Monday, November 03, 2008

Are Animals Psychic, or Are They Just Good Listeners?

Cheryl, a new client, recently asked me to check in with her dogs, Buka and Luca, to find out how they were doing, and to see how they were feeling about the fact that Cheryl and her husband are expecting their first child.

The older dog, Buka, an American Staffordshire Terrier, knew all about the impending arrival of the baby, and was actually looking forward to it. Not only that, but Buka said that he could smell the baby and knew that the baby was a boy!

I had no idea if Cheryl even knew the sex of the baby she was carrying, but when I shared Buka's pronouncement, she was truly amazed. It was true. She is due to deliver a baby boy in a few months.

That led us to wonder: is Buka "psychic," meaning that he was able to intuit this information, or is he just an attentive listener who has a much larger vocabulary than we tend to give dogs credit for?

Two weeks ago, CBS Sunday Morning devoted its entire 90-minute show to the subject of animals, and they included a provocative piece entitled, "The Intelligence of Animals: Studies, Behavior Prove There is More Going on in Animals' Minds Than We Thought Possible."

Reporter Tracy Smith asked the question, "What Are They Thinking?" And then added, "If you've always suspected that animals are smarter than they get credit for, that there's more going on behind those eyes than a desire for food or attention. . .you are not alone."

As animal lovers, we all have our anecdotal stories about the cute or amazing or even heroic deeds that our animals have performed. But what animal communicators can bring to light is the fact that animals are immensely more aware of what is going on in the minds of the people around them than researchers have yet been able to measure. And if you don't believe that, just ask Buka.

This article first appeared in the October 2008 issue of my monthly eNewsletter, "What's Up With Animals?"
To protect the privacy of my client, I have changed her name.

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