Yes, Leon chomped Ken. This happened just hours before he chased and was sprayed by a skunk.
And all of this was right in the middle of discovering he is not housebroken. (I’ve been living in a tiny cabin all summer, basically camping with Leon, and we just moved into a house for the colder weather).
In these moments, I couldn’t help but ask:
Why did I adopt a dog?
And then the deeper question sets in…
As an animal communicator, does it make me a failure to be doubting my decision, or having these issues in the first place?
Owning My Part
I can take responsibility for all of it.
I should have emphasized to Ken how sensitive Leon is about his collar. At the moment of the bite, Leon was trying to get to where I had wandered in the yard. He was tangled in his leash though, so Ken was trying to fix that.
Leon interpreted the pressure of Ken on his collar as something keeping him from coming over to me. He used the method of communication he could access in that moment: his teeth.
Fortunately there were no skin-breaking punctures. If Ken had been a hairy dog, then it probably wouldn’t have hurt him at all.
Most importantly, Ken was cool about still loving Leon. Forgiveness ensued. (Swoon!)
So while Leon’s bite wasn’t a vicious act, it was an unnecessarily strong boundary. It was based in the trauma of Leon’s past experiences- some of which he’s showed me when I’ve tuned-in, and some that are a mystery.
As Leon’s person, it’s up to me to know his triggers, help heal them, and act as the translator between Leon and other human-animals.
I could explain how the skunk and peeing inside are things I can also take responsibility for, but you get the point- I’m not blaming Leon for being an animal. Even if he is a nippy little bastard of an animal.
Sometimes It’s Nice to Give Up Hope
I wish I had adopted a dog more prone to growling. But as I’m learning about Leon, he just bypasses growls and goes straight for using his chomp.
You see, this wasn’t his first bite. A week after I adopted him, he bit my Dad at the farm. Dad had wanted to play fetch with Leon’s favorite toy, but Leon wasn’t familiar with the game, or Dad, and he thought Dad was stealing his toy.
Chomp. Ouch. A lot of turmoil ensued in my family system.
I’ve done Family Constellations around this.
I’ve tuned-in and talked with Leon about it.
Then, I’ve given up hope and ignored these tools, sinking into dismay.
My inner critic has been full-on: how can I call myself an animal communicator, a healer of animal trauma, if I can’t even “fix” my dog?!
Today, I recognized I haven’t been my best self. I’ve been too focused on the outcome of what “success” would be measured by- having a “perfect” dog. A trauma-free, drama-free dog. A dog that wouldn’t even be an animal in the truest sense of what that means, because, animals are imperfect.
While in my fear, I haven’t been the best person I could be for Leon. I haven’t fully shown up, in love and gratitude in every moment. I have essentially stopped communication with him- not even taking time to listen to him regularly. Yikes.
And yet, at the end of the day, it’s all part of my lesson. Leon is my mirror, my teacher, and my friend. I love him.
He’s helping me know myself more deeply, just like any relationship.
Loving the Trauma
Last month I made a video about trauma, and loving animals who have experienced it, (it’s the second one at this link).
As I was reconnecting with that part of my heart today, I asked for support from animal guides in other dimensions. Tons of archetypes answered my prayerful meditation: a zebra, monkey, snake, bear, lions, and a hummingbird. They surrounded Leon and I, each offering something sweet energetically.
And I was able to reconnect with hope.
I might give up hope again… it sucks to have a dog I love biting people I love. It’s heavy and hard.
But I do believe there’s a way these challenges are shaping me into a better animal communicator, healer, and teacher.
At the least, I’m learning a lot about another animal walking the earth. His name is Leon. He has eyes like a lion, a huge open heart, and if you piss him off, he might bite you.
This past May, my intention during a ritual was asking The Divine to use me for the greater good of animals, and in June, Leon came into my life. So here I stand, ready and willing to be of service, amidst all the turmoil.
Even when that means smelling like a skunk.
Photo credit: Aria Everts – Leon, looking handsome at the beach, proud of the hole he dug.