My husband and I recently took an evening stroll into newer territory. As we walked past a house, in a fairly remote area, a pit bull came out of nowhere charging across the yard. As he ran in our direction I nervously noticed that there was no fence between he and us and that he had free and clear access to the road on which we were walking. His defensive barking and aggressive posture had a definite 'I'm gonna tear you to shreds' feel to it. Showing no signs of fear, friendliness or submission of any kind, he was all 'you're in MY territory' energy. Gulp... Was this a potential nightmare? Or an animal communicator's opportunity...?
I quickly decided that it would be best to treat this as an opportunity. It was either that or... well, god knows what. We were in the middle of nowhere and an angry dog with a breed-associated reputation for being aggressive was fast approaching. I had some skills so I better darn well use them.
I dropped my awareness into my heart and began silently communicating with him, assuring him that we came in peace and with the utmost respect for his protector role. I also told him that we were just passing through and would be continuing on our way. I held my head high, avoided making direct eye contact with him, kept my gaze forward and kept walking at a steady, even pace. Without any words being spoken both my husband, and a friend's dog, who was walking with us, fell into step with me. It felt as if we were joined with an invisible thread of light and our connected whole was energetically greater than the sum of our parts.
The dog was now in our space and offensively charged up to my right side. Though, at this moment I could have been forgiven for freaking out (I didn't!), I continued, with every ounce that I could muster, to hold my space and walk on. He stopped short, within inches of me, then silently moved in behind us and followed, threateningly close on our heels. Though it was disconcerting (and not the easiest thing I've ever done, truth be told - I could feel the hair raising on the back of my neck), we all managed to maintain our poise, keep our heads up, gazes forward and continue walking.
Within a minute or two I could no longer feel the dog's energy in our space. Cautiously glancing behind, I saw that he had indeed dropped back and was heading towards his yard again.
Though I communicate with animals daily, this was a challenge. Because, quite frankly, I was scared. To react to the situation from a place of fear would have only exacerbated things. I sensed that I had to somehow get on top of my fear by carrying myself 'as if' I was confident and unafraid. So that' s what I did. I faked it until I made it, plain and simple. I did all I could to give the appearance of a calm, cool exterior as I spoke to him, in spite of the fact that I did not necessarily feel that way within myself. Sometimes that's what you have to do.
And, apparently it worked! Though we have decided that we will not be walking by that house again any time soon, thank you very much...
For the record I want to make it very clear that I love pit bulls. They are one of the most incredibly gentle, intelligent and loving dog breeds that I have ever come across. I've had many a fine conversation with a pit bull! This was simply a dog doing his good work and protecting his territory and I spoke my respect for that. Communicating that respect to him also helped to make the difference in this situation.
Hey, I'm Clare.
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