How to Use Gratitude to Accelerate Your Goals and Have a Better Relationship with Your Dog | Dancing Hearts Cognitive Dog Training

How to Use Gratitude to Accelerate Your Goals and Have a Better Relationship with Your Dog

December 17, 2017

 

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This time of year gets me reflecting on how grateful I am for the many blessings in my life, especially the amazing people in my life, including you.

I’ve been busy thinking up ideas for expressing my gratitude to you…and the first thing that comes to mind is to share with you the power of intentional gratitude.

It’s a practice that I’ve used for about 20 years, and it’s how I start every single day!

People who are grateful tend to be happier, healthier and more fulfilled.

Being grateful can help people cope with stress and can even have a beneficial effect on heart rate. 

From ancient scriptures to the latest science, gratitude is known to be good for us and those around us. Yet it isn’t always our automatic response and we often take the good things in our lives for granted. So we have to consciously learn to get into the habit of being grateful.

Science is showing that gratitude is important for how good we feel psychologically and socially.  And contrary to what we may think, it also appears that it could increase our ability to achieve our goals.

Why does it work? We have a natural focus on what goes wrong in our daily lives often going over and over these things in our head.

We are quick to notice even the smallest of problems, yet we rarely spend any time at all dwelling on the good things. Things that brought us a quick smile or felt good are all to often forgotten or perhaps not even noticed in the first place.

Arianna Huffington writes in her book Thrive, about how gratitude exercises can have tangible benefits. She writes, “According to a study by researchers from the University of Minnesota and the University of Florida, having participants write down a list of positive events at the close of a day — and why the events made them happy — lowered their self-reported stress levels and gave them a greater sense of calm at night.”

Arianna also writes, “Gratitude works its magic by serving as an antidote to negative emotions. It’s like white blood cells for the soul, protecting us from cynicism, entitlement, anger, and resignation.”

Taking the time to notice and record our gratitude is simple but incredibly powerful.

Of course, this will have a positive effect on our entire life, but when we add this to our life with dogs including our dog training, showing and trialing … amazing shifts will begin to happen, and our results are accelerated!

More Great things about Gratitude…

It feels amazing when we take the time to ‘count our blessings’ and get in touch with all we have to be grateful for in our lives. That feeling easily trumps all those others like worry, stress, anger and frustration…pushes them right out of the way!

When we feel and express gratitude for what we have in our life, we are automatically attracting more of what we love. We don’t have to ‘do’ anything. Just remember to get in touch with a genuine, heartfelt feeling of gratitude every day. Then be ready to receive!!

We are paying it forward. When we feel gratitude we are emitting the vibe of love and gratitude automatically. Everyone we connect with, in person or heart-to-heart at any distance, is getting the benefit of our feeling. I like to say that we are “infecting others with our love and gratitude”. And that includes our dogs!

Here’s how to get started with your Gratitude Practice:

  1. Choose a regular time.  It’s so helpful to create a habit … to make this a real and regular practice in your life. It starts with choosing a time that works for you.
    For example, you might like to reflect each day before you go to bed, or perhaps once per week, on Sunday evenings. The important thing is that you make it a ROUTINE.
    Personally, I do this every morning while I am walking my dogs.
  2. Find the Joy in your life. Think back over your day or your week and remember 3 to 5 good things in your life – things that went well, that you enjoyed or were grateful for. These can be small (like you smiling at your dog rolling in the grass) or of bigger importance for you (like you remembered to use ‘inviting’ body language and to smile when you called your dog to you). Dig for new things each time!!
  3. Write your gratitude  in your journal this is important. Taking the time to capture your gratitude can really move the needle for your mindset and positivity…which in turn will accelerate your progress toward living your dreams. You may want to get a small notebook or journal…or even an app if you prefer electronic journaling.
  4. Contemplate why. For each thing you’re grateful for, write down why you feel good about it. Take your time with this part, really feel the feeling of gratitude for these small pleasures in your life. Feeling the feeling … and allowing that feeling to flood your body creates sort of an imprint that will make it easier and easier to get back into this feeling so that you can truly enjoy every day life … even with it’s challenges.
  5. Look back and remember. After a week or a month … or whenever you need a ‘boost’ after a rough day or a tough time, have a look back on what you’ve written. Your gratitude has no expiration date! You can look back months or years later, and as you read, you heart will swell once again with positive feelings and appreciation.

gratitude-piglet-quote

 
Comment below and tell me one reason you are grateful for your life with dogs. 

Ever grateful,
Kathy xo

BONUS TIP:

Join us for the 2018 Creative Alchemy Passion Plan program…you’ll be so happy you did!!

 

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150 Responses to How to Use Gratitude to Accelerate Your Goals and Have a Better Relationship with Your Dog

  1. Pam says:

    They fulfill me.

    Reply
  2. Lizzy McBride says:

    I don’t even know where to start, I am so grateful to have my dogs. They are the reason I get up in the morning, especially when I really don’t want to. My rescue dog has been so challenging but without him, I would know very little about the world of dogs. He has taught me so much about patience, commitment, and unconditional love. My Aussie has introduced me to the world of dog sports and although I hated sports in high school, this is something truly amazing. The connection we have is everlasting and incredibly rewarding, I sometimes think she’s reading my mind. I can’t imagine life without her, or without dogs, I am so grateful to be a part of this!

    Reply
  3. gailanne Molver says:

    I am grateful for my dogs because even tho I am downsizing, packing & moving from CA to WA, they are the bright spot in my days and nights. Always happy to spend a few minutes of time when I need a break, loyally napping at my feet while I’m sorting thru stuff, curling up with me after a long, emotionally draining day — my dogs are the best part of my day and my life. Especially now!
    ❤️ my girls; Piper, Bess & puppy Grace
    ???? my boys, too; Radar, Jake & silly Willie

    Reply
  4. Donna says:

    I lost my husband unexpectedly on Aug. 16, 2014 after 40 years of marriage. My dogs helped me get through a really rough year – some days they were the reason that I got out of bed. I so enjoy training, walking, and just spending time with each and everyone of them. They make me laugh, keep my company, and keep me busy trying to keep up with their intelligence while trying to train. I am and forever will be truly thankful for my best friends!

    Reply
  5. Debby Rosenglick says:

    My dogs have, quite simply, changed my life. Working with them has given me a sense of purpose that I hadn’t had in many years.

    Reply
  6. Jasmine Warner says:

    Our little pup helps me dig deep and become the person I want to become. He is always encouraging, and forgives so easily when I mess up. I am so grateful for him!

    Reply
  7. Sandy says:

    My dogs have taught me so much about how to live in the moment and enjoy the little things in life.

    Reply
  8. Sara Reiter says:

    I have high expectations of my dogs, I am grateful that they play along and try to meet them. I am grateful that they forgive me when I am cross or short. I am grateful for every day and minute with my old dogs.
    Sara

    Reply
  9. Wendy says:

    They bring unconditional love into my life.

    Reply
  10. Lin says:

    My dogs give joy and enthusiasm to me and anyone who they come in contact with rain or shine – I am thankful for their forgiving and loving spirit:)

    Reply
  11. Deb woods says:

    Dogs know how to enjoy their moments,the little things. They are always in the now, very mindful!

    Reply
  12. Maggie Pogue says:

    I am grateful for my dogs because they make me a better person. The way they love unconditionally inspires me to try and see the good in everyone and every situation!

    Reply
  13. Jo Anna Price says:

    My 2 dogs are with me 24/7 and I’m there for them no matter what. I developed gastroparesis 4 years ago and have been in the hospital over 30 times in the past 3 years. During my severe illness, my precious dogs will not leave my side. I can’t express the amount of love I have for my babies.

    Reply
  14. Hilary Mooney says:

    Gosh! I find myself grateful for so many little things everyday! I’m loving this new partnership we are creating. It’s amazing! We have got a long way to go before we start herding together, but i love it when we both get it and start the process of better communication! This may sound cheesy, but I am so grateful to have found this site. Just the other day, when I was told ” that’s no herding dog” and it’s a dominance thing. I was grateful to have you on my side!

    Reply
    • Carolyn says:

      Becoming involved with herding has shaped the path of my life for the past 15 years. I wouldn’t change it for the world and feel blessed every day for where it has taken us.

      Reply
  15. Sue says:

    I am grateful for my life with dogs because ot all they have taught me and the places they have led me. Each of my dogs has taught me a valuable lesson sometimes during their lives and sometimes after. Blue ltaught me understanding and the meaning of true, unconditional love. Brasko led me to Reiki and 1 night he & I were in a car accident and he showed me angels truly exist. Buddy is re-teaching me patience and is walking with me down the path that Blue showed me & Brasko started walking me down.

    Reply
  16. Randy Pavlik says:

    I’m grateful for our recent addition – a seven pound rescue dog, Bella. She has given my other dog, Murphy, my wife, Karen and myself new joy and happiness as we had been depressed over the spring passing of our fifteen year old dog, Trouble. Her inquisitiveness and joy in discovering everything from a leaf blowing in the wind to me trying to put a sock on while she thinks it’s a fun toy. I’m grateful in a weird way that someone abandoned her in a park in Rockford and she has found a way into our heart and home.

    Reply
  17. Anna says:

    I have always had rescue dogs and they have all taught me something ; to be more patient, to live in the moment , to find joy in movement and nature , to always try your hardest and enjoy the challenge …..and to trust. I grew up with abuse and could not trust …..my dogs and horse taught me unconditional acceptance , love and trust. For this I am eternally grateful and try to give back by rescuing/fostering and helping with transporting rescues !

    Reply
  18. Claudia Frank says:

    I love our dogs. I am most grateful for all the wonderful people they have brought into my life.

    Reply
  19. Melanie says:

    According to Merriam-Webster, “gratefulness is a : appreciative of benefits received. b : expressing gratitude 2. a : affording pleasure or contentment : pleasing.”. There are many aspects of my life I am grateful for but the one that is the most guaranteed, the most dependable, and the most unconditional is by far my time with my kids. While most people have kids that run on two legs, mine are a LITTLE different and run on four. They are my joy, my reason for going to work in the morning, and my passion. I look forward to every single minute I can squeeze out of every day being with them, whether it is time on the couch or playing tug or teaching them something new. Mostly though I am grateful for all the unconditional love they give me. If I am sick, they stay with me. If I have to get up at 3 am to get to work they get up with me. They are ALWAYS there offering their support and love. They truly are my family and I can’t imagine a life without them. Almost every moment they are the reason I am grateful.

    Reply
  20. lulu says:

    My life has been consumed with chronic illness for the past 2.5 years. Luckily I was able to find a wonderful holistic dr. that has treated me with personal care and I am healing every day. I look back over the past three years and what my dog has gone through. She was used to solid attention, long hikes, and hours of ball playing. During my darkest days, she never left my side. She got more hugs and rubs but less walks and ball, at least with me. She is forgiving and all loving. Now that I am healing, I put all my extra energy in to making her life fabulous and making up for those few years. She is there with me in the good and the bad and all of the in between. She has taught me about unconditional love and I will now make sure that i never forget this very difficult time and lesson 🙂

    Reply
  21. Sharon says:

    I am thankful that seemingly no matter what I do my dogs always act like I’m the most awesome person on the planet! They show such gratitude toward me and everything that I do for them how could I not be grateful for them being them!

    Reply
  22. Kari Lavalli says:

    I am grateful that my dogs put up with me in all the various ways I exist: tired, bitchy, stressed, overworked, happy, energetic, thoughtful, etc. I’m thankful that they don’t judge me even though I sometimes judge them. I’m thankful that even after I have ignored them because of work, they still want to work with me in whatever activity I decide we should do. I’m thankful that they give me so much more than I give them and they do it with joy and humor and gobs of love. I’m thankful that my dogs – and all dogs – show us what we should aspire to be, flawed that we are and I can’t imagine living without such wondrous creatures at my side.

    Reply
  23. Ann Potter says:

    Finding only one reason I am grateful for my life with dogs is really hard! One of the best things I am grateful for is that they have taught me to respect them as sentient and emotional animals who have such a different view of this world.

    Reply
  24. Sherri says:

    I am so grateful to share our home with Ms enthusiasm.She counts it as a win when she gathers up my hubby and myself to take her ‘out’. I am learning so much from her and (Kathy) about our natural ability to communicate. And I have goals for all of us, which makes the future look brighter.

    Reply
  25. Sue Woodworth says:

    I am grateful for my boxer puppy Brodie who is teaching me to be patient and how to have fun everyday. I am grateful to you Kathy for teaching me how to build a relationship with Brodie as well as other dogs that I work with on a daily basis. I am grateful that you are sharing the power of Intentional gratitude. Happy Birthday to you. My Birthday is on November 17th.

    Reply
  26. Kathy says:

    I am grateful for the person that I have become with the help, guidance and support from my dogs.
    I look forward to living up to the potential that they have seen in me.

    Reply
  27. Jen says:

    I am grateful to my dogs for having the uncanny knack of sharing their needs at exactly the time at which I need to work on that trait in myself anyway. They help me to become a better person. I am also grateful for the fact that, based on the way they greet me when I come home from work each night, you would think that I already was the most perfect person in the universe!

    Reply
  28. Tasha says:

    2 of my dogs are at-home service dogs. 1 is becoming my public access service dog. I suffer from PTSD, and the 3 of them, as a team, keep me alive through the toughest times. I am eternally grateful for the lessons, the companionship, assistance, sense of purpose, happiness, determination, fulfillment, and life they give me everyday without fail. They not only help me feel better, they help me grow and become not just a better person, but who I truly am without this disability. I love them like my children, and they have saved my life over and over with love and persistence. They are heroes, and I owe them a great debt.

    Reply
  29. katy says:

    Each dog I have shared my life or have spent time with challenges me to be my best, and inspire me with their character. They take me to unexpected places, offer experiences, and introduce me to amazing people. My current border collie has introduced me to herding and is willingly enduring my learning curve and hopefully we will find the path
    to work together.

    Reply
  30. Julia R says:

    I have suffered from PTSD and depression for many years. I’m grateful for my dogs giving me unconditional love, teaching me to live in the moment, and for making me laugh every day.

    Reply
  31. Sally says:

    My dogs are my life and give me a reason to go on. We go without a lot to be able to feed them, heat, air conditioning, dryer etc. but the love and joy they give me overcomes all that. My special needs dogs full my heart with so much love and devotion and give me so much pleasure, I only wish I had the words to write down how it makes me feel. Maybe important, because to them we are their world. My dogs deserve the best and I’m working to give them that.
    Thank you for all you have given us already and we do appreciate all the wonderful training skills you have taught me.

    Reply
  32. Chrissy Neumyer Smith says:

    I am so grateful for the relationships I have with my dogs and how they have both bloomed into this new life with me.

    Reply
  33. Beverly says:

    It’s hard to find just one reason and it may seem over simplistic but my dogs make me smile. I love watching them play flyball or go dock diving,, chase other dogs at the dog park, or just roll around in the grass in the backyard. They’re always so happy and it’s infectious.

    Reply
  34. Julia Lane says:

    My 20-month-old son is teaching me to see my four dogs through a new set of eyes. They are white, black, orange, brown, spotted, brindle, patched, smooth, fuzzy, soft, wiry, sleepy, busy … most of all, they are here. I am grateful to my dogs for their incredible patience with a curious, unpredictable toddler running around in their midst, and the many lessons they already taught me in patience, problem-solving, love and understanding so I can be a better mom to Brandon.

    Reply
  35. Anne Greene says:

    My dogs are all amazing teachers. I fell in love with my dog Sherman 15 1/2 years ago and accessed a kind of love in my heart I didn’t know was possible. He is still going strong. Trapper, my cattle dog, teaches me to really pay attention and keeps me moving!
    Both dogs were at my parents’ bedside when they died (three years apart). The dogs are one hundred percent pure spirit.

    Reply
  36. Elizabeth says:

    I am grateful for my dogs and both of their “issues”. Their reactivity to people and dogs forced me to do hours upon hours of research online and in books to help find ways to help them overcome these “issues”. Without these “issues” I never would have learned about positive-only training with dogs. Learning to work with dogs using only positive methods has also greatly influenced how I deal with people in my life. If dogs can learn and grow using only positive methods, people can too! They really helped me become an overall better person!

    Reply
  37. Marilyn "MJ" Lyons-Pogue says:

    I am so grateful for my boy! He has taught me to stop and appreciate every little thing that surrounds us in our daily lives. I have learned to relate to the world through his eyes!!

    Reply
  38. Maurene says:

    even when I am a jerk, my dogs never give up on me. I am grateful for this blessing.

    Reply
  39. Joan says:

    My dogs ground me – in the midst of any storm they show me the importance of love, simplicity and compassion. They remind me of the importance of health, food, shelter, companionship and the ability/freedom to pursue our personal goals. They bring everything down to those important basics, and my mind rests.

    Reply
  40. merrill fox says:

    I absolutely adore my dogs and I’m so proud of what we have achieved together on the trial field xx

    Reply
  41. Donna Waugh says:

    My involvement with the dogs in my life has helped me become a more mindful and observant person. They continue to help me grow in ways I discover I still need to…trust, partnership, and leadership come to mind. They help me grow by opening new doors for me through the challenges they present and how we figure out how to work through them. They help me be a better person in all aspects of my life.

    Reply
  42. Kim says:

    I am grateful that the dog we “needed” came into our lives rather than the dog we thought we wanted. Our BC, as sensitive and quirky as he is, has taught us more than we could ever have imagined and leaves us yearning for more knowledge, as we strive to understand his view of the world.

    Reply
  43. janet says:

    They give me reason to be

    Reply
  44. Bini says:

    I am grateful for every dog that has come into my life for they teach me amazing life lessons, are always there for me when I need it, help me to grow as a person, and remind me to just have fun!

    Reply
  45. Marianne Milledge says:

    I am grateful for so much. When I brought Cheyenne home from a rescue group, he was a very sad, depressed and sick dog. I didn’t know how he was going to fit into our 2 cats one Sheltie household. He lost the safety of being with his mother and brother and last caretaker. His world was turned upside down. Cheyenne didn’t move much for the first six weeks. He refused to leash walk and would drop to the ground and not budge. I’d pick him up and carry him home. One positive, He did use the pet door to access the yard to potty. HIs days were spent lying in his bed or crate watching his new world. He came to us with kennel cough, tape worms and was very sick. Paiute my Sheltie from day one quietly watched over him. He’d check on him just as expected for a herder. He decided to shared his toys by gentlely placing them on his bed. My normally excitable vocal Sheltie became a different dog. He had a job to help his new companion gain our trust and he has. He is now an excellent leash walker, knows his commands and is learning each and everyday. The best payoff was the day Cheyenne decided to become the playmate I was hoping for my Sheltie. He brought a toy over to Paiute, dangled it in his face and started a game of tug of war. Paiute was the happiest dog as he leaped over Cheyenne back in play. They have bonded as I hoped for. Cheyenne mirrors what Paiute does so I’ve got a partner with training. By the way Cheyenne is part Cocker Spaniel and Golden Retriever. A calm and cool dog so different from my sensitive reactive herder. I am grateful that my dogs are teaching each other and myself that there is a balance to working together.
    We are learning to be partners in what we do. Best of all we are grateful for your directions on how to achieve our objective. Thank you!

    Reply
  46. Rachel Fabrizio says:

    I am grateful for my dogs abilities to handle the emotional deficits I’m learning about in the caregiver journey as well as the vision from the dogs about how to help others go from coercion and force to positive motivation.

    Reply
  47. jane kuntz says:

    I am thankful for each of my beloved dogs, from childhood until now. My girl Skye is my current treasure. I am thankful that she wants to be one with me, to be with me, not just physically, but in soul.If she senses I am sad or stressed, she will run to my side and look at me as if to say,” How can I help?’I f she sees me joyful she will grab a toy to celebrate or run around me in fast circles.From the day we met, she has put her head between my legs awaiting my caress and connection.Whenever we are apart, be it for a few hours, or a few days, that will be the first thing she does when we are reunited.

    Reply
  48. Christina says:

    I am grateful for the joy, love, relaxation and partnership I feel with my dogs, but most of all, those moments when we are really communicating are priceless. It is such a great experience to be in sync with an animal , even if it is only for a few moments …… But many more moments and lots more consistency next month! ❤️

    Reply
  49. Naydeen says:

    My dogs have helped me through this wild ride called life- being divorced, being a single mom and being a cancer survivor this year.????????

    Reply
  50. Aadi Taute says:

    My Jinx was found by the side of the road with a shattered jaw messed up leg and two collapsed discs. After 6 surgeries and numerous lost teeth he is working on his intermediate freestyle title, visits 10 assisted living facility a week and gives joy to all around him. I’m thankful this little guy is in my life. No matter how much his back hurts or tired he is there is always a wag, a lick, and a cuddle. He has taught me to live each moment and to be cheerful regardless. I am thankful everyday, every hour every minute that he entered my life.

    Reply
  51. Erin lowry says:

    I’m grateful for my dogs because my dogs are grateful for me. Love given, love returned. My dogs complete me…God — Dog

    Reply
  52. Molly Reyenga says:

    I am grateful for the purpose and path my dogs have given to me in my life. They accept me, trust me, and want to be with me. The path that they have taken me has lead to find wonderful friends and great adventures.

    Reply
  53. Cindy Tracy says:

    I am so grateful for my dogs, their unconditional love, they have made me a better person and for that I will be forever grateful.

    Reply
  54. Rachel Simpson says:

    My dogs have truly made my life whole. The past couple of years have been very trying for me, and if not for my dogs being with me, I really don’t know where I would be or what I would be doing. They have brought me together with many other wonderful dog-loving people, and have brought me outside, to beautiful outdoor places that I may otherwise have never been aware of. I love them being the first thing I see in the morning when I wake up, and the reassurance of them being with me when we go to sleep at night. I am also grateful for all that I have learned over the years about them and from them, everything from health and nutrition to behavior, cognition and how that all ties in to training. It’s been an interesting journey, and is one that continues.

    Reply
  55. Brenda B says:

    Everyday they wake up so excited to see me. So infectiously joyful, happy, loving and present in the moment. No worries, just hanging on my every move to see what we will do next. The crazier I am, the more interested they are and only fun times can come of that. I am forever grateful for their impact on my life and keeping things in perspective, right now. I am grateful for the patience my dogs show me when trying to figure things out, like training for something I’ve never seen before. To them I often say and sign, “Infinite Love and Gratitude!”

    I’m thankful for the wisdom you bestow upon your students. This is a wonderful post that I will savor. Namaste

    Reply
  56. Caroline says:

    I’m grateful for my dogs forgiving my handling errors and still keep on working. For making me laugh when I feel down. I love watching them run and enjoy life and make me forget some of my worries. I love my GSD for helping me thru panic attacks and always being by my side, without having taught that. My life would not be the same without my dogs in it.

    Reply
  57. Mary Carol Rick says:

    I share my life with a sweet, curious, loving and playful dog who fills my heart with joy everyday. I am forever grateful for every moment we spend together and appreciate all she has taught me about life.

    Reply
  58. Cindy Hoover says:

    My dog gives me a deeper connection to life, a reason for being that needs no explanation. She deepens my awareness of the eternal, grounds me in the present and fills my life with enchantment.

    Reply
  59. Donna M. says:

    I am grateful for my dog’s unconditional love. Despite my obvious failures in communication, she still wags her tail and bats her warm, brown eyes as if to say, “its okay mom, we’ll keep trying”. We are still very much a work in progress, I am grateful that she wakes up each day and wants to keep trying!

    Reply
  60. Carol Carlson says:

    I am deeply grateful for the dogs who have entered my life and heart. I learn something new from them every day. They make me a better person and are always there to remind me when it’s time to practice my lessons. They have brought me wonderful friends to help guide and/or share in this beautiful journey through life, understanding, love and connection with our amazing dog beings.

    Reply
  61. Glenda Russell says:

    I am thankful every day that I get to know the love of dogs. They amaze me daily and I feel so blessed that we teach and learn from each other constantly. My gratitude to dogs is is immeasurable really. My life would be empty without them.

    Reply
  62. Sally says:

    My dogs are my life.

    Reply
  63. Kim says:

    I am grateful that I am alive this morning and am able to get out of bed unassisted. I am also grateful that my pup is here to enjoy this painfree day with me.

    Reply
  64. Julie Louther says:

    Having dogs in my life is as important to me as breathing. While I have a heart full of love for all beings, #1 is dogs. As I reflect on what the dogs in my life have brought me – love, laughter, adventure, growth, joy, pain, sadness – really the full range of human emotion, what overarches it is acceptance & belonging.

    Reply
  65. Joni Gleason says:

    I am so grateful, and feel so blessed to have my 3 dogs in my life…..they are with me almost 24/7 and I can’t imagine life without them! Their companionship, their love and affection, their mere presence by my side through my daily doings is a God send gift!

    Reply
  66. Sue DiBianca says:

    I am so grateful for all the dogs in my life. My first collie taught me self-esteem and introduced me to the wonderful world of competition dog sports. My second collie taught me humility. My third taught me to not look at life so seriously. My fourth taught me about dignity and commitment. And my current collie, River, has taught me to see joy in life. Because I live alone, these dogs have been my companions, confidants and support system. My activities with the dogs have given me a social life. I truly believe I could not live without them. I am so grateful every day that I have River in my life!

    Reply
  67. Maria Ryan says:

    I’m so grateful that my dogs have taught me how to be kind and fair. I’ve learned through the years with my dogs and horses that trust is EVERYTHING. I’ve slowed down, noticed more and try every day to be kind and fair. I celebrate all the little things they do everyday that make me smile and laugh. Who can’t use daily laughs? My dogs rule.

    Reply
  68. Tara Fournet says:

    I am grateful for my dogs everyday because they make me a better person.

    Reply
  69. Jennifer says:

    Years ago my passion was for horses. I rode since I was five years old, to connect and be one was incredible. That came to an end after a bad accident, I came off my steady Eddie pony I trained and showed in dressage. I broke my neck in 3 places, crushed a disk, dislocated my neck and had a concussion. I don’t remember what happened and days after. I had surgery, plates and bolts in my neck. My daughter (4 years old at the time) asked me never to ride again. It was hard, I was depressed, but my daughter meant more. 2 years later I decided to find a new passion, dogs, training them and agility. I got an Aussie mix, he saved me. Caspian is incredible, but agility isn’t his love, but he does it for me. six months ago I by accident came across a rescue border collie that caught our eye. When we first met I knew she’d be a challenge, but she needed a lot of love and good home. Challenge she is….still dealing with some of her aggression but with love we are making progress. I have been dealing with some health issues that has held up progress, but this past week I have made some progress, feeling better. Janga is responding to love better than any other training methods. She loves agility at home, but she is too reactive right now to take her out. My plan is to slowly bring her on. I am grateful for my dogs to keep me going even with our challenges.

    Reply
  70. Nancy Stutz says:

    My dogs give me never ending companionship and devotion. Today Lucy, my kelpie x BC gathered the sheep to bring into the holding pen like she had been doing it all her life. We had a few limpers that were slow to keep up but she came back to get them too. So proud of her.

    Reply
  71. Melissa says:

    I am grateful for every moment I get to share with my k9 companions. Their unconditional love gives me peace, purpose, joy and inspiration to do better and be better! The blessings they bring to my life each and every day are immeasurable and leave me in a state of awe. I wish I knew the words that truly reflect my gratitude for all that they bring to my life.
    Thank you Kathy for prompting me to take a moment and really enjoy just how wonderful they are and the pure bliss they create in my life.
    Melissa & my k9 Angels –
    Romeo, Cooper, BooBoo, Dreamer, Rayne, Blitz, Magic and Jazz

    Reply
  72. Cindy says:

    I am so grateful for all the joy Sophie shares with my mom & with me. I am grateful for the opportunity to love her, care for her, & share this life with her.

    Reply
  73. Dee says:

    I am incredibly grateful for the love and healing that occurs daily with my dogs. Each day is a new beginning, a new adventure, a new chapter. There is no greater joy!

    Reply
  74. Lauri Dykhuis says:

    I am grateful for my dogs’ unconditional love each day. They make me feel important and needed.

    Reply
  75. Peri Norman says:

    My dogs are a blessing every single day. I am endlessly grateful for the lesson they teach me as I care for and train them. The more time I spend with my dogs, the more I have come to believe that they are angels with fur who have come to guide and support my life lessons. I need them more than they need me!

    Reply
  76. Cathy Hivner says:

    I am so grateful for the realtionship my dogs and I have built through the various activities in which we have trained. They have opened a whole world to me, including many wonderful friends whom I would not have met otherwise. While I would prefer that no dog feel the anxiety that one of mine has experienced, I am incredibly grateful for the bond that has grown between us as we work through his issues. I have learned so much that not only helps my dog but that I have been able to use to help other dogs with similar problems.

    Reply
  77. Jenny says:

    I am grateful that dogs are as great at teaching as they are at being companions. They live in the moment with so much joy, they don’t sweat the small stuff and they love unconditionally. That is the kind of person that I want to be. (Oh, and they have tremendous patience!)

    Reply
  78. Shelley klein says:

    I am grateful that my dogs have exposed me to so many activities, people and training opportunities that I never knew existed.

    Reply
  79. Aliza says:

    My dogs have helped my son who has special needs immeasurably. They literally helped him learn how to care about and have a relationship with others. By working with our sensitive collie (in partnership with me) he learned how to read nonverbal communication and he attends to people’s emotions with such sensitivity that he is no longer considered autistic. My dogs were there to support me through the darkest days of my son’s disability. Their loving hearts guided us into a brighter future. I thank G-d every day for the gifts my dogs brought, and continue to bring, each and every day. I only wish I could pay it forward by helping my collie let go of her reactivity so she can experience a fraction of the joy that she and my other love of a dog have given to me.

    Reply
  80. Lorraine says:

    I am so very grateful for my dogs. I am fostering 2 that I am training to be service dogs. Because of them I have learned about positive training. I a, also grateful for Merle, my own 5 1/2 month old mini aussie. I learn every day training him. Because of merle I found this site. Looking forward to starting herding with him

    Reply
  81. Jan says:

    I have been grateful for the dogs in my life since I was a little girl. They have been my friend, my companion, my comforter, my teacher and my family. I am grateful for all of them showing me the beauty of living in the moment. I am grateful for their love and joy and friendship. They are a blessing in my life and am so very thankful I am lucky enough to share my life with them.

    Reply
  82. Brenda says:

    I can’t imagine life without dogs. I am so grateful for each and every one that has blessed my life. Each has shared their own journey with me and taken me places I would not have imagined without them . There was a cartoon in today’s paper in which the lead character was reading a bedtime story to his dog. It ended with “and they lived happily ever after.” The dog asked how they knew they lived happily . . . The boy replied that they must have had a dog. I think that pretty much sums it up . . .

    Reply
  83. Trista says:

    I can’t even begin to describe my level of gratitude for Bella. For 17 years we had 2 amazing dogs that gave companionship, love and support. Also my shepherd mix made me feel safe and protected. They passed away and I said I would never have another dog that could replace the place they held in my heart. 2 years later, Bella showed up in my Facebook news feed. She was smiling, unique and she stole my heart instantly. I started to cry at the sight of her. We met her and her foster mom and brought her home. It’s been challenging, fun and amazing watching her learn. She’s so opinionated with such a big personality. She is bright-eyed and responsive and demanding. She’s amazing. I love to watch her learn and she yearns for it. She saved my heart and I am forever grateful.

    Reply
  84. Deb Tooley says:

    I am grateful that Raven, my border collie, has come into my life and become a part of our family! She is the perfect dog for me and teaches me daily about having patience (something I have lost track of due to difficulties at work), unconditional love, accepting things as they are and working with them, companionship……lol..and how to not say bad words (she hates them and lets me know it) and so so much more. She is my heart dog! A true partner.

    Reply
  85. Victoria says:

    I am incredibly thankful and grateful for my 4 dogs. They are all rescues, all of them from dangerous situations. I take 2 that have become therapy dogs to a residential children’s home every week, where they help troubled kids in many ways. My newest boy, a GreatDane/lab mix is a handful but he’s settling in and coming along. I cannot imagine not having dogs!

    Reply
  86. Maria Ryan says:

    I’m grateful for their trust and companionship. Everyday my dogs look to me to give them guidance and fulfillment which makes me step to up be a better handler and a better person.

    Reply
  87. Leslie says:

    Every night my dog hops onto the bed with me and curls up on the tiny bed intended for a dog 1/4th her size. Doesn’t matter that she slops over on all sides. I massage her feet while she licks my head and sculpts my hair into modern art. We fall asleep together.

    Reply
  88. Kari Lavalli says:

    They make me want to be a better person because they are always willing to give of themselves freely no matter how their day has gone.

    Reply
  89. Lola says:

    My dogs make me understand how to be a better human being; that’s why I’m grateful for them. I learn from them every single day. I learn from them when I’m working with them, I learn from them when I’m just watching them. They are my best teachers.

    They remind me to be present moment. They remind me to smile and laugh and to play. They remind me to ‘lighten up already!’ Yes, they make me better.

    Reply
  90. ANNA says:

    I am so grateful that L’Aser a berger picard came into my life. If it hadn’t been for him I would not be here. Nineteen years ago I went through a severe post partum depression and he was my reason for living.

    Reply
  91. Kelley Livingston says:

    I am grateful for life with my dogs because my heart is full every day because of them. I have been on a spiritual path for many years, but Merle has pushed me spiritually to places I may have never gone without him. He has been a huge catalyst for personal and spiritual development and has made me aware on a daily basis to follow my heart.

    Reply
  92. Ronna says:

    I am grateful to my dogs because they never judge me. Don’t care if I’ve gained weight or take a nap because I’m depressed and exhausted instead of training. They love life and every second I give to them they give back 1000%. They don’t worry if I goof up but just laugh because I am a very silly Mom after all.

    Reply
  93. Johanna says:

    I am fortunate to have been chosen by my Australian/Maremma Shepherd mix: her intelligence and independence has been teaching me mutual respect in our relationship and is transferable to other relationships in my life.

    If she and I can operate on such an intuitive level, exchanging confidence in myself and my instincts in relationships based on what she has taught me with her intuition and decision making has been amazingly helpful. Our relationship has taught me this.

    Reply
  94. Cindy Tracy says:

    I am so grateful for my life with dogs because it has absolutely made me a better person. They have taught me so much and brought so much love and joy into my life. They have brought me wonderful friends. Mist of all they have helped me to enjoy every moment because there never are enough moments with them.

    Reply
  95. Gail says:

    It is hard to limit why I am grateful to just one thing. The biggest thing I am grateful for is the love I have learned from my dogs.

    Reply
  96. Deb H. says:

    Paddy has brought me much comfort and has chased away loneliness as I have spent the last 21 months recovering from an accident. In order to be able to continue with his agility training it has pushed me to work harder in my recovery.

    Reply
  97. Michele says:

    I have had so many dogs in my life, but had never formally trained with any of them. Since the addition of our first Aussie, we have been involved in all kinds of fun training programs like CGC, agility and flyball. I have learned so much about them…how they think, what they like, who they are, but I think I’ve learned the most about myself in the process. They bring me tremendous joy on a daily basis, actually on a moment to moment basis. I’m so grateful for them..their lives, their hearts, their spirits, and what they have brought to mine.

    Reply
  98. Marilyn Lyons-Pogue says:

    I am grateful for Paddy because he has given me the opportunity to grow as a human being. I have come to love him unconditionally, just as he loves me.

    Reply
  99. Meli Jurado says:

    I didn’t want a dog, I always said out loud how they were too much work and limit your lifestyle. My boyfriend “needed” to get a dog and so 3 months ago we did. My life has changed for the better in ways I never imagined. There is so much love going both ways, our dog is the light of my life and I couldn’t be happier-so much growth on my part too!

    Reply
  100. Kim Bosworth says:

    My pups make me smile every day!

    Reply
  101. Karen says:

    I write in my gratitude journal every night as I am snuggling with my dogs (and cats) before bedtime. It helps me relax, leave the day behind and get ready to sleep. Best thing ever.

    Reply
  102. Deb H says:

    I am grateful for Paddy. He encourages me to keep up with my physical therapy and rehabilitation. If I am going to be able to take him for a walk, do Trick training, and agility I must regain my health and physical abilities.

    Reply
  103. Sonja Klattenberg says:

    I am grateful for my dogs, past and present, because they make my heart grow.

    Reply
  104. Kathy says:

    I lost my dear husband in the summer of 2016. Prior to his passing We had planned on adding a puppy to our pack. In 2017 I brought home that puppy. He brought new life into my home for my older dogs and for me gave me a reason to keep going.

    Reply
  105. Heather H says:

    My dogs have brought me so many opportunities and new friends over the last year and a half! I’ll be starting therapy dog classes with Wichita and starting complex (level 2) therapy classes with Roo in January. I can’t wait to do lots of volunteering and have lots of outdoor adventures with m pups in 2018, I’m so very grateful for them

    Reply
  106. Joanne says:

    I’m thankful that my dogs help me to connect with people and build relationships.

    Reply
  107. Sharon Garland says:

    I am grateful for the experience each and every day with all my digs- they teach me something new – about them or me our about how we all fit in this world-every single day

    Reply
  108. Kara says:

    I am grateful for Harley as he brings so much light and joy into my life. No matter how I am feeling when I walk through my front door he never fails to bring a smile to my face simply through how much love he gives me.

    Reply
  109. Jane says:

    My dogs help to keep me grounded. They give me a reason to get up every morning and have a walk at 5.30 am before work. What a wonderful way to start every day. Without my girls I would stay in bed and feel sluggish and grumpy with the world. They always smile and and welcome me with enthusiasm and they put a smile on my face too.

    Reply
  110. Sheryl Schuff says:

    My dogs have taught me some of the most important lessons of my Life–including “Focus on the Present” and “I have choices.” Chance, my current Aussie, stayed close by my side last Spring when I faced some health challenges; she let me know I wasn’t Alone for which I will be forever grateful.

    Reply
  111. Nancy Ryan says:

    I am grateful for my dogs for teaching me how to successfully communicate my wishes / dreams to them and to listen to their in the moment wishes and feelings.

    Reply
  112. Donna Waugh says:

    I’m grateful for my life with dogs because they have expanded my world immensely and yet they still remind me to live in and enjoy the moment.

    Reply
  113. Carol Hargreaves says:

    My dogs love me unconditionally

    Reply
  114. Tracy Kuipers says:

    I don’t need a reason to be grateful when my dogs are around. Every day they remind me to live in the moment, love who you’re with (and make sure they know how much you care-but I usually leave the tail wagging to them) and to kick a little dirt over the bad things and just walk away 🙂

    Reply
  115. Lynn Parker says:

    I am so grateful for the unconditional love and emotional support my dogs offer me every day. They give me a reason to laugh and smile each day. I live with my 3 dogs and 1 cat. They have been with me through many life events. I am so blessed to have them walk along side me on my journey.

    Reply
  116. Julia Lane says:

    I am grateful to my dogs for reminding me to live in the moment. ❤️

    Reply
  117. Mary Smirnova says:

    This article is spot on, I want to start a gratitude journal! I think being grateful, thankful and rejoicing is the way to go! I am grateful for my dogs BEING with me NOW!

    Reply
  118. Ruelle Cecile says:

    I’m grateful for my life with dogs because they keep me touch with my emotions and with nature.

    Reply
  119. Anna ROY says:

    I’m grateful for all the lessons they have taught me. If I’m alive it’s because L’Aser gave me a reason to live when I went through my post natal depression. I owe them so much !

    Reply
  120. Maryann Groves says:

    I’m grateful for their love and smiling faces always eager for a new adventure!

    Reply
  121. Tracy Jackson says:

    I am so very grateful for my life with my dogs because they have helped me be kinder and more mindful. They bring me back to the present whenever I’m with them.

    Reply
  122. Kathy Santo says:

    I’m grateful because they’re my co creators! Together we create, innovate, and grow as a team. ❤️

    Reply
  123. Caroline Szymeczek says:

    I’m grateful for mt dogs because they have such capacity for love and forgiveness! They also teach me about aging with grace❤️

    Reply
  124. Sara Reiter says:

    I am grateful for my dogs every day, the activities with the dogs give my days, weeks, months and years a sense of purpose and accomplishment. I am grateful for my “hard” dogs, they teach so much.

    Reply
  125. Stephanie says:

    My pups…one in particular…remind me daily to stop, take a breath, and consider my reactions/responses to situations. I love them both dearly and the snuggles, playtime and learning together is so gratifying, but this little Staffordshire Terrier mix is truly helping me to work toward being a better person…EVERY DAY.

    Reply
  126. Sally Krostal says:

    My dogs are my teachers. Everything of importance that I have learned in my life I have learned from or through an animal. I truly believe that every dog who has come into my life has come with a purpose and a lesson and my job is to discover and learn that lesson. Sometimes the lessons have been very hard but I am grateful for the heartache as well as the joy. A new puppy has found his way into my life and I had to work through my “is this the right time, is this the right dog” dialog and remind myself that he would not have come to me if he was not a part of my journey. So I am looking forward to seeing what 2018 and Apo’ni have to teach me!

    Reply
  127. Corine Jongeneel says:

    I’m greatful because I’m learning every day. Life with my dog is different than I imagined it before she came into my life. She is with me for a reason and I believe she came into my life and chose me to guide her and keep her safe. I learn a lot about myself and, step by step, she makes me a better person.

    Reply
  128. Cindy Mendonca says:

    My Beardies are the constants in my life, no matter what else has happened. Their love is unconditional and as the saying goes, they make me want to be the kind of person they think I am.

    Reply
  129. Ana Ford says:

    My dogs enrich my life!! I am so grateful for them.

    Reply
  130. Sharen says:

    My dogs make me laugh when Im feeling lonely and disconected

    Reply
  131. Dev Sperber says:

    I am so grateful for the deep soul connections I feel with my dogs, especially when we make eye contact: Lil’s sparkling, twinkling, smiling eyes reminds me of my father who passed away 9 years ago and Takoda’s deep soulful gaze which I feel like I know from countless lifetimes spent together.

    Reply
  132. Dolores "Dee" Matel says:

    I am grateful for my dogs and all that they teach me. My dogs have helped me to hear, feel, and know that there is something to be grateful for everyday. I am grateful that my dogs are patient with me as I learn to be a better person and I do it because they deserve to have the “best” me. As we grow in partnership we support each other and everyone gains

    Reply
  133. Cathy says:

    I am especially grateful for my dogs in the last year as they take me out of the daily stress of caring for my mother. Sometimes it seems that only they can pull me out of a downward spiral. Their joy in just being becomes my joy if only for a few minutes at a time.

    Reply
  134. Sarah Bayles says:

    I am grateful for the challenges my dogs bring me each and every day! It helps me to become a better handler/owner/trainer being able to work through it!

    Reply
  135. Brittany Loftus says:

    My dog completes my life! They are my best friend and always there no matter what – rich, poor, sick, sad, happy, etc. What more could anyone ask for? I try to be my best self for my pup since she is like my child! My dog brings me so much joy every. single. day. Also, to see her become such a well behaved adult dog with such manners…. well, there’s nothing like it.

    Reply
  136. Nancy Wrobel says:

    I am grateful for Reno because working with him has made me believe that positive change is possible. Reno is always so ready to participate and that it makes me smile.

    Reply
  137. Debbie Lustig says:

    Without my dog, I feel quite sure I would not be here now. I am grateful to her and I hope, in her doggy mind, she knows it.
    I am grateful for all the times she’s wanted to go out and I haven’t.
    I’m grateful she’s forgiven me for trying her out at all sorts of dog activities that she wasn’t suited to: everything from canine freestyle to agility to reading to children in schools.
    And I’m grateful to her for putting up with me all these years – for the many times I’ve had to leave her when I was ill.

    Reply
  138. Kimberly Howatt says:

    I am grateful that we had a horrible experience trying to adopt from the rescue. Not only did I volunteer to help them fix their applications issues, which after 4 years has changed my life, we also adopted Jango… and the lessons I learn with him daily are infinite. I am not the same person I was before all of this, and I am grateful for the lessons learned and the love from so many.

    Reply
  139. Wendy Newton says:

    I am grateful for my dogs and their forgiving attitude to my failures as a dog trainer. I am grateful for the learning experience they are going to give me this year.

    Reply
  140. Denise Langston says:

    I am grateful with my life with dogs as each one is a gift that I have been blessed with to teach me everyday lessons in life. Each one is different and special in their own way.

    Reply
  141. Nancy Ryan says:

    My dogs and I enjoy a good morning romp…..no matter the weather conditions.

    Reply
  142. Deb Bauer says:

    I’m so grateful for all the dogs I’ve had the pleasure of sharing my life with. Many of them have saved my life in so many ways. I truly would not be the person I am today if it wasn’t for my amazing dogs. I am truly blessed by each and every one of them.

    Reply
  143. Jo says:

    My guys are so forgiving and I am grateful that they continue to be so even when I’m clearly not getting it right – they give me chance after chance to try something new. I’m hoping Dancing Hearts is finally the place we can get it right, that this is where we need to be.

    Reply
  144. Alex Kowalski says:

    Dogs are always so joyful and it is so thrilling to watch them as they marvel at the world and and go through life experiences. Watching a young pup begin to understand how the world works and helping her on her way is the most fulfilling and rewarding experience in life.

    Reply
  145. michelle says:

    My dogs make me smile. They are my “happy place” and what I look forward to everyday. They have taught me so much about myself!

    Reply
  146. Neza says:

    Simplest jet most powerfull reason why I am greatfull to have a dog is JOY they bring me. They make me smille with their silly behaviour. They kick my ass and make me go for a walk. They make me feel proud when I see them work hard. They are always happy to see me. They love to spend time with me. Well…they bring me JOY <3

    Reply
  147. Glenda Russell says:

    I am grateful for my dogs for being my best friends, partners and teachers inspite of all of my flaws and short comings.

    Reply
  148. Sharon Dungey says:

    I am grateful that my dogs are just who they are – no more no less &that they share their lives with me

    Reply
  149. Tessi mohr says:

    I have so many reasons to be grateful.for my dog, but not only.my dog at home.but all my dogs at the humane society where i work.. I amgrateful to be 1 of the people who help make a better life for these dogs who alot of the time abused and abandoned. I’m grateful i get to watch a scared reactive dog transforin to a happy ,playful, amazing dog. im grateful that im blessed with such a rewarding job. I’m grateful fir the passion i have for this line.of work. most of all im grateful for thunder who.was stuck at the humane society for 10 months until i took him home . in fact i moved to a new place just to b able to.adopt him. We both got a.new start and a new life for that im most grateful.

    Reply

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