Question: When walking my dog in a park, we came across a part where he seemed fretful to continue walking on. Is there any explanation for this? He was not being tired or lazy.
Answer: Some natural explanations would be that he could have seen another (hiding) animal, who was not seen by you, and was frightened? Or there is an area ahead that that he did not like, perhaps because it reminds him of bad memories? This can be checked by going closer to look at what is around, and trying to recall his previous experiences.
A supernatural explanation is that there was an unfriendly ghostly presence detected, as animals like dogs are more sensitive. If there is need to walk on, you can recite Āmítuófó’s (阿弥陀佛) name sincerely, verbally or mentally. Any potentially troublesome spirits will stay clear, and your dog should be alright with walking on.
You can offer guidance to your dog too, by saying, ‘With sincere reciting and listening of Āmítuófó’s name, we will be protected.’ Even though he cannot recite verbally, he can do so in his mind by listening to your recitation.
If checking around for what can be seen, there can be recitation for protection too – calmly and clearly, out of good will, instead of fearfully and defensively. The protection from Āmítuófó with sincere recitation is instant, as can be seen in cases such as this: https://purelanders.com/2021/05/09/with-one-recitation-of-amituofo-driving-out-a-ferocious-possessing-ghost.
If there is sufficient compassion and courage, you can even add this guidance (开示) line before reciting Āmítuófó’s name – ‘May you be sincerely mindful of Āmítuófó’s name, until you see him come to receive you, for reaching his Pure Land, where there will be no more suffering.’ This makes the mindfulness of Buddha effectively the practice of support-chanting (助念) too.
Can Dogs Reach Pure Land?
How To Help Animals Reach Pure Land
How Three Dogs Helped Me To Be Mindful of Āmítuófó