Redemption Through Purpose

by LittlestMusher

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Urban Mushing aka “Dog” Training As Personal Development

Forget about your dog(s) for a moment…what can urban mushing do for YOU? What are your best experiences with urban mushing? What has been the most fun? What personal insights or “a-ha’s” have you gained?

I was having a discussion with my Urban GO Dogs – Everywhere! students the last few days about training frustrations, and shared with them how profoundly challenging I found urban mushing when I first started…flashes of fun, but I had to move beyond a LOT of frustrations around my own lack of skill and understanding to fully enjoy it.

I had to dig deep within myself and decide how much I wanted it and if I was willing to do what it takes to learn to do it right.

That’s where I found my own personal a-ha moments and best experiences.

Inspired by Urban Mushing Students — Dogs and People

And I am inspired to do that not only by my dogs, but by my students as well. Everyone has their own set of challenges – physical, financial, emotional – and still find a way to move forward and embrace this sport and do what’s best for their dog and for themselves.

Great job Terri and MissyMy student Terri is such an inspiring example. Retired wildlands firefighter, limited income, some of the physical challenges we all face at “that age.” Like the rest of us, Terri carries around her own set of head trash, tapes that play in our subconscious about the way things have to be.

My own head trash is around perfectionism, inability to do things due to my size and physical limitations with my scoliosis. I work to eliminate it every day, and the dogs help me by showing what we can all do together, as a team.

Terri’s head trash includes “can’t do’s” because she’s a female, her size and especially around her rescue dog, Missy.

When Terri first came to class, every comment about Missy started with “Missy showed up on my doorstep and she was soooo abused”…and then she’d start crying with that awful memory.  Terri was really frustrated in class because Missy didn’t “get it.” She wasn’t enjoying the exercises, she wasn’t trying.


Teach Your Dog They Can, Not That They Can’t

Finally I pointed out to Terri that her own attitude was what has holding Missy back. She had Missy pigeonholed and stuck…stuck in that way she was when she first found Terri’s heart.

Dogs Taking Terri Places She Otherwise Couldnt Go Missy was perfectly willing to move on – she didn’t want to be stuck there. But Terri couldn’t let her, because Terri was stuck on how abused she was. She wasn’t willing to challenge Missy.

She wasn’t willing to challenge herself.

So I pushed. I told her honestly that she was sabotaging Missy with her preconceptions/misconceptions. Missy wanted to move on, and needed Terri’s help to do so.

Urban mushing was the key, the purpose…for Missy, but especially for Terri. Urban mushing opened the door, gave them both a goal and process to work toward. Showed both human and canine student what their potential could be, if they were willing to embrace it.

Missy certainly was. And Terri finally saw that urban mushing was the key to enable herself to get out of her own way. To let Missy fly…and therefore to move beyond her own limitations.

Tap Into Your Own Unlimited Potential Through Urban Mushing

I am super proud of Terri and Missy, and all my students like that, that embrace the potential of urban mushing on so many different levels. As Terri has posted in our student community “…My being told I couldn’t do anything because of size or gender was defeating me before… Between Liz telling me I was defeating myself to Angelique and Linda being the “wind beneath my wings”, me and Missy grew more than ever imaginable. Thank you to my forever support group!”

Missy The TeacherLast class of 2012 starts Thursday. Join us for your own breakthrough.

Here’s to living to your full potential!

— Liz





Climbing the Grade...and Making It! Urban Mushing…Making the Grade


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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Terri Decker October 18, 2012 at 12:59 am

This last weekend at Crystalwood was once again a pivotal moment in mine and my dogs life. This class discovers not only your dog’s potential, but your’s as a musher and person. Thank you Liz a thousand times over.


2 LittlestMusher October 18, 2012 at 6:37 am

All I did was provide the opportunity Terri, you guys take advantage of it. I am honored to be able to work with students such as yourself and your dogs. Keep up the great work…the real joy is that the journey with the dogs never ends…


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