When dogs are stressed, how about a bit of patience and empathy?

Anyone with a heart would feel the need to help a dog in distress. When I see a dog struggling, I want to help, or at least try to help. It is an intuitive feeling I have. When my dog panted in the backseat of our car, I knew it was her way of managing her stress. She did not like being in the "flying bed" at all. Since I knew she could tolerate the pressure, I ensured she had the biggest payoff when we arrived at our destination. If we were going to the beach, we would stay and play for at least an hour or more. If she had to go for her vet check-up, we went for a long walk before we had to drive home. I empathized with her.

Whenever I am in the doggy loft at Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, and I see a dog in distress, I want to help. Over the years volunteering there, I have learned that sometimes new dogs will take longer to relax in their new environment. Since these are all old dogs, I may meet a dog struggling with untreated dental pain. Sometimes a dog is simply missing their old familiar life and person. I can understand and empathize with those feelings myself.

Having an abundance of compassion for any animal in distress is a good thing. I wouldn't change that, and I am grateful that at Muttville, they offer ways to alleviate all of the dogs' stress.

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Pet Food Express Partners with 100+ Animal Rescues to Host First-Ever Statewide Virtual Pet Fair & Local Adoption Events

Throughout September!! Pet Food Express is hosting its Virtual Pet Fair, California’s largest, pet adoption event and the pet industry’s first-ever virtual fair of its size with over 7,000 animals available for adoption!

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Self care and calming older dogs

In my experience, a dog can be a natural bridge between two people. I cannot count the times my big adopted dog did her part, making sure I knew my neighbors and local shopkeepers. Sometimes it was her extra-large size that prompted a conversation with a stranger. Sometimes her unexpected presence in a room allowed me to escape a knot of people. She didn't know I needed saving or how she was helping me, but my lowered anxiety was tangible.

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Mind if I join you for a bit?

A dog's natural ability to diffuse a room is powerful and effective because I have also experienced it in the doggy loft at Muttville Senior Dog Rescue. I have watched an agitated person walk into a room, spy an old dog doing anything from being cute while they nap to being cute as they trot across the floor, and see their limbs and expression visible relax. I imagine their blood pressure is lowering as their face transforms into soft eyes and maybe a smile.

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Lean on Me…

This week at the doggy loft, I got the chance to spend some quality time with Dusty, a large, warm, heavy, comforting blanket of a dog. He is the type of dog who will gladly get as tight against you as possible. And he will stay there despite more distractions than most dogs could resist.

I love dogs whose presence is undeniable but quiet. The sound of their breathing is meditative.

Do you ever have a dream where you can feel a dog is next to you, your hands are clasping their body or head. I have. When I wake up, I will usually have a small pillow or wad of blankets tucked against me in a way that my dreams interpreted into a dog. Rather than being sad that it wasn't a live dog in my arms, I'm encouraged that my dreams can feel this real.

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