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Canine Gravity for Stressful Times

Pressures of modern life — be they related to work, families, political climate, or global catastrophes — make a girl wish she could simply float away for a while and get a break from the grind. Yet, whether you face short, intense challenges or the death-by-a-million-cuts reality of lingering problems, the trick (as far as I can tell) is to stay put.

Now, I’m not going to try and fool you. My own emotional survival does require a certain amount of protection and distancing because, honestly, if I actually felt all the things I should be feeling about life right now, I’d never get out of bed.

I often take my cues on getting through daily life from the dogs:

  • Ginko faithfully pilots the sofa, serving as both witness and touchstone
  • Lilly moves when I move, reacts when I react, providing a mirror for my own condition

dog dog blog dog bondDogs: Our Anchor to What Matters

Like a small, furry source of gravity, force of nature, the dogs ground me with their presence, through their humor, by the sheer force of needing to provide for them and take care of them.

Sometimes they do this by just being nearby.

Other times, especially at night, Lilly chooses instead to curl up right on my chest or my tummy and hold me in place.

“Rest now, Mama,” I pretend she tells me. “I’ll hold you down so that you don’t float away.”

So, if you ever call me in the evening and I do not answer, it’s because I have 35-pounds of love holding me in place.

Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related. I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

Jana Rade - April 14, 2011

I love this article! They sure put things into perspective, don’t they?

KenzoHW - April 14, 2011

Viva chooses her moments to come up and cuddle around 5-6 am. Especially when I have a special busy day ahead, maybe she already recognized all my unrest while still sleeping …

Maery Rose - April 14, 2011

I have so many people tell me how they don’t have a dog because they want the freedom of not having to run home after work and to not have to deal with dog care during vacations. At times it can be difficult always having to run home to let the dogs out but I guess the number of days that owning a dog is an inconvenience are overridden by the daily ways that my dogs save my life by making me laugh, getting me out for exercise, keeping me company, and snuggling with me.

Kevin Myers - April 14, 2011

I’ve often said that my dogs are the best mirror of my own emotional state. The reflection they show me is never distorted.

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