We got our cockapoo whilst I was going through a really difficult bout of depression. Despite my family toying with the idea in the past, my Mam hoped a dog would help with my mental health. I was working from home and was feeling quite isolated at the time, so what better way than introducing a canine companion to help with loneliness? It was a great idea! Having Ollie has encouraged me to exercise and he has brought our family closer together. If you can’t tell, I absolutely love my dog and think that looking after him is by far one of the best forms of self-care! Owning a dog has given me so much purpose and although they are a lot of work I can definitely see why so many people fall for our four-legged friends. So for this self-care Sundays I’d like to discuss what I’ve learned about dogs and why I feel so blessed to share the earth with our furry friends.
What we should all learn from dogs 🐕💛👑✨🙏
1.) Endlessly forgiving – A dog will never stay angry with you because you didn’t give them that treat after their walk. They simply don’t hold grudges. We should learn to hold grudges less and let go of things more. Particularly things that are out of our control as it can be emotionally draining and stop you from getting on in life.
2.) Truly accepting of themselves and others – Imagine what a boring world it would be if all our pooches looked the same? Oh I would just be so saddened if I thought my gorgeous, ginger cockapoo envied the beautiful spots of a Dalmation. I know he doesn’t give a shit, he’s far more interested in running his paws through his own curly locks or sniffing some other dogs arse. That’s the thing- you can accept your beauty whilst praising others. Admiring others won’t take anything away from you. Remember we don’t all need to look the same, learn to accept your uniqueness. It’s what makes you, you. Work the good, the bad and everything in between.
3.) Live in the moment – Sometimes we can spend so much time worrying about what has happened and what might or might not happen in the future, we forget to live in the here and now. Dogs never forget to do that. Whether they are driving with their head out the window taking in the beautiful breeze, walking down the street sniffing out the surrounding area or running through the muddy lake in the park chasing the ducks just because that’s what my dog likes to do- dogs always live in the moment! We should learn from this positive perspective and begin to live in the present more.
4.) Forever loyal – Whether I’m off for a morning walk, coming home from work in a bad mood, snuggling on the sofa watching TV or simply making a cuppa- I know that my cockapoo is literally always by side (mainly hoping for food🤔😂) but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Dogs are fiercely loyal and always stand by their owners and the people close to them- seeing them through the good and the bad. I know Ollie has been there through it all and he always knows when to give me a cuddle. This is something us humans should take on board. Always stand by those you love.
5.) Love unconditionally – I think one of the best things about dogs is no matter what mood you are in, when you walk through that door they will want to greet you with wet kisses, cuddles and an undeniable wagging tail. You could have literally just shouted at them and they will still want to show you affection. It is difficult to love unconditionally, but I am certain dogs do it a whole lot better than humans.
6.)Appreciate the small stuff – Oh the finer things in life, you know, a good scratch behind the ears, a meaty treat, a new squeaky ball or even better… a hot bath (yes my dog loves the bath)! Dogs really do have the most amazing love of life and childlike enthusiasm for everything handed to them. Let this apply to you. Bask in that extra ten minutes in bed, look forward to singing in the shower. Let the happiness last as long as possible.
7.) Love to exercise – Getting my dog has encouraged me to exercise; I love taking him on walks and I even want to start running with him! I know my cockapoo needs lots of exercise each day so that encourages me to go outside, we get to spend quality time together and I know that my dog is happier when he is out playing too. Since exercising with my dog I have managed to lose six stone by adapting a healthier lifestyle. Read about my weight loss here.
8.) Don’t judge – Dogs love you because of who you are, not because of what you have. They genuinely couldn’t care less if you are the Queen of England or a homeless person off the streets, if you treat them with love and respect (and a meaty-treat or two) then they will love you til the end. They don’t judge nobody and neither should you.
9.) Honest – Dogs are never afraid to let you know their needs. I think this is one of the most important things we can take from our four-legged friends. If we were all a bit more honest with each other about how we really felt we could really live a more peaceful life with less stress and more happiness.
10.) Relax – While it is important to have a good run about, it’s just as important to relax. Dogs know all about this, that’s why they spend up to 14 hours a day sleeping! My dog loves to catch a few hours on the sofa but sometimes I feel like I don’t sit down. It’s important for us to give ourselves permission to relax and switch off from the day-to-day stresses of life… then maybe we’ll get to be just as relaxed as our pups! ☺️🐶💛