Want to form a more connected bond with your animal companion? One of the most profound ways is to learn to communicate with them and speak their language. From my experience all animal species communicate through telepathy using their minds, thoughts, and feelings to convey a message.
Once you have trained your mind or your intuition to receive messages they may take many forms. Animals communicate in pictures, feelings, emotions, and concepts. You can then translate these inner impressions in ways that we (and other humans) can understand. Continue reading →
People have asked me why I wrote Finding Forever and the number one reason is that, as an animal lover and animal communicator, I wanted to change people’s perspective about their animal companions. I wanted to illustrate the volumes we can learn and the rewards we can reap when we really pay attention to our pets.
Before reading Finding Forever, people might have wondered…what can I learn from a group of abandoned German Shepherds seeking their forever homes? The answer may well surprise you: These dogs taught me profound life lessons about love, hope, and resilience. In 2009, I tragically lost my beloved German Shepherd, Blitz and I was devastated by his death. Soon thereafter, I began volunteering for a local Shepherd rescue group, thinking that I might find my next four-legged love. Now more than ever, I thought, I could really understand these deserted dogs’ shock, pain, and sadness. And I was ready to immerse myself in their healing. Week after week, dog after dog, I got to know these amazing souls through our time together and our conversations that often rocked me to my core. The more I communicated with them, the more I understood their pain, disappointment and confusion in regard to the human race. And yet in the face of all this, they remained hopeful, forgiving, and open to the possibility of love
So imagine my surprise when, as weeks and months passed, it was I who was being healed. These abandoned, but oh so wise dogs, were teaching me profound lessons about life and love. One dog at a time, one story at a time, I was being powerfully awakened to the expansive healing of hope, faith, love, courage, forgiveness, healing, perseverance, and more. And I felt called to impart those lessons to the world.
In my book “Finding Forever,” I share awe-inspiring stories and their life-altering lessons for the rest of us. As readers, you’ll come to know 26 truly remarkable rescue dogs, including: strapping Spartacus, who illustrates the incredible beauty of opening a broken heart; Patience and Eve, both pint-sized and pregnant, who reveal the staggering power of friendship; and gentle, bunny-soft Annica, who teaches us the untold importance of living with a higher purpose. Animals are wise and wonderful teachers. They show us, among other things, what it means to love fully, deeply, and unconditionally; to live without judgment; and to forgive even those who have hurt us most.
I’ve had readers tell me that they will never look at their animal companions the same way after reading Finding Forever and that the book changed their perspective about the animal kingdom. That’s why I believe that books can change everything. And that’s why I wrote Finding Forever, Four-Legged Wisdom and Devotion…in hopes that my stories could reach and touch other hearts. Today, I am a tireless crusader for animal rescue. As founder and executive director of Finding Forever, a foundation dedicated to raising money and awareness through writing and arts projects, I have helped numerous animal rescue groups, sanctuaries, and charities. I believe everyone has the power to help change the world.
To learn more about my books visit https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Dobie+Houson&crid=IHRT745DFA33&sprefix=dobie+houson%2Caps%2C231&ref=nb_sb_noss
There’s a powerful quote about simplicity—that it reveals the pure beauty in life. Nothing could be truer about this saying than with dogs. They have such simple needs…food, water, play, and love. A walk, a romp in the park, a pile of leaves, or even just a treat brings such joy to their lives.
One of my foster dogs exemplified the power of simplicity by inventing a game. He’d jump off the two-foot bank in the back yard, fly through the air ala Superman style with his front paws outstretched, land with a soft thud, race underneath the deck, jump up to the bank on the other side of the deck and careen around the corner to his jumping off point. Rinse and repeat. He’d do this until he wore himself out. And then relish the tranquility of a simple nap. It’s such a simple metaphor for life…work hard, play hard and reward yourself with something that makes you happy. Here are 3 things dogs know about the power of simplicity.
Be open to experiences. Embrace them with your heart and allow yourself to feel and rejoice in the simplicity of every experience. An autumn leaf falling, the colors of the seasons, the sounds of the birds chirping, the changes of the seasons, all have the power to uplift and inspire through the beauty of simplicity.
Stay young at heart. Like Peter Pan, who never aged, we can all tap into our inner child and recapture the innocent wonder that lies in every moment. Imagine you are seeing things for the first time and honor how it makes you feel. And take note of what it sparks within you.
Look at life as a game and try to find the fun in every experience. Play with color. Color has the power to change our vibrational energy, shift our mood and renew us. Allow the innocence within you to bubble forth, and unleash the wonder all around you.
An impressive black and tan German Shepherd dog, she was named after the small town of Kona, located on the big island of Hawaii. Its meaning, leeward, refers to the dry side of the island, and it’s an expansive section of coastline. Her family had fond memories of their time on the island. Now four, she had lived with her family since she was eight weeks old. Sadly, her human mom had contracted a progressively debilitating disease. And Kona’s love of being glued to her mom now meant that even a slight unintentional bump from Kona could cause her mom to fall and be injured. After much anguished soul-searching, the family finally knew that they must relinquish her to rescue. When they brought her in, they shared a huge album filled with photos documenting Kona’s world so that our volunteers would know her history and her life. The couple tearfully shared story after story about their beloved dog and their memories of her. And when it was time to leave, they walked away with their heads hanging and their hearts heavy.
We quickly placed Kona in a foster home with an older dog and a cat. Cats were new to Kona, and she tried to practice restraint, but if the cat ran, Kona would follow! But she adored her new foster mom and was always at her side. Kona tipped the scales at about 100 pounds, so you can imagine the challenge of navigating your home with a large dog underfoot. In addition, Kona was a pro at counter surfing, hand mouthing, couch jumping, and dinner stealing. So a refresher in House Manners 101 was in order. But she was smart and willing and fast to learn, and she flourished in her foster home. She loved car rides, long walks, fun toys, and napping in her cushy crate.
I tuned into her and asked her what she was looking for in a home. Her answer: to be accepted for who she was. On her terms.
As we got to know her, we learned that she had a special talent for opening gates. And on her occasional visits to doggie daycare, it wasn’t uncommon for her to open the gates connecting the play areas of the big dogs and the little dogs to let them mingle. She also managed to let herself out of the playground by opening two gates in succession. Maybe she was channeling her inner Harry Houdini? Unfortunately and perhaps due to missing her original family, Kona developed separation anxiety, and it was challenging for her to left alone.
So we searched for a quiet home with another confident dog and humans who were home a lot. The brilliant part of this story is that a couple became interested in Kona as a companion for their dog Buck. They had tons of experience with separation anxiety since Buck suffered from it, so Kona’s issues wouldn’t be daunting for them. Here’s the twist. The couple thought that Buck wasn’t very playful, and they were looking for a mellow companion for him. Turns out the reason Buck wasn’t playful is that he never had another canine to play with! Things are party central in Buck and Kona’s home now, and from reports the first night was pretty wild. But all is settled now, and everyone is happy and in love. And no more separation anxiety for Kona! In addition to opening gates, Kona loves water. Her new home has a fish pond, and splashing around in it has become one of her favorite things, although Buck was always a little indifferent to it.
We hear that things in her new home are going beautifully. Kona and Buck are bonded playmates. And that fish pond that Buck never was interested in? Well, apparently Kona showed him how much fun that could be. Luckily, Kona’s new family thinks that the dogs’ penchant for the pond is adorable!
When I tapped into Kona to ask her why she thought her new family chose her, she offered me one word. Adequate. Which means acceptable in quantity or quality. I’d always thought of the word in terms of “that will do.” I now have a different understanding of it. In Kona’s world, it means to be accepted for what you are. Wholly accepted. Worthy. What a beautiful word. And exactly what she was looking for.
Like people, dogs are complex, sentient creatures. They feel love and joy, sorrow and pain. They have thoughts and emotions, and hopes and dreams. And they care as deeply about their needs and desires as we, as human beings, care about ours.
As an animal communicator, I work telepathically with dogs, often to help humans, whether at shelters or in forever homes, to better understand and support them. So I also know this about dogs: they are more than “man’s best friend”—they are wise and wonderful teachers. By their very nature, they are remarkable role models for mankind.
But to benefit from your dog’s wisdom, you must open your heart and mind. And you must be willing to be his student.
For starters, consider seven virtuous behaviors you can learn from—and for—your four-legged companion:
Be loyal. Trust is essential to any whole, loving relationship. Be a faithful companion to your dog, and devotedly meet his needs and desires—physical, mental, emotional and, if possible, spiritual.
Be loving. Make an effort to deserve your dog’s unwavering, unconditional love. Every day, day by day seek ways to express the love and respect you have for him.
Be attentive. Watch over your dog’s health and well-being. Educate yourself on his changing needs in each life stage, and consider holistic approaches to nutrition and veterinary care.
Be compassionate. Always be kind and gentle with your dog. No excuses. No exceptions. Period.
Be forgiving. Know how to forgive—and forget. And remember there are no bad dogs. Even bad behavior is often a cry for help, to express angst, boredom, or physical pain.
Be dependable. Embrace routine. Be consistent with your dog in all areas—with feeding, training, walking, playing, and beyond.
Be present. Don’t hold on to the past or fret about the future. Be in the present moment with your dog.
Finally, accept that being human doesn’t make you smarter, let alone superior. Be the teacher—and the student. Together, you and your dog can learn a lot.
Dogs add so much to our lives, especially when it comes to the power of humor. There are so many ways they make our lives compete. Perhaps their biggest gift to us is that of comic relief and laughter. Dogs find the fun in everything. And the simplest things make them happy. Show them a leash, say the word walk or treat, offer them a car ride and they are in heaven. Unless that car ride is taking them to the vet. Anyone who has ever loved a dog can tell you stories about the humor dogs add to life and how they make us laugh and see the lighter side of things.
I remember, Fozzie, one of the foster dogs I had the honor to care for. A big, fluffy sheepdog-shepherd hybrid with a heart of gold. What amazed me about him is that he was so different than many of the dogs that came into the rescue I volunteered for. All of whom were heartbroken and shattered after losing their homes and families. Not Fozzie, he was like the class clown, the comic relief in our lives. Everything was a game to him. He’d toss a ball in the air with his teeth, balance it on his nose then bump it into the air again. Or he’d strew magazines all over the floor, race down the hall and pounce on them sliding across the room like a kid at the beach on a skim board. He brought so much laughter into our home. And that’s the beautiful thing about humor, it elevates our mood, improves our physical wellbeing, and according to some studies, it can even improve our leadership skills. It’s vital to our lives and dogs are masters at it. Here are three things dogs know about humor!
Choose your mood – take time to look in the mirror. Just a quick glance. What’s your current mood and what are you projecting in the world? While dogs may not necessarily do this, as an animal communicator, when I tapped into my own dog, he told me that it’s important to know what your inner being is projecting into the external world. You want to radiate joy as much as you can. It’s your inner being that becomes your external projection. And what you project will be reflected to you ten-fold.
Open up – when you tap into and open your heart, you’re accessing the deepest part of yourself. Deep inside of us we all carry pain, but we also carry the ability to heal ourselves and others which can ultimately bring us joy, a sense of weightlessness, and yes, the ability to see the lighter side of things and to smile no matter what.
Be the eternal optimist – Try to see the lighter side of things, explore your dreams, and imagine that your best and highest fortune is just around the corner. The power of positivity and humor can lift you up and help you to manifest magic and miracles!Dog breed
Our animal companions play such an important role in our lives and surprising research shows that human-animal bonds can have huge psychological and physiological benefits.
Stress Reduction—A brisk walk with your beloved canine can sooth nerves and offer instant relaxation. And the relaxation carries over once you’re home. Studies show that individuals who live with companion animals suffer less stress than those who don’t and also react better to stressful situations. Many hospitals, assisted living care centers, nursing homes, and similar facilities have begun to invite therapy animals into their establishments because of the proven positive impact on stress reduction and overall health. One therapy dog I spoke to told me it gave her a sense of purpose and that she knew she had come into this world to serve others. Continue reading →
Ten Things Your Animal Companion Wants You to Know
Years ago I lost my beautiful tan tiger kitty, Taz. Weeks later, in the throws of grief I sat at my desk crying, my head resting in my hands. Suddenly I heard his voice. I am here. I’m not leaving yet. There’s something I want you to know. In fact every animal companion want’s their human to know these things. And he began to share a stream of conciousness that I raced to capture, scribbling furiously as he spoke. Here are the ten things he shared with me.
Be faithful – To yourself, to your word, and to your commitment to me. I need to be able to trust you.
Be love – Surround yourself with love so you can in turn surround me with unconditional love as I do you.
Be clear – Before you ever bring me into your home; be clear with your intent, about what you want, and about what you intend to give back to an animal companion. Then ask yourself if you are ready to do what it takes to care for me.
Be wise – Know what my needs are. Equip yourself with knowledge about what I require nutritionally, physically, mentally, emotionally and if you can…spiritually. Be creative in finding solutions outside of the traditional. And be aware that I need balance.
Be there – Do not bring me into your life if you cannot be there for me physically and emotionally. While I do sleep a good amount, my waking hours without you can sometimes be lonely unless I have another companion.
Be aware – Of how I and my needs may change as I grow older. Be cognizant of the slightest changes in my state of being. And be ready to address them holistically.
Be kind – Always. I have a reason for everything I do and you may not be aware of my purpose in any given moment.
Be compassionate – Your needs and desires are not more important than mine. Always remember that I have a purpose and destiny that is as important to me as yours is to you.
Be consistent – With feed, care, nurturing, timing. Patterns are important to me as is knowing what to expect.
Be the change – Be the change you want to see in the world. Speak up against abuse and neglect. Help others to change inappropriate attitudes and behaviors. Be a role model for love and compassion.
When he was done speaking, I was awestruck, as I am so often about the wisdom present in the animal kingdom and the lessons humans can and should learn from these noble creatures. Thank you for sharing, beautiful Taz.
Luke was a stunning, dramatic boy. Wolflike and intense, he commanded attention and respect. His coat was predominately black, with a strip of tan on his underbelly and a hint of creamy white fluff on his hind legs. Deep golden eyes pierced his ebony face and were rimmed under a dark tan whisper of an eyebrow. At first glance, you might have pegged him as fierce.
He had the look of a warrior primed for battle, but despite his looks, Luke was a rather shy, sweet, and unassuming boy. But that might have been due to his circumstances, which perhaps masked his sweet, beautiful personality. Because on the inside, Luke was devastated.
When I tuned into him, he told me that he was a wonderful boy, and he told me that I was right: there was a fierceness to him, but he kept it hidden because he didn’t want people to label him that way or shy away from him because of it. Most of us partition off certain aspects that we’re not ready to reveal about ourselves. We hide our flaws until we can trust enough to show our whole and true selves.
For the first three years of his life, he lived with mom and dad, their children, and a German Shepherd brother. During that time, he’d known the security, love, and protection of a family. That all changed when his family was shattered by a painful divorce, and his future that once seemed so certain was altered forever. Luke was relinquished to rescue.
Now he was scared, depressed, and insecure. The pain in his heart was unbearable. And even though he was embraced and loved in the rescue and showered with affection and attention, Luke longed for a family and a home to call his own. Heartbreak and sorrow were all too apparent in his eyes. When he was alone in his kennel, he retreated to a corner, perhaps dreaming of a home with another dog, children who would know how to properly treat a dog, and a family with some German Shepherd experience.
But we sensed that he’d most likely be adopted quickly. He was not only stunning, but also reserved and well-mannered, although his looks would have conveyed otherwise. And in many ways, he was the ideal family dog: housebroken, socialized, and playful. His favorite thing was to play fetch with the volunteers, dodging their efforts to retrieve the ball and reveling in the game of chase that would ensue when volunteers would attempt to reclaim the ball from his mouth. And he was well-behaved in the car, settling peacefully in the back seat. He also knew some basic doggie obedience.
Within days of joining rescue, it was apparent that Luke was floundering in the kennels. He became apathetic and lethargic. His appetite dwindled, and his depression worsened. So we quickly placed him in a foster home. In foster, Luke improved, but broken hearts are not healed overnight. And like most abandoned dogs, Luke must have been wondering, Why am I here? Where is my family? Who are these new people?
As we predicted, it didn’t take long for our beautiful Luke to find a home. A previous adopter with two older female German Shepherd in her pack decided to add our handsome boy Luke into the mix. Because of his past, he is quick to form bonds. And the female GSDs in his new family seemed to sense that Luke needed time to ease into the meet-and-greet, so they quietly allowed him to sniff and get acquainted and feel comfortable. Within moments, Luke started to relax, and bonds began to form. Because Luke can be anxious and has a bit of separation anxiety, the two additional female GSDs as constant companions will help keep our boy feeling secure. His new mom is wonderful, calm, and experienced with German Shepherds. Luke’s new home is an extensive park-like property with tons of room to roam and squirrels to chase. Our Luke is in great hands!
When I asked Luke how he was doing, he replied simply that he had never believed that what he’d had in his first home could ever be replaced but that he knew now that home is where the heart is, and he tells us that his heart is starting to heal.
He was a stunning black and tan. Classic, noble, and proud with keen eyes and ears. But on the inside, Tobias was falling apart. He had been loved once, but now he was in the shelter. His home, his job, his family, his everything was gone. His eyes told us that he was sad and confused and that he had given up hope. I asked him what had happened; all he told me was that it all happened so fast. Like a tornado had torn through his world, casting everything airborne in a whirlwind of change only to land broken and askew.
Our rescue was contacted, and we brought him in. Because he was so shattered, we searched in vain for a foster family rather than place him in our kennels. And we knew through experience that rescue gives a new lease on life. But with our resources exhausted, we had no choice other than to place him in the kennels temporarily. Volunteers rallied around him, showering him with love and affection, carefully introducing him to other dogs, and championing him during his play time.
He struggled with kennel life, but with time, he found a rhythm and settled in. He began to bond with other dogs and come out of his shell. Playtime especially seemed to pull him out of his slump. But we could tell he missed having a real home and a family to claim as his own.
As time passed, his confidence grew. And as his confidence grew, his true self emerged. While he had a sweet and affectionate side, he was also a strong athletic male with energy to burn. His leash manners were nonexistent. Walking him meant diverting and directing his energy constantly or you’d find yourself waterskiing behind him.
Meanwhile, a family from another county reached out to us—a large, extended family that had owned GSDs for thirty-five years, with grown children who had children and GSDs of their own. The family had recently lost a beloved male and companion to their female GSD, Bella. They were devastated, and Bella was inconsolable. She would spend hours mourning by his grave in the back yard. They’d been referred to our rescue by their daughter, and they submitted an application for Tobias.
We handled the first meet-and-greet carefully. We’d been warned that Bella could sometimes be a bit barky and pushy, but that didn’t happen with Tobias. Bella looked at Tobias, eyes wide, mouth slightly open in amazement. And she was in love. Later, off leash, they played as though they were bonded littermates.
But possibly the most defining moment was when the new family’s granddaughter stepped up to the fence to meet him. Tobias walked carefully to her as though he was navigating a mine field. He gazed into her eyes with gentle adoration and kissed her through the fence. And we wondered whether he’d been with children in his previous life. Perhaps part of his heartache had been not only losing a home, but also losing a family with children. When I asked him about it he said no, but he loved the innocence of children. They mean no harm, he said.
Now Tobias has a home again. He lives with his new love Bella on a half an acre. He has a large family with parents, children, and grandchildren to love. And he is part of a large pack that romps together when the family reunites for get-togethers. And although chaos and turmoil had separated him from his previous family, he has regained peace and love and all that he once lost.