My bitches (dogs..and cats) make me happy

People who own animals (particularly dogs) tend to be happier and healthier people. Because of the necessity of walking dogs, they make the owners more active and spend more time outside (which in turn gives you more vitamin D, which studies have found decreases risk of depression). They also make people happy simply by having the company of unconditional love that animals provide.

Fun fact: when a dog sees their owner, their brain releases the same hormones that are involved in our brains when we are in love. You are your dogs life. They love you. What else could anyone ask for?

I’ve had pets my entire life. We call our house “the Bates Zoo” because we’ve literally housed it all: 2 turtles, 2 doves, 5 dogs, countless finches, 3 fish and at least 10 cats. Right now we only have two dogs and two cats (which is a considerably smaller number considering our past amount of animals).

I can’t imagine living a life without animals. Actually I can. When I was in college, the majority of the time I didn’t have any pets. For a year and a half I had my cat, Sherlock, living with me but other than that, only humans inhabiting my apartments.

It wasn’t that it was awful not having animals, but it was lonely. I would wake up without a kitty sleeping next to my face and come home without dogs barking and jumping on top of me.

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This may sound strange, but my animals have provided me of so much through out the years. Coda (the dog I’m snuggling with above) is my dog that I’ve had since I was 9 years old. She’s my protector. We got her from a kill shelter when she was 8 months old. She had previously been abused and was a little skittish around people and other animals. After a while, she grew to love me and my family and become protective of us. Whenever I’m with Coda, I honestly feel safe.

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CODA THE ENFORCER!!! Kind of kidding. But I actually do feel safe when I’m home alone at night and she’s standing guard by my side.

And then there’s Rusty Roo.

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Rusty’s my love bug. She is the definition of pure and innocent happiness. As soon as I see Rusty’s little face stretched with a human like smile and her enormous booty partaking in a full body wiggle of happiness, any day is made 100000 times better. Everyone loves Rusty.

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She’s also a little sausage and about 15 pounds overweight, but that just means that there’s more of her to love.

Rusty is a semi-feral pup. Well, her mom was. My uncle found her mom on the 4th of July hiding in a dumpster. He took her in and realized a few weeks later (as she was giving birth to 10 puppies) that she was pregnant. 14 year old Autumn successfully convinced her mom to take one of the 8 week old pups in and no one has ever regretted that decision.

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Rusty Roo the Love Bug Guru.

Sherlie (Sherlock) was a feral kitten that I adopted from the pound when I was in school in Tucson.

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He was covered in fleas, ringworm and mites when I first got him. He had a rough little childhood going through multiple therapies to rid him of all his disease. Then when he was a year old he had a bad case of kidney stones and we thought he wasn’t going to survive. But we did everything we could to remedy him of the stones and now he’s disease free! He’s a feisty little snuggle puss full of personality. He’s lovey at night and in the morning when he sleeps right next to (and often on top of) my head. And during the day he chases the unrequited love of our other cat, Callie.

Sherlock made coming home after school to an often times empty apartment a lot more enjoyable.

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He’s also extremely photogenic and kind of a ham.

My animals make me happy. They give me a purpose on days when I have nothing else to do and provide me of ample love and laughter when I need it most.

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They need me. I need them.

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And even though my mom doesn’t like to admit it, she needs them too.

My animals make me happy which ultimately makes me healthier.

A win, win if you ask me.

All the unnecessary thoughts floating in my mind while meditating on the beach

Today, I tried to meditate on the beach. I occasionally get bad day to day anxiety and my dad has been insisting that meditation would help with it so I thought I would give it a go. I’ve tried meditation before and I generally enjoy it when I’m able to remove thoughts from my mind, but getting to that point is really hard! Especially when your mind goes a million miles per second like mine does. With practice, I’m sure it will get a lot easier, but today was about 3% solid meditation and 97% random thoughts. IMG_5577 Case in point: While writing the above paragraph, I found it absolutely necessary to pause and take this picture of the beach with the little bird in profile. Jesus. I laid out my towel on the beach, sat with my legs crossed while facing the ocean, closed my eyes and attempted to simply focus on the air entering and leaving my body. The assortment of thoughts that entered my brain were similar to those of a dream. Just random. Jurassic Park entere my mind. Where would I hide from a t rex that was also inaccessible to a velociraptor. WHERE WOULD I HIDE??? While trying to push that thought out, I began to think of backpacks and how much weight I could hold. I mean, my books in college were pretty heavy. My computer weights about five pounds also… At some point my brain was talking in a british accent. I don’t know, maybe it just wanted to test it out? It was all very weird. But during that 3% of successful silence (finally), I felt physically quiet and at peace. There were no problems. There was no past and no future. No dinosaurs to hide from. No backpacks to carry. Just that moment. IMG_5581 My post meditation glow 🙂 I’m going to keep trying to meditate. Hopefully every day. Maybe I’ll get to the point where focusing on my breath and nothing else isn’t so hard. I don’t want to feel panicked or scared anymore for virtually no reason. That alone is enough to make me return to the beach and try to push away images of problems and random thoughts. To me, it’s worth the daily attempt.