Living a Dog’s Life. 3 Easy Steps to Being Present!

Living a Dog’s Life. 3 Easy Steps to Being Present!


Have you ever wondered why we love dogs so much? Not only are they loyal and cuddly, but they also regularly teach us to live in the moment.

My Great Dane, Petunia, passed away several years ago. In addition to embodying unconditional love, she reminded me to stay in the moment.

I remember one day my husband Byron and I went out for a walk with our Great Dane. He crossed the street to the park with Petunia and walked towards the dispenser to grab a doggie waste bag. I watched them as I continued walking up the hill, knowing they would join me in a few yards.

Petunia happily sniffed the grass, patiently waited for Byron to grab a bag from the dispenser, and wagged her long tail as she walked by his side.

After their two-minute journey to get a bag, they crossed the street to rejoin me on the walk.

When Petunia saw me, she stopped, looked at Byron, then at me, then pranced up and down with great joy as if to say, “Look, Dad, it’s Mom. It’s Mom! We found her! There she is! Oh my goodness! This is the best day ever! I can’t believe it. Look, Dad! Look! It’s her! It’s really her! We found her!”

She kissed my hand, and then with joyful determination, walked up the hill between us. A few minutes later, she stopped at a spot of grass that had the best smell ever only to be distracted by the need to gleefully greet a person walking by us.

Petunia wasn’t weighed down by heavy thoughts of, “Does this collar make me look fat?” or “I know she is petting me, but does she truly mean it?”

No. She lived life as most dogs do. In the moment.

Why do we want to live a dog’s life?

In the moment is where happiness hangs out.

To hang with happiness and stay in the present, use these three easy steps. 

First: Acknowledge

I name what’s filling up my mind and taking me away from the present.

Is there something bugging me? If the answer is yes, then I name what it is that is bugging me.

Take, for example, this thought that often plagues my mind, “I’m overweight.”

Naming the thought that is taking me away from the present moment helps reduce it’s power.

So, find those thoughts that take you away from the present moment where happiness lies like a dog on a rug in the sunshine.

Second: Take Action

I come up with an actionable solution. This action must be reasonable, of course. For instance I can’t tell myself, “OK, I’ll run 10 miles a day and skip lunch and dinner until I drop the weight.” That’s not a reasonable solution, so I need to use common sense.

What can I do to lose the weight? I’ll sign up for an exercise program that will keep me accountable and help me lose weight.

As long as you can be honest with yourself,  the first step is pretty easy. The second one is also fairly easy, but might be a tad harder because you have to come up with a solution to that thought that is keeping you away from the moment.

Think back on a dog’s life. The dog is thirsty, so she thinks, “I’m thirsty.” Then, she creates an action by walking to her water dish and drinking. Then, she takes the third step in the process.

Now, the third one is where many who aren’t dogs, get tripped up.

Third: Release

I let it go.

In the first step, I named what was pulling me away from the present moment, During the second, I took action, and I signed up for the exercise program. Now that I know when I will be working out, I need to let it go.

The third step is undoubtedly the most difficult.

Letting go.

In my 50+ years of life, I’ve learned that it’s OK to let go.

In fact, it’s healthy to let go!

Give it a try and see how it clears your mind so you can focus on the here and now.

The dog who becomes thirsty, walks to her dish, drinks, and doesn’t spend the rest of the afternoon wondering if she drank the right amount of water, or if she should have maybe ordered a cappuccino, and maybe next time she will order a cappuccino and sprinkle cinnamon on top of it. Yes, cinnamon would be nice. Although, why not just get a Mocha Latte with a side of Pellegrino? Sparkling water is so lovely this time of day…

No. A dog gets thirsty, thinks, “I am thirsty,” walks to her water, drinks, and then lets it go! Done.

When you live in the present moment, the beauty of life becomes more apparent, and your focus sharpens. 

Living in the moment helps you to feel happy like a dog walking with her family, and let’s face it, you were born to be happy!


Exercising Fun Facts

Exercising Fun Facts

Regular exercise can make you happier!

Recently, I had lunch with Ginger Casbon, head coach at Orange Theory Fitness. While eating a fabulous eggplant pasta dish, we talked about many things. One of the topics was how great exercise is.

Ginger, a certified personal trainer, and group fitness instructor told me, “Exercise improves our digestive system, gives us more energy, and even boosts our immune system.”

I did complain about how tough exercising can be, and Ginger reminded me, “If it is challenging, then it’s worth doing.”

Let me fill you in a little on Orange Theory Fitness. It is a one-hour high-intensity workout which burns more calories than steady straight cardio. You wear a heart rate monitor to track your heart through five zones to make sure you aren’t overtraining or undertraining.

I have been exercising at Orange Theory Fitness for over a year. Although I do complain on occasion about how challenging the workout can be, I have seen results. I love how it pushes me to get the most out of my workout as a result of excellent coaching, varied exercises, and a strong sense of family with my fellow OTF-ers. Just this weekend, our class raised money for a local young man battling Leukemia (Please click here to donate to young Casen’s cause.).

As Ginger and I ate, we gave stern looks to our waiter who walked by us with tempting deserts (No, we didn’t get a dessert, and yes, I tipped him well.). Feeling a sense of victory over not indulging in the light, fluffy cheesecake that traveled past our table, we came up with a few fun facts on exercise.

You Sleep Better

When you partake in a regular exercise program, you sleep better at night. So, go on, take that eight-hour sleep. You have earned it!


It’s not as easy as driving backward on a racetrack as Steven Tyler did for a 2018 Super Bowl Ad for Kia. Click here if you haven’t seen it. It’s pretty cool. When you exercise, you get rid of stress, and you sweat out toxins making you feel younger. Well, that is after your eight hours of sleep, of course.

Gosh-Golly People Like You Better

Think about the likable people you know: Dwayne Johnson, Jackie Chan, Oprah, Kristen Bell. OK, so maybe you don’t know these people personally, but you must admit, they are very likable. Guess what? They all have solid exercise routines in place.

When you exercise regularly, not only will people like you more, they will also tolerate you more. Maybe it has to do with sweat, or chemistry, or endorphins.

Maybe people like you and tolerate you more when you exercise because you like yourself more.

When you like yourself more, you are happier! That makes it worth the sweat!

Whichever exercise program works for you, keep going! Here’s to a happy you!

Ginger Casbon

For more information on Orange Theory Fitness, check out their website at

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  • Coming soon: Yoga Wednesdays! I’ll be posting simple yoga poses that we can all do together to help move in the direction to calm down and let go.
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Coming soon, How to Survive the ICU Experience, an eBook geared to help you as you sit by the bedside of a loved one.