If you have been following my blogs from the beginning you will know that my original blog did come with a warning that my grammer and english may not be perfect. Let me add to that that I may, from time to time, make up my own words. I do and I just did. I was teetering between gratitudnaeously and gratitudinally but decided on the former (or is that one the later, I am always getting that former and latter thing mixed up) for the way it rolled off my tongue.

Today I thought it would be a good idea for everyone that has been stressing about their own stressing or their dog’s stressing, to behave gratitudnaeously, that is, with massive amounts of gratitude. As a matter of fact, I think it would be a great idea for everyone to do it . . . just for no reason at all.

Here is how you do it. Pick a dog, if you are struggling in your training with one particular dog right now pick THAT dog. Or, if you have a dog you have neglected a bit lately, pick that one. If you can’t decide which of your dog’s to pick, do it alphabetically, that way you won’t feel like you are cheating anyone.

You can do this exercise for each dog you own (I highly recommend it), but I don’t like to do it back to back. Separate each dog’s gratitudnaeous moments by at least a day. Why you say? Well, one because I said so and it is my blog and my game of make believe (actually it is based on something we did with Tony R:)) but regardless and more importantly, I think by trying to “cram” all of your dogs into one experience in my opinion you take away the specialness of the experience for the dog. I have done this for all of my dogs at as a group, and I do like that, but for today just do one dog.

Now sit in a quite spot. Yes, those of you at work go ahead, close your eyes, I am sure no one will bother you in your cubical or think you are any stranger than they did ten minutes ago. Now place both hands over your heart, close your eyes . . . hey . . I said close them, how are you continuing to read if your eyes are closed? Seriously, read this first and then do the process with closed eyes. Really this is cool (or strange but play along with me anyway because I think it is fun to do).

Missy Encore, her first day home.

Missy Encore, her first day home. Now recall the first day you made the decision to get “that” puppy or dog (if he was older). What was it about that particular one that made you take him home? See him at home on the first day, how curious he was, how crazy you are about him. Next visualize that dog the last time you saw him sleeping in his favourite place around the house, where is he? What position is he in? Is he curled up in a ball, upside down on his back or is he all stretched out on his side? Think about how much you love that dog and how grateful you are to have him in your life.

Play Along

Okay, here goes, in your quiet spot, with your eyes closed and your hands on your heart, think about that one specific dog and the times you have had together with that dog over the last year. See him running in your favorite field or park, visualize that dog trotting happily just a head of you or jumping through some long grass to get a better look.

Next, think of a time when you found yourself just admiring that dog maybe for the way he looks or his power or possibly, if he is older, for his grace. Next visualize him doing something with you and doing it extraordinarily well, far better than he has ever done it before or better than you thought possible and far better than you have ever seen any dog do it. Now think of a time that dog made you laugh out loud, ideally until stuff came out of an orifice you weren’t planning on it leaving. Next remember that dog making you so proud your heart could just burst. Okay now think of a moment that dog did something that you thought was so unbelievably brilliant you just had to tell someone.
Now put this question out there for your “higher power” or just throw it on out there into the universe. “How can I help this dog to live with more joy and be more connected to me?”

There, that was your gratitudnaeous moment. The more gratitude you have for what you’ve already got, the more answers will come to you when you are struggling. Weird but true, trust me on this one. I bet it works for kids too although I don’t have any of my own to try it out on.

Today I am grateful for gratitude stacking. If you see me at ringside with my eyes closed and my hands on my heart, you can bet that is what I am doing . . . either that or I had one nasty ass bean burrito at lunch.