Do our animals take on our stuff? Do they mirror us? Or, do they just have similar issues? Or, are they affected by stress, or genetics? We discussed this in the most recent class I taught at Yavapai Community College. My answer is that everything is not cut and dry. All these questions are true. Different times and circumstances we may find different answers.
Recently, in one situation, I found that the answer was that our animals mirror and hold our energies. Sarah, my lovely, older beagle mix, had a bladder infection. This was during a time I was particularly pissed off at the world and everything. I hadn’t even noticed at the time I was instinctually downing glass after glass of cranberry juice. In hindsight, I wish I had given some to Sarah.
We moved to our new place and Sarah’s bladder infection, with my anger, dissipated and began to heal. She was doing great and so was I. But through a series of events, my balance got thrown right off. Sure enough, Sarah had an ear infection that threw her into vertigo! Later we would find at the vet’s office, she had a foxtail deep in her ear that had to be removed. What I heard intuitively was something that was there, and shouldn’t have been, was ready to come out and was dislodged causing problems. Ironically, when the foxtail was discovered, I spent those days emotionally “processing” alot of old stuff that needed to go.
I finally got it, the lesson, through my loyal, dog friend. I looked at her and said, “Sarah, let’s get our balance back. You don’t need to take this on.”
After lots of talks with my helpers and friends, a ton of writing about whatever spilled out, I felt my balance return and my clarity. Sure enough, Sarah’s visit to the vet revealed a clear and healthy ear. Coincidence? We know better.
Can talking to your animal end the mirroring and carrying? As an over-responsible empath, I can say that it has been a challenge for me to learn that “carrying is not caring.” Perhaps, Sarah is learning the same, and no amount of conversations will simply stop the pattern until she gets it, or perhaps, I get it.