This is a place to talk about dogs, our connection to them, and how we can use this connection to help foster the relationship with them we desire. Why is it so important to talk about our relationship with dogs to understand how to work with them? Because when we talk about dogs, we're really talking about ourselves.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What Does Ayrton Senna Have To Do With Dogs?

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.


  1. Awesome post.


  2. The 'universalness' (?) of the dog relationship continuously amazes me. Thanks for sharing

  3. Beautiful post, Sang! Incredible analogy.

  4. Sorry to have this amazing post so late, but as a Beco fan and proud owner of two rescued dogs, I just had to thank you.