Sue Halpern's book is filled with lessons in the good life from an unlikely teacher--it's touching reality therapy.

Sue Halpern’s book is filled with “lessons in the good life from an unlikely teacher”–and is filled with examples of touching, funny reality therapy.











On Tuesday, November 8th—regardless of which presidential candidate they voted for—most Americans thought that at least the chaos of the long campaign would finally be over.  But the truth is, although the election ended, the hard feelings, stress and worries continued.

This post is a day earlier than usual because I felt the need to share what some are doing to reduce that stress and anxiety right now.  The title is a hint.  The  solution is not anti-anxiety drugs, alcoholic concoctions to numb emotions, or the Hot Line number for a counselor who will help callers sort out their anger and stress.   It’s fur.   Really.

Borrowing from the original “Keep Calm And Carry On” of our friends across the ocean, the current American version is  “Keep CALM AND HUG A PUPPY.”   This is not just for children looking for comfort and a way to de-stress.   It’s for adults in Washington, D.C.  and everywhere.

Dogs to the therapy rescue on Capitol Hill (Fox News)

Dogs to the de-stressing rescue of staffers on Capitol Hill (Fox News)




In addition to hugging a friendly dog, being open to laughter is also highly recommended.   Dana Perino, former Colorado resident and now author and political commentator on Fox News, combines humor and dogs in this example:

Mug shots of both the guilty dog walker...and the guilty dog.  :)

Mug shots of both the guilty dog walker…and the guilty dog~~off leash.   🙂

This post is not meant to over-simplify the legitimate difficulties, dangers and fears ahead.  It’s a reminder that laughter is indeed sometimes the best medicine, and feeling a dog’s heart beat as it cuddles against you is also at least worth a try to put things in perspective.

Please share other suggestions on how to lighten a heavy situation.  We need all the help we can get.




Filed under autumn lessons, Books and book titles, Dementia/Alzheimer's, just doing the best we can, lessons about life

51 responses to “FUR A BETTER TOMORROW

  1. I think everyone need to stay positive and hope for the best inspite of the fears they may have. Life must go on.

    • Thank you for sharing this. I agree.
      As I listen to news commentators, if some jump on negatives, forecasting gloom and doom, I turn it off. I’m pleasantly surprised by the stations that were politically opposed before the election, but now focus on every positive step or comment. 🙂

  2. Jane Sturgeon

    Sending you all hugs….<3 When all around changes, or shocks hit, I fall into simplicity. Filling the house with the smell of baking, making a card to send to a loved one, knitting with love in every stitch, picking up the phone for a loving conversation, watching nature and being around animals…hugging a dog or stroking a cat is beauty in a moment. I am borrowing Bella this morning and we're off to the beach…Bella's Mum and I will have a cup of tea together afterwards…bless our heart families, bless the air that we all breath and most of all bless the unity that we all share. We are one. ❤ xXx ❤

    • Oh, Jane, your list of all the many “simple” but profoundly touching things is beautifully hopeful: smells of baking, card creations and knitting, the sound of a loved one’s voice on the phone…and watching nature and hugging sweet animals. You remind us that we are one.
      Thank you so much for this comment. Hugs and love. ❤

  3. So sweet. And, funnily enough, just before coming to your post I had written to someone and finished my thoughts with “the only thing I can do right now is cuddle my dog.”

    • Great minds (or at least desperate minds) think alike, Gallivanta. I love it that you were already cuddling your dog to deal with things. Fortunately, our high-energy, into-everything puppy Scout is more than happy to settle down and curl up with me for cuddling! 😉

  4. How nice to see something uplifting on social media, Marylin. I’ve been so disgusted by the hate that continues to linger after our election. I find peace knowing that God is in control and I trust He’ll watch over our country.
    As for the dogs…oh my, I want that first one! xo

    • Isn’t that the most adorable therapy dog you’ve ever seen, Jill! From all reports, it had everyone getting in line to share the comfort. 😉
      I don’t know why the protests were so surprising to me, Jill. Protestors before an election–in hopes of affecting votes–is to be expected. But afterwards? I don’t know what they hope to accomplish, except maybe let off steam and do some damage to show they’re unhappy.

      • It’s very sad, Marylin. My only conclusion is there are many uneducated people who don’t understand the election process. Sadly, probably many of the protestors didn’t even exercise their right to vote. I don’t recall this kind of activity when the presiding party lost in 2008. Today on the news I watch the American flag being shredded to pieces…this on Veteran’s Day. It’s truly heartbreaking. I need that dog right now!

      • And tonight on the news, Jill, I was stunned to see the college students allowed to cut classes, sitting together on the sidewalk and lawn, CRYING and trying feel better. When I watched it I wondered if they’d ever faced any disappointments in their lives, and how they’d handle real problems in the future. Things feel so out of proportion lately.

  5. Marylin, this is so true. We only need to keep it simple and hugging something furry is indeed a great idea. I am so glad you reminded me of this! Happy weekend! xoxo

  6. Claudia

    Such good advice. I fear more divisive situations ahead not to mention harbored hate, but we must have a break of some kind before facing more. We must re-center ourselves and get a grip so to speak. We must relearn civility and practice it! Remember when you gave the larger half of the cookie to your friend and with no ill feelings?.

    • Your comment is so logical and such a good reminder that iy makes me smile, Claudia. As children, when we had to share a cookie or a piece of pie, even with a sibling who usually argued and squabbled with us, we knew to be good sports. In our house, one divided the goodie, and the other one got to choose. And you smiled and were gracious about the result. No bad feelings, and you went on to other things! ❤

  7. Diana Stevan

    Marylin, hoping and praying for the best. My immediate concern is climate change. I worry but I’m also sure there will be many voices raised in alarm if Trump cancels the Paris Agreement. As one of my friends posted this morning, have to remember that Hillary won the popular vote. And though I’m a Canadian, I do believe her campaign motto, “stronger together”. And that means all of us, around the globe.

    • I had some concerns about Hillary in other areas, Diana, but I’ve never heard a more gracious final speech, reminding us all to be stronger together now and always. She did more good to set the stage and attitude than all the flame-throwing, shouting protestors. One of my friends said that this is the speech that will be legacy, and her grandchildren will grow up so very proud of her.

      • Diana Stevan

        So true, Marylin. Her concession speech told me so much about her character. I know she’s had issues in the past but to see her so much maligned during the election campaign was heartbreaking. Wishing you and all Americans the best.

      • Thank you, Diana. We’ll need all the best wishes possible, I think. But I’m also hopeful that when the furor dies down we will, somehow, surprise even ourselves with what we can accomplish. 😉

  8. There’s nothing like a fur baby to warm your heart and easy your anxiety. I love the photos you’ve included too, Marylin. My fur baby, Indy, provides so much comfort and love. I also pray a lot to relieve anxiety. That helps too. Have a wonderful day. 🙂

  9. juliabarrett

    Thanks for your wise words, Marylin. I doubt I’m the only person on the planet who is confident and calm. I’m not worried. Change happens. Humans adapt to change.

    • “Change happens. Humans adapt to change.” Ah, Julia, this message should be printed on a million bumper stickers!
      Also, you have a dog, and fur is part of your calm thinking, too, is my guess. 😉

  10. Nancy Parker Brummett

    Best advice I’ve heard yet.

  11. Haha..that sweet un-leashed dog doesn’t look in the least bit repentant! Oh Marylin, we here in the UK have been glued to the news of Trump’s election. What happens in the US affects us here too. I focused on remembering our war fallen today, it being Armistice/Rememberance/Veteran’s Day. Joining in with the two minute’s silence along on the TV at 11am this morning was calming – although sad – as I reflected on the bravery and sacrifice of our many soldiers. I think hugging a puppy is an excellent idea – or in our house, it would be a couple of cats! Sending love, hugs and prayers to you my friend for peace and calm to prevail in these turbulent times… ❤ xoxo

    • Sherri, your post today was superb. As I wrote in my comment, your husband’s grandfather’s name–Walter Rideout–is a perfect symbolic name for all soldiers, riding out and coming home. Your post was a tribute to all those who came home, and those who didn’t.
      Trump may very well surprise us all; and Hillary might have surprised us, too, but in the opposite way. There was no foretelling the future, but now we begin and do the best we can to unite, work together and improve things. And…hug our therapy dogs, even the little scamps like our Scout who run nonstop and wear us out.
      Hugs to you, dear Sherri. ; ❤

      • Oh Marylin, I’m just now catching up with blogging again, but I didn’t get your comment on my last post sadly. I was having trouble last week with my comments going to spam, so maybe it had something to do with that. I checked my own spam, but your comment wasn’t there either 😦 I just wanted you to know in case you were wondering why I hadn’t replied, and aplogise for that. Hopefully now it will be okay. I love the take you have on Walter Rideout…and I think we are definitely in for a lot of surprises. I hope things are settling down a little over there… Your Scout is adorable but I know also a lot of hard work! Hugs back my friend! ❤ xoxo

  12. I’m sure many Americans are feeling just like many Brits felt after Brexit. The pain dulls after a while, I promise. I must say I felt like posting ‘oh America, what have you done?’ But I guess we’ll all have to wait and see.
    Although not a particularly doggy person I do understand your thinking. I’ve got a teddy bear…will he do?

  13. Sweet and funny – the best medicine, Marylin. The synchronicity on our posts did not escape me either: Me, the power of touch this week & you, delightfully furry research. I didn’t know about the dogs deployed to Capitol Hill staffers nor Perino’s dog walker story.

    Since the election, I’ve not listened to any news except the weather in Florida which is exceptional.

    About de-stressors: Today I did a final “clear out” of our Killarney house. The ultimate de-stressor will be to hand over the keys, scheduled soon. 🙂

    Perfect posting for this Friday!

    • Thanks, Marian, And now, inspired by the example of your de-stressor, I have a new plan.
      You’ve motivated me to finish clearing out the guest room and closet–completely–bag and box the results, and deliver them to Goodwill and the women’s center…BEFORE Thanksgiving. Whew!
      Hmm…if I use the time each day to sort and clean out instead of listening to the news and the talk shows, that alone will probably get it done! YES! 🙂

  14. Don

    All very sad, Marylin, but I too have become so tired of all the negativity. These things, no matter how dark and disordered, have a way of working out.
    I love hugging my dog. Always gives me new perspective and hope, especially when I take him for his walk.

  15. Dogs and cats for some, can certainly make us feel more at peace and sense all the goodness in the world.
    The British solution is to put on the kettle and have a nice cup of tea.
    And many find the serenity prayer helpful with it’s wisdom.

  16. Hugging animals is definitely a way to de-stress – and also to watch how they live life, without prejudice and with enthusiasm.

    • And they’re so forgiving, too. At the shelter we see poor abandoned animals, rescued from abuse and neglect, but they are still open and hopeful that there are good people out there. We definitely can learn from them, Andrea.

  17. Jim

    Well, Mor Mor, we indeed have a resident stress-reliever in our home. Her name is Socut and she has become quite a cuddle-bunny. When she was a puppy we thought she was a handful, not because she would fit in our hands (which she did) but because of her constant, mischievous antics. Now that she is one year old and 31 lbs., we say she is a lap-full. With or without an invitation she jumps directly onto our laps and makes herself right at home. It makes my heart smile when she does it to you. After your initial shock, you let her curl up on your lap and start telling her what a wonderful girl she is and how much we love her. All this while you pet her gently. She rests her muzzle wherever convenient, closes her eyes, and totally relaxes , , , as do you too, sweetie, smiling with total contentment at the heavy bundle on your lap. ❤

  18. She is definitely our cuddle-bunny, Jim. And when I’m on the computer and you’re watching sports on TV, when I take a peek I see you both together on the sofa, napping and watching what’s going on, and just so comfortable and content. And when you go for a hike, she’s so glad to go along–and is even doing better staying with you–and you both come back “smiling.”
    And then she goes out in the back yard to dig something up, bury your work gloves, or bark at the dogs in the park. But that keeps us busy and involved, too, like being parents of a toddler again. 😉 She’s good for us.
    Love you, sweetie. ❤ ❤ ❤

  19. I hug every dog who allows me to come near him or her! And I smile while I hug. I also meditate first thing in the morning. Helps me destress. Lovely blog post. Thank you!

  20. Having just got our dog, Dot, 4 months ago, I can attest to the healing properties of being around a sweet canine. KEEP CALM AND HUG A PUPPY is the best advice I have heard in a long time!! I wish all the good folks in the USA a peaceful and satisfactory transition.

    • Hugging Scout (13 mos. old) calms us and makes us laugh…and we’re grateful for both, Darlene. Your Dot and our Scout really make Fur A Better Tomorrow. 😉
      Thank you, Darlene; we wish for the same peaceful, satisfactory transition.

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