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    PeterDobias.com / Blog / stories & news

    8 ways your dog can save you from negative news

    By Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM

    Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM has 30 years of experience as a veterinarian. His love of dogs and passion for natural healing and nutrition led him to writing, teaching and helping people create health naturally, without drugs, chemicals and processed food.

    How to stay positive during difficult times

    I recently received an email from a former client, a friend who I will call “Cleo”, to protect her privacy.

    I really admire Cleo. As a retired lawyer, she's been a tireless animal rights advocate and environmental activist, always defending those who cannot defend themselves, making a difference in many ways.

    I am fully aware that Cleo may read this message, and I want to emphasize that I am sharing this story with appreciation for her work and my deep respect. In fact, I have probably acted the same way in the past.

    To give you more details, Cleo sent me an e-mail in which she shared her response to a blog called The Most Unpleasant Article You’ll Ever Read, that a prominent holistic healer sent to her in a newsletter.

    Here is Cleo’s response:

    Given the on-going stress, anxiety, loneliness, sadness that so many are experiencing these days, is there a chance that in each of your daily newsletters you could start to include even one happy, positive snippet which makes people feel a bit better & even put a tiny smile on their faces?  Although your articles are so well-researched and informative, these days we could all stand a bit of pleasure, levity, humour, compassion somehow linked in. Otherwise, WE ARE WEIGHED DOWN BY SHEER NEGATIVITY."

    First off, I tip my hat to Cleo for writing this honest and “spot-on” reply. In fact, I wrote to her saying how much I appreciated her statement. But as time progressed, I realized that even though Cleo meant well by cc’ing me, the article she sent me had a negative impact on me. It brought me down. I was experiencing the infectious nature of negative marketing first-hand. 

    I guess the creator of the negative message possibly meant well, but I dare to suggest that they were fully aware of the addictive and irresistible nature of negative messaging, especially because the page was full of ads for products.

    This year has been very challenging and difficult for many people, and I trust you will agree that we all would benefit from happy and uplifting news in light of 2020. 

    I remember that in 2019, almost everyone I know was stretched to the max, having less and less time for what really mattered. They didn’t have enough time for their dogs, family, and friends, or for taking their time in nature and noticing the beauty of the world around us.

    There is a silver lining to 2020, as it has made us slow down enough to see that our society needs to change the way we live, and exit the crazy ever speeding train of "modern life." In early 2020, civilization was running at full speed, and we forgot that running too fast usually results in a “faceplant.” 

    We have been forced to slow down and think about what we need to change. I hear people pondering over who is at fault, but no matter how or why this happened, all that really matters is what we are going to do about it, and how we use this time to create a better, happier, and more sustainable world.

    No, I don't believe the doom and gloom theories, because I am old enough to remember Y2K when the world was supposed to end - and it didn’t! I was a direct witness to the fall of the Iron Curtain of Eastern Europe, which most people didn't believe could ever happen.

    We must do our best to remain positive (and negative, I mean virus free ;-), focus on helping others, keeping their spirits up, and learning how to fix what needs fixing. Perhaps I can inspire you to help me create a list for “How to stay positive in difficult times", that I would like to share in one of our upcoming newsletters. 

    Here are 8 ideas for starters: 

    1. Take your dog out at least twice a day for 1-2 hours.

    2. Call a friend or a family member to see how they are, and focus on them by listening and being genuinely interested in what they are saying.

    3. Tell yourself you’re good enough to solve the challenges that lie ahead. You can do it, and make sure you start now.

    4. Create a simple positive routine, start your day with yoga or exercise, spend time in nature, and focus on making a difference in the lives of others.

    5. Listen to positive podcasts on the topics you love and say "No, thank you." to negative news. Remind yourself that negative news is designed to be addictive and manipulate you into watching more.

    6. Choose a book or audiobook. Here are a few I love: Fierce Intimacy by Terry Real, I Am Enough by Marisa Peer, How Not to Diet by Micheal Greger, M.D., The Choice by Dr. Edith Eva Eger, Where Dogs Go to Live by Jeff Allen with Michelle Allen, and The Calling by Rha Goddess.

    7. Ask your dog to stop watching, reading and listening to negative news, too! (just kidding!)

    8. Spend more time with people who are upbeat and positive, and who see the glass as being half-full, not half-empty. This is not to suggest we should not help those who feel down, just be mindful not to surround yourself with an unbearable amount of negativity.

    Most of all, you can post additional tips on how to overcome hardships and negativity in the comments section below. I can’t wait to read your contributions. 

    Stay safe, and give your dog a hug for me!


    Ashley (Pawsitively Purrfect Woof & Hoof Care LLC)

    Ashley (Pawsitively Purrfect Woof & Hoof Care LLC) said:

    Hi Dr Dobias!

    Thank you for posting this wonderful article. You have been a great source of wisdom and a beacon of light in a world full of negative news. I am truly appreciative of all that you write.

    I would like to suggest adding a “detox from social media” to your awesome list. I have found eliminating social media for a period has been very helpful and upon returning I was able to see the negativity, feel it for what it is and remove it from my feed. I am so very thankful to have found people like you and I love seeing pictures of Pax as well as other dog lovers from around the world enjoying their pups and other pets.

    I look forward to seeing more from you and I hope that you continue to inspire others as you have inspired my husband and I. Wishing you all the best!!

    Mary Jones

    Mary Jones said:

    Recently I researched and wrote an article about the program Sources of Strength (www.sourcesofstrength.org) for a freelance client. In the process I learned that scientists have determined that feelings of gratitude and anxiety cannot exist in our brains at the same time. So, I’m learning that when I’m becoming anxious about something it’s time to instead focus on all the things for which I’m grateful. Namaste.


    Anjali said:

    Meditate, chant, do yoga/pranayam deep breathing!

    Norene Procter

    Norene Procter said:

    Try reading Dr. Wayne Dyer-‘There is a Spritual Sollution to Every Problem’. He is wonderful. Being quiet in nature and driving trips to the rockies with my 3 dogs make me joyous and listening to wonderful music. Let the trip allow you to daydream and see how truly wonderful this world can be.


    Lori said:

    More tips on positivity.
    1. Listen to music you like every day.
    2. Go for walks and/or bike rides.
    3. Try your skills at creative arts: musical instrument, painting, crafts, woodworking, dance
    4. Read good stuff everyday
    5. Volunteer
    6. Try to undo bad habits: smoking, too much alcohol, drugs, sugar, soda, candy, pastries
    7. Fortify your immune system
    8. Join up for health news from ‘functional’ doctors
    9. Join ‘Next Door’ neighborhood news and offer to make shopping needs for someone who is housebound.
    10. Try to do acts of kindness and mindfulness every day.
    11. Be grateful for what you have
    12. Since church is limited in these times: see if you can seek spiritual guidance online or through books or through zoom or all three.
    13. Check MEETUPS online, too…for whatever interests you.
    14. Spend quality time with your pet, kids, significant other.
    15. Learn to meditate or other activity for de-stressing. (In my case, I pick up my ukulele to get grounded.)
    16. Take time to check out the comedy app online, if you are feeling down or just need a lift. Laughter is good medicine.
    17. Learn how to prepare healthy satisfying meals. 18. Study what foods to avoid or eliminate for your body. Sign up for wellness podcasts or readings.
    19. Learn how to grow your own vegetables.
    20. Relax in a bath.
    21. Find a great water filter.

    Connie Graham

    Connie Graham said:

    Always be part of the solution instead of part of a problem. Listen to both sides of an issue, study history relating to it and make up your own mind. Once you do that, do something every day to support “the good guys”. Then live a good life, love and support the planet and all that it encompasses, and follow Dr. Ds advice by surrounding yourself with positive people who won’t drag you down. Finally, going into action boosts morale. If an issue upsets you, do something about it. Sitting on your duff feeling bad helps no one.

    Ruth Buzzard

    Ruth Buzzard said:

    In Whitler we don’t say “Goodbye” we say “Have fun”. If you concentrate on having fun, in spite of everything, you will avoid most of the current negativity. You will also feel younger and more carefree in spite of your age.

    Write daily gratitudes/ALWAYS give your dog a hug and kiss

    Write daily gratitudes/ALWAYS give your dog a hug and kiss said:

    I love everything about Dr Dobias.
    If I am having a negative day I click on one of his podcast to listen to because his caring ness in his voice and his love for dogs brings me so much peace inside of me it makes me smile!



    Adopt a partly domesticated feral cat whose previous owner died and experience joy unspeakable when, after 10 months in your home, she chooses to snuggle up next you and lay her head on your arm, purring so happily that her whole body is reverberating from head to tail with the feel of the purring.

    Beverly Snawder

    Beverly Snawder said:

    Great article. I can never stop reading articles on positivity. Thank you!

    Garda Rowe

    Garda Rowe said:

    1.maintain yur good health and that of your dog by eating well & staying hydrated.
    2. Look up at the night sky.
    3. lookup at the day sky while standing under a tree.
    4. Be still and marvel as you watch an insect go about it’s day.
    5.Sit quietly to enjoy a bird’s activities.
    6. Rest your eyes on a tree.
    7. Daily name one thing you admire about yourself
    8 Daily name 1 thing you admire in the person who most frustrates you.

    Mini Teacup Puppy

    Mini Teacup Puppy said:

    Pretty nice post. I just love the topic and the important information. Thank you for sharing on this.

    Leave a comment

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    Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM has 30 years of experience as a veterinarian. He graduated as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1988 in the Czech Republic and obtained the Canadian Certificate of Qualification in 1995. He is currently licensed in the European Union, and his unique approach to healing and nutrition helps holistically minded dog lovers worldwide.

    Dr. Dobias strongly believes that disease prevention, natural nutrition and supplements, the right exercise and a drug free approach to medicine can add years to your dog's life.

    As a formulator of his all-natural vitamin and supplement line and co-inventor of natural, chemical free flea and tick control, FleaHex® and TickHex®, his unique healing system and products currently hold the highest independent five star customer rating. For more information click here.

    Any general recommendations that Dr. Dobias makes are not a substitute for the appropriate veterinary care and are for informational and educational purposes only.

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