How much do you really connect with your dog in a spiritual and trusting manner? It is choice really. Of course there are times when I am totally connected with my dog and there are times when I am a bit more separated. You will more likely experience the same. I wanted to share with you some personal connections that are warm to my heart pertaining to my dog when we allowed both of ourselves to move through our fears and authentically connect. All of the experiences I am writing about are from a personal camping trip at the Uintas with Seiki, a friend of mine, her dog, and I.
So the trip begins as every trip begins with choices. Choices based on fears and restrictions or choices based on oneness that invites freedom and expression. My friend and I hiked for an entire day and I mean an entire day. We climbed over rocks, saw horses, saw cliffs, played in the water, and of course had our dogs off leash. I don’t know about you but when my dog is off leash I can sometimes choose, worry. What if my dog walks off the cliff? What if my dog trips over the rocks on the side of this mountain (and I mean we climbed over rocks for at least an hour up and down)? What if my dog chases the horses and gets kicked? What if my dog runs off and never comes back? Can you relate to these fears? At times these fears are valid. Other times it is time to be in a place of allowing. Let me share a few stories with you.
My friend and I are sitting on the edge of a cliff and we are looking at the beautiful stream below. So peaceful! Seiki walks to the edge of the cliff and looks down. I am scared. What if he falls off the cliff? I remember that I create my reality. I choose to voice my fear and say “I am scared and I am committing to love and safety with my dog.” I ask the universe to give us safety. Then we can have safety and love at the same time. Seiki is fine and through this he builds confidence and learns about his foot placements.
My friend and I are resting on the rocks basking in the sun with our dogs. Around the corner horses pass. Seiki takes off. He runs up to the horses and barks. There is no way I can go and grab him in time. We are too far up and climbing rocks isn’t fast for me. I breath. I feel my fear and breath. I also believe. I believe he is safe. The horses pass off and Seiki follows. I call him, hold my breath and wonder….will he really come back? I remember to believe he is safe and that he has learned an excellent recall. He comes back quickly. He takes off again after them and immediately comes back when called. Really?? Can this be true? My border collie who use to lunge and bark at horses on leash and in the car is coming to me off leash around horses? I breath and allow my body to take in the truth. It is true 🙂 Celebrating, I feel more confident. My dog is growing up and this trip is a HUGE learning experience for the both of us 🙂
One of my fondest memories is at the beginning of the trip when my friend is scared to take her dog off leash in the mountains. She has had a rough time with his recall. Her roommate has not. Cidney, her dog is great off leash with her roommate. Why? Her roommate has a trust bond with this dog. He believes they are connected and that Cidney will return and will “come.” My friend knows this. She is extremely conscious. This trip is a time for her to practice believing in her dog. It really was the same for me too with Seiki!! She was hesistent to take Cidney off leash. I tell her to wait until her body feels ready. She does and man did Cidney do great. She trusted 🙂 WOW!!! I remember how much her dog would take off in the past and this time Cidney stayed so close to her during the whole hike 🙂
So that is a small scoop of our day full of hiking. Much more than that happened and I don’t want to write a book…however, there are two more things for me to share. The next day, my friend and got in a kayak with our dogs! Yes, I am serious. My friend’s dog is calm and she had no worries that Cidney would do good in the kyak. I felt the same about Cidney. My dog was a bit different to me. Seiki runs and barks in the car when he is not crated. He also has a swimming phobia and loves to catch water in the air. However, I chose to move through my fear and trust. I love my dog and I want him to learn and grow in confidence. I want to share this journey with him together 🙂 So surprisingly we all fit in the kyak. Seiki is excited. He wants to bite the water as it is flying up in the air from the ore. I am holding his collar so that he won’t run all over the boat (at least that is my story). He doesn’t seem to want to sit still. Inside I am terrified. What if Seiki falls in? What if the boat tips? I don’t really enjoy swimming much myself. I breath. I breath so deep from my belly. I presence my fear and trust. I tell Seiki that I trust he is safe and is choosing safety. He loves that I believe in him 🙂 I have no clue how long we were in the kyak for but I am sure it was at least a half hour 🙂 It was an amazing. I loved this experience so much and the boat never tipped over 🙂
The last experience I am sharing today is that Seiki swam on this trip! My dog that hates to swim…yes he swam. I was on the shore of Moon Lake with him. I went into the water and stood. I know that Seiki loves it when I splash the water into the air. He wants to bark, jump up, and catch it. So he does. I gradually move the splashes deeper and deeper into the lake until he has to swim for a bit to the get water. He does. He takes a break and goes back to shore. He is processing his fears. He comes out again and we do the process again. Again he breaks to move to shore to process his fear. It was fascinating to watch. I don’t pressure him. I just allow. We do this routine over and over again. It is wonderful and beautiful 🙂
So the moral of these stories is the following: fear can be highly beneficial and can be a signal to avoid to do something. It can be a sign that there is danger is around. It can also be at times something to move through. Know the difference. We can be over protective with our dogs as some parents can be with our children. It is our choice. Our dogs won’t tell us like children will do. They will love us either way. However, our connection is so much deeper if we BABY step through fears safely. That was one of the most spiritual journeys I have ever had in my life. My dog is my oneness connection. To move through fears with him and to build this type of trust was amazing!! I hope you choose to dive deep and experience the same!
Johanna Teresi, Professional Trainer and Owner of Four Legged Scholars LLC