Ramdas Shenoyy talks with Liz Murdoch from California — Animal Communicator & Podcaster, Helping people connect, communicate & understand their dog!
Tell us something about Talking with the dogs! initiative?
I started my business after relocating to Los Angeles and searching for a way to replicate my work as an intake evaluator for a dog rescue group on Northern California. I was on call to meet dogs that families couldn’t keep for a variety of reasons.
I loved connecting with a dog as a sort of advocate, testing its personality and intuitively sensing what would be a good fit for its next home.
After training in Animal Communication, which I found incredibly similar to my previous work Active Listening training and work with children and teachers, I started working with individual dog clients and their families. In working with animal communication clients it became obvious to me that in addition to helping a dog’s person understand what their dog was thinking, and sharing what the dog needed people to know, there were also other opportunities, thus my business started expanding.
I find people love talking about their dogs. And they love when I just listen to them talk about their dog or pet stories. I felt there was maybe a need for a community where people could share dog stories, or support each other as they connect in a new way with the dogs, especially in respecting each dog has its own personality and preferences, and unique story, which is the essence of what I discover in every chat session I have with a dog.
So, I realized I wanted to create a brand, with the dogs!™ , that centers around our lives when we embrace understanding and living with the dogs!, not just having or owning a dog, but by celebrating what happens when we are Living with the dogs, Talking with the dogs!, or even Vacationing with the dogs!
The idea is celebrating life with the dogs!™, a philosophy grounded in the shift that comes from connecting, talking, understanding and accepting a dog for who and how it is – regardless of its personality preferences, favorite things, health issues, or appearance. When we start accepting dogs, like people, for who they really are, then we can truly live in greater harmony, in and out of the dog house!
When did your journey start as an Animal Communicator?
I never considered myself an Animal Communicator until I took an intro class and wrote a page of information about dog just by looking at it’s photograph. This was even after I’d worked for many years doing animal assisted therapy, winning awards and certifications in dog training, and working as an animal evaluator. It was always just a part of how I interacted with dogs around me and I didn’t think it anything out of the ordinary.
But the class. showed me that not everyone understands dogs naturally, and that people can understand animals in a variety of ways. Listening to the other students, I realized animal communication is incredibly easy for me and profoundly rewarding for me. When I ran into a classmate several weeks later she said I’d totally improved her dog relationship by what I had shared with her in that afternoon intro class. I had a knowing sense I needed to pursue animal communication, that it filled the gap I’d been feeling after relocating away from Northern California and the work I had done regularly evaluating dogs for a rescue.
As I explored doing it as a business, the details of my work and business fell into place and quickly became clear. My work continues to evolve as I allow it to grow and am willing to try new opportunities as a professional animal communicator.
Finding a Lost Dog Story
Every lost animal story has been different for me. My most recent experience was Disco from Chicago, a terrier who had been dognapped in a stolen car. A previous client called asking for help, wondering if I even work with lost dogs. I do periodically, but this dog came to mind before I’d even seen a photograph of him, which ended up matching my vision, so I said yes. I communicated with Disco telepathically, and got a very strong sense of his personality and his close bond with his dog mom Erica. So I texted her friend Daniel and guided him on what to tell Erica, mostly to stay positive and for her to talk, reassure, and tell Disco he needed to find someone who’d help him and take him to get his chip scanned.
We communicated for a day and I kept advising that Disco needed her to stay in contact and that she needed to stay emotionally calm so he would feel reassured. I told her she’d needed to tell him to get to a safe place, with people he could trust. I sensed he was looking to her for direction, even though they were not physically together.
Turns out he somehow escaped the car that was set on fire an ran away, picking a house to run to with a family with a little girl. They kept him for several days before taking him to the vet to have his microchip scanned which we’d specifiably been talking to him about getting his chip scanned. Since the information attached to his chip was current, his dog mom was notified and he was able to go home.
The interesting thing about lost dogs is that even though I can connect with one, it doesn’t guarantee the dog will be reunited with its person.
I spoke with another dog several months ago and could tell it had some issues with its situation. Although the dog was responding to me, I couldn’t make it go home, and I had a sort of “awakening understanding” that we can’t make lost pets do anything, it’s really between the dog and it’s person, and the people looking for it. I just observe and share messages or energetic knowings that I feel or sense. With a lost dog there’s sometimes another dynamic going on that has to do with the relationship between the dog, the people, caretakers, or the situation where the dog disappeared from. As an animal communicator I can’t create a shift in their relationship to reunite them. That’s why I coached Erica to actively join me in communicating with Disco and it worked. She even told people to only share positive comments with her, not even “sorry to hear about your lost dog.” The goal was keeping it so positive that they would be drawn back together.
How can one train to be an animal communicator?
First off, I ask people if they’ve ever had a gut feeling or knowing about something. Everyone says yes. So I explain that animal communication happens when we are able to access that “gut feeling” more regularly and can then connect with an animal in a trusting way.
I teach in person with a dog, or using a photograph while talking with its person who is introducing me to the animal. It
starts with clearing one’s energy field and letting go of all our own thoughts in order to access that awareness of a “gut feeling” , of knowing or receiving messages from an animal.
When we are centered and calm information flows easily, and one needs to learn to just trust the process. If I’ve had a hectic day I need to prepare earlier, to just sit and relax and let everything around me drift away, like the tide pulling things away in order to just focus in the present on the animal communicating.
Second, it takes Active Listening to know what messages are coming from the animal. Write them in a journal, without preconceived ideas of what an animal would say, and no judgement if not able to understand the what or why of a message. I don’t even ask questions to the animal until I feel like I’m “done” receiving. Then I review what I’ve written and ask for clarification or “tell me more, or what else can you tell me about this?”
An animal will usually clarify or show a clearer picture, the goal is to be open to sensing a smell, feeling, or even hearing a voice or tone in a voice describing in greater detail an answer or clarification to a question.
Third, practice. The journal is so helpful because we can review our notes and sometimes understanding doesn’t come until days or weeks later. We can get caught up in our own assumptions or ideas and often what an animal has to share is very different from what we think it might say. People will sometimes proclaim, “I already know what my dog thinks” but they are often surprised at the very different perspective a dog shares on a situation.
Fourth, develop trust that what an animal is saying is accurate. Often the oddest messages I get are the most helpful. I had a dog talk about an umbrella and turned out there was a toppled patio umbrella outside the window where the dog was looking while I was on a Zoom phone call with the dog and it’s dog mom. Even when a client has difficulty making sense of a smell or situation I describe from the dog, later they usually have an aha moment and discover the accuracy in what I was describing. That’s why the journal for note taking is important.
What is your vision for your organization and how do you plan to reach out globally?
I want my with the dogs! initiative to grow internationally to support and link dog people in community through understanding of dogs and ultimately each other. For many people, regardless of where they live in the world, their dog is their most intimate relationship, both emotionally and as a companion. By helping people learn Active Listening with their dogs, and supporting them in how to move away from preconceived ideas about dogs, including mastering hearing and understanding their own dog, I’m convinced it trickles into other relationships, including people to people, bringing about a positive shift in how we treat our dogs and each other.
I’m expanding globally with my private online chats, classes and coaching, including my podcasts and videos. I think as all this takes root people are starting to explore understanding animals better. I’m working with a publisher and as my books become available I think it will make it even easier for people to embrace animal communication as something everyone can do, if they are willing to slow down and try.
As people connect in a new way with their dogs, I find an increased hunger for community and connection. I see that with a growing interest in sharing their dog stories, including on my site www.dogstories.com and as people showcase their pets online in social media. My vision is that with the dogs?™ can grow to support dog lovers whether they are talking, cooking, or snoozing with the dogs! in their life. The summation in all this is happy, healthier dogs, and more confident and capable dog people, and finally, a reduction of unwanted and homeless dogs.
Any inspirational story you can recall on a professional and personal front?
I think the most inspirational story I draw on is surviving a serious car accident. It happened when I was in my twenties driving home for Christmas. The car blew out the front tires and flipped over three times off the freeway into southbound traffic. I went unconscious and had a near death experience. Recovery taught me so much about the fine line between life and death and that joy in life can be found anywhere. There was a feral cat named Midnight that showed up to lay with me while I was trying to make peace with my battered body and mind. She cuddled close, and I remember her purring while I was looking at my hand trying to sort of fit back inside of my battered body and accept that comparison to another person was irrelevant. The cat stayed with me for days, staring at me and sleeping close, then disappeared as I healed and was able to leave that room. Reassurance from an outside cat taught me that what matters is different for each person. I needed her company to keep me grounded, my injuries had me very woozy and she helped me focus on the here and now, not drifting out of my body. I know some people don’t understand animal communication, but that’s ok, I know we are all here for a variety of reasons and we can’t understand or relate to everything at the same time.
I’ve learned life is a process, unfolding at its own pace, and we sometimes just have to do our part and not understand the why, but trust in the unfolding. Animals have always surrounded me so now I just accept that a part of my personal life is meant to merge with my professional life and that’s ok. It’s rewarding and I’m inspired by every chat session I have.
What does Liz do when not with animals?
I absolutely love playing tennis. Funny how it still involves chasing a tennis ball! I love moving around a tennis court, or swimming in the ocean or a pool. I find the moving of energy throughout my body sort of recharges my spirit and helps me reconnect deeper with myself. I also like photography and the new perspective my photographs give me of the world. Laughing and chatting with friends is also important to me. As much as I work intuitively I still need the balance of interaction with others, whether close friends or new acquaintances. I love to laugh.