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A week away in a foreign land. Where the interactions have been abundantly insightful and the lessons for me, once again, enormous. When teaching ethical communication with animals, one cannot help but reflect. Feel clear and ready to ensure my daily reality is refreshed.

So this a blog to thank the Czech Republic animal lovers. And to encourage other animal lovers out there to visit this generous place.

Imagine a place where dogs are allowed in the subways and busses. Where the city funds initiatives to teach school children how to effectively meet dogs on walks. Where every park space is always littered with people sharing moments with their best friends.  Where there are water bowls for dogs wherever you go. Even in the zoo. Where it is common that dogs are allowed to live in apartment buildings. Where I share a train cabin with two people and a dog. Where a family home visit includes a visit with dogs and cats. When in the middle of my seminar in the dog school we are interrupted when horses and dogs enter for a visit.

Imagine that! Where animals are an integral accepted norm in the society.

And it gets better. When you meet and have the good fortune to get to know  the people. And you realise that they are a community that is holistic. They are eager to learn anything that will help their relationships with their dogs. Humbly they share their stories and lessons. They respect each other and family values are paramount. Maternity leave is years long. Children are nurtured alongside the animals. The history is documented in light-hearted art -paintings, architecture and sculpture. Humour is common in these creations. As common as it is in daily conversation. Almost as common as the depictions of their animal friends in the ancient art.

The irony. I leave having learned more than I share. To be invited here is an honour. Everytime I visit I feel more honoured.

Dr Frantisek Susta is a remarkable man. He has introduced positive reinforce  training to Czech. To the zoos as well as domestic animal training. He is brave enough to question the norm.  This bravery means he even questions positive reinforcement.  He has published two books on the lessons he has learned. I look forward to the rest of the world learning from him. He is named after the patron saint of animals. And his commitment to the ethical treatment of animals makes him deserving of the name. He is also a committed family man. And there is no doubt that his children will follow in his  footsteps.  I have learned a great deal from him!!

He is a mirror of the people I have met and worked alongside in my travels to this beautiful place.

I feel grateful for this experience. And a little sad to leave. Czech Republic you have stolen a little of my heart. I take the possibility of a society like this back home with me. I feel inspired to be gentle. And true to what I believe
No compromises. Just joyful truth.

Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.


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