I’m sure the irony isn’t lost on you. How is it possible that people are coming together while practicing social distancing?

Reaching out to others doesn’t have to be physical. Hopeful thoughts and acts of kindness find their way into the hearts of those who need positive inspiration in their lives. Think about the ripple effect and then start making waves.

Think about: the artists in Seattle who are painting murals on boarded up windows, the Seattle Dog Homeless Program that is helping to care for homeless dogs, the woman in line at a grocery store who gave one of her loaves of bread to the older woman in line ahead of her who couldn’t find any to buy, the people who are offering to care for animals who live with people who have the virus, companies that are making face masks and ventilators instead of their normal products, entertainers who are performing for TV audiences, people who write uplifting messages on their social media pages, people who donate money to help both animals and people, or the man in Italy standing on his balcony playing “Hallelujah,” and the list goes on. People reaching out is a good thing and shows that we can come together when we care about each other.

Sitting at home wringing your hands and being afraid isn’t productive. There are lessons to be learned now and you can’t learn if you’re paralyzed by fear. Open your hearts to hope and kindness. Yes, there are people behaving badly, but don’t contaminate your positive thinking with the negative actions of others. Think about what you’re learning from what’s going on in the world right now.

Learn from your dog. You knew I’d eventually get around to dogs didn’t you? Here are a few lessons that you can learn from your canine companion right now:

Routine: Dogs take comfort in routine and you can do the same. Even if your normal routine has been disrupted, create new ones that will help you keep grounded.

Be resilient and adaptable: Dogs, especially senior dogs, know how to do this and you can learn from them if you listen and watch them. Get creative about how you’re spending your time at home.

Re-evaluate your priorities: There’s nothing like living with a dog that helps you focus on what’s really important in life.

Use your intuition to guide you: Dogs process everything emotionally, and so they always get it. Listen with your heart like they do.

Movement is a good thing: I know your dog is probably telling you that six walks a day is more like a forced march than a leisurely stroll, but use movement … in any form … to help you literally and metaphysically move forward.

We’ll be fine if we continue to care about others and help people and animals stay safe and healthy. Be grateful that we’re being given an opportunity to learn what we need to know to be successful human beings. We’ve got this!


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