It all began with a pup.
Toby came into my life on February 12, 2015. I had been wanting to adopt a dog for a couple months and was waiting semi-patiently for one to come into my life.
Not surprisingly my Mom found his listing online from a rescue organization and we drove up that same day to meet him.
Toby was in rough condition.
When the lady carried him out of her van, he clung to her out of fear. He looked dirty, smelled and seemed sick or drugged. Mom started to cry at the sight of him and that’s when I knew I couldn’t send him back with his present caretaker.
The lady from the rescue organization (I use that term loosely) told us the part of the story she knew – he was found in a field in December where he was taken to a kill shelter and his days were numbered there. She rescued him and he lived with her for a month, along with her 5 other dogs, until she realized she could no longer keep him. She really seemed to love him and wished he could stay but she said said she had to give him up.
He had never been walked and she believed he was too far gone to ever be able to be a ‘normal’ dog warning me to never let him outside or walk him.
When she drove away I gently set him down on the ground and he truly did not know what to do. He panicked, looking for somewhere to hide and curled up on the ground. It was heartbreaking.
We drove Toby home and at this time we was still going by the name the shelter gave him, Baxter. Both Mom and I agreed he needed a new name.
So we listed off name after name until Mom said, “Toby!” and Toby gave us the confirmation we were looking for. He jerked his head and stared straight at my Mom. That was the first time he acknowledged us.
The next couple weeks were really rough.
That first night we were able to pick him up and bathe him – he had fleas and his legs were stained brown, including his mouth.
After that he would run away from us and cower in the corner if we came close. We just gave him space. He also didn’t go to the bathroom, eat or drink for three days.
He was petrified to be outside. I would walk him a couple steps, turn around and go back – repeating that for 10 minutes or so until I could tell he was at his limit. every day I’d try to go a bit further with him. He would just sleep in his bed all day and not want to be touched. He would jump at the littlest noise and was terrified of other people, especially children and men.
I began to work with a dog trainer and she was pivotal in helping me understand Toby and how to work with him. But I still knew that there had to be more I could do for him.
Then one day a good friend, Sarah shared that she was coordinating a class called, Linking Awareness.
It was in Monterey, CA over a weekend. I didn’t quite understand what it was about but I learned Loesje, the creator of it and a BodyTalk practitioner could communicate with animals so I was totally in. My Mom, cousin Claire and I all made a weekend trip out of it.
I am intuitive and have worked with various energy healing modalities for quite a few years before this but I had a block around the idea that I could work and communicate with animals.
I figured that if I brought Toby to this class he’d most likely share something with Loesje and then she could pass along the message to me. I was determined to find out his story and to learn from him I how could better help!
Linking Awareness changed everything for me.
Not only did it help me understand how to non-verbally communicate with Toby and other animals, but it started me on the path I am on now.
Right after the three day course I signed up to learn BodyTalk, went on a Linking Awareness adventure to South Africa 5 months after that and then spent one month in Indonesia exploring BodyTalk and learning BodyTalk for animal. This all happened within a year of Toby entering my life.
To say that Toby was my catalyst is an under statement.
Toby did tell us his story in class. He was the very last animal on the very last day to share. Just like humans, animals enjoy their privacy too and Toby does not wish this particular story to be written. But I can say that after he was able to share with us what happened to him, express his concerns and open up about his fears – he was a changed dog.
He didn’t need me to “do” anything. He just needed me to observe. No judgement, emotion or trying to fix anything. Just listening with an open-heart was what he desired.
This is my approach to working with people and animals. I do not “fix” anything. I am not a “healer”. I am simply an observer, bearing witness to energy that wishes to be expressed, therefore transformed.
Toby and I communicate on a regular basis…
“where are you?” when I am gone a little too long for his liking
or a “your Dad could really use a BodyTalk session”
and the occasional “more chicken please”
The world opens up for us when we begin to understand and connect with the animal kingdom. Their intelligence, wisdom and pure love is a gift to all humanity and I can’t wait until everyone walking this Earth honors and understands that.
If you wish to learn more, watch this beautiful video about Linking Awareness.
We all have the ability to communicate with our animal friends and surely if I can do it you can too! And please, don’t buy animals when there are so many patiently waiting for homes in our shelters and foster homes.
Oh, and Toby is doing amazing. He is confident, assertive and loves his work of keeping the Adams’ on their toes and walking their paths.