Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Barking Dogs

Barking Dogs

Every week in class, I learn new things. This week in class I had a student with a beautiful pit bull who barked continuously. He wanted to play. I wasn't sure what to do. Normally when a dog is being a dog in class, I just, well, let it be a dog in class. I mean really, what are you going to do? They are dogs, they are at times going to relish being a dog and do what they do. My dogs will sometimes walk away from the mat during a class to visit a neighboring dog or human. Ideally it's best if the dogs stay on the mat and quietly enjoy the practice side by side with their person. Yeah right, in a perfect world. That's the key! What our idea of a perfect world is different than what our dog's idea of a perfect world is. My perfect class is quiet, fun peaceful, dog and human working side by side towards a goal of health, relaxation and spiritual enlightenment. A dog's idea of a perfect class is different from mine. Maybe it varies from dog to dog just like human to human. Here's the other key-maybe in class, dog and human are occasionally able to converge and work towards a similar goal. Even if that goal is more subconscious and esoteric. For example, My goals as listed above: Fun, relaxation, learning. Dog's goal: sniffing, playing, treat at the end of class. Different on the conscious level? Yes. But our dogs work on a different plane than we do. I've watched how a relationship with a dog can change a person. While their conscious goals differ from ours. I believe that they work in their own way to help us connect to the part of our selves that we lose, focusing on the daily bullshit in our lives. The way they help us connect is basic, simple but at the same time deep and important. Our dogs bring out the part of us that is playful and loving and connected in that pure, open hearted way. This is the way we can converge our goals in class and not be concerned if on the outside we seem to be on headed in different directions. On the inside, where it counts we are on the same page with our dogs, we share that common goal to find joy, love and fun in life.


At June 24, 2007 at 1:02 PM , Blogger Heather said...

Yes! And i love how dogs can teach us to simply 'be' who we are, how they make that easy when we are interacting with them. It is as if they are The Beginners Mind, and through the unconditional love that they provide they show us the path back to our hearts through their joy and play!


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