Hello, I am wagging my tail in greeting right now. My name is Ozzie Rogers, aka The Oz Man, and I am here to share my story. I am Delight’s loyal companion, self-appointed wellness coach, and an artist in my own right. I sure am glad that I joined this family when I did. Delight may not have realized it, but she needed me.
Sometimes I have to help Delight get inspired creatively and then, together, we create some truly special art. We collaborate. I hold a brush with my teeth or guide her hand with my nose nudges and tail wags. It is a fusion of my human’s creativity and my canine intuition.
I’ve got an eye for all things creative, and I know good art when I see it. My days are filled with art. My head fills with the scents — the smell of paint, the faint traces of past masterpieces, and the comforting scent of my partner and friend.
When I create solo and get in my flow, my paws become my paintbrushes and abstract masterpieces appear on the canvas. My marks are bold, free and untamed, just like the wind in my fur during a fast run. Colors have become my friends. I’ve developed a deep appreciation for how the blues and yellows come together to tell stories that can only come from a dog like me.
As Delight’s wellness coach, I am her guide on the journey to a more peaceful and grounded state of being. I know that painting is the thing that makes her most happy, so I faithfully support her while she’s busy doing that, but I also have the job of making sure she takes breaks and gets outside into nature. That’s the other thing that makes her feel really good — nature — and that part is my favorite part, too. We take trips to the lake, walk in the rain and play catch in the park.
Let’s talk about mindfulness. I’m a master of living in the moment. On our walks, I’m not thinking about what’s for dinner or what’s on TV later. No way, I’m fully present, soaking in the sights, sounds and scents of the world around us. I have to remind Delight to do the same. The prize: no more racing thoughts, just pure unadulterated Zen.
Our favorite movie is based on the book by Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain. It makes us both sad and happy at the same time. Delight and I have a good cry. I have to tell her every time that crying is cathartic. The messages in this movie really speak to me and I encourage her to meditate on these morsels of wisdom:
- There is no dishonor in losing the race. There is only dishonor in not racing because you are afraid to lose.
- That which is around me does not affect my mood; my mood affects that which is around me.
- You should shine with all of your light all the time.
When Delight meditates, it isn’t much fun for me. She wants me to not move and not make any noise. A lot of the time I’ll bring her toys just in case she’s not focused and needs a happy distraction.
First thing every morning, we are ready to hit the nature trail for a brisk morning walk. Sometimes I have to remind Delight how invigorating the crisp morning air will be! I lead the way, of course, setting a “just right” pace. Together, we conquer those hills and join the birds in greeting the sunrise.
Guess what else? I’m an expert downward-dog practitioner. Aussies like me can stretch and contort in ways that’ll have your jaw hit the floor. They don’t call me The Oz Man for nothing! Delight prefers yin yoga and for me, the long stretches are a little tiresome. I use this time to perfect the resting dog pose! I think I may have invented this one myself; nevertheless, it’s a good one.
Any good wellness coach knows that it is as much about the heart and soul as it is the body. That’s where cuddle time comes in. When she needs me, I will be there with a wagging tail and a gentle nudge, ready to climb into Delight’s lap and use the power of connection and love — it’s the best medicine. Sometimes, that’s all we need.
When we are not creating art or practicing wellness, I follow her everywhere. Sometimes I can tell that she doesn’t like it, but how else can I keep her safe?
As a dog, being an artist and a wellness coach is quite a ride. It’s in the rustling leaves, the crashing waves, and the warmth of a sunbeam on my fur. It’s in the connection I share with Delight, the walks in nature and the art we create together. Through it all, we have discovered that art and wellness aren’t what you create — it’s what you feel, what you experience, and how you share it with the world. That’s the true essence of being.