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Animal Communication: Woofs Become Words

The Post-Standard Thursday, November 6, 2003

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Woofs Become Words

Clay animal communicator Colleen Nicholson is not so quick to debunk the device. Through her company, Animal Wellness Consultants, she spends her days deciphering messages from dogs and other animals. She says they communicate through a universal language, using thoughts, pictures, feelings, sensations and sometimes words.

"Everybody can do what I do," she says. "Most people just forget how.

"We've been taught over the years not to believe that animals can talk."

Cornell's Houpt says scientists are continually impressed with what they learn about dogs. For instance, recent studies have revealed a canine ability to count, she says.

Most dog barks are responses to outer stimuli, Houpt says. When dogs try to get their own point across, they usually do so using visual signals, with their eyes.

Cats are more prone to vocal communication. Meow at yuor cat, and you can probably get her to meow back.

"Those horrible sounds that cats make in the middle of the night, and their pre-hairball meow. Now that, I'd like to know about," says Houpt.

Improving Communication

FOCUS ON HER: Animal communicator Colleen Nicholson, of Clay, suggests you look directly at your dog when you ask, "How are you doing?" and really listen for her response. Put other thoughts out of your head for the moment.

USE POSITIVE MENTAL IMAGES: Nicholson says be conscious of forming an appropriate picture to go with the thought you try to convey. If you're struggling to housebreak a dog, erase the image of a mess on your floor. Instead, play images in your mind of your dog running out the door to use the bathroom in your yard.

WRITE: Especially if you have a busy mind, keep a journal. Ask your dog a question, and then jot down anything and everything that pops into your mind, Nicholson says. After a few days, look for a pattern, maybe words you don't usually use.


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