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My Dog & I: Slow Down.

Our lives are moving very fast these days. We seem to be trying to fit so many tasks into  such a short amount of time. The “to do” lists of our days have become so dense that we never seem to be able to fulfill all the expectations.

It is not surprising then, that the “art of relaxation” has become something of a science!! Yoga, aromatherapy, meditation, hiking…are all an attempt to slow our lives down and step off the clock for a few moments of relief. Our animals have become integral in allowing us to take moments of laughter, love and silliness and just be, briefly creatures of nature.

There is much to be said for the simple connection with a non verbal being. Unfortunately though, those moments of joy also seem to need to be “structured” in our lives…20 minutes of dogwalking, two hours of snuggle time in front of the TV, quick feed breakfast and into the car to go to doggy daycare…off to the groomers, training class on Wednesdays…seems like just another chore sometimes! We forget why we even brought these guys into our lives.

They are here for us. BUT we need to take advantage of the gifts that they offer us and in order to do so, we must step outside of our busy brains and let them in!

Your head is full of stuff that does not concern a dog. Your dog’s head is full of his sensory perceptions. There can be a great mutually beneficial marriage between you…after all, someone needs to pay the vet bill so you will need to be fiscally responsible but someone else REALLY needs to stop and smell the roses sometimes.

When watching people work with their dogs, I am most aware of the different energy speeds that exist between the two species. It’s almost as if there are two parallel lives coexisting, with very few points of intersection. The dog is often overwhelmed by the information coming from the human and the human is often oblivious to the dog’s more subtle and immediate behaviors. We are missing a lot. And the remedy for many of our stresses is sometimes lying on the floor in front of us.

It’s not just about doing stuff with our dogs or achieving any particular goal…the goal is to enrich our lives with the connection we forge with these unique beings and the “sharing” we experience when we fully engage.

So, take ten minutes away from everyone but your friend and really try to feel where that connection begins. Make the rest of the world go away and let your dog in. Use your awareness and SLOW DOWN!!!”

“Virtually any human emotion undermines effective communication with your animal” Xenophon.

– Janine Lazarus, HashtagWV May 2017. Janine is the owner/operator of Goodladd Dog Training, check her out!

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Publisher/Editor in Chief at HashtagWV | + posts

HASHTAGWV ART & ENTERTAINMENT Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, Christina Entenmann-Edwards has been a WV resident since September 2008. She was born and raised in Fairfield County, Connecticut, and is no stranger to hard work and the entrepreneurial spirit. In 2006, she graduated from Quinnipiac University (Hamden, Connecticut), Cum Laude, with a B.A. in History. In 2010, she graduated with an M.B.A. from Liberty University (Lynchburg, Virginia). In February 2012, Christina launched HashtagWV as the area’s first full-color, free arts and entertainment tabloid + online platform. Christina completed the Leadership West Virginia class of 2021, which is an innovative program that grows, engages, and mobilizes leaders to ignite a life passion to move West Virginia forward.