Like many of you, our family is made up of people and-dogs! Looking at this photograph recently, I was thinking that the animal world has lessons it can teach us. This photo of two of our family dogs shows the tough, animalistic nature of dogs when left to be their canine selves.

The little chihuaha, Daisy, you see here is a hard-core city girl adopted from the south side of Chicago. Daisy takes no guff from anyone and can make even the most self-assured dogs stand down . For example, our usually tough female dog, Carmen, a stubborn and surefooted Beagle, is no match when “Princess Daisy” is visiting and wants to give her a run for her money.

Then along comes Tiggah, an old gentle grampa dog with a strong lineage. I always call him a champion which he was as a younger pup. He is a wirecoated Ibezan Hound, the same breed of dog sketched on the walls of the pyramids who were hunting dogs in Cleopatra’s lair. Our Tiggah is regal, hunts like a spy on a mission, and leaps like a deer. This image of old Tiggah with the usually spunky Daisy in a powerlock captures an important part of human nature and mental health. Sometimes, despite the fears and the threats, we have to claim who we really are and stand up for ourselves.

Young Daisy tried as hard as she could to intimidate the usually mild-mannered Tiggah but he was not having any of that. His innate power told him to stand up for himself. Similary, when the stresses of life start to pile on, please remember that you have the power and that you are stronger than anything that life can throw your way. You too are regal and brave; you have the power to define your path and stand up for yourself and your pack.


About the Author: Dr. Reinaldo Matias

Dr. Reinaldo Matias is a clinical psychologist who provides care and therapy for children, teens and adults at Lighthouse Counseling and Wellness in Michigan City. He can be reached at or 219-916-0239.

We know it’s a big step.

Talk to us today.