Recently, on my monthly Intuitive Translator Call, we asked a dog named Nala, how she felt about all of the Christmas celebrations and decorations in her house. The way she responded touched me deeply. She told me that she really likes everything about Christmas in her current home with Heather, because here she is a part of the fun and even gets presents! She told me in her previous home, she was just an observer during Christmas and sat on the sidelines watching the family enjoy the day without her. And now in her current family, which has six dogs, she is included as well as all the other dogs. They all get presents to open, and it’s a very exciting time for everyone in the house, even the dogs! In Nala’s own words, “I love Christmas. Thank you for making Christmas so beautiful a fun!”
Heather G. has invited me to communicate with their dogs for a very long time. I’ve spoken with Nala ever since she came to this home a few years ago. The one thing we’ve noticed from day one is that she wanted everyone to be included in ALL of the activities. It occurred to me on the call that she must have been excluded from so much in her young life before she came to live with her current family.
There is more you should know about her. Heather lives on a dead-end country road where several dogs have been sadly abandoned by their owners. Can you even imagine? It’s so heartbreaking. When Heather found Nala three years ago, she told me that she was afraid to get into her car. For a long time after her rescue, she was terrified to get into any vehicle due to the trauma of abandonment she experienced. Her paws were also burned from the hot blacktop, because she chased the speeding car that was leaving her behind. So very sad.
During my first communication session with Nala, we learned a great deal about her past. She was an apartment dog and didn’t often get to ride in the car. When her people took her for a rare ride in the country, she was so excited for the adventure. When they got out of the car, her people quickly got back in and sped away as fast as they could. It was a hot 104-degree Tennessee day, but Nala was committed to chasing after them on the hot asphalt. She ran and ran, but couldn’t catch up to them. This is how she burned her paws.
Nala wandered on the road all day, and by nightfall she made her way back to the place where she was abandoned. Nala told us she felt guided to stay in this place until help came for her. We learned that guided force came from Lucky, Heather’s dog who passed away a year ago. When we tried to ask Nala what her name was, she told us it was silly or inconsequential. We asked her what she wanted to be called. She told us her name needed to have a special meaning. Heather found three names that her family liked. In the end, they decided Nala was the winner due to the meaning; beloved gift. They felt Nala was indeed a true beloved gift from Heather’s soul-dog Lucky.
Heather was grateful to find this beautiful soul. In her own words, “Nala has been a dog of joy, extremes, and inclusion, while unknowingly teaching us so much. She is a true blessing and a much-loved addition to our large dog family.” A very happy ending to the tragic beginning of Nala’s life.
I’d like to share a couple of Heather G's ideas that she uses to include her dogs in their family’s holiday celebrations. I hope you find them helpful.
1. Give each dog a brown bag (or open box) with two wrapped toys and assorted treats with no wrappers. Decorate Brown Bag with old Christmas cards and your dog’s name or wrap a topless box in Christmas wrapping. Wrap the toys inside (no bows or ribbons!). When dogs are given the bag, they will dive in and get the treats and toys. For those dogs who aren’t inclined to tear the wrapping paper, put a few tiny treats inside the wrapper to encourage them to open it.
2. For treats, do a combo of a few bite sized treats (unwrapped and ready to eat) and easy chew sticks and/or longer lasting rawhides, depending on your dog’s preference.
3. If you have multiple dogs, supervise all dogs to avoid fights. Use caution to make the holiday experience fun and safe for each dog according to their personalities, likes and dislikes. Give distance between dogs when handing out bags. DO NOT allow dogs to steal from each other or push another away of their bag or box.
4. If you have multiple dogs and one is a little more timid than the others and doesn’t response well to excitement, give that dog their gift in a separate room where they can enjoy it without feeling anxious.
Wishing Everyone peace, love and joy during this holiday season.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!