National Dog Day; Purposeful Play
Today happens to be National Dog Day and a great chance to salute our four legged friends. Dogs (and cats) happen to be one of the greatest coping skills and counseling strategies around. Pets allow us to feel a sense of connection with our world and can demonstrate that unconditional love and positive regard that we all crave so much.
Unlike our two legged human friends, our animal friends do not judge us or keep track of our faults and poor judgement. Dogs allow us to love impulsively with lots of reward and little risk; in many ways a dog's love is win-win. Some ways to celebrate National Dog Day include carving out time to spend with your canine companion that is designated just for them. You may want to take your pet to the vet for a check-up or buy them a special treat so that they know just how much you appreciate them.
Dogs can increase our emotional development and enhance our EQ (Emotional Intelligence) tremendously. Surprisingly, dogs can bring the "human" element back into so many of our experiences. When we are attuned to our pets we practice the skills that we need to use when we are in our intimate, familial and work relationships. These skills can include:
- Setting expectations
- Honoring obligations
- Being mindful in our interactions
- Thinking of someone/ something outside ourselves.
Although you may think that National Dog Day is just another "fluff" holiday, I challenge you to see it as part of the circle of holidays and events in our life that create meaning and fulfillment for us in our daily lives.
Sometimes we may struggle with acknowledging the contributions of those around us; if we challenge ourselves we can realize that our non-human friends make valid and meaningful contributions to so many of our lives. If a pet brings you joy and helps you to cope with the stress and pressure that each day brings, then that pet is priceless and should be treated as such. How will you celebrate National Dog Day?