Dogs are often adopted or purchased for companionship.
The friend you come home to after a long, stressful day at work.
The friend that's there to comfort you through a breakup.
The friend who TRULY listens to all of your problems.
And most importantly - the friend that always knows how to put a smile on your face.
People often say that dogs look like their owners... even act like them too!
Have you ever wondered how that is? Is there really any truth to that?
Have you ever noticed that when you're upset, your dog reciprocates that energy?
Or, whenever you're angry or anxious, your dog tends to act up?
Let me start off by letting you in on a little secret - dog trainers have "off" days too.
The past few weeks, my pack hasn't been acting up to my standard.
I've felt frustrated; "they know better!" I'd tell myself.
I reached out to my mentors and my colleagues.
That's when they hit me with the hard questions;
"How are you REALLY feeling?"
"Have you been stressed lately?"
"Have you been taking care of yourself?"
Not a SINGLE question about how the dogs were acting.
The hardest part? Admitting that I WAS having a rough time, I HAD been stressed, and I WASN'T taking care of myself.
Was that why my pack was acting up?
I was doing all the tricks I constantly preached to my clients - stretching or doing yoga and centering my thoughts before beginning my walk.
It wasn't until my colleague hit me with the hard truth - my subconscious was SCREWING with me - that I knew I needed to make some serious changes.
I had been ignoring my problems for WEEKS and waiting (and hoping) for the storm to pass.
And my pack was feeling that negative energy pouring out of me.
I got to work, HARD, on MYSELF.
I hit my problems head-on, addressed my stress, and took the actionable steps needed to take care of myself.
Today - my pack was AMAZING.
A complete 180.
Well behaved and listening to my cues, as I watched smiling people passing in their cars and turning heads on the street.
I felt GOOD. My boys were AWESOME!!
I took a step back and recognized all of the hard work I put into taking care of myself and realized how TRULY important self-care is.
We all have bad days, it's part of being human.
Your pack, whether just one dog or fifteen, is affected by your state of mind and emotional state.
So my question is - what are you doing for YOU today?
How are you taking care of YOURSELF?
Not your dog, not your kid, not your partner, but YOU?