Continuing on the series of lost animals, I would like to write something about the importance of Socialization.
According to Wikipedia or the dictionary, society is “the aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community.”
As I said in a previous article, humans always tried to be in groups to protect themselves (like other herd/pack animals). They understood, very soon, that it is very hard to survive when they were alone. Little agglomerations were followed by villages, towns, cities, states and countries. In my anthropology class, my teacher taught us that the basis of society is the family.
The family is the basic cell of our society. In the family, we learn the “rules” of the rest of society and then we go to school, clubs and other human groups to continue our development. In our maturation, we can get married, have children and start our own family. The arrival of our own children is a happy event in our own lives. We commemorate their: birth, baptism (when applicable), birthday and marriages. These are socialized commemorations where many humans gather and new friendships arise.
Our family is formed by humans but also by animals and plants. Whoever ever had a garden knows very well that trees and plants are part of one’s life. “Our”: dogs, cats, horses, mice, hamsters, fishes, snakes and all animal that entered our life and live inside our house or in our property have an important role in our family. Unfortunately, in the majority of times, they are kept out of every human commemoration.
Even thought, they seem not to be able to talk, our animals are connecting and communicating with us all the time. They make their best to show us when they are hungry, tired, thirsty, sad, playful and happy. Although, it is hard for human beings who are not used to communicating with their pets , to understand them, the animals do understand the humans very well and can even “read their minds” through telepathy. Accepted or not by the human being, it is a fact already proven by Quantum Physics.
The experiment done by Dr Rupert Sheldrake (Biologist and Author) proved that dogs do know what time their owners are coming home, independent to the fact that the schedule can be altered, and where the owner is. His book: “Dogs that know when their owners are coming home” proves that there is a telepathic connection between owner/family and animal.
The way we see and interact with our animals varies immensely, from person/family to person. As we all know, there are people completely disconnected from nature, plants or animals that can spend their lives living in a big city, surrounded only by humans and technology and that cannot understand the infinite possibility of this missed connection. What we receive from this connection with our planet fellows is an immense treasure that should be shared to our fellow humans.
Many times, doing tracking with other animal communicators, we have asked to the animal to seek another human to help him. Many times, I have encountered fear, when I proposed this solution, and I had found out that the pet was not used to other humans and/or animals.
Being a happy “mum” of 2 street cats turned family members: Kostakis and Cecile, I learned the joys of living together with two animals. In the beginning, my “feral” cats were uneasy to other humans, but, with the passing of times and after many visits and parties in my own apartment, they were, not only roommates but also, house owners and friends with my own friends.
As a trainee in the Tellington Touch Method, I am always visiting animals in their own house. It surprises me, many times to go to places where they keep their animals closed or separated from the guests. Many times, the animals can have an “aggressive” or “fearful” behavior and it is explained that “they don’t like people” (?) No wonder they don’t like people, I think, if they are always kept separated from them. A result of this situation is the fear of the animal when lost in a strange place. My cat Cecile proved it to me twice.
Cecile was rescued when she was a little kitten. At home, she always avoided visitors, hiding in a room. I always let her be and slowly she would come and see my friends. They would praise her and talk to her. With time, she stopped running away and enjoyed spending the night watching us from the armchair. This easiness and confidence that she obtained helped her twice; once when she fell from the balcony and waited calmly for me to come home to let her in and another, when she left the pension and waited for the lady to go and pick her up.
Member of our family
Animals are member of our families. We should be proud of them and introduce them to our friends, too. As we organize baptism and birthday parties for our human babies, we should also commemorate all the years that we spend with our baby animals. Perhaps a human birthday party will not seem very attractive to our furry friends, but a special meal, music or touches would make them so happy.
To get used to our human friends will give them security and self confidence. Many times, strays can be afraid of strangers and socializing in a fruitful way with your friends can heal wounds caused my heartless humans.
I have an AC client whose cat used to be afraid of people. After talking to him, I realized that he truly saw no advantage in making friends with other people as he was quite happy to live with mum and dad, alone. I advised the mother of the cat to give treats to visitors when they came visiting, so they gave him rewards and presented him with a good reason to meet new people. The last time I came to visit, he was glued to my shoes (as they had some odor that he liked) and there was no need for treats!
A few months ago, there was a “fait-diver” in the news in Greece. Rottweilers had killed a baby in the grandfather’s house. Researching dog attacks in Greece, I ended up finding multiple cases in Greece and abroad. The fact that many dogs are trained to attack and used, also, in dog fighting rings made the image of dogs and animals, in general, a threat to humans that do not know them nor realize the problem of making a dog aggressive. This kind of dog training combined with the fact that these animals live isolated from other humans pose a huge danger for family members and dogs.
A good friend in the UK, Jill, told me once that dogs attack mailmen because they are the only ones that come to our door and don’t come in. Inviting your mailman to come in and making friends with your dog will solve this problem. There is no behavior problem that cannot be solved with love and friendship. Socialization is the key into bringing your fur baby in contact with the outside world and making him self-confident.
It is a pity that humans do not know animal communication. If they could understand the acute (and sometimes superior) intelligence and sensibility of our brothers and sisters of four legs, they would not use extreme methods to treat them. Dogs can be excellent guardians, without having to be trained to be aggressive.
It is up to us to place our furry friends in the society and teach society that animals are here to help and protect us, not to be trained to be aggressive nor fighting in rings. This will help your animal to get used to people and not be afraid once lost or in a different and strange situation. I have found that Tellington Training method (sometimes in conjunction with animal communication) is the best to “socialize” animals that have been traumatized in their past.
Socialization, when and how
Parking my car the other day, I happened to see my neighbors with their rescued puppy. At the sound of the door, the puppy reared back in fear and started to growl and bark. His terror was apparent. I tried to make friends with him, on the spot and he seemed to calm down. I explained to the family that feeling fear is not normal, in young puppies, in places where they are used to be. I witnessed, in the last months, various times when he was left alone and he barked and cried the whole time. Although I offered to apply the TTouch techniques for free, the couple refused saying it was normal to feel fear as he was young and that they were taking him for obedience training, latter on.
People have to realize that animals are intelligent beings that need socialization as we do. They are not cars that you park in the garage, do a service, from time to time and put gasoline to keep it going. They are not “things” that you train to attack to impress your friends, protect your house or make money in a ring. They have personalities and voices that need to be heard and respected.
The best time to start introducing your puppy to “society” (friends) is when he first arrives in your house. He will feel welcome and encircled by love. If he is a rescue and afraid, use the Tellington Technique to give him self confidence and get used to people. Give him time and space and he will grow up to be your ( and society) best friend, and, when he gets lost, he will not be afraid to approach people for help.