Mindful lessons from my dog

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Believe it or not: I’m an impatient person.

When I want to accomplish something, it has to be accomplished NOW.

If it doesn’t get done instantly, I immediately go through a fury of emotions. I cover everything from alarm and anger to fear and frustration, all in matter of minutes.

I’m the super heroine of hissy fits.

But not the three year old kind of hissy fit where the child throws his or herself on the floor in tantrum mode. That’d be silly, and besides, I can’t get off the floor so doing that would be pointless.

This rash emotional rollercoaster is mostly brought on by my inabilities as it relates to my muscle degeneration.

When I first adopted my dog, I never thought about the long term effect she’d have on my life. I never thought she’d be anything more than a faithful companion. And I never thought her hearing impairment would change the way I think.



Disabilities are funny like that. They change everything.

You see, I believe with every fiber of my being that you don’t get the dog you want, you get the dog you need.

I wanted Snow because she was attractive attentive affectionate perfect. But Snow chose me because I need to learn to be patient and take control of my emotions.




Being patient has everything to do with mindfulness when paired with a deaf dog. The communication barrier we face on a daily basis challenges my patience which teaches me to be mindful of my emotions.

You see, I just can’t vocally tell her what I want her to do. She’s deaf. I have to show her using hand signals. They’re difficult to teach. Repetition is key. Patience is essential. I can’t get upset when she doesn’t understand a command. I have to demonstrate over and over to her what I want her to do, all while maintaining my composure until she performs the task associated with the proper command.




Dogs are acutely aware of our emotions and react accordingly.


For instance, when Snow isn’t working, she is a lunatic. Playing. Running. Jumping. She’s a typical two year old dog.

But then, she decides to do dangerous things like escape from my fenced in backyard and run off. I search for her everywhere, only to find her running around in a ditch a few yards away, covered in dirt and deliriously happy as if she didn’t even notice I wasn’t there. I have to laugh.

The lesson she teaches me is that if I’m mindful, I can slide into a proper emotional reaction. I have a choice: To be upset and angry, or laugh and be happy I found her.

I have to remind myself that this is a dog that enjoys herself with wholehearted, over-the-top commitment. If I’m mad and impatient, and project those emotions, she picks up on it and doesn’t want to come to me. If I match her level of self-love and joy, she picks up on it and wants to be with me, sharing in my happiness.




Snow’s teaching me to be mindful of my emotions. And I’m slowly learning.


Are you mindful of your emotions?


Autumn Tompkins is the head sass-master at ink well copy. She is a skilled copywriter who creates dynamic copy that captures her clients’ expert voices and generates genuine sales, turning maybe’s into most definitely’s.

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