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Blog — polyvagal theory

Handler Self-Care Part One: Your Oxygen Mask

Handler Self-Care Part One: Your Oxygen Mask

We all know the drill: you put on your own oxygen mask first, THEN you help others. But this doesn't just hold true in emergencies, we need to make this a practice in every day life! I've noticed that when I let myself get super stressed and run down, I'm not a very good caretaker to my animals. I end up walking around like a zombie and don't have energy to give them the time, attention, and exercise they deserve. So let's do something about that! Taking time for yourself should be a daily practice. Today I took time for...


How to Tell if Your Dog is Socially Engaged

How to Tell if Your Dog is Socially Engaged

Dogs are like humans in many ways, including their biology. An important biological element that we share is the 10th cranial nerve, also known as the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve connects the brain to the body and helps regulate the autonomic nervous system in both humans and dogs. When all is going well our ventral vagus is in charge, and we have feelings of safety and comfort. Our breathing and movements are easy and joyful. We are in a state of flow, showing playful behavior while interacting with others. When we start to sense fear or perceive danger, this system also helps...

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