About The Zen Dog
THE DOG’S DAYS OF TREATMENT – PT. I
YOU’VE AGREED to go to a treatment facility. Whether you feel you’ve chosen help or it’s been chosen for you (“a nudge from the judge”), this first step and the responsibilities that come with it can be overwhelming. There’s a whole slew of things you might worry about, such as: What’ll happen to your job (if you still have one)? Your home? Your friends? Your personal stuff? What about traveling to a new place and getting along with other clients? Will you have a roommate? What about the staff? Will you like anybody? What are people back home going to say? And ultimately, will treatment really work?
IN THE MIDST of this emotional upheaval you may also have to decide the fate of your dog(s). For many alcoholics and addicts, their pet is a sole source of comfort; a breathing example of unconditional love. Though in your addiction you may fail to walk them, feed them, bathe them, or get them proper medical care they keep coming back. That dogged face of loyalty can be a guilt bomb in itself. In some cases people will even elect not to go to treatment rather than risk losing their companion. Questions like these loom: Is there a treatment center that’ll let you bring your pal? If you leave him behind who’ll take care of him? Your friends may not be very reliable and your family may be fed up. If she comes with you, then who will care for her? Your days are going to be full; meetings, groups, therapy, classes, family days, etc. If you could find a facility that welcomed dogs, what would he do once he got there? Any of these questions left unanswered could be deal breakers. Before you get to that point please know there is a place for you and your faithful friend.
THE ONE80CENTER in Beverly Hills understands that your dog is family, not like family. He/she is an integral part of your life and vital to your recovery. That’s why they’ve partnered with Matt Beisner, owner of THE ZEN DOG, a dog behavioral rehabilitation practice that specializes in caring for dogs whose owners are in recovery. You can have the peace of mind that comes with knowing your loved one’s needs are being met, while you (re) learn how to meet your own. Daily hikes, walks, playtime, and ‘pack naps’ are some of the services offered. Matt has also created THE RUFF PROJECT, a private owner-dog training method designed to supplement the individual’s recovery program.
KNOWING YOUR companion will be with you on this personal journey can ease the “dark days” of early sobriety. Many have said that focusing on their dog’s well-being was what “got them through the day”. Meeting one’s basic needs like eating and getting enough rest had new purpose knowing their buddy was depending on them. To be sure, staying sober will require a new relationship with yourself but it may be the one you already have with your faithful friend that’ll help you trudge that road. You may come to discover that your selfless acts of caring for him/her become the very foundation upon which your sobriety is built. Commitment, consistency, and accountability are all trademarks of a healthy recovery; dogs offer an easy entry way back into the world of discipline and responsibility. As you enter into treatment you may not see much light at the end of the tunnel, but here at THE ONE80CENTER we invite and encourage you to take these new steps with an old friend.
Next: Pt. II – How living like a dog changed my sobriety…