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Ask Your Pet

by Jennifer Dickman

My dog Phillik recently injured his paw and we don’t know how he did it. Can you give us any clues? Also, Phillik’s behavior is strange – sometimes he’s good and sometimes he acts out, doing things he knows he shouldn’t. Why?

Natalie M.

Dear Natalie,

Phillik wants you to know that he’s sorry for hurting himself and causing so much trouble. He said that he tried to jump over a fence on your property and didn’t make it. When he came back down one of his paws landed hard on something sharp. It both twisted his foot and cut him. Phillik said he was afraid to show you at first because he thought you’d realize what he’d been up to and be angry.

I told Phillik that unless you or a family member are with him he needs to stay in your yard for his own safety. He said that your yard is boring and he wants to see new places. We settled for a compromise: he agreed to do his best to stay in the yard if you’ll walk him more. Phillik would love it if you varied the locations of your walks, as he’s very curious and loves to explore.

Regarding his inconsistent behavior, Phillik said that sometimes he just can’t refrain from doing things he’s not supposed to do. There are a couple of components to this. Phillik has a very anxious, hard-to-sit-still quality to his energy. He sometimes feels very edgy, like he wants to crawl out of his own skin. Some of his behavior arises from these feelings. The behavior is a symptom, rather than deliberate disobedience. Phillik is frustrated that you don’t understand this and think that he’s being "bad" when he often can’t help himself.

Additionally, Phillik said that sometimes you reprimand him for certain behaviors, and sometimes you seem like you’re okay with them. This is very confusing for him. It’s very important to be consistent with training, and give companion animals clear rules to follow. It not only leads to better behavior, but helps them feel more secure as well.

I think it would be helpful to take Phillik to a holistic veterinarian. A good holistic veterinarian will be able to look at Phillik from physical, emotional, and energetic perspectives and treat any imbalances that are contributing to his distress. He may also benefit from calming, healing modalities such as Reiki, Tellington Touch, or massage.

It’s very common and understandable for pet parents to assume that their animal companions’ negative behaviors are the result of willfulness or deliberate "acting out". While this is often the case, so-called bad behavior can also be a sign of physical illness or emotional distress. It is important to rule out these other causes before treating such problems from a purely behavioral perspective.

Many Blessings,

Jennifer Dickman

Send your question along with your pet’s name, age, and a photo or brief description to Info@BoundlessSpiritReiki.com or Jennifer Dickman, PO Box 294, Wallingford, PA 19086.

Jennifer Dickman is an Animal Communicator, Pet Reiki Specialist, and Reiki Master-Teacher. She is available for phone sessions and house calls. Jennifer can be reached at 215.817.0833 or Info@BoundlessSpiritReiki.com . To receive a free copy of Jennifer’s "Five Things Your Dog or Cat Wants You to Know" please subscribe to her newsletter by emailing Newsletter@BoundlessSpiritReiki.com.  More info is available on Jennifer’s web site: www.BoundlessSpiritReiki.com.

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