Meditation and dog training. It seems like one of those weird combination flavors that you see out in the world, but like pineapple and pizza-it totally works.
In my last post I mentioned how our family welcomed a new puppy, Arya, into the family. If you’ve ever experienced the excitement of having a puppy then you may remember how exhausting it is to keep a constant eye on a puppy for potty training, plant-rescuing and carpet saving purposes. I’m no stranger to dog training, I’ve had three dogs who I raised from puppy hood in my adult life, so I was mentally prepared for this experience and really thought I had a handle on it. Like so many statements that start out a certain way one way and end up something completely different, I had a huge lesson that the Universe served up rather quickly.
A day or so before we brought Arya home, we were told that she had some runny stool and they were hesitant to let us take her. They assumed it was stress and a food change, as did we, so home she came with a nasty case of diarrhea. We expected this for a couple of days because it’s stressful to be introduced into a new home, especially one with two young boys and a geriatric Golden Retriever.
After a week of non-stop runs, we decided to get her to the vet a week before her next vaccination shots so we could figure out what was going on. After bringing that bag of poo to the vet’s office, the next day we got the diagnosis: giardia. If you’ve ever had a dog with this nasty little intestinal parasite, then you know the dread that washed over us.
The same day we got the grim news, we started her on the first dose of medication. Let me tell you, there is nothing as gross and sad as a puppy that has a stomach issue. Needless to say, the house training has been stalled at the moment and we are just trying to ride this nastiness out.
Last Sunday, I’m ashamed to admit that I had a little bit of a breakdown that culminated in yelling, crying and threatening to throw in the towel all together. I’ve never been super great at handling stress, and the constant cleaning of the kennel and my floor along with the 1-2 daily puppy baths just got to me and I broke.
Throughout my adult life I’ve always struggled with anger repression to the point of volcanic eruption. It’s something I’ve worked on over the years and I do feel like I’ve improved in a lot of ways. Those who live with me may think otherwise, but I’ve bit my tongue and meditated A LOT over the past year. It was probably just over a year ago that I started consistently doing it as a part of my morning routine and I think it has helped my overall mindset dramatically. This past week, however, has been more trying than normal and I have probably needed to increase my meditation more than normal.
Around 3pm on Sunday after my breakdown and my entire family fearing my fury, something finally clicked and I sat down on the kitchen floor near our new puppy and meditated for 20 minutes. It was difficult in many ways, I was uncomfortable, my heart was racing and I was really just fed up with everyone, but at around the 7 minute mark, something changed. It was like my entire body went calm and everything seemed extremely clear. So clear in fact that I had to write this up immediately and tell my tale!
Meditating with you dog is easier than you think
Moments before I sat down, Arya gave me that wary look because she was certain that I was going to tell her “NO!” again, but instead she came over by me and fell asleep. Now, that could have been pure coincidence, but I like to think that I was finally putting off some good vibes that she was comfortable being around and she wanted to be near me. She stayed a little bit closer to me for the rest of the day, so that gave me a good indication that changing my mindset, changed my entire vibration which was able to get us both through the rest of that stressful day.
I now see that my daily meditation has some validity and if I continue to stick with it I will be able to pull myself out of these bouts of anger that I get when I’m stressed. This will obviously benefit me and my family, but will also help me get through these next tough couple of weeks of puppy training. Considering this whole intestinal parasite can hang on for two months, I’m going to have a lot of opportunity to test my hypothesis in this arena!
In addition to the mental and health benefits that can be improved by consistent mediation, I would like to go ahead and add that the process benefits not only the human but the puppy during puppy training. I don’t know if there is any scientific evidence to prove this, but why not give it a try if you are up to your elbows in puppy poop and pee and are just trying to get to make it back to a place of sanity?
Have you ever tried meditation near your pet? I’d love to hear if anyone else has ever tried this during training or when you are trying to calm your pet down. I’ve meditated with my kids in the middle of a near knock down and drag out fight, and have had some pretty decent success. It seems pretty natural to me that since animals tend to be more in tune with our emotions and states of mind that it would help our relationships with them immensely.
Want to see what else I’m up to? Check out my latest Goal Roundup post.