This article was received intuitively from my non-physical spiritual “Team.”
Who are these mysterious, yet lovable creatures with whom we share our lives? How can we help them feel loved and contented? What are we learning from them? We know that the animals we choose or those that show up in our lives are very special and we are curious about how they think, what they think about, what they feel, and if they are happy.
The animals that come into our lives do not do so by accident. They are here as our teachers as we are here to teach them. Animals come to our planet for various reasons. Most importantly they come to learn about emotions, as understanding emotion and ego are the dynamics of Earth’s lessons.
Even though their purposes on earth are virtually identical, dogs and cats express different aspects of the creative force. They are also on evolutionary paths that vary widely from creature to creature. Initially, animals that come to earth need many life times to familiarize themselves with our planet and their new identities as restricted aspects of their total selves. They are guided by animal devas and at that level defer to a group consciousness. Once these groups master the art of survival they begin to “individuate” and enter the world of humans.
At this point, animals receive guidance from the same devas (nature spirits) that assist human beings. In fact, the same deva may be assigned to an animal throughout the course of its entire evolution on earth. Devas that guide humans also have small numbers of animal souls under their guidance, which in turn, are part of your soul family. These animals are with you again and again, lifetime after lifetime, while other animals will be brought in occasionally. If you give it a moment’s thought you will know immediately which animals spring from your soul family and which do not.
Aside from the fear experienced at the hands of predators or the contentment of a full stomach, emotions are unexplored territory to the unindividuated animal. At the level that animals individuate and are influenced by humans, they learn emotion from us. By opening themselves up energetically they literally experience our feelings. Generally, animals are unable to sort through and select what they feel; they are simply open. Initially these emotions can be very confusing and they have a hard time differentiating the nuances of “good” and “bad” feelings and may simply get upset. There are more behavioral problems in animals that are new to the world of subtle emotions.
Often animals experience the emotions that their human companions are suppressing. This is a potent opportunity for human learning. Or, an animal chooses to be born with certain personality characteristics that are important for his “owner” to recognize. These traits may be closely aligned with those of the person or diametrically opposed, depending on the lesson. And always, the animal has also chosen this as an opportunity for growth. For example, if a pet cat is born timid and fearful, it may be that the owner is timid and fearful also. The human may not recognize this trait as her own, but the fear exists on a more subtle level. The cat becomes a constant reminder to her to look deep within—to recognize that pattern within herself and to heal and overcome her fears. As she heals, so does her cat.
If a dog exhibits a strong urge to play, it’s possible that his owner takes life too seriously and needs to be reminded to play. If the dog’s need to play and express herself are consistently ignored, eventually the dog will give up trying and possibly become depressed. Not only will the person not have received this gift, but will have hampered the dog’s ability to be joyful as well. At that point the dog’s depression and the person’s depression become strongly linked and the two begin to suffer together. Sadly, although creating a common bond, they both lose out on the chance for fun and growth.
Humans seek to validate their feelings and rarely choose close human companions who do not mirror their points of view. Unfortunately, more often than not, the human never sees—much less gains insight— from the “mirroring” of friends or family. That’s where the dog’s or cat’s particular personality plays an important role. A person will gravitate toward the animal that has a particular lesson for them. It is the day to day, gentle, but firm prodding of the animal that creates the opportunity for change.
Why then are so many animals “gotten rid of”?
This question calls for a variety of answers. Occasionally the answer is very simple, the animal’s destiny is with another human and the original owner is just a midway point; usually, the answer is a bit trickier.
Sometimes the human subconsciously becomes aware of the role the animal is to play and simply is unwilling to change. The human begins to see the animal as threatening. The pet senses his “owner’s” discomfort and at that point, not before, exhibits the kind of inappropriate behavior that finds it “out the door.” Sometimes the animal’s mission is so specific that the animal chooses to die, regroup and come back to earth under a different set of circumstances. The playful dog, usually, can always be of service in another relationship, he just basically changes jobs! In some cases, giving up an animal is part of a larger plan. It can be an opportunity for a person to check his or her priorities or examine his motivations. For example, a person who is all too willing to give up an animal that is not perfect may be all too willing to give up a human relationship that is imperfect.
Occasionally it’s important for a person to choose a human over an animal. A woman, for example, who plans to marry and live with a man from another country, may find making the decision to leave her animals a difficult one. The ability to make that choice implies a great deal of bravery and willingness to commit to her new partner. In cases like this, animals usually do very well because they understand subconsciously that their task was specific and short-lived.
In some cases when humans and animals part, it’s because the animal finds himself so displeased with his situation that he chooses to leave. Bad behavior can be a very effective way to go or sadly there are times when an animal’s situation is so bad it will choose to die rather than continue dealing with it.
It seems that all too often animals wind up in less than perfect homes. As with people, it is important to know that this situation is indeed a choice for both pet and person. From the arrival of the pet into the home until its departure, lessons are being learned. Many animals need to experience lives of grief and loneliness—eventually coming to know the entire spectrum of emotions available on earth. Send love and peace to these animals, but detach and realize that they are where they are supposed to be just as you are where you are supposed to be. However, there are many times when ignoring a bad situation is simply unthinkable and the rescue of an animal is a lesson in itself.
Why are some people exclusively dog lovers and some exclusively cat lovers?
The reasons for this are multi-faceted. Basically, the difference lies in the inherent natures of dogs and cats. How each individual interprets “dog” and “cat” is key. Cats show us how to love ourselves unconditionally, while dogs show us how to love others unconditionally. Dogs will go to great lengths to prove that they are worthy and lovable. They show us the importance of service and sacrifice. Cats, on the other hand, show us that it is fine just to “be” —that we are perfect in God’s eyes no matter what we do. A person strongly drawn to one species or the other is usually not just drawn to cats or dogs, but actively dislikes the other. A “dog” person, for example often finds cats aloof, unfriendly and uncooperative, while they see a dog as loving, friendly and eager for companionship.
A person who sees cats in the above manner may either be shy or aloof or even very insecure. Often they feel that what they do or who they are is never enough, resenting that the cat just “is” and doesn’t try to please. This person’s world view has convinced them that there are certain things a person must do to gain affection. That the cat can simply choose not to is very unnerving because it strikes a very deep and painful ring of truth. Generally the human, instead of witnessing the cat and realizing how wonderful it is to just “be,” feels very threatened. Sometimes they are so threatened that they develop allergies, preventing even contact with cats. Interestingly, when “cat haters” are ready to look at themselves differently, often a cat will show up and transform these people into cat-loving fanatics.
People who actively dislike dogs in favor of cats may be self-centered and self-serving, seeing the responsibilities of dog ownership as extremely burdensome. Or, they may be uncomfortable with displays of human affection and see a dog’s display of affection as intrusive and obnoxious.
How do animals communicate our lessons to us?
Communication happens in a variety of ways from the very obvious to the much more subtle. In general, dogs communicate more overtly than cats. As in the example of the playful dog, his obvious, overt behavior is the manner of communication. An aggressive dog, on the other hand, may indicate aggressive traits in her owner. Animals, particularly cats, can show humans more about themselves just by being. However, the lesson may be very subtle, interpreted as you would a dream symbol. A very demanding cat may not be reflecting this trait back to her owner but showing the owner that she needs to make more demands in her life. In multi-pet/multi-human households it is common to find that the different animals reflect the different personalities and relationship dynamics of its members.
Frequently, an animal dies under the circumstances of a powerful lesson. Sadly, more often than not, humans need a crisis to wake them up and animals are ready and willing to make that sacrifice.
The important thing to remember is that for each pet and its owner, the symbols and lessons are different. Just as one cannot generalize about dream symbolism, one cannot be too general about animal/human symbolism. For example, an aggressive dog may be assigned to a gentle owner for the dog’s growth, not necessarily indicating subconscious aggression in his owner. The bottom line is that if we open ourselves to learning from our pets they will show us what we need to know.
In conclusion, our pets are here for important and sometimes difficult missions – both for themselves and for us humans. They deserve the same love and respect we would give to any important teacher in our lives. So, take some time each day to show your love and appreciation to these special friends who give so much and ask for so little in return.
©2015 Rhonda Weisberg