Spring. Little buds emerging from the tips of bare tree branches, the time changes and they stretch out, all the big cats and the bears seem to sense that warmer days are coming, and the pace of life at PrideRock picks up significantly. We shake off the frost and ready ourselves for the most special event of the year- our Animal SensAbility workshop with “Critter Doc” Andrea Sobotka.
Andrea is a special friend of PrideRock, and once a year she travels from her home in Arizona to share her special gifts with us, our animals, and a few lucky folks who sign up for her seminar. Andrea shares her pioneering blend of allopathic, wholistic, and spiritual knowledge to help us become aware of our connections to the world around us, and to deepen our ability to understand and communicate with the animal world.
This year we anticipated storms on the day of the workshop, and for the first time in all the years she has been coming, we had to set up inside the barn where we prep all of the meat for the big cats rather than basking in the sunshine and grounding ourselves to the natural world around us. The rain never came, but the wind was mighty and the barn made a perfect shelter between breakout
We began the day with introductions and each person in attendance sharing what brought them to PrideRock to study under Andrea. One couple had been volunteers at another big cat rescue out of state and recently relocated, almost everyone shared that they were animal lovers, and some have worked with Andrea to heal their pets and wanted to know more about her practices.
In the workshop we learned about the ways animals communicate, how it’s different than you and I, and safety measures to keep in mind when working with them. We learned the terminology for each modality, or method of communication, and then broke out into small groups to experience these healing practices with one of the animals. Tony, Zoe, And Java’s personalities fit the bill perfectly.
After the morning session, our guests picnicked about the grounds, marveling at Leo’s roar, chuckling at Tony’s chatter, and giving Kyndl the kind of attention he is always asking for. The rain held off and the early spring sunshine made for an idyllic backdrop for the break.
The most incredible part of this experience is gathering a room full of people, some eager beginners, some reluctant skeptics, and watching them experience an entirely new connection to the world around them and begin to understand how to listen to animal communication. To see their eyes light up and hear their joy at the end of the day and know a part of the world is now open to them that was not before, and that we got to be a part of that, is a gift in itself.