Today I heard a beautiful quote on AGT, from the lovely “Nightbirde” – singer / songwriter who recently lost her battle with cancer, yet in so many ways she won, because she refused to let it define her. She grasped onto her 2% chance of survival and refused to let it beat her down.
“You can’ t wait till life isn’t hard anymore before you decide to be happy”.
How this resonates. So many of us are struggling for so many reasons post covid, but there is a positive edge on it. We are stronger and more resilient than ever. And we are back! Bringing happiness to our members despite their current challenges and helping them to find happiness within themselves. Find the small things in life that make you smile or laugh. It doesn’t have to be that life altering moment, winning the lotto or getting an amazing new job. Watch your dog for a few minutes and feel that joy as small as it is.
I found a beautiful article on Tiny Budda, ‘What dogs teach us about peace, joy and living in the now.”
I encourage each and every one of you to read this article. It explains so well what a dog brings to us.
Now is a better time than ever to hook up with a dog (if you don’t already have one). There are many opportunities to foster and adopt more mature dogs who were given up once lockdown ended and healing a dog helps to heal yourself. If for some reason you can’t have a dog, make opportunities to be around them. We just had a message from a couple who currently haven’t got their dog with them but have asked if they can attend walks. HECK YES! Come and pat ours, we have plenty.
Over the weekend I had a real, “uh huh” moment. We had a few events and the happiness created through them was amazing. At one point, my husband said, ‘you did this.’ We were on the beach on a delightfully sunny morning, heading back after our beach romp and 25 people and 23 dogs were behind us. It may seem the smallest thing but it was huge. These people that attend our groups come from all different walks of life, all different ages and experiences both good and bad, and with many different dogs but they were together, smiling, laughing, sharing about the dogs and their antics. We are people who would never have met, had it not been for our dogs.
For me, animals , especially dogs, bring joy. I am going through a huge process at the moment with Victims of Crime and my animals are my comfort as is Doggie Dates. When I am out with my dog/s, I have time, “out of my head” and just get to enjoy what is going on, living in the moment. This is more important to me than ever right now. Even when I am experiencing grief, my dogs are my soft place to fall.
There is so much information and research available online about how pets make a difference. RACGP – The Family Physician, has an article called, “The Pet Effect” and discusses the role pets can play in healthcare. It makes a great read and lists the many benefits of companion animals.
I have seen this first hand through an organisation I am involved in called Paws Pet Therapy. The interesting thing is, I take my girl out to help other people feel happy and in turn it helps me to feel happy. In 2020, our house was destroyed by a neighbours tree. It was devastating. A few days later I was out with Lucy, attending to a therapy gig with the elderly. For that day, I was able to, “forget” our situation and enjoy the reactions from those lovely clients who adored Lucy. She helped me to be happy even when life was hard.
Many of our members are too afraid to come along for fear they will be judged because their dog misbehaves or may bark. This is almost laughable because when you come to our groups, you soon discover why it doesn’t matter. It is an addictive journey, and a positive addiction. People are naturally accepted into our “Doggie Dates Family,” as are their dogs.
Today, just grab a little of Nightbirde’s “happy.” Decide to be happy while life is still hard. Grab your dog and go for a walk with them. Join our activities and find a new meaning. Feel the joy and peace that we experience when we gather together with our dogs. It sounds a lot, it sounds impossible, but it really does help you with whatever you are experiencing.