I finally have a full weekend off after a long but brilliant month. It’s been tiring and some times stressful with challenging cases. When we feel drained or stressed our animals really pick up on this and can act as human barometers. My first dog Buzz used to let me know I needed to calm down by staying away when I was rushed or annoyed. His perfect recall would disintegrate before my eyes and only then would I recognise that my emotions were running high. He sensed that I needed to calm down using calming signals to help me change my behaviour. He would sniff the ground, move in wide circles and stay away. The second I dropped the irritation he would come bounding up as if he was the cleverest dog in the world for helping me to calm down. My present dog has a different reaction to my emotions. The one anti-social (To us humans, not dogs) behaviour she has, that of eating other dogs pooh, increases if she gets stressed. If I get more annoyed with her, she will hunt and eat more faeces. On days like today when I am light and happy around Bea, engaging her in fun activities the intake of pooh drops. Why am I talking about my dogs foul habits? Because it highlights how our behaviour affects those around us, especially our animals. They are so in tune they pick up our intentions with easy, disappearing at the first thought of bathing them or going to the vets. We rush everything. Just by being patient and allowing them time to settle can make a huge difference. It took me ten months of gentle handling for Bea to be happy for me to clip her nails. I know now that she will be relaxed for me to do this task for the rest of her life. I could have pinned her down and insisted on getting them all done at once but that would only result in a life long struggle. So the lesson for the week is to let go of irritation and unrealistic expectations and go with the flow. Enjoy the weekend folks and have fun with the amazing creatures that share and enrich your life.