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30
JUL
2015

The Dog Blog. Therapy for Humans. How to be Lucky.

I am called Lucky. Yes, seriously that is my name. Welcome to the 2nd Dog blog. Therapy for Humans. I know you all want to hear about how to be lucky, but don’t get too excited and jump up yet.

dog blog shistzu 2 edited

  I have to introduce myself to you first. I’m a Maltese ShihTzu which means I’m a friendly, outgoing little fella and that comes from my Shih Tzu side. I am affectionate and devoted, clever and lively. My Maltese side is a bit snappy and tetchy, but I love all parts of myself. The snappy side can be useful cos some humans need to wake up to themselves sometimes and a good snap does that for them! We are called ‘designer dogs’ developed in the early 1990’s, but I can’t design anything, so I think the humans are confused about that!

Humans can learn to love all the different parts of themselves.

Maybe they called me lucky because I was a rescue dog but I don’t remember. How lucky am I, if it happened. How wonderful and touching that the two legged race make an effort to rescue a dog that is going to be killed soon because they had a difficult start in life or don’t fit the latest fashionable trend in how they look. Do you know that over a quarter of a million dogs and cats are killed every year in Australia, because nobody wants them. It’s over 4 million a year in America, never mind the rest of the world. It’s so sad, and even as a dog, I care about all those pussycats being killed as well. Surely, something should be done like finding more people that will love us and take us home or even not letting us have so many puppies. (Ouch, but better than death!)

Humans can be very kind and loving when they open their hearts. They have to learn to love themselves first and then they can love others.

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Luck has many interpretations and luck can be either good or bad or happen by accident or chance. Humans think that they can make their own luck or that it comes from outside, maybe through divine intervention. I think I’m really lucky actually. Firstly I am a dog and have a dog’s life. You are a human and have a human’s life. I wonder which is better sometimes? There is a famous Zen Buddhist koan, which is like a mind puzzle.

Does a Dog have Buddhist nature?
Humans meditate for a long time trying to work that one out, so they can be enlightened! Here’s the dog answer.

WOOF. Instant enlightenment.
It’s all in the woof, friends.

I have a bed and roof over my head and enough food to eat and a family who love me and give me kisses and cuddles. I get a walk twice a day  so I stay fit, slim and healthy, which is important because I’m not a youngster anymore. I am 13 dog years old and that’s 91 in human years. That’s not really old, though I don’t get quite so excited anymore, unlike before when any dog could waggle her tail at me and I’d be  prancing over to her with high hopes of some hanky panky! Enough of that.  Ok, my humans think I’m a little deaf, but I will let you in on a doggy secret. I’m not, but I have selective hearing. I do ignore my humans these days sometimes because they look after me well and love me and I do the same back to them.
What more would you want from a relationship?

Feel the love in your relationships and appreciate everyone in your life.

I am a little obstinate and don’t want to do what I don’t want to do. So I pretend I can’t hear them. My friends tell me they do that too and they are smart puppies, in my view. Humans seem to change their minds all the time. ‘Come here, go away, go out, come in, here’s your food and then they get distracted and forget to give it to you.”

Humans could be more mindful. Don’t be distracted.

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Anyway, being an elder is a privilege and an honour because I haven’t died yet. Aren’t I lucky? I don’t bark much because of what’s the point of woofing loudly? It doesn’t change anyone else’s behaviour. I do just occasionally complain quietly under my breath though, but that’s ok as long as I don’t become a totally grumpy old dog. Some dogs are just plain barking mad! Getting older doesn’t mean that we are useless and we certainly shouldn’t be thrown out with the scraps! That’s doggone crazy thinking. We have so much to offer. I do wander down lots of laneways these days though and go off on tangents but that’s allowed at 91, I think. So stay with me and you’ll learn how to be lucky soon.

I have a lot of wisdom to share like where is the best place to bury a half eaten bone and how to get the best treats and sit on the furniture. It’s that soulful look, you know. It’s priceless and works every time. Being nice and soulful will get you a long way in life. I’ve been round humans for so long I read their mind and their signals and understand almost every word they say. It’s all in their tone and non verbal behaviors. So if you wish to learn how to read signals so you are 99% accurate about what others are thinking, you should study Process Oriented Therapy or come back as a dog in your next life.

A wise elder has humour, grace, wisdom, compassion, fluidity and understands things through experience.

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Some of my friends who live in big rich houses don’t think they are lucky at all. They always want more. The very best, expensive dog food and the latest designer clothing. They sit at the dog park and compare their new coats and leads. If it’s not the latest label, they look down their noses at you. I don’t think that the dogs with long noses have the best sense of smell or taste actually. Doggy humour, so sorry if you humans don’t get it!

They make believe they are better than us and act snooty and above us. What a shame because they actually complain a lot and never seem satisfied, no matter how much they have. Strange thing is, their humans are similar. They seem to talk fast, act aggressive and are impatient,stressed and yell. Nothing is ever enough for them. They always want more and more.

Contentment with what you have is the quickest way to feel happy

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 So as a lucky dog, I know you people want to hear how to be lucky. My dog therapy advice is;

  • Be open to the joy of uncertainty and not knowing. I never know what is going to happen even in the next minute. In Process Oriented Psychology, my pack leader calls it the unknown or ‘secondary process.’ Managing uncertainty and being comfortable with staying in the unknown means that you recognize you don’t control as much as you think you can. I think I can get what I want from my humans but they are, in fact very unpredictable in their behaviour. They don’t walk me and feed me at the same time every day, though I soon let them know about that! Being open to the unknown and not being prescriptive sometimes creates new opportunities and good luck.
  • Buddha said that your luck depends on your karma. Woof. That means that nothing happens independently. Everything is tied to something before it. You may not realise what the links are but if you reflect on how your luck happened and how it all came together, it may become more obvious to you. If not, the fact that you can’t work it out means you tend to call luck.
  • When you can flow through life like a river flows to the sea, you will be more open, flexible and prepared to deal with the unpredictability of life. You can  influence those probabilities that are predictable and then don’t worry about the rest. Digging in the garden like I do may help you relax and let go.
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  • Don’t miss chance opportunities because you think you are looking for something else, like the perfect job and perfect partner. I don’t think about those things at all, but sometimes I wonder what sort of dog’s life I would have had if I had been a St. Bernard.
  • Listen and trust your intuition and develop a more resilient attitude that transforms bad luck into good. My family go on holiday and I miss them. Then I had good luck to hang out in a gorgeous home with a family who spend nearly all their time with me so how lucky did I get!
  • Be grateful everyday for all the good fortune that comes your way. If I only get one small treat a day, I feel so lucky.
  • If you have a kind heart and follow what you feel passionate about, luck will find you. Think, “I am lucky” no matter what and you will feel lucky, no matter what! sometimes humans are so lucky but they don’t realize or feel it.

I will leave the last words you can chew on for a while to Master Chao-Chu, a Zen Buddhist teacher, (sounds like a Pekingnese dog in disguise to me) though I could have told you this myself. But you humans seem to need someone to look up to though, to hear the Truth. Imagine if you really listened to your dog. You might learn the unexpected.

Master Chao-chou said that all living beings do, in fact have Buddha nature, dogs included, but they need to wake up to that fact, if it is to do them any good.

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About the Author
Sherry (BSc. Sociology; MAA. Social Work, AMHSW; Masters Science Soc. Ecology; Diplomate, Process Psychology) is a faculty Director of ANZPOP.

She has offered expert psychological counselling in Australia and overseas since 1989. Sherry is currently based in both the Sydney CBD and on the Northern Beaches near Manly. She also offers national and international phone and Skype appointments.

If you would like more information or wish to reference something you have read on this website please contact Sherry.

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