What Koko had to say...
Why is she agitated when she encounters certain dogs?
Why is walking with her so difficult?
Does she want us to adopt another dog?
All good questions. Common questions. Meet Koko. Through intuitive communication...
she has the answers.
Koko lives with her human companion, a young single male. Although she lives with him, she is given a lot of care by his mother, as well. His mother is a friend of mine who I volunteer with, and requested that I communicate with Koko. The details above were the only ones given, along with the photo. I never have met Koko or the man she lives with. All communication was done remotely. Ready for the fun part?
Me: She greeted me, tail wagging while sitting, head slightly down while her eyes shifted up and down. She repeated "blue eyes" a few times. You have blue eyes, don't you?
Guardian: Yes, that's exactly her demeanor. Yes, I do. It's funny you say that though, because sheactually had blue eyes as a puppy. She must have wanted you to know about her baby blues.
She's showing me a red apple. Does Koko have apples in her house? Or something red like an apple?
Her doghouse outside is bright red.
She's telling me she sleeps in a blue & white sheepskin bed with sides.
Hmm. She doesn't have a blue sheepskin bed, but she does have a bed outside. The bed outside is a blue & white crate filled with sheepskin - so yes, your description is right on!
She says her favorite activity is to play with a ball or stick, in particular chew on her stick outside on a porch.
Well, yes, she really does enjoy chewing on her stick on the patio. She doesn't like playing with other dogs much.
Great! She's given me a lot of exact details that you confirmed. Shall we move onto your specific questions? Let's start with why she reacts poorly to certain dogs. I feel that her body freezes when she sees a frightening dog, then she barks incessantly. She says she gives you cues that it times to leave, but you are mentally distracted. She increasingly makes a big deal so you are forced to keep walking. She, also tells me that you are quite the chatty Kathy on your walks - do you stop and talk to people on your walks often?
She does freeze then bark on walks. And yes, I do often talk to people when we walk. I try to make friends with everybody! What can we do to help her?
She would like you to sit with her, with your hearts at the same level, when a strange dog is near. Stroke her back and talk to her. Verbally tell her it's ok an not to be so afraid. Koko feels the aggressive energy of other dogs, whether they have friendly intentions or not. To her, it doesn't matter, both scare her.
That's good advice. I'm glad Koko shared some tips with us.
Yes, she gave us quite detailed instructions, didn't she? Just be careful to judge the situation so that you don't present a dangerous dog to her. She wants to experience the "new" dog together with you. Your calm demeanor and attention on her will rub off on her. She's a sensitive dog. Next question - why is walking with Koko so difficult? She firmly told me, "Don't yank on my collar at all. I know what I'm supposed to do!"
That doesn't surprise me at all! She pulls constantly on me and it's quite exhausting. I try to get her to stop by pulling back.
Koko is indicating that she would like you to mentally picture exactly how you want her to walk. For example, if you want Koko to walk with her head by your hand with a loose leash, then focus on this image and she will sense it. Focus on it as much as possible on the walk.
Now, onto the last question - does Koko want another dog in her family? No. She likes all the attention she gets and doesn't want to share. She would like more female human attention, because they tend to be more sensitive like her (her words!). One of her favorite things is to lay next to someone with her head in their lap, while watching TV.
That's what I thought she'd say. I didn't think a companion dog would be a good idea, and I'm glad you could confirm my intuition. She must sit watching TV with my son.
We can all listen to our animal friends, and it sounds like Koko has been giving you signals already! She also says she wants more of those sweet round soft treats. Do you know what I'm referring to?
Not off the top of my head, but I did used to feed her bites of sausage for training when she was young. Those were soft and round!
That's it! That's what she wants! Also, she requests the blinds to be open more so she can see the birds.
Wow, there is a bird feeder in her front yard and the windows have blinds!
So, there you go! Koko gave a lot of information to me. Thanks to her desire to communicate and about an hour of my time for meditation, Koko's guardians now have a few ideas to improve her behavior, walks and happiness!
I truncated the conversation for ease of reading, with permission from Koko's guardian. Hope you enjoyed this post as much as I did in sharing it :-)