• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Anne Miller
  • Mike Haasl
  • Pearl Sutton
  • paul wheaton
stewards:
  • r ranson
  • Burra Maluca
  • Joseph Lofthouse
master gardeners:
  • jordan barton
  • Leigh Tate
  • Carla Burke
gardeners:
  • Greg Martin
  • Jay Angler
  • John F Dean

"Tuning in" and talking to animals

 
Posts: 72
Location: Central Oklahoma
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I believe that animals have a capacity for intellect, and not only do they
communicate with each other... and with other species... but they ALSO
talk to us...... we just haven't learned how to listen.

I believe that the indigenous American tribes of America understood.
I remember a story that... until the tribes were invaded by Europeans
their version of war was... touching the enemy... taking the enemy's
head dress... NOT killing and mauling each other.

I think animals do this to a certain degree, as well.
I had a cat once, and had her trained to come to me, and she was
well-behaved and polite. We had a visitor and what did she do... ?
she hopped up on the person's lap and walked all over him like he
wasn't there. She was boss. (I looked at her with a fierce, stern look
without a blink in my eye, (not hateful nor angry, just stern)
and when she got near me, I gently pushed her right off of the
furniture and onto the floor.) She was being uppity and rude.

I have also noticed that animals let you know that they are in your area.
They will make a noise... often a timid sounding noise.
When we react with outrage... "get out of here you raccoon you !!"
we are showing that WE are really the one who is impolite... not the raccoon.
The raccoon did what a polite animal should do... we... did... not.
And so... animals react to our insanity... with further rudenes. They do not respect.

I can see our human RUDENESS and IGNORANCE all the time.
I have figured that... this comes from our assumption that animals are stupid...
and have the mentality of... a human 5 year old. I think it is on the contrary...
I think animals are like our great-grandmothers... very wise... speaking with their eyes...
making clicking noises with their tongues... tearing up our messiness...
being brave enough to come into our space and SPANK US for our rudeness.

And to top it off... our pets play this game with us ... like...
"Sure, I'm stupid... but I also wiped my nose on your leg."

 
Posts: 82
Location: Olympia, Washington
6
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Linda,
I have always said, "The people that don't think animals can talk to us, aren't listening." With a life time of observing and paying attention on my little farm I can point out to visitors what is happening by the sounds and actions of the different animals. I can tell you by the sounds coming from a brooder full of chicks what is going on without looking in to the brooder. I know the sound of a hen in a coop that is upset that she can't get into her favorite nest box to lay her egg because some one else is in there first. It doesn't always have to be a sound. Watching the body language of our "old man" pony, I can tell the children, "Don't pet him, his ears are laid back, he's in a grumpy mood." It is funny sometimes when people ask me how I know all these things about the animals and I answer, "Because I listen."
 
Posts: 26
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi, just a quick though on something i have tried and used over the years is something I read about someplace in the distant past, is that animals dont speak english , so when you try to communicate think of what your trying to communicate in picture language, or by visualizing what your thoughts are,instead of talking to them. I believe it works. A picture is worth a thousand words!
 
Linda Sefcik
Posts: 72
Location: Central Oklahoma
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
"animals don't speak English" -- sounds funny to say it --
Spanish?? German ??

I suppose a lot of communication is done with their eyes.
Most all animals have keen eyesight, hearing, and smell --
thus slight movements and sounds have immense depth.

When we don't see these and understand them...
they must think we are quite ignorant...
and so, you can imagine that they would be afraid of us
because by their standards... we are ignorant and rude.
 
Mother Tree
Posts: 11796
Location: Portugal
2405
2
dog duck forest garden tiny house books wofati bike bee solar rocket stoves greening the desert
  • Likes 14
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

My current donkey is intelligent, supremely confident, and considers herself superior to any other creature. She treats me like a stupid foal, but is fairly tolerant of my lack of brainpower. Before we had her, we think she had never been free in a paddock but always tethered, so we wanted to train her to understand an electric fence so that we could let her run free. We set up a short section of 'live' fence where she could reach it from her tether but without getting tangled up around it. The boys kept an eye on her for a few hours. She considers anything male to be too stupid to understand anything, and took no notice of the boys the whole time, but they carefully observed her jumping out of her skin the first time she touched the fence, and then cautiously testing it first with her nose, and then with just her whiskers until she felt that she understood how it worked. When I turned up (I'm female, and, by donkey's definition, capable of understanding basic communication) she approached the fence, lined her body up at right angles to it, turned her head to face me and fixed me with a steely gaze, with her long white ears pointing straight at me until I noticed her. She does something similar if she sees something she thinks might be a predator, then turns her gaze to where she thinks it's hiding when she has our attention. When she was sure I was looking at her, she turned her head to the electric fence, stretched out her nose towards it, pretended (!) to touch it, and then jumped out of her skin again, before turning to me to see if I had noticed. Trying not to laugh, I went over and repeated what she had done. When she was happy that I'd learned about the new danger and knew how to handle it, she turned her back on me and got on with the serious business of grazing, leaving me to explain it to the men.

 
Linda Sefcik
Posts: 72
Location: Central Oklahoma
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Beautiful donkey story.
 
Posts: 33
Location: SW KY--out in the sticks in zone 6.
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
LOVE the donkey story!

Several years ago I had an experience with animals communicating that surprised (and saddened) me.

One of our 3 cats met a sudden death. 10 year old Linda had never been more than tolerant of the 2 year old Pete and Ollie, starving littermates that we had taken in, and for their part, they stayed out of her claw reach. A couple days after her death, Pete 'communicated' his concern to us over her absence. He normally trotted very quietly through the room, but this day he kathumped loudly through the room, coming to a sudden thudding halt right in the middle. He bounded noisily over to the TV and checked behind it where Linda sometimes slept, then equally noisily thundered over to the couch, leapt on the back and looked behind it to check her other preferreed nap area. Then he leapt to the floor, thumped over to the end table at my husbands elbow, jumped up on it (something he knew was not allowed) and stared at my husband with widened eyes. He had made enough noise to make sure we were watching, made it clear he was looking for Linda, and came to one of us for answers. He could not have said "Where the Hell iIS she?!?!" more clearly than if he had spoken the words.
 
Posts: 644
3
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I had a dog that would smile when she was happy. She picked up that expression of communication as a young pup watching us. My current dog hates when I talk on the phone to someone else and will do everything to get my attention in order to communicate with her.

The Seneca believe that every life is sacred. I agree.
 
Posts: 30
Location: 0deg lat, 1100m elev. Choco-Andean bioregion
1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This documentary blew my mind on what was possible as far as communicating with animals goes:

culture unplugged - The Animal Communicator
 
pioneer
Posts: 303
Location: Russia, ~250m altitude, zone 5a, Moscow oblast, in the greater Sergeiv Posad reigon.
33
kids hugelkultur purity forest garden foraging trees chicken earthworks medical herbs rocket stoves homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I shall have to watch animals more carefully in the future...
 
Posts: 107
19
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Never believe a person that tells you animals can't or won't communicate.

My experience would fill several volumes. Even just a few minutes ago, my dog stood at the door of his crate and whined. This is what he does when he wants the crate door opened (I sometimes forget to open it back up after playing fetch with him). That ain't English, but it's as plain as day and universally understood if a person is observant.

Whenever he wants something, he will find me and stare intently into my eyes. If I ignore that, he will start to whine. I will get up and then he will try to get me to follow him and lead me to what he wants. Whenever we are away from home for awhile and return, he shows his excitement; he's happy we are back.

We've all heard stories about dogs recognizing that their human needs help and the dog finding a person and coaxing the person to go to the human in need. No words, but absolutely communication, easily universally understood.

I play head games with my dog using body language. We both know what is being "said" and we both react to it. I'm talking about facial expression as well as body movement. He knows and so do I. Every day he amazes me.

The saying about it being better to leave people in doubt as to your state of intelligence by staying quiet lest you reveal your lack of intelligence is true. In college there was some kind of a paper we had to write. I love animals so mine was about the behavior of my cat. The professor told me in front of the class that anything any animal ever does is pure instint; that animals aren't capable of thinking, let alone of reasoning. His statement erased all doubt, past, present, and future, of his intelligence. I guess it could've been lack of experience on his part, but even he would've been exposed, at this point in his life, to news stories about animals that exhibited intelligence and/or reasoning behaviors.

It isn't instinct that causes a dog to rush into a burning house and drag his owner out to safety. It would most likely be instinct for the dog to run away from the burning building. His love for his human overrode the instinct to run to safety. It isn't instinct that causes a dog to jump into a river to save his drowning human. It isn't instinct that causes a pet to come to his/her favorite human for cuddling.

We had a mother cat with 4 kittens. For some reason (we were kids, go figure), the kittens ended up in a wooden crate with a wide board laying on top of it, weighted down by a large rock. Momma cat came by and saw this. She jumped onto the board to have a look. Then she got off and wandered all around the crate. She gave a big jump, landed on one end of the board, making the board and rock fly up and off the crate. She then jumped inside to her babies. Reasoning. Intelligence.

Wild animals communicate fear by running from us or keeping their distance. They aren't stupid or else they'd have no reservations about coming right up to us.

Didn't God do the most awesome thing when He put animals into the world to share it with us? What would we ever do without them?
 
gardener
Posts: 2858
Location: southern Illinois.
766
goat cat dog chicken composting toilet food preservation bee solar wood heat homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
More than once I have fed a stray cat who was passing through.  I all cases I can remember when the cat left there were dead mice left on the back steps as payment.
 
gardener
Posts: 289
Location: Central Indiana, zone 6a, clay loam
158
forest garden fungi foraging trees urban chicken medical herbs ungarbage
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Animals are so wise. I hope to always be learning to better listen to them. And communicate, but mostly the listening. They seem to have some remarkable ways of knowing things. I used to have a cat who was so attuned to what was going on with me that anytime I was hurting, either physically or emotionally, she would put her paws or sometimes her whole body on the exact place that hurt and purr. She was not normally a super affectionate cat, so this seemed notable. I miss her like crazy.
A massage therapist friend of mine has two cats who do something similar whenever I go there for massage, though there's much less of a heart connection. We often talk about how it's the cats who are doing the real work.

One time, we were smelling something dead near our house, judging from the strength of the smell, it was clear it had to be really close. But we just couldn't find it anywhere and were beyond puzzled. I turned to my cat and asked her to show us where it was. To my surprise, she actually stood up and started walking. After going a little ways into the shrubs, she laid down. We looked all over the ground and still couldn't find anything. Then I heard "look up" in my head. She may have looked upward also, can't quite recall. Sure enough, as soon as I looked up, I saw the dead possum hanging by its tail which must've gotten stuck in the fence. It was exactly in line with where my cat was laying on the ground. We gave the possum a proper burial and much praise to the cat.
 
M James
Posts: 107
19
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Rion Mather wrote:I had a dog that would smile when she was happy.  She picked up that expression of communication as a young pup watching us.  My current dog hates when I talk on the phone to someone else and will do everything to get my attention in order to communicate with her.

The Seneca believe that every life is sacred.  I agree.



I can relate. When I get on the phone, my dog acts like a two year old kid. He acts up, trying to get my attention.

Also, I have projects I work on in the basement. Most of the time he goes down there with me, but if he stays upstairs, it sounds like the high school football team is practicing up there. He runs full speed through the house. Hilarious.
 
Pay attention! Tiny ad!
Food Forest Card Game - Game Forum
https://permies.com/t/61704/Food-Forest-Card-Game-Game
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic