“Dogs come into our lives to teach us about love…

―Erica Jong

Have you ever opened your heart and been a savior? Stretched your resources or capacities to help a person or creature in need find a home? Have you ever put your own priorities aside in order to help another?

Sometimes the universe tests us by asking us to take on more than our share and see how we hold up. You have to know the difference between taking the whole world on your shoulders and selectively choosing to help where you can.

Day-to-day life in this world can test your resiliency. The big picture problems are almost overwhelming to ponder, especially from a distance. Hurricanes in the south, earthquakes in Mexico, devastating floods in Asia; we are all connected to these in tangible and intangible ways.

Its when something is right under your nose that you have the opportunity to step up and make a difference. When your heart, gut, and mind are all in agreement you can make a snap decision to help and make yourself feel great in the bargain.

Should you give that homeless lady a dollar? Will donating to and sharing that crowd-funding page help someone recover? Do you have room for another furry critter in your house?

It’s that last question about the critter that’s come home to roost in our home. I’m sure that I told part of the ‘tail’ as it was happening about a year ago, and this past weekend the story came full circle.

To recap: About 15 months ago, an adorable 8-pound puppy with big paws was abandoned in the open hills across the street from my house. She followed a neighbors Golden Labrador retriever to our front steps and into my nine-year-old daughter’s arms.

She arrived on a day when the farthest thing from my mind was housebreaking and training a puppy, but my daughter’s headlock around her neck obviously meant that a trip to the pound was out of the question. We named her Penny, since she was lucky, and also because the dog she followed home was named Copper.

Reassuring my daughter that we would temporarily foster her, while making it clear that we weren’t cut out to be a permanent home for her, we went ahead and had her checked for a chip, got her shots, and began acclimating her to our home. (That’s her at 6-weeks with our confirmed queen-of-the-castle-kitty Sheila in the inset above.)

Soon it became obvious that this wiggly little puppy was destined to become an enormous and powerful pitbull, putting my personal bandwidth and dog training abilities to the test. I racked my brain for a solution that would take the load off of us while keeping Penny and my daughters relationship intact on some level.

Thanks to the power of community and the modern tool of the internet, a win-win situation was found. Using the NextDoor app/website, (sort of a locally oriented cross between Facebook and Craigslist, without the politics) I posted a photo of Penny the Pup and said I was seeking a nearby family who could take on the bulk of ownership responsibilities, allowing us to become her “uncle and cousin” instead of “father and sister” so to speak.

Low-and-behold, out of several inquiries a perfect family emerged just down the hill, no more than a mile from our house. Penny moved in with them on a permanent basis, and it is ours for the asking whenever we want canine company for a weekend hike or romp in the park.

Best of all, her new family has put the love, care, and expense required to have her professionally trained so that now she is safe around kids and other dogs and is truly a joy to have along on our outings.

That’s her in the larger photo above, a well-behaved 15-month-old 70-pound bundle of muscle and love. Penny, (also short for Penelope, my daughter reminded us), has truly won the doggy lottery, and even wears the official badge of an ‘Emotional Support Animal” which allows her to fly in the cabin on airplane rides and accompany her humans wherever they go.

I share this story as inspirational encouragement for you. There’s bound to be moments when love and kindness guides you towards taking a leap. Trust in your hunches and keep your faith pinned on the highest good and you’ll see stories like the “tail of Penny the Pup” unfold in your own life too.

With love and light until next week!


Mark Metz
Director of the Dance First Association
Publisher of Conscious Dancer Magazine

Dance First Member Spotlight –International JourneyDance Event !!!

Coming up next month on October 14th & 15th is your chance to participate in an International JourneyDance Event! Happening simultaneously around the world with different facilitators and venues, this is an epic outpouring of somatic love for you!

More facilitators and venues are being added all the time, so be sure to visit this page to find the event nearest you. The brainchild of Toni Bergins, founder of JourneyDance, this international happening is a way for you to immerse yourself in a luscious musical landscape and emerge into the JourneyDance Heart Series.

This is your opportunity to express, empower, embody, and elevate. Get out of your mind and into your body through movement. Release judgment and freely express your sensual soul to move into a new story. And connect, surrender, trust and release to get grounded in the energetic explorations of JourneyDance.

Toni and the JourneyDance facilitators community have come up with an innovative way to build the movement and bring their high energy of transformation to a wider audience all at once. Watch the video presentations to learn more and witness the power of community collaborating on a large-scale.

I’m excited to recommend this expansive event to our audience. And thank you so much Toni for your continued high energy and creativity in the field! You are modeling the methods that bring the power of modern communications together with in person connection on the dance floor.

Find out more about this global JourneyDance exploration into Sacred Embodiment and discover how you can be the prayer. Move into a new story with JourneyDance on October 14th & 15th!

Sacred Embodiment – Global JourneyDance Event
Saturday & Sunday, Oct 14th & 15th, Worldwide

More JourneyDance Events!

JourneyDance in Boston with Toni Bergins (class and film project)
Oct 8th, Wilson Chapel, Boston, MA

New Year’s JourneyDance Celebration with Toni Bergins
Dec 29 to Jan 1, 1440 Multiversity, Scotts Valley, CA

Move into a New Story :: JourneyDance with Toni Bergins
Jan 1-5, 1440 Multiversity, Scotts Valley, CA