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I have always had a companion animal. They usually *picked* me. My current companion, Siona, was an unexpected rescue. She is very communicative with myself and my son. People constantly tell me "That's NOT a dog! That's a person in a dog suit!", because of how expressive and communicative she can be.
She has warned me of dangers that I was unaware of, comforted me when I was sad, celebrated when she saw me happy, helps me find my car keys and pushed me into doing things I never would have chose to do myself.

When I meditate, she sits quietly by my side. When I am done, she gets up, stretches in a manner that would make a yoga master proud and takes me outside for our walk.

I sometimes run decisions or choices I have to make past her before I finalize anything. I know it may sound silly, but sometimes if I go against what seems to be HER choice, I quickly found out I made a mistake.

I have come to consider her my *guide animal*. She is sometimes in my dreams, clearing paths for me when all seems chaotic and confused. When I wake after such a dream, I invariably find her staring at me attentively--she seems to know where we were and what we were doing in *our* dream.

I have read how many shamans possessed a *guide animal* and it seems I have one now.

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Hello Gwenivere. I am of the same understanding as yourself that my companions work with merather than the other way around. I just lost my beloved companion Cosmo due to epilepsy and he was very scared at the end. He was trying to communicate to me his fears and doubts about his future. He knew that he was not staying very long so stayed by my side day and night. He was a 196 pound Saint and our kinship was very deep.

He taught me many things about myself for which I am grateful for. It saddens me greatly when I hear of people who treat and speak to these gifted beings as though they were beneath them....which this could not be further from the truth.

It is good to 'meet' another who values the communion of such loving beings.
I completely agree with your thoughts as well, many of the companions that have been drawn to me have exhibited the same qualities.

I think ones of the "proofs" of this level of consciousness, is how cats and dogs know exactly what part of your body you see from, your eyes. This is absolute amazing to me, that they could comprehend even this most underrated trait.

From there, looking into their eyes is when you know, looking deep into their thoughts and into yours as well, there is connection.

A shared consciousness experiencing itself through different forms, fascinating post!
I read a study that was done...and saw videos taken during the study about the *kinship* between dogs and humans.
The dogs, indeed, *knew* that the humans could see through their eyes.
The dogs were shown a treat. It was placed where the animal in the room could not get it, but the human could. (This was *demonstrated* to the dog)
Different people were were brought into the room. Some had been instructed to look at the dog, some to NOT look at the dog, some were blindfolded and one was blind.
When someone looked at the dog, the animal would try to *tell* them to get the treat by various behaviors...looking into the persons eyes and then looking to where the treat was, looking at the person intently and then going to where the treat was, etc.
The dogs *knew* when a person was blindfolded. They did not make the effort, but usually just sighed and lay down on the floor.
When a person wouldn't look at them, they started barking or doing behaviors to get the persons attention focused on them.
When the person was blind, it got interesting. Without exception, the dogs *knew* within a few seconds that the person could not see and changed their behaviors.
These were not "trained" dogs. Several were strays from local animal shelters, most were mixed breed *mutts*. But all of them *got* it, insofar as the treat challenge was concerned.

The scientists surmised by their studies, that because of the long association of humans and dogs, dogs are now genetically *stamped* to recognize humans as companions---for the most part, desirable companions. They accept us as part of their *pack*, albeit, fur-less members that bark funny, lol,

I used to raise and train dobermans. Amazing animals. They (and most other dogs) can be trained in a few days to recognize the boundaries of the *packs* territory (ever notice how some dogs will bark at the mailman or whomever only as long as that human is within a certain distance), they also will *watch* for anything out of the ordinary and alert their human *pack* immediately.

Siona (my wonderful companion) has saved me serious injury on at least one occasion. A person that was angry at me was coming up behind me, intent on doing me harm. I was not even aware of the situation as they were being very quiet. She saw the person and raced past me and jumped on them with such force, she knocked them to the ground and kept them there until she knew I had the situation under control.
She has NOT been trained as an attack-guard animal.
She is an intelligent, caring animal that only asks for my care and protection...and she gives hers in return.
Interesting you mention this here because the same happens to me with cats. My neighbor had a tomcat who always stayed in my place and when my neighbor got another cat (kitten), then the tomcat carried the kitten in his mouth like a mother to my place in order to take of it. Last summer a cat (around 4 months old) came to visit me and didn't want to leave since then, although I tried to convince him (a tomcat) to go back to his home. :-) He usually likes to sleep on my chest: what to say...it shows that he is male ;-)...and a very polite one: he always greets when he comes back from outside. What I like about cats is their strong will and their love for liberty, but also their sublimeness, gentleness and softness. You can't bring them to do something they wouldn't like to do. There must be a reason why he came to stay here. In Egypt cats were worshiped as guardians of the Underworld. Also interesting is that all my female ancestors had cats.
I have spent a lifetime with animals. I worked many jobs that involved mainly horses. I had one brief stint at the drive through animal park at Great Adventure in Jackson NJ. (Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!)
One thing that I know for absolutely sure. They know if you can "feel" them.
Funny little story. I have a little sabino mare here that was kept in a field across the street from my home. In the spring of that first year here, she was put there and nobody came near her or her companion, a little bay mare.
As the fly season arrived, I would put my horses out at night, when it was cool, and the bug activity dropped off and I would go out and bring them in just as the first light brightened the sky bringing the bugs.
That little mare would come up to the fenceline calling and nodding her head up and down persistently as she saw me bringing the herd in and it grieved me because I knew what she wanted. She wanted to go inside too. The two mares had no shelter and the bugs could be brutal.
One day, as I went to collect my mail, I saw her in the field about one hundred feet away and as I came across the road, she jogged right up in front of me and I could see that one nostril was badly torn, bloody, and covered with flies.
I got on the phone and told her owners about her injury and to their credit, a young woman came down and collected her and the other mare taking them down the road to a waiting vet.
As she was being led away, she looked over at me and called yet again, the same head nodding.
And...it bugged me that the two had noone to care for them and when winter came, they were out in the cold and were barely fed the poorest quality hay.
I resolved that if I could find a way to buy her I would and when the chance came, the owners were only to happy to let her go.
It's been five years now and that little mare always amazes me. She always knows what I'm thinking and responds by letting me know whether she approves or not. She's as careful as an old cat in the presence of my grandchildren. And more like a big dog than a horse. She forever shows me that she appreciates being here.
Funny too, because the brother of her former owner told me that she was a "nut job". I say she knew more about him than he'd care to know. She reads people like a cheap novel.
And her bay companion? A year after Jess came across, Sangria ( the bay), ended up here too. Long story that goes with that, but, I didn't have to buy her.
This one thing though is very true. They pick us, but, we draw them in by our focus.
Wonderful stories all.

ancestralblue said:
They pick us, but, we draw them in by our focus.


I SO agree with that. If you want/need an animal companion, you can call them to you. The one that is meant for you will come. It might take a months even, but if your will/desire is one-pointed and strong, the one meant for you will come. I know because it has happened just like that for me.
i always had a cat...meow......does that count...meow......i've had alot of other furry fishy and feathered friends as pets in my time too though i think the shaman uses the power of the animal or other spirited souls in journeying through their reality... realities....seen and unseen....

yes i do work with my spirit animal friends.

So true. My wife and I went out one night looking for a dog to rescue (we are very compassionate people lol) anyway... We went around our neighborhood searching for a stray dog because there seems to be an infinite amount of lost/ forgotten puppies in the area. So as we drive along in the truck with our dog treats searching for our rescue pup the first animal we came across was a raccoon, in a very suburban part of Los Angeles which was extremely bizarre... We decides to pass on the raccoon as we are not insane. Throwing treats out the window like some sort of doggie ice cream truck we must have given treats to over 10 dogs, none of which were the one for us. After only 25 minutes or so of searching we came across a lovely kitty cat that was very intrigued by us even though we were still in the vehicle driving by real slow. From the passenger seat I made eye contact with this beautiful multi colored cat and asked my wife to kindly pull over as I think we may have found what we were looking for (although a different species than what we had intended to bring home). Although allergic to cats I had to take care of this one, it was almost as if there was an instant connection. Now we have a cat living with us in our place and my allergies to felines is almost completely gone. It's so true that many times the animal you need will find you!
Yes. I have two cats, one which my fiancee "rescued" from her dad (at the time seemingly the runt of the litter but now the largest of them all) before she met me. I say rescued because she likely would have had a horrible time if left there. The second was a stray in our area. We looked after her and tried to find her owner and failing that took her in. She's a lazy little bugger but affectionate in her own way. They both have their own ways of helping out, however obscure it seems at the time.

Beyond that I was once refered to as Vithar by a friend who's more obsessed with Norse than me (which is hard for many who know me to believe). The name means forest warrior and he said he called me it because he sees me as a warrior/custodian for the natural world. This was after an incident where I rescued a couple of hedgehogs from being poisoned by a neighbour because she didn't want them damaging her garden.

I often get unexpected help and/or rare sightings/proximity from various wild animals too. I think it's their way of saying they know I'd help them if needed. Most signs I end up receiving are from animals and nature so it's a matter close to me.

Yes! I have a guide who was the first being I knowingly healed, thats how I learned about shamanism. I often ask him before doing something and often he will send me a vibe to either act on the simplicity of something or contemplate it further. he's lived beyond his natural lifetime and is still healthier than most humans. Many lessons I've learned from that little guy, Including the value of life.

I have come to the conclusion over past work with dog's horses' and cats that all are a good perceptive companion as far as aiding in your sensory perception although I have come in contact with animals and human's of the like that were asleep in a sence, I once owned a black and tan coon hound. he was my best buddy from staying out way too late raccoon hunting in the woods, to waiting at the bus stop for me to get home from school, he died shortly after I left for the marine corps however he was the most perceptive thing and I would even journey with him on a regular basis, he also had a propensity to get loose and eat the amanita in the yard if I hadent removed them first, this always resulting in a gagging and purging dog that led to a euphoric howling 122 lb lap dog for the next several hours, the first time he did this it actually led me to my path of shamanism after researching what he ate in the yard then trying my first journey with him. I would say without a doubt he was a seer trapped in a dog's body and the day he died I took him for a walk and he got to our favorite tree, layed down and went to sleep, his last breath led to leaves rustling above him on a windless day resulting in a branch of about 3" in diameter falling a few yards in front of me. "Gunner" Changed my life in the most amazing way possible and even made sure I was procedurally in accordance before stepping into dreamworld by barking growling or just laying down on my lap. I would give my right arm to have my boy back.

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