Goodnight Moon


 We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars – Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere’s Fan

A dog is quite honestly the loveliest thing in the world. I know this. I do. And yet, sometimes, I forget. I forget the amount of joy and kindness that they exude. I try not to take these things for granted, but somehow, when I’m reminded of their remarkableness, I realize that I had been taking this amazing species for granted.

I don’t do well with winter. I get mopey and lack my usual excitement for things. I pump the Vitamin D and try and stay active. It’s just, without that sun and warmth I turn into a shell version of myself. So, when I find things that make me happy, I hang onto them pretty tight. Last night though, I got taken by surprise about what I tend to do every night. It came as an epiphany. I finally noticed what the last thing is that I do before I fall asleep.

Brittany Graham Photography

Brittany Graham Photography

As I laid in bed, I let the usual running thoughts start. However, lately I’ve really tried to control those. So, I started to listen to Porter’s breathing. He had already done his nightly ritual if his big cleansing breath. And I, of course, had copied him. But as I struggled to fall asleep I found I could hear his breathing pattern as he had slipped into his dreams.

His breaths were nothing short of adorable. I matched my breaths to his and pictured all the happiness that he brings me. All the pets that he wants so badly, the way he will drop everything when he sees my car pull up, the way he gives gentle kisses when I’m feeling sad, and the way he chose us, and most definitely, not the other way around.

I thought about all these things and started to feel myself drift off. And then I realized what was happening. I was smiling. I was falling asleep while smiling because of all the pure bliss my dog brings into my life. How many people can actually say they fall asleep while smiling? I realized then, that I am so lucky and grateful to have animals that love unconditionally in my life.

Brittany Graham Photography

Brittany Graham Photography

My goal is to notice the little things that bring me joy. And also to notice my body’s natural reaction to these things.

I had a tough session this morning, more on that later. So today, I will be taking full advantage of Porter’s love of pets and his unconditional love of me. And I will make sure to notice, that at the end of the day, my dog makes me smile as I fall asleep. How much better can it get than that?

Keep calm and pilot on

Danika Migliore
Darwin Dogs, LLC
Dog Training in Cleveland, OH

My Dog, the Yogi

We are what we think. All that we are, arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world – Buddha

I had just returned home from a yoga class and Porter greeted me at the door. He was calm, yet happy to see me and then all of a sudden he went into a play bow stretch, or for you yoga people, a downward dog. I watched him and suddenly held a hint of jealousy towards him. He did that stretch perfectly! Yet, I’m constantly trying to reposition and make sure I’m holding my body correctly.

As I watched him the rest of the night more epiphanies started to occur and the final conclusion was: My dog is a yogi.

The Stretching

Blog Post Yogi

So there’s the stretching. He’s amazing at it. He really stretches every party of his body out. And as I started to watch his stretches, I started to realize when he was doing them.

He always stretches first thing in the morning. He starts his day off by making sure every muscle is engaged. You should always stretch in the morning as it sets your body and mind up for a new adventure.

He stretches before we go outside. He resets his body and mind before going outdoors. He’s calming himself down, making sure he’s attuned to his body and then moving forward with the outdoor world.

He stretches when he’s stressed. He uses it as a stress relief.

He stretches when… well he pretty much stretches all the time. He’s constantly resetting his body and energy to focus on another matter close to a yogi’s heart:

The Now


He lives in the present.

Dogs, all of them, especially Porter, live for each moment in that moment. Dogs don’t consume themselves with the past. They live for each moment. They live fully. They live with vibrancy and pure bliss. They are absolutely and completely invoked in each moment in each day. Their happiness is the fact that they are present. All the time.

When I’m with Porter, I do tend to stay in the moment. He brings me complete joy and sometimes frustration, but he’s always so good at making sure my mindset is set in the present moment.

The Breath


Porter breathes. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, we all breathe. But, Porter pays attention to his breaths. When he’s about to go to bed, or if he’s just relaxed, Porter takes big cleansing breaths. He sucks in as much oxygen as he can and he lets it go, loudly. He cleanses any anxiety, uncertainty or worries he has with those breaths. It’s all about the breath.

What’s wonderful is, when he starts doing this, it’s a reminder to me to breathe as well. I mimic his breathing until I’m relaxed and finding myself more present and aware of my body.

The Gratitude


Everyday Porter wakes up grateful. Every night when I come home he’s grateful. Every time he climbs into his bed, he’s grateful. He’s grateful for his bones, he’s grateful for his bed, he’s grateful for pets and he’s grateful for a home.

You can see it in his actions, in his eyes, in the way he greets all of these things when he’s been away for a few days.

Seeing his gratitude reminds me of all the things that I take for granted and puts me in the mindset to be thankful for each day, each experience, each person that has shaped my life. After all, if my dog can be grateful for it all, I should be too.

My dog is a yogi. He’s never been to a class (although dog yoga, doga, is a thing), he’s never read a book, he’s never talked to another yogi. But he gets it all instinctively. Watching him changes my perspective on things and makes me realize there are some things that I should be doing differently.

Ok, so his reaction to squirrels isn’t the most yogi type reaction, but we can’t be perfect right?

Keep calm and pilot on

Danika Migliore
Darwin Dogs, LLC
Dog Training in Cleveland, OH