I felt compelled to address the reality we are living in this newsletter. As a country we are experiencing pain and loss that feels overwhelming for many of us. Our country is divided on many issues. Having discussions about race, gun control, gender and other differences can be difficult. Yet if there is a positive to the negative we are experiencing it is the many people coming together to help each other. The human spirit is admirable.

In addition to our human brothers and sisters we can also look to our dogs for comfort and even wisdom at times like this. Dogs bring insight to cope with the potential stress of the unknown. Our dogs are always there for us and even more importantly, they carry a wisdom they live by and are willing to share with us. 

LISTEN - Dogs are wonderful listeners. They don't speak the human language but they always look like they know exactly what we are saying...even if they don't. ;-) Listening more is always productive. We can learn to listen with an open mind. Being open to ideas different than our own can help our world become bigger and sometimes better. Listening for the truth helps us make better choices.   

BE IN THE MOMENT - no one is better at being in the moment than our dogs. They don't worry about what will happen or about what has been. They live in the present constantly. It is not possible for humans to live in the present like our dogs but we can work to become better at it. Focusing on what is happening now helps us experience the moment and this can mean fewer regrets and more joy in our life. Sort of like our dogs. ;-) The now can also be challenging. Being grounded in the present can help us deal with challenges more effectively and with a sense of calm. Our dogs can coach us on being in the moment. Dogs do not think or behave like victims. They share their resilience and forgiveness with humans even when it may seem unwarranted. 

AUTHENTICITY - Dogs don't care how much money we make or how we look or what we are wearing or what kind of a car we drive. Dogs look into or eyes and see our soul. They want to be with their pet parent all the time. Dogs do not care about the material things we sometimes put a lot of value on. Being authentic comes naturally to a dog. I love the quote "Be yourself because everyone else is taken." Self acceptance and love of self contributes to self confidence and self esteem. Our dogs accept us for who we are at all times. Let's follow their lead. Accepting ourself and others for who they are is a great beginning to have a discussion with those who may agree or even disagree with our point of veiw. 

COMPASSION -  Looking into our dogs eyes just makes us feel better. Our dogs are always there for us no matter what. They never judge us. As humans, it is so easy to judge and it is so hard to be judged. Dogs want to be with us and console and comfort us if we appear to need it. They tune into our feelings and seem to know when we are sad or upset or happy. Dogs have a natural empathy and compassion for humans that is notable and appreciated by those of us who love them. We can learn a lot about empathy and compassion from our dogs. We need empathy and compassion now more than ever.

HUMOR - I have observed my dogs to have a brilliant sense of humor. They make me laugh everyday. Dogs have a natural curiosity for life and explore everything they can. Dogs seem to know the necessity of play and exercise and play with a robust joy. We may need to be reminded of the importance and positive impact humor and play have on our life. Our dogs can teach us much about humor and play. Dogs support us during our grief and help us experience the benefits of humor. 

Dogs can teach us so many more things like forgiveness, loyalty, unconditional love, to always greet those you love, enjoy the journey, and the importance of a good nap. Dogs have the ability to bring people together. Dogs live from a place of love. As we look to our dogs for life lessons let's also express gratitude for their presence in our life and note that the little things are often the most important things in life.