Dogs Are the Best Listeners
March 30, 2022

Dog with Wellbeing Listener Jacket on

I was walking along the busy pavement with my dog Buzz, when I saw her. She was sitting on a piece of cardboard, with a sleeping bag over her legs and propped up against the wall of a shop. From her vantage point she would have only witnessed the legs of passers-by; people busy in their lives hurrying through the streets.

I slowed down, I wanted to say hello and I caught her eye and smiled. Her eyes were underlined with dark bags, but she returned the gesture with a toothy, tired grin.

Buzz, is always keen to say hello to people. “Are you OK with dogs?” I asked, keeping Buzz on a tight lead. “O yes, I love dogs she responded.” I loosened the lead and Buzz bounded forward, wagging his tail as she lavished attention on him. We talked about dogs, we laughed at his attempts to lick her and in those moments we connected. We weren’t two people from different life spheres – we connected at an energetic level – for me it felt like we both touched the shared space that is the source of everything.

Further on a Big Issue seller bent down to say hello to Buzz. Another conversation blossomed. He told me of his plans to travel to Europe on his push-bike and to wild camp and explore the world.

After walking through the town I headed back to my parents’ home. Dad has severe dementia, and I was helping mum with him over the weekend.

Dad no longer recognises me, however with Buzz he lights up. He whistles to him and pets him and scratches his back. Buzz will often curl up at his feet and dad, will reach down and stroke him and mumble gentle, incomprehensible gibberish. As dad talks to the dog, I know in his world he is communicating and at some level dad is experiencing the same space of connection that I felt when I talked to the homeless woman on the pavement.

Have you ever experienced that space of connection with another human-being? When I’m in that space I feel a natural sense of empathy and compassion. When I’m in that space then things like gender, class, nationality, beliefs and culture seem unimportant. When I’m in that space then the very things that usually create a sense of difference and division melt away.

In our work we train people as Wellbeing Listeners. Wellbeing Listening is a way of connection. We’ve found that people don’t want to be fixed, people want to be heard. People want to be heard beyond the fears and differences, and to experience the space that unites us all.

For me Buzz epitomises the role of a Wellbeing Listener. He seems to be a catalyst that helps people feel a sense of wholeness and wellbeing. Buzz doesn’t need any training to be a Wellbeing Listener – he is a natural – so much so that I bought him his own special Wellbeing Listener jacket. If you see us walking around please stop to say hello.

If you’d like to learn more about being a Wellbeing Listener in the community then get hold of me. We have some spaces available in the autumn (funded by the National Lottery Community Fund) and we’d love to tell you more. Email me info@innercompassguide.com

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About Inner Compass

Liz Scott & Stu Newberry are trainers, coaches and speakers. They work with individuals and groups across the UK. They also help develop coaching cultures (founded on wellbeing) within schools and organisations.

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How can you uncover your in-built resilience and wellbeing? What's the best way to share a message of wellbeing with others? The Inner Compass can guide you.

Our articles, podcasts and resources will help people like you find the language to share the Inner Compass (also known as the Inside-Out understanding) with others.

Discover the simplicity of powerful listening. Our Wellbeing Listener programmes are affordable and accessible.

Do you want to find out more about Inner Compass? Or have questions about the Inside-Out (Three Principles) understanding? Get in touch.

Discover how the Inner Compass can guide you

How can you uncover your in-built resilience and wellbeing? What's the best way to share a message of wellbeing with others? The Inner Compass can guide you.

i

Explore our articles, podcasts and resources

Our articles, podcasts and resources will help people like you find the language to share the Inner Compass (also known as the Inside-Out understanding) with others.

Become a Wellbeing Listener

Discover the simplicity of powerful listening. Our Wellbeing Listener programmes are affordable and accessible.

w

Get in touch with us to start a conversation

Do you want to find out more about Inner Compass? Or have questions about the Inside-Out (Three Principles) understanding? Get in touch.

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