Why does watching a dog be a dog fill one with happiness?Jonathan Safran Foer
We often talk about the unconditional love that we receive from dogs. Instead let’s talk about how dogs can help us to discover and connect with who we truly are. Dogs have so much to teach us if we allow ourselves to learn from them. Their pure light and love is palpable. They are incredible beings who do not judge or criticize, they just love who and how we are. No questions, no expectations, they just enjoy being with us in the moment.
Looking at Life Through the Eyes of a Dog
Everything is fresh and exciting to a dog, even if they have done something dozens of times before. They miss us when we are gone, and give us attention when we return. Most dogs are open playful beings and like to cuddle. They are always true to themselves. Is this the kind of being you might like to be?
When my sweet precious black lab, Keegan, is lying in her bed belly up and all four paws to the sky, I have a visceral response. My heart opens to unimaginable proportions and my whole being responds. Notice what happens for you when you are in the presence of a dog. Is this how you would like to feel more often?
Do You Need “Dog Therapy”?
So often we lose touch with our authentic selves as we get caught up in the demands of the day to day. What we might truly feel is buried under what we feel are expected adult behaviors and how we must act to appear responsible. But sometimes, truly being with a dog can be therapeutic for us.
- Do you sometimes feel that you have lost your sense of humor, or never really had one in the first place?
- Do you find yourself so caught up in life’s routines, and fast paced lifestyle, that you walk around the world feeling oh so serious, or wearing a scowl on your face, or perhaps even more concerning—no expression at all?
- Do you ever think that all the warmth inside has drained from you, or there was never any warmth to begin with, and just rigidity and a sense of detachment from self or others?
- Do you ever feel that you are just walking through life on automatic pilot and not really feeling or experiencing the world?
Interacting with a dog might help us relax and regain that comfort level with our authentic selves. Enjoying time with a carefree dog can allow us to relax. Our troubles melt away as we become playful. In fact, being silly with a dog is encouraged and met with their unbridled enthusiasm. Often, we then find that enthusiasm contagious and rediscover our sense of humor and joy for the little things in life. Things we may not have noticed, or embraced, as we hurried through our day.
For more tips on how dogs can help us to get in touch with our authentic self, please click on the link below for my complete article.
My wish for you today is that you’re able to slow down, be in the moment, and find the joy in the little things the day offers.
-Kathleen Dwyer Blair, LCSW, BCD
Director Nassau Guidance and Counseling