Take Time To Smell the Roses

It is a lovely day in Halifax. I have been stressed out and busy these days. Today, I will take time to stop and smell the proverbial roses. My dog insists. When I am stressed and distracted, Opal is too. She deserves better. My Guide dog (like most dogs) mirrors  my mood and anxiety level.  Yesterday, I was not as patient or focused as usual while we worked down a busy downtown area. Neither was she.  Dogs are a lot like small children, in that they need to feel that the ‘top dog’ (that’s me, in opal’s case) is in charge,  and that top dog will consistently provide calm leadership. It is reassuring for dogs (and children) to have rules. They do so much better with routine and consistency in their lives.  Don’t think for a second, that dogs don’t have an emotional response to an angry, impatient voice.  Of course, humans will be humans.  We carry a lot of ridiculous worries around in our head and use our interaction with our dogs as a means of expression.  Opal, like any child, does not understand or care that I am unprepared for next week’s meeting, or that I don’t have enough money to buy some items I think I need, or that I feel guilty about not doing my Spanish assignment, and that these things are stuck in my head.  She DOES know when I am ill, fearful, stressed, angry etc.  She shows her concern if I am sick by being quiet and staying close.  She expects little from me, other than food, shelter, love and kindness.  I do the best I can. When we’ve had a bit of a bad day, I try to give her (and myself) a chance to regroup the following day.  So, on that note, I am going to shut down this blog for today, and take my dog out for a romp in the snow…my version of taking time to smell the roses. 

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