We all know the difference a pet can make in our lives. They bring love and joy and company, often when we need it most.
But there’s another gift they bring that isn’t as commonly talked about.
Your dog or cat (and many other pets) knows you so well that they’ll often sense your mood/space/energy and be able to respond to that accordingly.
Elizabeth Grasher shared in her recent Elephant Journal article that her dog, Riley, will literally respond to her differently depending on her mood when she arrives home from work; When she comes home “distracted, irritable, and tense,” Riley keeps his distance. As she starts to relax, he comes closer, ready to cuddle.
Grasher notes that Riley helps her see what she needs to do to nourish her mind, body and spirit.
I have taken special notice to Riley’s reaction when I practice yoga.
10 or 15 minutes into my practice he joins me on the mat. It seems he wants to be around “my energy” during and after yoga. His favorite pose appears to be savasana, when he slowly nestles into me and I complete my practice, entering into a physiological state of relaxation.
He has the same reaction when I mediate or engage in a relaxation practice (i.e. diaphragmatic breathing), he is by my side. Seeing Riley, my companion and friend, react so positively, has helped me realize the importance of implementing yoga and relaxation into my routine. The second order effect is that my health and general wellness has improved as a result of my yoga and relaxation practice.
She finishes the article with this beautiful statement:
My dog has been an instrumental tool in helping me assess myself, even in moments when I wasn’t ready to accept I was emotionally depleted or drained. I am thankful for my companion and best friend as we share a life journey together.