Life never seems to slow down, does it? How do we balance all the things, and keep moving the needle forward?

I ask myself this question allllllll the time!  

I know I am a dog coach, and you might think that my purpose is to train dogs, but I got into this work on a more spiritual level. I believe dogs have the power to improve the quality of our lives and have loving energy that can heal us from both past traumas and present anxieties.

Is this too touchy feely for you? Read on…

We can only take care of others if we take care of ourselves! And, one of the things in our wellness toolkit can be our dog!

This morning, for example…. The fog was rolling in at 6:30am, the temperature is colder than I’m used to, and I needed to add layers for the first time in while. It is Wednesday morning and my list of short and long term goals is longer than…. winter in Vermont!

I laid down to my morning meditation ritual, and Mazlo found the nook between my legs to settle in, warm me up, and ground me with his unconditional love.

Dogs are not automatically calm and are not necessarily born with intuitive powers, but we can cultivate the calm, reward resilience and show our unconditional love in return.  

When my meditation finished, I thanked Mazlo with a gentle massage- returning the love by working on his nervous system too.

I do have some ways that I support Mazlo’s nervous system so he can be there to support me when I need him….So this blog is dedicated to wellness, both our dog’s and our own!

Yesterday I took Mazlo to a college soccer game and he had more stimulation than he is used to!  Many students and athletes came to give him affection, and while I cheered my son on in goal with the hyper focus of a goalie mom, a 5 year old boy doted on Mazlo (… in the way that 5 year old boys do)! Luckily, Maz was gentle, kind, patient and forgiving allowing me to focus on my son, not my dog! …. And while I didn’t need to worry about Mazlo’s behavior with this young, rambunctious boy, I did recognize that it was A LOT for him.

One of the ways I am able to keep exposing Mazlo to different environments is by helping him balance energy before and after events (as needed). This morning’s massage was designed to help discharge some of that overstimulation!

3 ways to support your dog’s wellness so they can support you in times of need:

A gentle dog massage:

Reiki is an energy healing technique that originated from Japan and it is my go to treatment for anxiety and/or overstimulation in dogs.

It helps balance the nervous system by connecting with the energy source in the body and gently moving it away as a way to release it. It works as beautifully on dogs as it does on people!

Mazlo responds to it very well (as has every other dog I have ever tried it on)! You barely touch the dog, but rather connect with their field of energy near the body.  

Next time your dog is relaxed in your lap, try feeling the heat coming off her body… connect with that heat and gather it in the palm of your hand… gently move it (if you can), and then release the captured energy by slowly moving your hand away from your dog’s body.

With practice, you will get better and better at finding the energy and knowing how to release it!

I find this practice also soothes my soul and helps center me too. For extra credit, you can add soothing music to help seal the practice in and make it even more enjoyable for you!

Here is a great article if you want more info.

A solid GI tract:

When we get anxious, our bellies become unsettled. This happens to our dog’s bellies too! The nervous system is connected to the GI tract via the vagus nerve. So, by supporting our dog’s digestive health, we are also supporting their delicate nervous system.  

I love a product called Firm Up to keep Mazlo’s stools consistent. The beauty of this product is how it works for both loose stools (to firm them up) and firm stools (constipation) to keep things moving smoothly!

Try it out! You’ll find it in the Featured Products section in the MLH Shop.

Coconut oil:

Around this time of year, I massage coconut oil on the pads of Mazlo’s paws to keep them in tip top shape over the winter. I should probably do this more often than I do, but…. just like you, I get busy!  

This time of year my skin gets dry and flaky and requires more moisture. Our dog’s pads are the same way! Coconut oil works to soften the paws, minimizing any additional wear and tear to keep them smooth and supple. With softer pads, our dogs grip onto different surfaces better and maintain healthy pad health longer. While it works as a great moisturizer, it also works as a protective balm to create a thin barrier from any irritants. 

Because Coconut oil has natural anti-fungal and antibiotic properties, I don’t need to worry about Mazlo licking it off. It can actually help your dog’s GI tract, if they do lick their paws and decide they like the taste. I tend to avoid him licking it off by applying the balm as part of a relaxing massage and gently rubbing the oil in deeply… or I apply it right before we leave on an outing, so he is up and about, forgetting the thin sheen of oil on his paws.

3 ways to support your own wellbeing:

And, as promised, here are 3 things I have been using for my personal wellbeing this season, and hope you enjoy them too:

Creating Abundance 21 Day Meditation Challenge by Deepak Chopra:

My husband and I are doing this challenge together and it does help to begin our days on a positive note, allowing us to see the abundance that already exists in our lives, while giving us energy to strive for bigger goals without feeling maxed out. Give it a try and let me know if you like it too.

The Move with Heart Podcast by Melissa Wood Tepperbert:

Not sure how I found this podcast, but I have been enjoying her relatable and imperfect health care journey, while also candidly talking about anxiety, perfectionism, aging and parenting!

These particular Omega 3 supplements:

My husband binges The Huberman Lab Podcast and we all benefit from his newly learned knowledge (note a tiny bit of sarcasm there!). However, these Omegas are now a staple in our diet, and… without giving you the LONG version of why, these are great for mental health, brain function in general and helps manage inflammation in the body. Did I mention that these supplements go in Mazlo’s food bowl everyday too? I want to keep him as healthy and active as I can, for as long as I can!

So, now that Maz and I are feeling well cared for, centered, and vibrant, we’re going to head out on our walk to notice the beauty of the fall season and appreciate the abundance of color before our eyes.

I hope you have an amazing day too!