I am Diane Cof­fey, the found­ing own­er at K9 Totem Con­nec­tions.  My con­nec­tion to dogs is reflect­ed in the image of the canine / human totem sym­bol­iz­ing a nat­ur­al rela­tion­ship to fam­i­ly and com­mu­ni­ty.  The ori­gin of the word totem means mark of my fam­i­ly. In nature a dog pack func­tions like a fam­i­ly and car­ries a sim­i­lar social struc­ture. 

Dogs feel safe and secure when they are part of a fam­i­ly and have estab­lished roles. Devel­op­ing a rela­tion­ship with each dog requires that I try to lis­ten care­ful­ly, like I would pay atten­tion and tune into the expres­sions of a human friend. Dogs com­mu­ni­cate somat­i­cal­ly, through body lan­guage and non­ver­bal com­mu­ni­ca­tions.

Tend­ing the needs of these beloved crea­tures — their phys­i­cal, emo­tion­al, psy­cho­log­i­cal, spirit/soul, intel­lec­tu­al and sur­round­ing envi­ron­ment, gives shape and rhythm to my life. The instinc­tu­al real­i­ty of the ani­mal world grounds me in ways unlike oth­er work. 

I write, cre­ate art and trav­el dai­ly in the com­pa­ny of dogs. With each twist and turn along the path I try to stay open to the places they may take me and to the sights and sounds I might have missed were it not for them.

Seek­ing to know dogs more ful­ly I find myself dig­ging beneath the dirt and strug­gling for flu­en­cy in their native lan­guage. Sub­tle shifts in ears, tails and oth­er body parts tell a sto­ry I need to inter­pret and prop­er­ly respond to.

Behav­ioral prob­lems may arise when a dog is feel­ing more ten­sion that they are able to han­dle or release.  This is a key recog­ni­tion that will help pro­vide insight into a spe­cif­ic behav­ior prob­lem and iden­ti­fy steps for res­o­lu­tion. Under­stand­ing how and why dogs behave the way they do shifts our per­spec­tive. 

As with any rela­tion­ship, a fuller under­stand­ing of our­selves and what we car­ry on the jour­ney is nec­es­sary.  Of all the gifts dogs can offer, per­haps the great­est is the oppor­tu­ni­ty to delve deep­er inside our­selves with­out judg­ment or timeta­bles, with patience and an amaz­ing capac­i­ty for for­give­ness.

Dogs are noble ani­mals. Their loy­al­ty may super­sede how humans treat them. Dog tend to have a com­pas­sion­ate under­stand­ing of human short­com­ings.

I’ve made it my life’s work to help oth­ers bet­ter under­stand dogs and to help them to explore new depths in their rela­tion­ship. You may find the ener­gy of the K9 Totem speaks to you in ways that are rel­e­vant to your own per­son­al­i­ty or cir­cum­stances. Ener­gy has a face and we can call upon it at any­time.

Please feel free to leave a com­ment or send me an email: k9.totemconnection@gmail.com, I’d love to con­nect with you.