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All happy, no hustle
Bryssa is her name. Happy is her game. She has no hustle in her, not an ounce. When rushed, she slows even more. Like a lovely brown donkey. So, you learn how to go with the happy and let go of the hustle.
At the end of our trail run, she wanders while I stretch and cool down. She putters about in the bushes along the parking area and plays in the inground sprinklers watering the park field. She wades in the creek and drinks fresh water as it runs past her toes. She sometimes lays in the shade to cool down.
Then it’s time to go: pack up the leashes and get the car keys and hop in the car. Except, there is no hop from Bryssa. I call her name and she looks up from wherever she is, contemplates me and my cause, then carries on with her task.
The 4 economies of commands
Shamanic dog training teaches right relationship, or ayni, which encourages us to contemplate the impact we have on our dogs’ lives; through our interactions, handling, teaching and direction. We can use the 4 economies of commands to evaluate the quality, quantity and necessity of the commands we use to communicate with our dogs.
1. Whenever possible, avoid commands and teach self-discipline
2. When speaking commands, speak on the out breath and with a soft belly
3. Get detailed and direct when choosing commands and their meaning
4. Show what you mean whenever needed
The 4 aspects of free mind
A free mind is unencumbered by the gruesome fear of punishment or the compelling need for reward; it is relaxed and open, clear and strong. It does not become agitated when something unfamiliar or unknown arises.
A mind motivated by the fear of punishment or the need for reward is not free. Rather, it is constantly moving towards or away from something that is beyond its control. It cannot settle into itself and find peace, constantly held hostage by the circumstances of the moment.read more
5 tips for taking your dog off-leash
Providing time off-leash is one of the best ways to maintain your dog’s well-being. It is an important part of ensuring that your dogs’ needs are met and is an essential aspect of right relationship, or ayni - a foundational element in shamanic dog training.read more
Learning to let go
Shamanic dog training teaches us to embody the principles of ayni (right relationship), munay (unconditional love) and killary (fluidity) as we engage in relationship with our dear and beloved friends, the dog.
These principles are not always highlighted in our society, so there is not an automatic recognition when they are mentioned. That is what shamanic dog training is here to teach: how to embrace these teachings, so they inform your daily life with the love of your life: your dog.read more
A dog is a river
A dog is a river flowing on a bed created by his experiences - experiences that are shaped almost entirely by the people in his life.
Do we know the responsibility we carry as the caregivers of this river? Do we understand the depth of impact and effect we have? How do we contribute to the river of a dog’s consciousness?read more
Being fully present and running through tall grass
They say that being fully present is the key to achieving wellness, healing and wholeness. That, if and when we are present, we are more engaged with our world. We are more prepared to meet challenges. We are more available to receive love. We are more open to share our gifts. We are more in tune with the whispers of wisdom around us and within us.
The Shamanic path I am on is all about presence. The personal healing I have been allowing and receiving help me to let go of those things that keep me from fully occupying the present moment.read more
Lessons on leadership and love, from a boxer called Ace
Recently I learned a huge lesson; I mean a whopper of a lesson, from a wonderful family and their amazing new dog. I learned about leadership; the kind of leadership they say a human requires with a dog. It’s something I have struggled with for a long while – both the concept that we humans need to control dogs by exerting our will over them and the methods that are used to accomplish this.
After many years of questioning, discussing and searching, I finally received the complete and heart-centered answer. It came from a dog. Of course.read more
Listening to stress in your dog
Can you recognize when your dog is feeling overwhelmed or overstimulated? Do you know what to do when it happens?
Stress signals are indicators dogs use when they are experiencing extremes of emotion and energy. They include: barking, jumping, whining, drooling, panting, pacing, rolling over, and escaping. Generally, they are the things that annoy or embarrass you about your dog.read more
Peasie is kisses
Peasie stands before me while I rest and read a book. She is calmly waiting for me to acknowledge her. Once I look at her, I can see what she wants, and I comply: I put down my book, remove my eyeglasses (to keep them clean), and bow my head towards hers.
And thus commences our beautiful way of connecting; I close my eyes, bow my head, and receive a multitude of loving and thoughtful kisses from Peasie - upon my nose, my eyelids and my forehead.read more
Reading the hearts and minds of animals
Animals possess expansive hearts, minds and spirits. They experience a full range of emotions, just as humans do. While each animal is unique, there exists a universal body language that expresses certain ranges of feelings and needs – often called calming signals.
Calming signals are body gestures and postures that animals of all species (including humans) use to communicate with others. Learning to read and interpret your animal friends’ behaviour and expressions can help deepen your relationship, overcome challenges and create more peaceful and fulfilling lives.read more
Shamanic dog training
Shamanic dog training teaches that dogs are our brothers and sisters, inviting us to build our relationship on the universal language and natural laws of ayni (right relationship), munay (unconditional love), and killary (fluidity).
Ayni, or right relationship, teaches that both parties must benefit equally, be considered equal and be cared for equally. Ayni is loving-kindness, patience, and the infinite desire to ensure that your counterpart is as happy, fulfilled, safe and content as you are.read more
Time to say goodbye
Saying good bye to our animal friends can be overwhelming, challenging and heartbreaking. Without an understanding of what is happening and what opportunities we have to carry on the legacy of our deep and enduring love together, it can sometimes feel hopeless.
When the time comes, we may struggle with feelings of anxiety and guilt – wondering if we have done everything we could have, everything we should have.read more
Yesterday I saw Peasie's heart
Yesterday I saw Peasie’s heart. Not her physical heart, the one that pumps blood to her body. I saw her spiritual heart – the one that pumps love through her being and projects it out to the world.
When you see things in the Spirit world, you no longer rely on your physical eyes. You see with your mind’s eye and your heart’s perception.read more
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