It’s here! The Holistic Dog: Inside The Canine Mind, Body, Spirit, Space (Helios/Skyhorse) has launched and is now available on Amazon and soon, where ever books are sold! What makes this book so special is that it is both a reference book for holistic canine care, as well as a stunning coffee table book of photographs of dogs in their spaces accompanied by their unique stories.
After writing the stories of 108 dogs, I noticed that there are often deeper lessons behind the dogs we choose to have in our lives. Compassion, perseverance, companionship, exercise, care taking, patience or unconditional love are all some of the life lessons that these four legged creatures teach us.
The book is divided into sections of Mind, Body, Spirit and Space and begins with Space, with the dogs photographed in their favorite places to sleep, play, rest or dwell in. The second half is interviews with canine experts in Mind, Body and Spirit. The Mind section covers a behaviorist, research scientist, trainer and a dog toy inventor. I’ve discovered that in assessing a dogs intelligence, in this miraculous human to dog bond, every dog has different cognitive skillsets and personality traits, which foster a unique connection forever imbedded in our lives.
The Body section represents the physical facets of a dog; from breed, size, agility and exercise to internal aspects of nutrition, health and wellness management. From a nutritionist to a canine cancer vet, to a chiropractor and a holistic vet, the experts concur that some easy changes you can implement to enhance your dogs wellbeing are to read food labels, research the new vaccination data and integrate alternative therapies when needed. Most importantly, make sure you get out in nature with your dog and enjoy a hike together because nothing promotes the dog-human bond more than a shared physical activity.
In the Spirit section, the profound and often life changing bond between human and dog is explored. Dogs can be natural Spirit teachers for their loved ones, offering much needed lessons that are wholly rooted in boundless love. They help us transmute the negative and bring us together, whether it’s a burly firehouse dog named Duke that boosts morale and alleviates stress, or a five pound Yorkie named Chaka that helps heal a family immersed in grief. They can guide us through emotional transitions and, like Angie Girl, restore a doubting heart. They might even seem to be gifts from beyond, sent by a loved one who departed long ago, like Chester, or make such an impression on us at first sight, like Cooper, Honey or Rhodie in how they clearly and knowingly chose us.
Although the life lessons are many, if I had to narrow it all down to one commonality, it’s the reminder the dog owners receive from their dogs about living in the present. For dogs, this is their permanent state of mind. They don’t live in the past or worry about the future. Centering your awareness in the here and now, may serve as one of the greatest dog-to-human spiritual gifts of all.