A Lesson From Porter

  Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.
   – Oprah Winfrey


Sometimes, I let my mind run a little too much. I’m constantly thinking about the next thing I need to be doing, what I should have done, what I could’ve done better. It can range from things that happened that day to things that happened 5 years ago.

The worst is when I go to bed. I’ll lay down and know that I need the sleep that is about to come, but I can’t get my mind to stop. The constant buzzing and swirling of the day’s events, of past events, fill my mind. Then comes the frustration. The thoughts of I really need to be asleep right now. Why am I not asleep? I’m going to be a mess at work tomorrow. And now I’m in a whole new swirl of thoughts and emotions that only keep me up longer.

When we first brought Porter home he slept in his crate. I wanted him to know that this was a place he could sleep on his own. I wanted him to enjoy his crate and not mind going in there at night if he had to. But, eventually he was allowed to sleep in the bedroom.

The first night he slept in the room with me, I was on alert. Would he go to sleep? Would he pace? Would he understand that his bed was the one next to me on the floor? As I laid there trying to listen to any movements he might make, I heard him stand up and do a few circles in his bed. Then I heard him lay down. I waited to see what would happen next. A few minutes went by, and then all of a sudden I heard him take a huge deep, cleansing breath. One of pure contentment and of letting go. I smiled to myself and found myself mimicking him. And suddenly I was asleep.

Porter does this every night. He settles into bed and then there’s one big deep inhale and exhale of breath. It’s a nightly reminder to me that at the end of the day, you just have to let it go. There’s no need to worry about what happened that day or what’s going to happen tomorrow. Just one deep breath and you can relax for the night.

5-9-14(1)Our dogs are wise. You may not think so, in fact, each time Porter accidentally runs into a wall I find myself shaking my head and wondering about his actual intelligence. But they’re creatures of the present. They are beings that completely invoke living in the moment. Keep an eye out and you might be surprised at the lessons your pup can teach you.

Keep calm and pilot onDanika Migliore
Darwin Dogs LLC
Dog Training in Cleveland, Ohio

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