Saturday, September 17, 2011
Thursday, September 8, 2011
In The Matrix Reloaded, there is a scene when Neo, the story's main protagonist, meets Seraph, the protector and guardian of the Oracle. The scene unfolds like this:
Seraph: You seek the Oracle.
Neo: Who are you?
Seraph: I am Seraph. I can take you to her. But first, I must apologize.
Neo: For what?
Seraph: For this.
At this point Seraph attacks Neo and a fight ensues between them. And just as quickly as it had begun, it stops, and the conversation continues:
Seraph: The Oracle has many enemies, I had to be sure.
Neo: Of what?
Seraph: That you were The One.
Neo: You could've just asked.
Seraph: You do not truly know someone until you fight them.
So what does this scene and dialogue from a movie have to do with dogs? A lot.
Let me start by saying that NDT isn't for the weak of heart. To fully commit to the process requires strength of heart and character, and a readiness to explore the uncharted regions of the emotional landscape of both your dog and yourself. Because once you open up the Pandora's Box of unresolved emotion that lives in the heart of your dog, there is no going back.
This process isn't about dog training, or even relationship building. It's about truth. Finding and uncovering the deep hidden truths that are cloaked under the surface of our personalities. Personality is a lie. It's a well-intended lie, but it is still a lie. And no one can see through that lie as easily as your dog. The truth, YOUR truth, lies inside him, ready and waiting to be discovered. But you have to be ready to fight for it.
After the fight is over, Seraph takes Neo to the Oracle, and Neo asks him:
Neo: Are you a programmer? (Seraph shakes his head no)
Neo: Then what are you?
Seraph: (pauses then faces Neo) I protect that which matters most.
Your dog is your Seraph. He protects and keeps safe that which matters most. That is his role, and as all dogs do, he takes on that role with relentless passion and commitment. The problem is that we often misread and misunderstand his passion, believing that he is the one who needs to change. But it is us who need to change. It is us who need to embrace and embody his passion and fire. His commitment and determination to protect that which is sacred. To protect that which matters most. Your heart.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Ayrton Senna was arguably the greatest Formula One driver to walk the face of the earth. That is the opinion of many including myself. However, even if one disputes this opinion, it is inarguable that once the rain started to fall, he was untouchable. One only needs to watch his performance on the first lap of the 1993 European Grand Prix to see just how great he was. Click the link if you want to see the man in action.
So why am I talking about a race car driver on a dog blog? For one, I love Formula One, and any chance I get to talk about Ayrton Senna, who is my favorite driver of all time, is an opportunity I'll take. Secondly, and more important to whoever is reading this, I've been reading the book The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein, which is about a dog and his owner who is a race car driver. And there was a quote from the book that inspired me and brought me here. "That which we manifest is before us; we are the creators of our own destiny".
So what does that mean? This quote was by one of the characters in the book as he described the approach a driver must take when racing in the wet. And what he was referring to is the notion that the driver who excels in the rain is one who doesn't drive in fear of it. Most drivers will drive apprehensively, afraid of losing control of the car. But the driver who excels in the rain does the opposite. He creates his own destiny by initiating the loss of control, rather than constantly fighting the car trying to be in control of it. By proactively triggering the car to slide around, the car's behavior then becomes predictable and manageable. Always trying to fight what the car naturally wants to do in the wet, makes it unpredictable, unwieldy, and likely to snap on you. The difference between driving from your head and driving from your heart. Senna was the epitome of a man who drove from his heart.
If you live with your dog in fear of his energy, always fighting him, trying to keep him in check and under control, then you can never manifest the outcome you desire. But if you can initiate the loss of control, letting your dog express his energy and embrace his natural wild nature, then his behavior becomes predictable. A predictability that can only come by letting go of the reigns. You have to lose control to be in control. Such are dogs and such is life.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
In the late 80s, early 90s, Kevin Behan published the book Natural Dog Training. It was a complete and total paradigm shift in the world of dogs, as Kevin's theory was based on the notion that dogs are emotional beings. Almost 20 years later, and Kevin has released a follow up to his seminal work, Your Dog Is Your Mirror. It's a profound and provocative book that explores on a deep level the human dog connection.