In Inyo County, California, I live surrounded by ancestral Paiute lands. The word “Inyo” means “dwelling place of the Great Spirit” in the Paiute language, and it seems to be a suitable home for a noble entity. To the west the Sierra Nevada mountains rise dramatically; craggy snow-capped peaks that tickle the sky. To the east lay the humble Inyo Mountains; gentle and rounded, reflecting impossible colors as the sun sinks low behind her majestic brothers.
I have adopted this place, as I am not from here. But it suits the beliefs that I have adopted as well: that a tiny piece of the Great Spirit lies not just in the vast expanse of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, but in each and every creature. The belief that it is from this seed, sown by the Great Spirit, that consciousness springs forth.
This book is about that consciousness, which enables humans and animals to share a common language. It is about that language, told in legends, how the bear comes to say that the winter will be severe. The ancient people understood this language. Today, we wait for science to prove it. We read about studies revealing that animals appear to have thoughts and feelings.

I learned that, long ago, from my childhood dog. My journey from science to animal communication is a story of adventure and unconventional relationships. And the reason I feel compelled to share it is because of what happened when I thought I had come to the end of the story—but instead of an ending I found a new beginning.
You see, every dog story comes to an abrupt end when the dog dies. The difference between the life span of the dog and the human is certainly a cruel joke from an unkind god. We dog lovers know this. Only those who have ever loved a dog can understand what it is like to lose the creature.
But after my dog died, I experienced some unexpected events, and it occurred to me that perhaps my dog’s life was continuing. Finally, I came to believe that my dog’s spirit had returned to me in new form. This story details how I arrived at this belief, that my dog—my very same dog—was still with me. New body, same soul.
I also believe that anyone who lives with animals in a conscious way can communicate with them. My animals are my teachers, and it is said that a true teacher awakens within you that which you already know.
This is their story.

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