Sam’s blog

Feeling growly

“Sometimes I feel growly.

My body becomes tense, my lip curls, my hackles go up along my back and a rumble comes from deep inside me, outward.

Does this happen to you too? How do you know when you are growly?

Sometimes I have mixed emotions going on in my body, I am growly at the front end and waggy at the back end.

Feeling growly is an important emotion as it lets me know something needs addressing.

Maybe I am scared or feeling threatened?

Maybe I am in pain or being hurt?

Maybe I need to put a boundary down that hasn’t been listened to.

It lets me and others know that something important that I care about is happening. That I matter.

Being growly doesn’t mean I am going to bite………..

I’ve noticed that it can also change really quickly.

I am lucky that us dogs don’t go over and over stuff in our minds. We are in the moment, so when that moment has passed so does the emotion in the body.

We like to have a good shake and waggle too, to release the energy of growly tension. A good zoomie and a bark.

Being a zen puppy doesn’t mean I am only happy and relaxed; rather it means I allow all my emotions as they are all important and I embrace my full dogginess.

Zen puppies get growly too.”

Love Sam 🐾


Sam the zen puppy blog

Sam’s blog August 1st 2022

I have been a very busy puppy, no, not chasing balls or sticks or following sniffs….I have been looking after Rob and Kate, while they were not allowed to go out.

I am not sure what they had done, to not be allowed out: but it seemed to involve much lying around, coughing, sneezing and watching Netflix!

I actually think it did them some good to stay put for a while and rest, it is winter after all…isn’t that what we are supposed to do?

I have noticed that humans seem to have difficulty with resting, which is confusing to me as everything else in nature knows how important it is, just as vital as the running about or chewing your bone bit.

My best zoomies are always when I have had some good, focused, and serious resting.

 I find I feel more growly when I haven’t had my rest.

Mum says that she thinks my bounciness and love comes from my ability to do really good resting: on the bed, the floor, the couch…especially in a sun puddle, that is the best place!

One day I hope humans remember how to do the resting part as well as the zooming.

May I recommend the on the floor position, on your back with legs splayed, like you just don’t care!

Love Sam



Sam the zen puppy blog

As a Labrador retriever I feel naturally drawn to certain things. I feel incredibly happy, joyful and in my flow when I am doing stuff that is my purpose. Mum says this is because I get a treat inside my brain called doggy-mine or something like that.

I am wired to love water, any water, from a fetid puddle to my mum’s steaming bathtub. I don’t know why particularly, it just is…..I feel connected to my ancestors even though I didn’t know them.

It feels soooooo good when I get to do what I’m here to do.

Like carrying things, I’m really good at carrying things, I carry dad’s gum boots, mums undies off the washing line and my absolute favourite….. a pine cone. Oh how I love carrying a pine cone!

I feel all dog, I feel I am living my purpose.

Mum just loves seeing the joy in me as I do what I love when I run bouncily free, ears a flap, tail up carrying a pine cone or stick.

It’s funny it seems that when I am living my purpose it brings other joy too? Maybe it reminds them to do the same?

I’m not good at digging holes, or running real fast after things, or biting people like some other canines nor at making beautiful art like the spiders, sweet music like the birds, or yummy soil like the worms.

This doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with me, they are just not my purpose.

My sense of purpose may change over the years too, but right now my purpose is to be by my mum’s side on the couch.

just being with.

I don’t need to do anything; my presence and love is all that matters. This too is very much a purpose.

To love and be with.




Sam the zen puppy blog

” Mum says doggy lives are too short and that we therefore are great teachers on how to live well.

Here are some of my secrets to a happy life

Start the day with a good stretch and going outside, feeling the earth under your paws and sniffing the air

Be surprised and happy to see everyone (even if they only popped away for a few minutes.)

Don’t hold onto to stuff that isn’t happening right now or not yours…… shake it off.

See everyone through the eyes of love and what is good about them.

Always enjoy expressing your voice with a good bark in the garden or car.

Rest often and a lot and anywhere. Especially in sunny spots.

Enjoy just being with someone and resting still and silent together.

Make time for the simple pleasures in life : connection, moving your body, sniffing the air, drinking cool water, body wiggles and shakes, rolling around on the ground.

Allow all moods from full on zoomies of joy to total puppy slump and everything in between , restlessness , sleepiness, to come and go

When you feel like bouncing , do it! (just not on people…I got told off for that)

Share your love (even when the other is in the bath or on toilet)

Do something you love everyday even if it is for a few minutes (chewing my bone) as it releases dopamine the happy chemicals.

When someone is sad, its ok…. maybe try licking their face or hand, just sitting with them while they are sad.

Don’t hold in your love, let it out….I really think this is why humans are so uptight and get constipated?

Practice not following every urge, as I’ve found these pass and I feel like a good boy when I am less impulsive.

Treat each day as an opportunity for love.

Finally a word of wisdom from my experience… be excited to see someone, wiggle your butt…..but try not to pee on them 😊

Sam the zen puppy



Zen puppy blog

I haven’t been blogging for a while I know; I have been focusing on my inner pup and to be honest my writer has been a little distracted.

I am very grown up now, I have had my second birthday already. I have been enjoying being part of the Mindfulness North Canterbury mindfulness retreats, offering people my uncensored love and presence. Have you been on a Labrador assisted mindfulness retreat?

I have made friends with Basil the cat….finally. When he was feeling unwell recently, I was there for him, with my loving licks and bouncy bottom. I know what it feels like to not feel well and be scared. We may be very different in what we like and want (although we both like his cat biscuits a lot) but we have found a way to put our differences aside to find a way to connect.

We do have some communication misunderstandings; it seems wagging of tails is not the same for cats? We keep trying though to find a way to understand each other and how we see the world based on our own past experiences and make up. We stay curious with each other.

We have some clear boundaries of what is ok for us (well Basil does anyway)We try to understand each other, acknowledging we come from different places (and species).

We also have a lot in common, we both love food, want to be loved, and want to feel safe and connected. We share a love for sunny spots, log burners, beds, yoga mats and couches too.

When we are fearful, it is harder to connect and remember our common ground.

Time for a nap on that couch I think

Sam the zen puppy