Alice, The Healer Dog
Updated: Aug 6
I have a large, strong dog named Alice. We adopted her off of Craigslist. I think we are her 2nd or 3rd home. She is so good with humans but can't be trusted with other female dogs. We have had her for three years; she is four years old. We have had three incidents with her and other dogs. I got her to walk at night, but now I can't take the chance of walking her alone. She hasn't had any training, I want to, but my husband refuses to pay for it. Any suggestions? Thank you so much. Jane
I almost cried when I first connected to Alice, a mastiff/lab mix. Immediately she showed me puppies, and I felt extreme sadness and fear. Alice seemed to be grieving from something in her past. She showed me herself outside and a litter of pups. I thought Alice had once been a pregnant street dog whose puppies might have been taken from her. I misinterpreted Alice's images, which turned out to be the opposite.
Alice had been the frightened puppy who was taken away from her mom. Jane would later fill me in: Alice's mom had been a feral Mastiff. Someone opened their heart and garage so the pregnant, feral dog could have her pups. Soon after the birth, all the puppies were taken away. Alice and her brother were given to a man, but Alice wanted to find her children, and when she kept escaping, the man gave Alice away. After Alice's second home didn't work out, Alice found her forever home with Jane and her husband, Philip. Alice had a restless heart and an unstable first year of her life.
Alice had maternal energy in the comfort of her home, and she protected and enjoyed the company of Jane's other female dog Fiona. But Alice's heart and sacral centers were blocked. Alice was either still grieving the loss of her mom or feeling a disconnect in a present relationship or dynamic in the household.
Not receiving much dialogue from Alice, I asked her how she felt when confronting another female. I felt nervous energy in her solar plexus and navel area. Her heart and sacral centers were still unbalanced when approaching a female dog. I also found blockages in the navel and root centers. The navel center, located three finger widths below the navel, also called the Tanden, is our center of gravity - our internal and external power. Alice was afraid and needed to step up and demonstrate her power to other females. But why females?
Was part of her aggressive behavior a mirror of anyone in the family? I looked at Jane, her husband, Philip, and their eldest son, Justin. Philp's navel center imbalance revealed his assertiveness. He was vocal but had fear and control issues. I felt no blockages in Justin whatsoever. In his early twenties, the young man was happy and maintained an emotionally healthy balance in life. Jane's heart, navel, and sacral centers were blocked, matching those of Alice's. My hunch was that Alice's behavior - pulling on the leash and "locking in" to other females- was primarily set off when she was walked by Jane, less so with Philip, and that Alice was most relaxed when walked by her son Justin.
Jane confirmed my assessment and continued to shed light. I wasn't expecting what I was about to hear. Jane said she had been ill for many years with severe pelvic pain. So intense that she used a wheelchair for quite some time. Jane had seen several doctors, none of whom could diagnose her. She had purchased and was wearing chakra bracelets for both her heart and sacral centers, which she said had helped with the pain. Finally, she found a therapist who had seen similar symptoms in women who were sexually abused.
Jane had not acknowledged or realized that the sexual abuse she had endured and repressed contributed to her physical condition. Like many women, we often don't see sexual abuse for what it is when the perpetrator is someone we know. In Jane's case, the perpetrator was her husband. And she was still living with him. When Jane began working through her fear and anger with her therapist, her physical pain began to leave her body, although she still suffers from IBS.
Jane was afraid to leave her familiar, comfortable home, and although she no longer loved Philip, she was also scared to leave him. Change is hard. Our mind naturally lists all the things we might lose instead of all we might gain. We remain stuck. Often an animal can thrust us into action.
Jane had also been "at war" with a woman neighbor for six years. One day Jane witnessed her former dog attack this woman. When her former dog passed on, Jane immediately adopted Alice, who stepped up and spoke out, demonstrating Jane's repressed anger and the power that Jane needed to reclaim her life. Alice lashed out at submissive female dogs. It is no coincidence that we attract animals who mirror our traumas and vulnerabilities to help and protect us.
I suggested Jane walk Alice with Fiona and her son Justin - with confidence, mindfulness, connection, and grounding. I told Jane to buy one more chakra bracelet for the navel center.
Most important: to establish her identity and acknowledge her self-worth in the world, take steps to change her circumstances, and regain her power. When Jane is ready, she will let go of patterns of disconnection that no longer serve her. When she finally breaks through the wall of grief and fear, she can forgive herself and her husband and find the strength to leave. In the meantime, she might consider thanking Alice for assisting her through a long, arduous, healing journey.