,

    As I see it, there are three levels of this situation need to be addressed.

    First, I would ask myself this question: “What is it within me that has attracted this situation into my life?”

    My perspective is that I create everything in my reality and when a situation arises that doesn’t feel good to me, there is usually some hidden pattern within me that is looking to be healed by attracting the external situation so I will start to pay attention. When I ask myself the question, I start being guided to some answers. Then, when I “heal” myself by forgiveness and other healing techniques, the pattern and the external world which is reflecting my inner world, begins to change.

    Second, I would ask my human client to ask him/herself this question: “How is what my dog is doing reflecting some pattern within me?”

    There is clearly a reason for your human client to experience this situation and if the client can check in and identify the pattern that an anxiety-ridden, emotionally dependent dog is reflecting, that is the first step to the human client’s healing. When the human client is able to make a shift, often the animal will also make a shift.

    Third, I would ask the dog if he is aware of what the anxiety and what the dependency on you, the professional, represents in his relationship with his human.

    The dog may or may not be aware of this information, and even if he is, he may or may not want to share it, but often animals do know how they are reflecting various aspects of their people.

    Once you have input about the way in which the situation reflects your own patterns, your human client’s patterns, and the dog’s perspective, you will probably have a clearer sense of what to do next.

    Flower essences can be helpful, perhaps for all of you. I have frequently found that my human clients benefit from taking the same essences that I suggest for their animals.

    Nedda Wittels

    • kpettet says:

      Very interesting topic! Here’s a few thoughts to also consider. First off, if we were to view this strictly behaviorally, we could say that by taking something away (your time), there is an increase in unwanted behavior (anxiety). The dog has created a pairing of something he likes (attention, understanding, comfort, communication, etc) to an increased comfort-like an insurance policy. He has ample reassurance from your relationship that he is okay in the world (decreased anxiety).

      Whenever you suggest moving on (I’m guessing your discomfort level rises a bit), because now you have been conditioned, in a sense, to knowing that he will become anxious when you cut back. So, by decreasing time with him (of course he feels this at every level), than he associates less time with his anxiety.

      A cyclical form of patterning that keeps you both from moving on, him from healing and you from appropriate closure.

      After working with anxiety in humans for over 15 years, one method is instead of tapering sessions less and less, which fuels anticipating anxiety, is to select an end date based on the goals/objectives you have set with dog/companion, and stick to it. In addition, anxiety is just another voice guiding our behavior. It holds value. Simply suggest to person/dog that they use the “voice” of anxiety to create new goals together. Anxiety will visit and wash over your “client” from time to time, and it can be treated like a visiting friend, whom you welcome and gently brush on. Furthermore, help both visualize a time in the future when anxiety is not present, and help them carve out that vision today in small chunks. This will help them feel empowered and rely on you less and less.

      This will help reduce your anxiety and the feeling of demand that you may be experiencing, and it is a healthy way to teach letting go. Blessings, Kathy