Relaxing Moments

Puppy Sleeping WIth Stuffed Fox Animal Ausky Watercolor Illustration

For Day 29 of World Watercolor Month and our optional prompt of “Rest,” I made a little sketch of my puppy Elliott resting with one of the first toys I gave him that we call Foxy. Well, this is actually Foxy 2 as he managed to chew through the first one. We found him covered in a pile of cotton and looking really forlorn as though total destruction hadn’t really been his actual plan and he wasn’t sure what to do next. So, we picked him up another one and he was super happy. Instead of chewing through it, he cuddled up with Foxy 2 and simply went to sleep. I love watching him when he gets this restful. Sometimes he stretches out as he’s gotten much bigger than when he was a puppy. But on some occasions, he still manages to curl up into this impossibly small ball with all four of his big paws stacked together. It’s a level of comfort I envy. When I look at him, I start to wonder about the times that I feel that level of contentment. I’m generally a bit restless most days.

So, I did the first thing that came to mind. I crawled down on the floor and tried to curl up next to him. I don’t curl like I used to at this age, but it still felt perfectly wonderful as he made a soft noise that sounded a bit like purring. In that moment with him, everything that was weighing on my mind drifted off to other mental corners and soon disappeared. So, I stayed there with him for several minutes, enjoying that wonderful feeling of nothing that somehow feels like everything. I could feel my heart rate slow as I drifted into a state of pure relaxation. I’m sure Elliott is very aware of what we do for him. From spoiling him with too many toys and only the best treats, he knows his life is generally quite wonderful. Though sure, he does think that Philippe and I could play about a thousand percent more, but other than that, it’s all pretty good. What I’m not sure he quite understands yet is how much he does for us.

Though having a dog, and indeed a puppy, takes a lot of extra time and commitment, there’s certainly a phenomenal return on investment. It’s worth it. For every time I’m pestered into playing with a toy while testing the limits of my own attention span, I’m always rewarded with bright eyes and that goofy, loving smile. Elliott’s tail will wag in a way that signals something we adult humans often only dream about feeling. Pure and limitless joy. It’s a good reminder to even those of us without tails to consider what it would really take to make them wag if we had them. What truly brings joy and what’s just another thing to be doing. Learning the difference makes all of the difference. So, as I head into another wonderful pizza night, I’m happy to be enjoying time with my little family as we experience the bountiful benefits that come from relaxing moments.

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Puppy Sleeping WIth Stuffed Fox Animal Ausky Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Detail

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17 Comments
  1. Laura Hale 2 weeks ago

    Aaahhh, puppy snuggles and pizza. It just doesn’t get any better. Enjoy!

  2. Karen Sliwinski 2 weeks ago

    Even Foxy looks contented😊

  3. scrittoralinda 2 weeks ago

    Charlie I can see you curled up! That is awesome! Happy pizza-ing too.

  4. mlaiuppa 2 weeks ago

    I have a few photos of my previous dog, Ramses, snuggled like that with a favorite toy. He used to love the cheap latex squeaky toys. He did eat one to get at the squeaker, but like Elliot, was crushed that it didn’t squeak any more. But he seemed to figure it out because that was the last toy he destroyed. I bought him others and he would enjoy them, squeaking them gently but no more biting holes in them. Diana has slept with toys but Freyja not so much. Likely because she had no toys during her puppyhood. But she is certainly enjoying all of her beds, the Coolaroo outside and her Kopecks inside. She is the one that is so secure and content she will sleep on her back, belly exposed.

    Elliot will never know how very lucky he is. None of them do. Well, Freyja did live on the streets for a time and I have no idea what her beginnings were or if she remembers and is grateful. It may account for the obsessive amount of kissing.

    Yes, while we may get a dog initially for what they can do for us, in the end we spend our lives doing for them, which is also a gift they give to us. I am convinced that my parent’s Dolly has kept them alive. I wasn’t sure about them getting a puppy four years ago was a very good thing to do at age 88. I had counseled an older dog, one perhaps already house trained. But my Mom managed to live through the house training and terrible teens and Dolly has ended up being perfect for them. And for the first time in their lives, they are allowing a dog to sleep in the bed with them. I think that is also keeping them alive, having that warm body with them, allowing them a deeper, more restful sleep.

    That looks like the Kong Floppy Knot Fox toy. Kong makes great toys. Diana is obsessed with their large squeaky tennis ball. When she was Elliot’s age she slept with her Kong Wubba, just like that.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much!! 😃💕 Yep, it’s the Kong toy… it lasted quite awhile, but he managed to tear through the first one! lol And that’s wonderful that your parents have a perfect companion! Love that!

  5. Sandra Strait 2 weeks ago

    The health benefits of having a dog are well known. Of course, that extends to other pets as well, but the pack mentality of our canine pals makes them something special indeed.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Truly special! 😃💕 Yep… Philippe and I will always have a dog by our side.

    • mlaiuppa 2 weeks ago

      Medical studies have shown that they lower blood pressure.

  6. ria 2 weeks ago

    so sweet, thank for sharing this in such beautiful painting

  7. shawnthompsonart 2 weeks ago

    Cute Dawg!! He really looks well rested.

  8. Mugdha 2 weeks ago

    Hello Charlie,

    That Doodlewash looks blissful! And ‘that wonderful feeling of nothing that somehow feels like everything’ is definitely one of your most quotable quotes. What a beautiful and thorough description. It felt like I’d just sipped through a cup of rich smooth hot chocolate. I’m gonna write that down Charlie and read it over and over when I’m feeling unsettled or restless. You gave me a gift today. Thanks much and big hug 🙂

    Loads of love Charlie,
    Mugdha

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Mugdha! 😃💕 Aww I’m so thrilled you enjoyed this post today. When you quote me like that, I’m like… did I say that? I never remember what I ramble on about! 😊 hehe Big hugs to you and much love!

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