Zoey & Mia were cute little Shitzu-Schnauzer mixes. They were sisters- from the same litter. We taught them a few tricks during our 15 years together; sit, shake hands, don’t poop in the house, etcetera. They taught us things too. And even though they both crossed the rainbow bridge a few years ago, their lessons still hold value for me- maybe they will for you too.

Here’s what I learned from them.

1. Sun Yourself In The Yard For A Few Minutes Each Day

This isn’t about suntanning, it’s about taking a few minutes each day to relax outside, clear your head, and be reminded of our connection to the earth. It’s easy to get consumed by our own problems, projects and lifestyles, but it’s not healthy. We all need at least a few minutes each day to refresh; to be immersed in the world outside of ourselves; to let the sun warm us and the fresh air restore us; to feel the seasons change. Zoey and Mia did this for several hours each day, and if I didn’t have to go to work, I probably would too. 

2. Stretch!

Zoey and Mia were master- stretchers! Several times per day they would show their flexibility by doing their version of doggie yoga (poses like downward dog and heart-to-earth). I was impressed. I was also stiff and less flexible than my earlier years, so I started doing yoga. I’m not exaggerating when I say it changed my life. I feel stronger, more relaxed, and just better all over when I stick with my daily yoga practice. I’m still not hitting the poses like Zoey & Mia, but true growth is in the journey.

3. Let People Know You Love Them

Dogs are so good at this! Every time we come home, they greet us with tail wags, favorite toys, jumping and licking us in the face. Every time! There is no doubt about their feelings toward us. When Zoey & Mia treated me like that I enthusiastically returned their affection. But at a certain point, I realized that my feelings for other humans were, perhaps, not as clearly shared. I decided to change that, not by licking them in the face, but by being more deliberate in showing that I care for them. Sometimes I use words, sometimes actions, sometimes a hug. It feels good to have those feelings known.

I miss my pups, Mia & Zoey, but at least they left behind some good lessons to help me remember them.  Pay attention to your pets- they may be trying to teach you something too!

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