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wisdom of dogs, Issue #038-- Year of mindfulness
November 17, 2021

Pay attention to your body

if you are mindful, you don't just notice what's around you. You also notice you. Your body. Your feelings.

Humans are taught to ignore their emotions. We are told to “work through it” or “suck it up” when we are in physical pain. Many humans (although not this one) believe in “No pain. No gain.”

Like my dogs, I believe we should be mindful of our pain. When my feelings are hurt, I don’t like to focus on it. But I know I need to listen to it.

Likewise, I pay attention to what my body is trying to tell me. Both my body and emotions have valuable information I should not ignore.

Dogs don't lie

especially not to themselves!

A dog will never ignore pain. They will try to cover it up if they don't feel safe. In front of an enemy or an unknown, dog will pretend to be fine. A dog will walk on that leg that is really hurting.

I have seen my herding dog Huff tired, tail dropping as we finish up our walk. Then a strange dog approaches and he straightens up and pretends. We pass the other dog and once out of sight, Huff lets down his guard.

He knows he is safe with me. Once in the house, he flops down on his pillow. I massage his legs and comfort him. He makes no pretense that he is fine. He is hurting and he is not afraid to let me see that.

I do that too. I listen to my pain but I don’t share it with everyone. I wait until I feel safe. Until I am safely back within my pack.

Sometimes we hide our pain so long, we convince ourselves it is not worth paying attention to.

But if we ignore our own pain, it will reemerge. It will come out in ways that hurt others. We snap. We growl. We push away the people who care about us.

This is what a stray dog will do. They will hide their injury. They will snap. They will growl. They will push away the very people who want to help them.

It's time for us to be mindful of ourselves. To look inside and acknowledge what's there. To be mindful.

That's the only way we can heal.

Wishing You Health,

and Happy Tail Wags

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