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Michelle Gottlieb Psy.D., MFT, LPCC
Individual, Couple and Family Therapy
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Warm Puppy

I was reflecting on writing this column that we need to find ways to feel safe and calm and peaceful, especially given the news that bombards us day after day, with relentless tragedies. I started to re-read some of my past columns to see if there were words that would spark me for today’s column. I found this column from 2012. We all need to find our own “warm puppy” to get through these days and be able to enjoy what we do have.

Remember the Peanuts book that stated, “Happiness is a Warm Puppy”? For some people that is a very true statement. It certainly is in my family. Any time any member of my family is down, sad, had a bad day, or in any other way needs some TLC, we grab one of our dogs. Dogs are exceptional at giving unconditional love.

Puppies may not engender the same response in you, which is fine, as long as you know what does give you that warm, fuzzy feeling when you are feeling blue. Perhaps it is getting a hug from a family member, talking on the phone to a friend, snuggling up on the couch with a warm blanket. Again, it really does not matter, as long as you know what makes you feel better.

It is unreasonable to think that we can just, by sheer will power alone, pull ourselves up. We often need help. Just thinking, “Okay, it is time to just get over it!” is not generally successful. However, when we take the time out to nurture ourselves, then we may have enough resilience built up to start feeling better.

So, your assignment: go out and find what your warm puppy is! You will be able to find me sitting on the couch, snuggling my dog.

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