In this relationship rescue article I’ll share how my ‘heartbeat at my feet’ helps me understand how to improve communication in every one of my relationships.
“My little dog – a heartbeat at my feet.” —Edith Wharton
It’s amazing how much Oscar communicates with my husband and I. He can’t say a word but he’s always communicating. Oscar’s our 17 pound shi-poo and a very important member of our family. I love to dress him up in this very cute Priceless t-shirt that reads: Collar: $38 T-shirt:$22 My pup: PRICELESS
In my interactions with and about Oscar I see genuine communication wisdom that offers insight how rescue relationships that are troubled.
Here’s some examples of how Oscar communicates:
- When he wants to go outside (or when he’s bored and wants attention) he hits the bell we have hanging on the door that leads outside to tell us.
- When he wants water (usually at night when we’re trying to sleep) he stands on me or Jeff and stares with precision at the bedside table until one of us makes water available.
- When he wants a treat he stands at the refrigerator door telling us intently and expectantly that he’d love for a treat to appear.
Our neighbors have just added two cute-as-button puppies to their already busy household. I ran into the new puppy parents separately several weeks ago – both were expressing distress. It seems their new family members are a handful and they can’t get them trained to not ‘mess’ in the house. I tried to offer some pet relationship rescue advice. We’ve had such success with the bell hanging on the back door (Oscar was trained in just a few days) I tried to share that idea with each parent.
They were both very busy complaining, so I guessed they didn’t hear my suggestions and relationship rescue advice, because when I ran into them again this weekend, they were STILL complaining about puppy-mess problems.
Other then the fact that you now know that we have a very smart and cute dog what’s the point in sharing this with you? The point is that there are key communication principles that apply to how you communicate with all beings. These communication principles apply to dog or kid parenting, in sales, in leadership, on a team and with your significant other.
Relationship Rescue: Human Whisperer Communication Principles for all Living Beings:
- All beings communicate their needs and wants. Even if they’re not saying anything, they ARE communicating important information. This is important to note. Just because someone’s not talking, don’t assume that they have nothing to say. Tune in and look for other clues – to understand what they are thinking and feeling, besides just words.
- Our job as a parent, leader, sales person, friend, team member or significant other is to tune in and listen aggressively to what the person you care about saying or not saying. (Listening aggressively is to hear with energetic pursuit with a demonstrated desire to understand.)
- We have to provide regular and reliable communication systems so that people will share their true insights, wants and needs if we want to be effective. These systems can include anything that gets a conversation going, such as a bell on the door for the dog or for humans, confidential online surveys or face-to-face, one-to-one discussions.
- If we get stuck complaining about what ‘they’re’ doing – we can’t hear answers that are right in front of us.
Every living thing is communicating, the question is – are you tuning in and listening aggressively or do they have to create a ‘mess’ to communicate with you? Think about these relationship rescue principles as you work to improve and deepen every important relationship in your life.
“I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.” —Gilda Radner
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