Dogs really do talk, duh.
Four years ago, I adopted a senior Pomeranian-mix named Jennifer. She was in pretty rough sorts.
While she’s in much better shape physically, she’s still a bit of an emotional wreck.
I’ve seen several different veterinarians and tried all sorts of remedies but can’t seem to get to the bottom of her nutty behavior.
She chews on one of her paws.
She doesn’t like most people, especially men.
She humps. Constantly. Anything and everything.
I’ve tried almost everything: Prozac, raw diets, probiotics, fish stock, coconut oil, flower essences, trainers, laser treatments, and meditation. Nothing makes much of a difference. She keeps chewing, she keeps humping, and she never lets anyone, besides me, get too close to her or her heart.
One day, one of her doctors pulled me aside and let me in on a little secret.
I’ll do anything for Jennifer. I mean, I’m not rolling in cash by any means… I’ve been using the same mascara for six months, and I’m certain I need two fillings and a bite guard; yet I have no qualms spending $45 on a 15-minute phone call with an animal communicator who lives on a different coast. I just want Jennifer to have the best life possible.
The woman called me, asked how I was doing, and then dove right in. Then, they started talking.
Jennifer likes our new house with its sturdy doors. She thinks I should start eating ice cream. She knows I’ve been talking about getting into baking; she’s all for it. She doesn’t like it when the smoke from the fireplace gets in her eyes. She doesn’t like to share me with people. She doesn’t like her raw diet; it doesn’t digest well and it’s bland. She didn’t like being on Prozac. She noticed that my boyfriend, Mike, eats a lot of sweets. She puts on blinders when it’s time to travel because, though she doesn’t like the commotion, she’ll put up with anything to be by my side. Jennifer had a lot to say.
The whole time this was happening, Jennifer just hung out, alternating between looking at me and licking her paw. The woman’s tone was spot on. She said exactly the sort of things I’d expect Jennifer to say.
You’re probably wondering, “How does this possibly work? How does a woman in Florida who you’ve never met talk to your dog, who is sitting in bed with you in Los Angeles? And wait—dogs talk?”
“Seriously though, how did the woman know you had been talking about getting into the bagel-baking business? How did she know your new house has doors and your old house had nasty curtains? How did she know Jennifer was on Prozac and that Mike thinks it’s totally healthy and reasonable to eat pastries for breakfast every morning?”
“She must have seen your Facebook.”
After the phone call, I made a few changes in Jennifer’s routine. I took her off the raw food, realizing that while I myself object to the whole thinly veiled, eating disordered EAT CLEAN movement, I was buying into it for my dog. She’s back on grains, and she’s having some very satisfying dumps. I took off her cone, which I was told she had found to be humiliating. She still chews her paw, but a little less.
We’re working on her relationship with Mike, and every day it gets a little better.
I’ve heard that our pets’ neuroses are often a reflection of our own. Jennifer bites her paw; I bite my nails. Jennifer doesn’t like most people, and I’ve been called an ice queen. Jennifer humps and humps and humps and I—ah, well, I guess it’s true.
I never really needed an animal communicator to tell me what was up with Jennifer. All I had to do was take a good look in the mirror.