Why I Do What I Do

Janice Richmond and TessaMy search for more positive approaches to being with animals started really ramping up in about 2005. Like most others in the dog community I was using the traditional “corrections” / “be the Alpha” approach with dogs. I was starting to realize some of the things I was doing were not helpful but wasn’t sure what else to do. I didn’t feel good about the methods I was using and decided to do some research in an effort to find more progressive ways of doing things.

I did a lot of reading of books and articles, talking to people in the dog community, mulling it all over but nothing really caught my attention until I read Suzanne Clothier’s book, “Bones Would Rain From the Sky”. In it she very briefly mentioned a method called Tellington TTouch. I had never heard of it but was intrigued by her description so started to research it. Ultimately I decided that for the sake of my dog, myself and our relationship I needed to check it out.

I attended my first 6-day TTouch workshop in Spring 2006. I was skeptical at first but quickly changed my mind as I saw respectful and gentle TTouch techniques making amazing changes with dogs. The relationships between dogs and handlers grew stronger and deeper as they worked together. Communication, patience, trust, respect, compassion….I began to see that it could flow back and forth equally between people and dogs.

That workshop was a life-changing experience and after those 6 days I knew I’d never look back. Even though I found myself occasionally falling into the old habits of the traditional style and attitude regarding dogs I was determined to leave behind the negative and pursue the positive.

I pressed on, learning and practicing Tellington TTouch, doing case studies and going to workshops for the next 2 years. In 2008 I became a practitioner and since that time I’ve been working with people and their dogs and cats. I’ve been running workshops, teaching small groups and giving private lessons as well as volunteering my skills doing info sessions and working with shelter animals.

Janice Richmond and OliverI continue working to improve my abilities as a Tellington TTouch practitioner. I’ve also achieved my Level 3 in Therapeutic Touch which is energy work. These two methods compliment each other beautifully and I now use them both when I work with animals. This is something I never thought I would be doing but this is where the universe has brought me and I must say it’s an incredibly fulfilling experience. I see and feel ‘movement’ in the animals I work with and within myself.

The more I learn and experience the more I realize how important it is to regularly take a close and honest look at my beliefs (in this case about companion animals) and see if they still ring true. If they don’t then a change in attitude and behavior is on the agenda. What’s important in all of this is always having an openness to learn new ways of improving the lives of our animal companions. It’s where my heart is. I started exploring Tellington TTouch 9 years ago and Therapeutic Touch 2 years ago. I’m really looking forward as the universe presents more opportunities to continue to grow.

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