Stay with me here… This question has so much to do with how we show up in the world with dogs that we think about and talk about.
What does it even mean to love another being, whether you’re thinking of a human, like your spouse, partner, child, dear friend; or a dog?
I was at the airport waiting to board my flight to Asheville, North Carolina (two weeks ago), and my friend said to me, “Enjoy the thinking, enjoy the quiet, enjoy the relating, and enjoy lightening up”.
My first reaction was to let out a laugh… it came straight out of my heart, with so much love… he says things in a way that vibrates my soul. Makes me feel like the human being I strive to be, and that we all have the potential of becoming… just a gentle, sweet reminder to be.
His words lingered in my heart, body, and mind even as I boarded and took flight. Then, it occurred to me how we speak about “love.” And what does this really mean? What does it really look and feel like?
I Love My Dog
We say and hear all the time, “I love my dog”, or “I love dogs”. What would loving dogs so deeply feel like? How might you enjoy them differently than you do now, if you could love their being and not the form they appear in?
Upon my return, I began to explore this for myself. Returning to Doglando after this trip shed new light on what our “collective” love for dogs at Doglando means, and looks like.
I’m not sure I can describe it in words as powerfully as you can witness it in action (we invite you to come and spend an hour with us) but I will try.
How Do We Love Your Dogs?
We enjoy thinking about what they are thinking. We enjoy thinking about what would make their day filled with joy, and their lives in this form fulfilled. We enjoy talking about it out loud, and we enjoy – even more – sitting in the quiet with one other.
I realized just how much this means to me in the context of love for dogs – we work very hard to remove noise from our environment. I’m not talking about barking here… I am speaking of the noise that comes with an unclear mission.
We enjoy connecting with our dogs on a deep level, where only our souls are speaking to each other, and our bodies are moving alongside one another. It’s quite evident when we fall out of our intention and into the character society wants us to play, because it feels so unnatural to us.
“It’s all so temporary,” he says to me… Once again, I am reminded to only do what truly matters – because it is all so temporary, and we must enjoy all of it while we are here.
“To love“ – to me – means to use the things on the external as triggers for releasing the internal. In other words, to understand your inner being as an abundance of energy, full of life – waiting to be expressed with love, kindness, joy, happiness… and using your work as a vehicle to channel that energy outwards, so that it can take on a form that feels right!
As a comparison, think of what brings you joy, and how you express joy outside of you. I know all of us in this work are here because being with dogs bring us much happiness. Why then, do the things we do create overwhelm, frustration, anger, hopelessness, and fear?
It doesn’t make much sense does it?
To me, this is a clear indication of the disconnect between inner-being and outer-form. When we become aware of this, the “fix” is quite simple.
Be with your feelings… all of them. They are there to guide you in your choices.
Now, I’d love to hear from YOU! Scroll down and share a comment below. What does this topic bring up for you?
Teena Patel is a Certified Dog Trainer and Behavioral Counselor who works with pet owners and owners of doggy daycares to bring her philosophy of Enrichment to the canine population. After almost two decades of successful dog training under her belt, Teena has done away with the standard doggy daycare “warehousing” of animals in kennels and runs. In place of an industrial model, she focuses on what is right for the dogs as living beings, providing experiences that improve and enhance their behavioral health. Coupled with a program of careful training, the Doglando experience results in companion dogs who are better-behaved, better integrated into their families, and above all, much happier. True to her passion, Teena Patel gives dogs the freedom “to be dogs”.