Last week I took the least complicated (and most likely to cope) of our dogs on a six hour drive to South Wales, to spend a week on a spiritual retreat with people I had never met. Chips barks in the car, at all sorts of sensory input and I secretly think he’s a bit autistic. I expected to be sent home on day one – with a flea in our ears. At the very least I expected to be out walking him alone all week whilst everyone else did the flowing when his barking was thankfully absent.
The retreat was a mixture of amazing company, excellent food and true positivity. The dogs were all different, but then so were the people and somehow everyone just fitted. Days were spent doing meditations, exploring energy, focussing on our dogs, our wellbeing and general wellness. The group not only seemed to fit together, the group was perfect!
There was lots of barking at the beginning of the week as dogs calmed (grounded) themselves vocally, there was also visible stress in their people. Yet, by the end of the week there were a roomful of relaxed dogs and people that were previously strangers, bonded through experience as friends. My own dog was more relaxed than I have ever seen him. He coped so well and had such an amazing time. To see Mr Chips in a situation that I was unsure he could handle – not only handling it but literally laid on his back with all four paws in the air – was very special indeed. Tear jerking special in fact!
Canine Flow is a bit of an enigma and not like general dog and behaviour science (which is my usual prowling ground). It’s more feeling than theory, it’s more heart than head. If I could explain it in any way at all, it’s about the energy around us that affects ourselves, our dogs and the energy they experience too. But that does it nowhere near the justice it deserves. That’s because I can’t do it justice because you need to feel canine flow in action, to truly know what it is.
So, thank you Caroline for sharing your magic with us and thank you everyone on the retreat for being just so amazing. I literally had the time of my life and Mr Chips thoroughly enjoyed himself too.