Back in the days when the Internet only worked on dial-up and it seemed few people had even heard of meditation—let alone considered it for their dog—there was me and my beautiful little dog at the time, Spud, a Jack Russell born on a local potato farm. We had discovered hypnotherapy and had even worked out how to use it to help with dog behavior problems. It fit so well with the other energy therapies I was already practicing, as well as my work in a small, holistically run kennel.
Hoping to meet other dogs and people who loved our natural way of caring for animals, Spud and I decided to go on a dog-friendly retreat holiday. We dialed up the Internet and searched far and wide, finding plenty of holistic holidays, but none that included dogs. We did, however, stumble across a large, run-down Welsh farmhouse that had recently been reopened as a retreat center and advertised itself as dog friendly. An idea formed. I had not only unique knowledge and techniques that would benefit other dogs and owners, but also years of experience reading the energy of dogs and helping them to integrate, become calm, and get along with one another. So what began as a weekend away for myself and some holistically minded dog-owner friends turned into a four-day retreat for professionals, and later a five-day retreat for all kinds of dog owners and all kinds of dogs. The retreat center has grown and transformed over the years, and guests still bring dogs, but I remain the only person they trust to have a pack of dogs running about the place, soaking up the natural energies and country air.
In October I will be thrilled to be venturing to Boulder, Colorado, to share the retreat experience. I have picked an equally cute farmhouse as the venue, with much of the same qualities as the U.K. venue—with space for the dogs, a soul-nourishing energy, and, of course, safety being the top three on my list.
We will meditate twice a day, head off on lovely dog walks, learn to practice my unique energy techniques for dogs (named Canine Flow), and also discover new ways to grow and transform on a personal level. One of my preferred dog owner techniques to discover on the Retreat is called the Balance Procedure. This is a fantastic way to harness and empower your own heart frequencies and create the happiness, success, and peace that we all have the ability to create as human beings.
For this first U.S. retreat I am cohosting with Alicia Boemi, a Canine Essential Oils therapist. We have chosen the best dog-friendly venue we could find for the activities, but attendees will need to find their own accommodations and travel in to the site each day. If any reader knows of a large, multiple-dog-friendly retreat center with heaps of space for the dogs, please let me know. Perhaps we can come to your part of the country too? —Caroline Griffith
Field Notes from a Dog Owner’s Awakening
No animal on our beautiful planet Earth evolved on processed foods, and all creatures are worthy of eating well.
It is every creature’s right to literally walk the earth. Do your best to get off the asphalt and concrete with your dog and kick off your shoes. Create opportunities to ground yourself—and enhance both of your lives.
Dogs have about the biggest heart per body mass of any animal on the planet, making them highly attuned to reflect the emotions in our hearts. In practice, that means that you can completely transform your dog’s behaviors by transforming your own emotional state of being.
Your fears, worries, and anxieties affect the behavior and well-being of your dog. So let go. Recognize that you are capable and can trust yourself.
Dogs will teach you that less control equals more, less attachment actually strengthens bonds, and all of life is made of flowing, moving energy—and it is not supposed to stay the same.
Dogs offer the chance to empower ourselves to create and transform, rather than to blame—blame the other dog owner, the other dog, or the vet or even your dog.
Dogs give us a life-altering chance to value equality over hierarchy—to see each connection as an exchange of emotion and life-force charge, rather than a need to be in charge.