Calming Signals – Lip Licking

I’ve mentioned it before but here I go again. An ancillary part of my dog training business is the inevitable rescue of no longer wanted animals which I consider tithing of my time as there is rarely if any money in it. I get calls frequently from people looking to rehome their dog or cat or some other animal. Reasons vary and some are somewhat nefarious, but since my focus is on the welfare of the animal, I try not to make out loud judgments and instead offer the limited help I can. If they can keep their animal until a home is found I have them send me descriptions (a personal ad if you will) and up to 3 digital photos (which I’ll tweak if I have to) and then I’ll put them up on my petfinder site. The numbers of animals varies from day to day or week to week, but the happy endings I often get are well worth the effort. Like I say, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.

I also somehow end up on group emails from various rescue organizations sending pleas to go rescue dogs that are in shelters on death row. Whether pure breed or mixed (and that’s a whole other blog entry), young or old, healthy or ailing, these pleas are meant to tug at the heartstrings. I generally pass on them due to lack of time and I do what I can do with that limited time, but I’m often struck by the numbers of photos that come out with the tongues out. Learning about calming signals can be helpful in all manner of things, but I know that I if I were a dog and were thrust into a chaotic shelter environment, I’d be licking my lips too, and not in a way that connotes hunger.

In a way that connotes a happy, stable dog, here’s my Trip with a wonderful tongue curl. I’m sure it’s a genetically inherited quality!