Holistic Veterinary care


The workshop!

I gathered everything I needed – printed out notes for the workshop students, clipboards, some essential oils, clothes, and squeezed it all into my suitcase. Off for an adventure, to teach the Whole Energy Body Balance (WEBB) foundation workshop in my old stomping ground, Townsville. Into the car, humming along the traffic streamed freeway, finding the airport parking, a shuttle bus to the airport, then the stop-start lineup to check in. Hours in the air, the sound of jet engines screaming in the background, then a bumpy slide down to the ground. Watching the carousel go around and around until it spit my suitcase out, then walking into the much warmer air of the tropical North. Dry, brown, the earth parched and hard, every patch of grass not watered withered away to frail dead stalks.

Settling into my friends home, three rescued greyhounds sprawled on couches and beds, of nudging me for pats. The next day, catching up with my son, taking him to his soccer game, watching him flummox attackers and deftly steal the ball away from them before a shared ice cream and juice on the strand. Such a rare pleasure to catch up with my boy.

The next morning, up bright and early, gathering all the teaching supplies, making a lunch, packing the two of us and one greyhound into the van and rolling north to Alligator creek. Rotties! Lots of lovely Rotti puppies galloping about in the exercise yard. After they were put back into their kennels we set up in the shed, and slowly all the students dribbled in, unloading chairs, crates, and eventually dogs. Most of the dogs were pretty cool with it all, but two were restless, agitated – one, a big Staffy cross was fearful and uncertain, and the other was simply hyper! Eventually we were all settled down, and I set to work, sharing the WEBB work with all these lovely people and their dogs. Thirteen people, in all.

As the day unfolded, the dogs relaxed more and more. By the end of the day even the fearful fellow was relaxed, head down, resting on his bed, even when other dogs walked past his space. And I could see the people’s faces soften and relax also – after one of the first exercises – a meditation to connect with healing energy, one of the students said this when I asked what they experienced. “Peace – first time I’ve felt peace for weeks!”

It was wonderful to see students faces light up with understanding when they felt what I was showing them under my hands, sensing the give and springy feel of their dogs spines, and helping them move more freely. Each step in the teaching led to the final unfolding – the last part of the day, when each student gave their dog a full WEBB session. I sat and watched as dogs went onto a deep, relaxed trance state – eyes softening, blinking, then closing altogether, deep sighs, breathing slowing and deepening, bodies flowing into a furry puddle as their people worked with them, intent, focused…

When we all finished, there was a sharing circle, each person talking about how the session was for them, what they felt, what they saw. There were some difficult questions, even some flat out disbelief that this work was doing anything more than any person sitting with their hands on a dog would do. So I told stories about several dogs who I’ve treated over the years – drastic improvement in thunder phobia after one session, a greyhound playing with toys for the first time in his life after 3 sessions, and many more. She wasn’t totally convinced. Then one of the other students spoke up – “Just look at all these dogs! Look at the change in them over the day! I can see how it works…” Even the hyper-excitable lovely Rotti was lying calmly on her bed. Most of the others were flat out asleep…

Not that I mind hard questions! In fact I love them, the harder the better.

Then it was time for final goodbyes, and packing up, heading back to my friends place before a delicious Thai meal at Summeries (the best Thai in Townsville, by far!), a good sleep, then back on the road, in the air, on the road, and home to a warm fireplace, my lovely wife, our two dogs and the cat…



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~ Sandi Wickman