In the glow of headlamps, there you are

In the glow of headlamps, there you are

Driving on a highway at night, all one can see, or need to see, is what is being illuminated in the beams of the headlights. There within the boundaries of darkness, we see where we are going. We see any obstacles that are immediately in the path. And we set our intention to move through what we perceive comfortably, easily, and safely.

From our continuously moving vantage point, we can see the orange barriers that line the highway. We can see the curves in the road ahead. We can see the signs by the side offering information about where we are, how fast we can drive, and how far to the next exit. With our attention on the road before us, we own the space we see. No one else is allowed to be in the same space as while we are in it. There’s a scientific way of saying this. I know it is true because I muscle tested.

Owning the space we see

So, we own the space where our attention is. We own the space where our intention lies.

When we walk, we watch the path in front of us. Our vision is the same as our car headlights. And in the same way, we own the space. We own the space where our attention is. We own the space where our intention lies.

Leaders own the space and invite dogs to enter it. When we walk our dogs, we let them know that we are the leaders when we own the space that they are moving into. So, as we walk the dogs, we watch the space in front of us. We need to remember to consciously “feel” and “know” that within that space, we are responsible and can provide our dogs safety and a place for rest, relaxation and comfort.

How to own the table, where your dog will receive PetMassage

While you are lifting her up to place her on the table, while you have the dog in your arms, look at the spot where she will be placed. Flash your ocular high beams onto the table before the dog touches it. This is how you own the space. Own that spot. You have made the decision that she will receive her PetMassage on your table; the type of table you are using, where it is located, and how high off the floor she will be. It had not been her choice to stand there. You have decided for her.

And, while each PetMassage is a session of sharing and communicating, listening and responding, watching and supporting, facilitating physical and emotional releases, and honoring the dog’s intuitive choices, throughout, you are always maintaining the role of leader. This is for your safety and comfort and your dog’s safety and comfort.

Leader is not the same as lead dog

There is a difference between the lead dog and the rest of the dog sled pack. Unless you are lead dog, the scene never changes.

Leader is not the same as alpha dog

The role of alpha dog, no matter what you read on t-shirts, cannot be held by a human. It is a role that is held by the leader of the pack within the species. The alpha does not have to force her will on the others; she leads by consensus. Everyone in the pack has agreed to the rules of the pack and the alpha is the one who is best suited to making sure that the pack will be safe and harmonious.

The human leader uses some of the body language of the alpha, because these are the signals that dogs understand. One of the most fundamental signals is heart rate. The one with the slowest heart rate is the leader. This is the one who will remain level headed and in control when there is environmental stress, hunting opportunities, or impending danger.

Another of the primary signs that the leader uses is showing her followers that she is owning, or in control of, the space. In canine massage, this includes the area where the dog is walked during assessments, the table where the massage occurs, and the space between and under your hands during the massage. So, in effect, for the time of the session, you take responsibility for, “own,” the dog. You own the process of the event. You own the facilitation. The dog remains master of her own life’s manifestations.

This is what you cannot own:

The results.

The results are the choices and realignments that your dog has made during her session with you.

Links for training

Learn the PetMassage skills of canine leadership with the 60-minute DVD, “Dog Handling in Canine Massage, Yoga Consciousness”

Take a home study course:

Attend a workshop.

The DVD and 4-hour workshop is also included in each of the Foundation workshops.

Make 2016 the year you learn to PetMassage Dogs.

Make 2016 the year you take your PetMassage training to the next level.

Here is the workshop schedule for 2016:

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