Siberian Huskies, running together in a group. Picture them flowing like water, as they spin, surge, stall, cut in and out, always moving together. Dog dynamics are fluid, like water. They ebb and flow on a daily basis, as bonds are formed and dissolved and reformed once again . The lead is taken, shifted, dropped, and picked up again. The hierarchy of alpha-omega is a story of wolf packs, not of dogs. That story is of family bonding and established roles. Dogs form community relationships and complex networks of interaction and mutual understanding. Dogs want to get along with each other, which is why their vocabulary of gestures, movements and sounds is so complex. One speaks of a dog as well socialized, when, as an adult, it is able to recognize and participate in that multi leveled communication of eyes, lips, ears, tail, and body stance. The dogs that I see at Stargazer which have come to me via the shelter, the street, abandonment by an owner, often do not know their own dog language, or have forgotten it, or pushed it away, due to their own extreme need to survive when safety and security have been non existent or have been taken away. They arrive distrusting, fearful, anxiety ridden, with their own internal compass disabled. My secret to helping these dogs heal, is to use the other dogs, who model the behavior, that I cannot. They teach these lost souls, the language of dog. The language that says this is a safe place, we get food, we hang out together, we are friends, Sue is good. The secret of a dog learning to be a dog again. This is the flowing, the organic movement towards health, towards trust, towards balance.
Brigit is my model for today. Already, she is beginning to flow in a new direction, as routine, food, kindness become part of her new paradigm. This is not the world of clicker, or command, or authority. This is the world of flow, and of zen, and of dog. The dog world, of taking the moment, and being in it 100 per cent.