The baby beasts have torn apart a couch, cracked a mirror and shredded our bed sheets. Our last set of litter mates ate through the wall-to-wall carpeting, and the puppy before them leaped through a closed double-paned window, so I'd say we're making progress. But clearly, I need to be retrained.
"Your puppies are bored," said Ilga Cimbulis, who describes herself as an animal communicator.
I hadn't realized that the D's in ADHD really stood for dog.
My wife and kids constantly remind me that I can't read minds. But Cimbulis can. She says she can communicate telepathically with animals, says the animals send her pictures of things they see, hear, smell and sense. She says her best teacher might have been a horse she had, named Julaan. That's horse sense.
OK, I'm a sucker for sad, brown eyes and floppy ears, but I'm as skeptical as the next guy whose dogs have tried to eat their way through a laundry room door. I've heard about animal experts such as Cimbulis and Patti Anderson, who calm dogs with their touch and reduce the stress between dog and owner.
Our 10-month-old puppies are housebroken. The mail carrier's still willing to deliver to our house. How much more help do I need? Oh, did I mention that they recently destroyed a beloved Grateful Dead CD? Trouble ahead, trouble behind.
Paws to refresh
It was time to contact Cimbulis and Anderson, who will be available to counsel dogs who still have hope for their masters on Sunday, from 4:30 to 7 p.m., at Auntie Ruth's Furry Friends in Minnetonka. Cimbulis and Anderson return to Auntie Ruth's, a kennel that has a convalescence unit in addition to offering day care, on April 11.
Having two dogs, I got a double dose of Cimbulis' communication sessions.
"We're focusing on the animals," she said, "but we're really training the humans."
Our puppies are cocker spaniels. Together they weigh less than half of what each of our last mutts weighed. My wife, who had a cocker spaniel as a kid, wanted lap dogs. I figured that if we took them camping and they rolled in dead fish, there would be less to clean.
"They're bright, like little light bulbs; they've got way too much spirit and they know how to charm you and your wife," Cimbulis said. "You need to make some small, easy modifications.
"Sadie is sweet, knows she's a beauty, doesn't have a mean bone in her body, has a healthy sense of self-esteem and knows she's entertaining you," she said of the slightly larger pup. "She doesn't want to be mischievous. She's begging for discipline.
"Pearl says, 'OK, OK, I'm in on this package deal,' but she's a very determined little girl," she said of the pooch with an attitude. "Pearl's not exactly jealous of Sadie, but they need to work things out."
The right touch
I wanted to say, "Lady, you're barking up the wrong tree," but doggone if Cimbulis wasn't right on the money with both of them -- even though she'd never seen either and knew virtually nothing about them.
"I just go in a neutral state where I access the energy of the animal," she said.
Anderson does nearly the opposite. Through massage and a special way of touching, she's able to calm the most energetic animal. She calls what she does TTouch, with the first T standing for trust.
Cimbulis reminded me that a puppy can be trusted just so far. She quieted herself, got in sync with the pups and then said (to them, I assume), "We need to get a clear understanding."
She added, "We all love the word freedom, but there's something to be said about old-fashioned rules."
I will remind Pearl and Sadie of that the next time they go after the curtains.
Paul Levy • 612-673-4419