Self-Care Challenge Day 5: Hang with a Four-Legged Friend

 

Self Care Challenge Animals Large File

Is that a stuffed animal? A toy? Is there a dog in there? Yup. Meet Milo. He’s my four-legged snuggle therapist.

 

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Dr. Otis is also in the house, present and ready for keeping you company, eating any teeny, tiny little crumb that might fall his way, and generally having long ears.

 

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Okay, if you can handle this level of cuteness and not feel just a little bit better, I’m not sure what to say.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Now I realize that not everyone is as crazy about dogs as I am, but I’m hoping you at least connect with the cute factor.

 

 

 

 

 

Tell your friends about the 7 Day Self-Care Challenge using:
#selfcarechallenge on social media!

 

Comment for a Chance to Win:

How does spending time with your pets help you relax, rejuvenate, and enjoy? Tell us about it in the comments and you will be entered one chance to win a portable art kit or entry into Art Journaling 101!

41 Comments

  1. karin

    dog spelled backwards is god
    no further explanation is needed

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      Karin – Haha, that’s great. What are you doing to connect with your pooch or for self-care today?

      Amy

      Reply
  2. Tara

    Extra snuggles with my pup Lily Arfie & an extra long morning walk to boot. Nature + pup = a good day.

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      Tara – It sure does! Pup snuggles really are my favorite! Although Milo is quite a big dog, he thinks that he is a lap dog and always climbs in my lap when I sit cross-legged. That’s always what I need. (Except for when he is all muddy! That’s no so great.) 😉

      Reply
  3. Ryanne

    Amy, hanging with my pup is one of my favorite forms of self-care!! 🙂 When we lost our beagle at the beginning of the year, I was in a state of depression I didn’t know was possible. It was only a couple of weeks before we found our new love, Chewie. I honestly don’t know what I would have done if he hadn’t come into our lives and I look forward to my snuggle time with him every day. 🙂

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Ryanne:

      Welcome to the #selfcarechallenge! Losing a pet can be so devastating. I’m so sorry. I’m also so thankful that Chewie came into your life. Aren’t snuggly dogs just the best? I always joke with my dog, Milo, that snuggling is the reason we “hired” him.

      Snuggle on!

      Amy

      Reply
  4. karin

    the dog ritual is walking, ball throwing, belly rubs, full body hugs, and kisses on their noses. time with a dog is an endless pipeline of joy.
    with one being a shepherd 100% human attention is expected when we have ‘dog time’ (no multitasking). the way i see, it’s them taking care of me, not the other way around.

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      Karin – Isn’t ritual a beautiful thing. I feel like there’s such a sense of comfort in anticipating and repeating them. They are habits, so there’s little thought required, a great opportunity to just enjoy. It sounds like you have a very lucky and well-loved dog. I do know what you say is also true, hence my comments about my dog Milo being my “snuggle therapist.” Sometimes I really have to make myself slow down and not just pass them by when they are wanting my attention. Sometimes dinner or whatever can wait for a few minutes while we enjoy. Thanks for that reminder.

      Happy Doggie Day!

      Amy

      Reply
  5. Sandy

    So cute. Love being around dogs because of the pure joy of them. I’ve never seen a worried dog. Maybe we should take some lessons from them, relax, wag our tails and let come what may. 🙂

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      Pure joy, Sandy, I agree! That’s so often what they offer up to the world. How are you going to “wag your tail” or do self-care today?

      Amy

      Reply
  6. Alex

    I have a 5 year old weimaraner, and she is absolutely adorable! I feel calmer immediately when I get home and see her wagging tail and happy face.

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      Hi Alex!

      Welcome to the #selfcarechallenge! Weimaraner’s, made famous by photographer William Wegman, are some pretty amazing dogs. I wish you would post a pic of your pooch on the Maricle Counseling Facebook page if you feel so moved. Do you, like Karin have any sort of ritual you follow when you get home? I tend to always get on the floor and the dogs come for pats and kisses, and often Milo, since he likes to snuggle and Otis doesn’t, will sit on my lap! When Otis does get affectionate, it’s a huge treat!

      Cheers,

      Amy

      Reply
  7. Robin

    Sitting on the front porch. Listening to my cat snore….she is basking in the sun enjoying a lazy day.. She is happy and safe. Makes me smile and be still and just be….

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      A snoring cat, Robin, I love it! We could all take some tips from her ability to bask in the sun lazily and snooze.

      I can see you there, relaxed, happy, letting the breath move in and out. It strikes me like the sort of scene that you might call up in a moment of stress, re-imagining it through all the senses – the warmth of the sun on your skin, the scents from the garden and the freshly cut grass, the feel of her soft fur.

      Cheers,

      Amy

      Reply
  8. Patricia

    I just found today’s self-care challenge, and in the spirit of it, read the posts while running my hand on Skippy’s back. He is the best puppy! He has been in our family for nine years, a rescue dog, (who rescued who?) and we are so blessed to have him. He is a snuggle muffin, sleeps on our bed even though he weighs 75 pounds, and is a “Velcro” dog… Always enjoys having a part of himself firmly attached to one of his people whenever possible. He is always glad to listen and his brown eyes are so expressive! Thanks for another great reminder of taking good care of ourselves, Amy. This week has been extra-special because of this creative challenge process. My best to you and thank you for your contribution in the world.

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      Patricia: You are always so kind and generous with your words, thank you so much. Without you and everyone else showing up to take on the challenge – there’s no magic. So, you’re welcome, AND thank you!

      I love the velcro dog idea. 🙂 Brown doggie eyes are the best. I’m so glad you have Skippy. My husband and I were listing things we were grateful for the other night, and we both listed our dogs in the top 3! They are wonder-beings!

      Woof,

      Amy

      Reply
  9. Kim

    My dogs have saved my life. I never would be where I am in my healing journey. Tim ( my 1/2 blind sled dog rescue) got me through my Masters & divorce, two life changing things that enable me now to sink SO much further into returning to WHO I was created to BE. Dottie ( 14 pound ball of black pug- ness) makes my heart sing daily.
    My days wouldn’t be as rich without our sunrise walks up in the Rocky Mountains and afternoon outings together to soak up the beauty of the forest. They relax while I journal or meditate on the side of a mountain or under the canopy of the great Ponderosa pine. My canine family are Divine Beings that light up my world! Thanks for this great reminder today:) So very grateful for finding you & your self-care challenge.

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Kim –

      We are so very grateful to have YOUR joyous, grateful voice on here! I hope that you remain engaged in this community ongoing. 🙂 I hope everyone does, in fact, because this has grown into an amazing community of people dedicated to finding joy, ways to slow down, and beauty.

      I love hearing about how amazing your dogs have been for you and what they have done for you. Thank God for pooches, right? How amazing to hear about where you live too, it sounds gorgeous!

      Thanks for sharing and for what you contribute here,

      Amy

      Reply
  10. Teresa Tatum

    This challenge is difficult for me because I am highly allergic. We have lots of animals on the farm including a cattle dog and a cat. I decided to take 5 minutes to sit and watch them play. Rusty (dog) was sleeping and the cat (my youngest named her Cat) jumped on him repeatedly. The cat seemed to be saying ” I need attention!” And Rusty would turn his head and pretend to go back to sleep. Then when least expected he jumped up and chased the cat, wrestling but not hurting her at all. He is 4 times her size. I think about how relationship can be seen everywhere. They are family to each other. And, it made me laugh. For those of you who may be worried I can’t play with the animals, my boys and husband spend a lot of time with all the animals. They are very well loved and taken care of.

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Teresa:

      I think you did an amazing job of using the inspiration of the challenge to take care of yourself in a wonderful way. How much joy there is in observing others having fun, connecting, and sharing, even if they are animals. Thanks for the wonderful images.

      Cheers,
      Amy

      Reply
  11. Laura

    My big gray kitty with golden eyes. I need to snuggle him more. I need to listen to his purring and let it soothe me. Sometimes I’m too busy with the kids and don’t take the time for him. This is a good reminder to appreciate him more.

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      Laura – That is a great reminder. I too find it’s hard to balance giving everyone all the love they deserve. I guess that’s yet another place in life where we have to seek balance and being “good enough.”

      Cheers,

      Amy

      Reply
  12. Jamie

    Totally cute pics!! This is an easy one to do. I have one car who often sits in my lap while I drink coffee in the morning. He did this today…. Plus they like to hang around wherever I am anyway. Just always ready for a quick minute to soak in their cuteness.

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Jamie:

      Thank you for your kind words, I will tell the pooches you said so. 🙂 Morning coffee with your cat sounds like a nice way to ease into the day.

      Amy

      Reply
  13. Sandy

    Hi, Amy, self care today is lots of art as I travel on vacation. So calming, especially with the hustle and bustle of airports, not to mention turbulent flights. I’ll post photos.

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Sandy:

      Lots of art while on vacation sounds really wonderful. I bet you have a portable art kit of some sort. Maybe post photos of that too? I know I always like new ideas for what to put in mine. I have 2 that I mix and match. For myself, I got some brandy-new paint markers today; I did some preliminary testing with them in my journal, which is always fun. I mention it though because I am getting really excited about the Art Journaling 101 workshop next month. We are going to have such a blast!

      Amy

      Reply
  14. Christine

    Three cats here, all rescue (but they rescued me). I cannot have a day without my snuggle time with them, without their voices demanding something to eat or snuggle, without seing them playing or napping. Cats are great meditation teacher!

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Christine:

      Wow – kitty meditation – what a concept! They certainly can be wise in ways we never expect. I too find myself learning from my pets if only I slow down and pay attention to their ways.

      Cheers,
      Amy

      Reply
  15. Laura

    I shall post on facebook a photo of my dog.
    He is still like a puppy even though he’s 14. he’s a great therapist. 🙂

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      Laura, I almost never stop calling dogs puppies, they are so young at heart, aren’t they? And they seem to be so good at self-care. They know what they need, and they are not afraid to ask for it. Feed me. Let’s play. Let’s go for a walk. Let’s cuddle. Time for a nap. You made me angry and I tell you right away. They’ve got something there, huh?

      Amy

      Reply
  16. Andrea Monreal Castillo

    Well I don’t have a dog, but this reminds me when I was little, we had a dog named Gorda, she was so cute and she was always taking care of us, when my parents were outside Gorda used to lay down outside our room, right under the window, so we felt protected, it was like nothing could ever happened to us, so that was awesome!!

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      Gordita la perrita. I like it! Dogs can feel so reassuring. Thanks for sharing that nice story.

      And for self-care today, what did you do?

      Cheers,
      Amy

      Reply
  17. Kara

    I don’t have any four legged pets but I’ll be spending some quality time with some stuffed animals this evening. In the meantime I am getting outside for an outdoor movie and enjoying watching other peoples four legged creatures.

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HA! I love the quality time with stuffed animals, like Christine and Teresa, I’m glad that you can find some joy in observing others’ pets from a distance. An outdoor movie tonight sounds lovely. Bundle up and enjoy….

      Amy

      Reply
  18. Debbi Plemons

    My sweet Molly, my beautiful golden retriever, is a joy to be with. On a recent hike with me in the CO mountains, I realized that every single person that was hiking towards us would begin to grin as soon as they saw her. She’s an adorable sight with her big brown eyes, her beautiful golden head and her hiking boots! Not only does she add so much to our daily life but she facilitates others’ happy moods as well. Hopefully she’ll soon also be a great therapy dog as well.

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      Debbi, It’s amazing the way that dogs can lighten everyone’s mood and make them light up, isn’t it? Also, all you Colorado people are making me realize that it’s time to get out for some trail time. Tomorrow it is!

      Thanks for the inspiration.

      Amy

      Reply
  19. Christine Nagy

    We don’t have any furry friends at home due to allergies, but I really enjoyed the pictures you posted of your dogs, especially the fluffy paws!!!!

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      Christine – I’m glad that the fluffy paws could bring some non-allergical fun into your day! What did you do for self-care today?

      Cheers,

      Amy

      Reply
  20. Chibi Jeebs

    I’ve only had a dog for the past year, and I can’t IMAGINE living without him – he brings me such joy!

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Chibi –

      What kind of dog? It sounds like you have found a wonderful companion. Will you tell us about your quality time with him today?

      Cheers,

      Amy

      Reply
  21. amanda

    Today I took a nap snuggled up with my two dogs. They are my happy place and their unconditional love always brightens my day. When I am home they never leave my side. I also took them for a short walk outside and sat with them while I read on the couch. As I am typing this, I have my papillon on one side of me and my cavalier curled up and snoring away on the other. Doesn’t get much better than this.

    Reply

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