comic · dogs · Personal Success

Our Vicious Pitbull, Opal

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Listen, we go through this every May. I have to close the door after you go out in order to keep the flies and mosquitos from coming in. No need for you to get anxious and insecure. Just go out there and do your business. I’m right here. And remember, this is our routine until it gets cool again. When is that? It won’t get cool again until probably early November.

 

 

dogs · education · Personal Success · writers

Coyote

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It’s 6:44am, pitch-dark outside and the door is open (I live in the desert and winter is prime time for open windows and doors). A group of coyotes are howling in the distance and they sound like a bunch of frat boys at a football game.
The blank page looks at me, unblinking.
I remember – when I was a kid –  my  little mutt terrier, Leon, howling, his mouth forming a perfect “O,” as my sister played her violin. Something primal was happening.

The page waits.

The coyotes get much louder and yip-yip-yip over each other. They’ve made a kill, probably a rabbit.

 

 

 

 

 

dogs · Personal Success

Sweet Salvation

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Opal was a rescue from a shelter.

People say, “Wow, she’s lucky you found her.” She’s a pitbull mix and there are many where she came from. Her breed is supposedly unpredictable. Mean. Violent. She’s lucky to have found a home!

But really, we are the lucky ones.

She makes her rounds all night, checking on each daughter and then on us.

She rarely barks, saving her growls for trespassers outside our door. She’s so protective!

Petting her releases endorphins and dopamine, chemicals that keep anxiety at bay.

She looks at us with those beautiful eyes and persuades us to go for a walk, even if it’s cold outside.

Her mere presence cheers us up after a rough day at work or school.

She reminds us to revel in the present moment, to breathe in the fresh air, and to spot rabbits in the bushes.

What makes her happy? Food. A warm bed. Loved ones nearby. She teaches us that it doesn’t take much to be blissful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

dogs · Health · Personal Success

Melancholy or Merriment?

 

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Yesterday’s blog was about being fierce and how to get there. Today’s post is about the opposite: sadness and lethargy.

2016 was a difficult and painful year for many people I know. The holidays can sometimes lead to funk, not cheer. According to Psychology Today, the anticipation of merriment might lead to pensive gloominess or even depression. We drink too much, eat too much and sleep too little. Some signs of the holiday blues include: “Headaches, insomnia, uneasiness, anxiety, sadness, intestinal problems, and unnecessary conflict with family and friends.” (Psychology Today)

How to beat it?

The article cites 10 tips. I’ll give them to you in a nutshell:

  1. Be reasonable with your schedule.
  2. Organize your time.
  3. Declare an amnesty with your friends and family.
  4. Manage your expectations. Holidays won’t be for you as an adult what they were when you were a child!
  5. Volunteer to help others in need.
  6. Alcohol is a depressant. Drink in moderation.
  7. Take breaks – especially physical ones, like exercise or just walking.
  8. Think half-full, not half-empty. The choice is yours!
  9. Take breaks – exercise, walk around the neighborhood. Get moving!
  10. Choose to see the glass half-full, not half-empty. You do have a choice.