STAYING HOME WITH YOUR DOG
Since we are all Staying Home, we can find ourselves with lots of time on our hands, and antsy kids, husbands, wives and dogs. It is easy to fall prey to fear, panic, anxiety and depression. Many people have lost their jobs and many of us have had to redefine how we do business. This is a time of uncertainty for sure. But it doesn’t have to be a time of panic, fear, depression and anxiety.
Instead, it can be a time to get closer to your family, do some much-needed spring cleaning, meditate, learn a new language, read that book you’ve always wanted to read, catch up on your favorite programs or on line courses, have family game time, learn to cook, try exciting new recipes, make funny family videos and post them on Facebook, watch programs that make you laugh (laughter is a great stress reducer and boosts your immune system), and reach out by phone, Facebook, Google, Skype or Facetime to those you love. Do something kind and generous for another. This can also be a time of rest and renewal.
It is important to exercise your body, and guard your mind. Do puzzles, do on line workouts, and there are virtual dance parties (for example with DJ D-Nice on Instagram.) Don’t continually watch the the news, or talk with people about doom and gloom constantly. What we focus on and what we resist persists. So, watch the news to stay up to date every morning for a few minutes, but don’t be glued to your news source. It is scary but we need to also focus on happier things. We can focus on hope or despair. It is our choice.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by fear, a good antidote is do something for someone else: Reach out, stay in touch, and help your elderly neighbors. It is also really helpful to do some deep heart centered breathing. Choose to be a source of love and light and watch your fears dissipate. I am not saying there is nothing to fear. I am saying that we have a choice about how we spend this unprecedented time and what we focus our minds on.
As much as our dogs are thrilled that their humans are always home these days, they are probably restless and going a bit stir crazy. (Aren’t we all?!) They may miss their friends they see and smell on their walks, having fun frolicking at the dog park or at doggy day care, or playing with their favorite doggy pal. And remember, your dog feels your emotions; which is another reason to not panic. If you are anxious, overwhelmed with fear, depressed or feeling hopeless, they will act out in their own doggy way, reflecting those emotions. Instead, focus on what you have to be grateful for, the love that is around you and know that “this too shall pass.”
Having said that, here are some tips for what you can do if your dog is antsy:
- Teach your dog a new trick.
- Practice getting your dog to walk well on a leash (beside you without pulling your arm out) – in the comfort of your own home.
- Give your dog a good chew toy, puzzle game, or peanut butter filled Kong.
- Create a fun “obstacle/agility course” in your home. You can use rolled up blankets, old boxes, chairs etc. – just be sure things are safe and secure.
- Put on your favorite song and grab your dog and have a dance party.
- Hide treats or people around your house and direct your dog to find them. (This is great for antsy children as well!)
It is in times of great challenge that we grow the most. Choose who you want to be though this. We will come through this stronger and wiser. I am sending you and your entire family my deepest, heartfelt prayers to stay healthy, and to feel calm and loved.
*And a special note about HAND SANITIZER: Some of the ingredients in hand sanitizer are TOXIC to your dog. So, if you are using hand sanitizer on your hands, please be mindful and don’t let your dog lick your hands.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE CORONAVIRUS FROM
THE WORLD ORGANIZATION FOR ANIMAL HEALTH GO TO:
None of us need the added stress of our dogs behaving badly at this already challenging time. So for a limited time I will be offering FREE mini sessions by phone. For more information go to www.LifeCoachingForDogs
or call (310) 467-2334 and ask about the special
COVID-19 FREE mini virtual session..
Wishing you, your family and your furry family members
good health and much love. xo Mara