Updated: Jul 18

You know that feeling you get when you connect deeply with an animal, using your senses to focus and truly be in the moment providing care? If so, you're already practicing mindfulness. In this blog, I will explore mindfulness - being present in the moment and fully connected to yourself and the world around you - and how mindfulness can support wellness in the veterinary community.

Photo from unsplash.com

One of my favorite examples of mindfulness comes from our dog, Jack. We adopted Jack a few years ago. He is a three-year-old Australian Shepherd/Border Collie Mix. Every day he loves to try to chase squirrels in our backyard and honestly, he hasn’t caught one yet. That doesn’t stop Jack, he just keeps running around, barking, and trying to see if he can finally get one.

About a year ago I was watching him do this and noticed something beautiful. At one point he stopped running and paused - he lifted his head up and felt the warm sun on his furry face. He closed his eyes and he sniffed the cool breeze. Jack took just a moment to pause. He soaked up that beautiful, sunny moment - and then a few moments later, he went back to his job of trying to catch a squirrel.

Photo of Jack (our dog)

It might sound funny to think about Jack practicing mindfulness, but we all know that sometimes animals can be our best teachers. He purposefully chose to stop, to engage with the moment, with his senses, with his body, and to just be. I’d like to think that this small reset helped him regain momentum with his squirrel chasing. :)