Saturday, February 25, 2017

Dog Care Is Self Care

Whew! It's been awhile. 

We're all busy aren't we? At least we feel busy. Distractions can seem to come from all sides, pulling  us away from thoughtful actions and peaceful feelings. 

These are the times that when asked to do something thoughtful for our dogs we may think to ourselves "oh yeah, I should do that tomorrow," or our good intentions and compelling ideas fade away as we rush to grocery shop and make dinner at the end of a work day.

When I get to feeling like that I try to think about how the situation may be effecting my well-being too. One of the blessings of having dogs as companions is that they remind us to get grounded and pay attention to what matters, and to let go of the other stuff for a little while. 

The wonderful thing is to rediscover how good it feels to do this. 

Our dogs can remind us of the importance of self-care!

It really doesn't take much time to mix up some herbs for my dog - and hey, good reminder to mix some for myself too! Spring is on it's way and we both could use some plant medicine to ensure that our liver is functioning well so that allergens and chemicals don't have such an impact on our bodies. [Contact me if you'd like to know more!]

I even paused for 10 minutes to prepare an overnight infusion of herbs to provide me with the nourishment my body needs to feel better.  Did I do it the next day too? Well.... no. But that doesn't negate the benefits of what I DID do - don't judge yourself.

I've been concerned about commercial pet foods so I've been uncomfortable adding canned meat to liven things up for her at breakfast time. My next blog post will show you how easy it is to cook up your own meat topper once a month so you can really know exactly what your pet's eating.

On our walk today I listened to music. Music is a great way to escape the worry and business that is stressing us out! Even though I was using my phone for this I wasn't interacting with the phone, I'm firmly against spending your dog walk talking on the phone or texting (emergencies aside). Look around you - take in the trees, plants, sky, landscape. In my neighborhood the music also helped mask the sound of freeway traffic, something that has grown exponentially more intrusive over the years so I find myself getting tense about it rather than taking advantage of the walk to simplify and calm my thoughts. Vida enjoys city walks so I try to bring her along when I can, even if it's just around the block. 

Sitting under a tree, or visiting a bookshop, or if you're lucky taking a walk by the ocean - both of you can benefit. 

When you take your dog out for that last pee late at night look up - look at the stars.

Get away from the day-to-day distractions and concerns. Give yourself 20 minutes. If you find that you're telling yourself you're doing "nothing" remind yourself that you deserve 20 minutes without an agenda!

Take care of yourself so your mind and body are better able to withstand stress (sometimes that's as a simple as a good night's sleep, and we all know dogs are experts at that). 

Let your dog be a dog whenever possible, enjoying their own experience of the natural world. They may help you do the same.
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