Important Lessons the Hope Dogs Can Teach You about Addiction Recovery

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Important Lesson the Hope Dogs Can Teach You about Addiction Recovery

by Paul Garrigan

The topic at one glance

  • Paying close attention to the behavior of dogs can lead to insights into the human condition

  • Dogs attempting to escape the stink of poo teach us about the uselessness of the ‘geographical’ cure

  • Resisting life means we are like a dog who barks at the waves

Dogs Can Teach You about Addiction

The most under-appreciated members of the team at Hope Rehab has to be our resident dogs. These wise animals have much to teach you about addiction recovery if you are only just willing to listen to them. Of course, the lack of human voice box means these important teachings can’t be delivered to you in the form of an actual pep talk, but the Hope dogs have been known to use more subtle techniques with the aim of getting your attention.

The Stink Always Comes With You

Our dogs at Hope rehab center are used to being praised for their cleanliness but occasionally there can be little accidents. If you are fortunate enough to see a dog who has managed to get some poo-poo (or other smelly substance) on its fur, prepare yourself for a profound life lesson. The way a dog will usually react to noticing something smelly is to move somewhere else. Our dogs may spend the whole day doing this, moving from place to place, without realizing that when they change location, they bring the bad smell with them too.

The lesson dogs can teach you about Addiction here is a ‘geographical’ doesn’t usually work. When we move to a new place, we may feel a bit better initially because of the change of environment, but ultimately we bring our problems with us. It is dealing with the poo-poo on our fur that will make our life better and not moving from place to place.

Don’t Waste Time Barking at the Waves

Although Hope Rehab is right beside the sea, some of our dogs are not going to be so familiar with a beach environment. This means they can react to being there in some strange ways. One thing you may notice in such a situation is one of the dogs begins barking at the waves – it will be happy to do this for hours without showing even a hint of boredom. This behavior is actually an attempt by one of our therapist dogs to teach you a valuable lesson dogs can teach you about Addiction is acceptance.

So much of the stuff we do (e.g. worrying) is just like barking at a wave. It uses up our energy but it doesn’t actually serve any useful purpose. The wave isn’t going to stop waving because a dog barks at it, and your problems aren’t going to fix themselves because you are worrying about them. It would be much better if you put your energy to good us rather than wasting it on barking at the waves.


Other Important Life Tips from the Hope Dogs

  • Make time to run around and play

  • Be loyal to those you love

  • Don’t be afraid to show your enthusiasm for life

  • The one who barks loudest isn’t the most dangerous

  • Live for the moment

Please feel free to share any experiences you have of learning from the K9 therapists at Hope Rehab, and if  you have enjoyed this post, please share it on social media.

2017-05-26T12:50:21+00:00