bloodteethandflame

A life in threes

Tag: funny that you should say that

Month for Loki, Fifth: Signs.

Again, a member of a Lokean forum posted an interesting question today:

Has anyone felt moved to learn sign language for/because of Loki? (Do any of you sign btw?)

This question got me to thinking, as I hadn’t thought about it, much less admitted to anyone else that though Loki and I have been communicating non-verbally for a while now, I’ve never gone into much detail as to how we communicate.

In the summer of 2012 – which I consider the second beginning of my contact with Loki – any ‘communication’ I experienced with Him was almost entirely non-verbal: I first experienced His presence in dreams and meditations through particular sensations, and through association with sudden, lingering scents.

Then I started experiencing visuals of Him, but these visions only occurred in vivid dreams and during particularly intense meditations.  Even in those vivid dreams, I rarely ‘heard’ His voice and more often than not, there was hardly ever any sound.

I’d begun to see references to the god-phone, but I didn’t think I had one.

The more I read about the ‘godphone’ concept, the more I began to feel that perhaps I wasn’t wired for such a thing.  So, I accepted this, began to refer myself headblind, believing it was not possible for me to ‘hear’ Loki anyway.  I felt confused and often wondered if what was happening between us was communication at all.

There was a long while wherein I dreamt of Him rather regularly, and while I would often feel sensations or even smell the scents I’d come to associate with His presence, on the rare occasion that I’d get a visual, He seemed to communicate by showing me objects, or indicating that I should observe His body language, or communicate concepts to me through hand gestures.

I felt that Loki ‘spoke’ to me only through sensations, scents and symbols, nudging me to make connections between seemingly unrelated objects, concepts and ideas.

And it was only later – sometimes months later – that I’d make the connections: What He’d shown me in dreams would appear later in a string of coincidences in my waking life: He’d been holding a bird, reading a book, or drawing me a symbol, and then later, I’d see flocks of those birds in my backyard, or see that symbol on a random bit of street graffiti, or I’d catch sight of that book displayed in a store window.

There’s nothing like that sudden inevitable sense of deja-vu.  Where have I seen this before?  Where have I heard of this before?

A good example of this is in 2013 – almost a year after my first exposure to the visuals, I realized He had been showing me mudras.

So, as you might imagine, it took me a long time to to figure out that Loki had been using sign language with me.

So, you can imagine my surprise to realize that, over the past three, perhaps four years, I have learned how to finger-spell and I have learned to recognize basic actions/concepts (signs for want, give, need, do, go, and love, for example)

Like the mudras, I thought these were particular and unique to the interactions between Loki and I.

But I didn’t realize the full extent of the meaning of that happening until last July, my family and I adopted a puppy.

And it turns out my puppy is deaf.

So in my research of learning how to communicate with my puppy, I feel that strange but exhilarating sense of discovery when I watch videos of hand signals -which are various extensions based upon American Sign Language – for different basic commands, such:

Listen to me.

Pay attention/Focus.

Remember

Do (you) understand?

 

Now, my signing skills have had to improve in yet another realm of my life, and I realize that I really should buckle down and actually learn ASL.

And I find it interesting and sort of amazing that even though my ‘godphone’ has gotten a lot better…

Loki still defaults to signing sometimes anyway.

An amusing coincidence.

In case you did not know – a few weeks ago, my family got a new dog: a Dalmatian puppy.

We named him Phineas.

img_4548

He has beautiful blue eyes, doesn’t he?

He is incredibly sweet-tempered and probably the calmest Dalmatian we’ve ever owned (and V and I have had 5 other Dals over the last 25 years)

And yet, what’s new for us is that it turns out that Phineas is 100% deaf.

While deafness in Dalmatians is a rather common occurrence – something like 30% of Dals have some level of hearing loss/deafness – we have never had a deaf Dal ourselves.

So, as you might imagine, I have been doing research on how to train a deaf dog.

We’ve begun to learn sign language.  We’ve invested in a vibrating collar.

And my latest goal has been to find a local dog training program/facility that can assist us in training our wonderfully calm, incredibly intelligent puppy – who just happens to be deaf.

While it would seem that there are plenty of trainers and facilities that offer specialized training for deaf dogs in California or Louisiana, there seems to be a dearth of actual trainers/facilities offering basic obedience training that encompasses deaf dogs in Central Florida.
Well, after many calls and emails and running around, I was excited to have finally heard back from a *local* training facility this morning.

So while V  was checking through the website this evening

-and reading the customer reviews –

he found this review at the top of the list:

Tabitha ******* ***** —5 star
I wanted to wait until our dogs settled in before giving my review….

Before we took Loki and Odin to [name of dog training facility], they were showing aggressive behaviors towards other animals, especially dogs, they were awful on leashes, and when someone came over they were jumping all over them.

They boarded and trained for three weeks… While at boarding Loki took to other dogs very well, he loves playing in a pack of dogs… Odin is now tolerant of dogs-he does great one-on-one but doesn’t care for a group of dogs. . They have some more work to do … but are so much better than they were. [W]hen I come in the door they are calmly waiting in their “place” until I call them out, and they don’t jump when they get to me.

I am so glad we took them to [training facility], it’s the best decision we could have made. Thank you so much for taking the time to work with [Loki and Odin]!

~~~

I just had to laugh…

Especially at the description of Loki and Odin being awful on leashes or jumping all over people who visit them.

I was also amused at the description of their personalities-

how Loki is sociable

but

Odin is only now tolerant of others, and does better one-on-one

 LOL

 

Though I could have told Tabitha that working with Loki and Odin requires a lot of patience

…but it’s always worth taking the time to work with Loki and Odin.

😀