Principle 2 for achieving balance: live in the moment

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As humans, we experience time differently than dogs do. We`re constantly aware not only of the present, but of past and future. For many of us, that`s where feelings like shame, guilt or regret (past) and fear or anxiety (future) arise.

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Dogs, on the other paw, live only in the present ` in the moment. Living in the moment means dogs are only concerned with what`s happening to them right now, not what happened to them last week or what`s going to happen next Tuesday. It`s a very simple, instinctual way to live and it`s part of what keeps dogs connected to Nature.

We can vividly see this in dogs that have lost a limb, hearing or sight. They don`t lament or mourn the absent abilities or wonder where they went. They deal with the abilities they have right now and move on with life.

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To achieve balance in our relationship with our dogs, we need to learn how to live more in the moment ourselves. For humans, there are a number of ways to do this.

Many find meditation and similar mindful practices very helpful, as they can quiet the past and future that distract us from the present. Physical exercise ` walking our dogs, jogging, yoga, dancing, whatever -- can help too, because it brings us more in touch with our bodies and instincts. And one of the best ways to learn to live in the moment is to immerse ourselves to Nature, whether it`s a beach, park, or hiking trail. Leaving the busy and complicated human world for an hour or two can help us recapture the awareness of the moment.

By living in the moment, you can understand more about how your dog experiences the world and thus deepen your relationship with him. You will also become much calmer Pack Leader, and find that place of quiet balance that naturally makes your dog want to follow you.

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