Words matter. They can lift us up, help us to feel safe, and fill our hearts with love.

All relationships are unique. In my animal communication class, we do an exercise where we experience an animal’s perspective, then feel what it’s like to be in his body. People often say their understanding and empathy deepens after this experience. I see a shift take place and somewhere within, we remember what we had forgotten.

We commonly interpret gestures in our relationships with people, then label a skittish cat as unfriendly or antisocial, when he just needs more time to get to know us. Our logical minds understand nuances in human interactions, but sometimes we forget to extend this same courtesy to animals we encounter.

Animal Intuitive Darcy Pariso

Our animal companions feel our vibration or energy and interpret our gestures through their senses and intuition. They scan us regularly because even small gestures mean something in their world. You have probably seen your dog reading your thoughts then looking confused.

Animals operate at a higher sensitively and positive, encouraging words speak volumes. Our words set the stage early in the relationship. Being told you are a “lucky” dog, a “very loved” dog and this is his forever home is all he needs to hear. Everything else is just details.

Deleting words like “shelter dog, abandoned” allows a real shift and healing in itself. We know the power of words and now so does he. Regardless how long you’ve been together, it’s never too late to change a story and, sometimes, these stories are truly only our assumptions.

A dog I recently communicated with was happy to drop the label of “whiny” and replace it with that of a “helper.” This sweet dog was taking on his person’s stress and anxiety during an extremely challenging time in her life. Together we communicated a better way he could help and asked if he would be willing to try it. He was happy to step into that of a strong, confidence role-model who supports her and sends her love and encouragement. Using words, then showing him images of the desired outcome, he understood how he could contribute to positive changes. His person reports being around him now comforts her, and he is also her barometer to check-in with herself. He, on the other hand, loves feeling appreciated and his entire energy has changed. He tells me whining wasn’t fun for him either.

We sometimes forget that our furry and feathery friends have their own lives and interests. Though they are tied to us, they have individual likes, dislikes (think food), endearing qualities, and funny quirks that make us love and appreciate them even more. I found my own dog’s stubbornness both funny and sweet. He was a self-proclaimed “stubborn old-cuss” and carried this stubbornness to the end of his days not wanting to let go at the end. He held true to his commitment to take care of me maintaining he was old-fashioned. He did an amazing job for almost 13 years, and his quirks still make me smile.

I once spoke to a cat who wasn’t integrating into his new family. After learning he was depressed, we talked to a woman who had crossed over; she lovingly assured him she was happy and at peace. She shared funny memories of their time together and thanked him for being a good cat. He said “okay,” and that was that. He moved on after knowing what had happened to her. His new family reports he is a different cat. He has a renewed interest in life and seems years younger.

All memories are recorded in the cells of our bodies. When they are unpleasant, or there are blocks, we can release them with energy work, a soul retrieval, and sometimes just talking it out can remove them. Animals can also consciously choose to release any painful experiences and behaviors. We forget this because we don’t often give them freedom to make these decisions and it may involve changes on our part.

Our animal companions want to enjoy life, play, be happy, try new foods, and some like to travel, are athletic, enjoy the water, and others like to relax and meditate. We’ve all seen that faraway look and know they are elsewhere, perhaps communicating with other animals or healing someone in need.

Our companions love us and need to know they are important to us. They look to us for this validation. Please remember to tell them what you want (not what you do not want), what they can expect from you and any upcoming changes. Just as in human interactions, misunderstandings happen when communication breaks down, and you can go back and explain later. Tell your love-bug or super dog how special they are to you out loud and trust it does means everything to them.

We all have preferred languages; music is one of mine. “It’s only words and words can take your heart away” are the song lyrics that have been playing in my head these past few days whenever I think of animals who share their lives with us. Robin Gibbs of the Bee Gees wrote It’s Only Words in 1967. Robin writes “words create a mood” and words “can make you happy or sad.”

It hit #1 in Switzerland, Germany, and The Netherlands and has been performed by many artists since then.