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How Gratitude Will Help You Cope: Living Gratitude Series

She calls herself The Doglady and you know how that would get me interested, right? I’m so happy to welcome Debbie here today. We met via a Facebook Blogging Group and I love her colourful personality and writing style. Debbie is someone who, in my opinion, lives life big and I truly admire that about her.
I’m going to let her introduce herself.
Thank you for your post and for being you, Debbie.


DEBBIE The “Doglady”.

Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada.

Writer/blogger at THE DOGLADY’S DEN, animal lover, music fanatic,inveterate traveller, history, literature and cinema buff.   Follow me on: Twitter / Facebook  / Google+ / Gravatar link

How Gratitude Will Help You Cope

Thank you Corinne Rodrigues, for inviting me to take part in your “Living Gratitude” series. It’s truly an honour!


 Firstly, let me tell you that I’m neither a religious nor a spiritual person. In fact, my sensibilities tend towards the cynical and skeptical. You could even call me a hardcore pragmatist.

This is bound to turn a few people off and they may stop reading, right here. No matter; my instructions for this article were to “be myself”, so, let’s get to it!


Life is not always wonderful and sometimes, when we’re mired in the depths of despair we lose sight of how privileged we really are. There’s an old Persian proverb that illustrates this so well:

“I wept because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet.”

That’s right, folks. No matter what, (unless you’re dead), things could always be worse!


Hate your boss or your job? Be grateful you’re not unemployed!

A few positive things you can do here: – Think of all the unfortunate people who are struggling to make ends meet, because they lost their jobs. Be grateful that you’re not one of them.

-Try not to let your work situation rule your entire existence. Clock out, go home and forget about it, as much as possible. Enjoy your personal life, family and friends. Don’t make the mistake I did and let the job be all-consuming. This only leads to elevated stress levels and burnout.

– Update your  resumé.

– Look for a better job, but on your own time.

Got laid off or fired? Be grateful for the chance to start over!

If somebody had said that to me after my job was eliminated, they would have received an earful, but, once the shock wore off, a sense of relief crept in. It had been a toxic situation for a long time. A couple of other old proverbs fit well, here:

“Every cloud has a silver lining.”


“When one door closes, another one opens”

This was a very rough period, as my husband also lost his job. Some serious financial difficulties ensued, but we survived.

“It could be worse” was a mantra I had to keep repeating, because honestly, we were pretty stressed in those days.

At times, it was a huge struggle to remain positive, but, in the end, these thoughts kept me going. You may also find them useful: “At least we have each other.”

“At least we’re not sick.”

“At least we’re not homeless”

“It’s not the end of the world.”

“There’s nothing to be ashamed of.”

“We’re not the only ones experiencing this.”

“We will find a solution and get back on our feet.”

It took several years, but we did eventually recover. The “silver lining” in the clouds was that I started my own business, doing something I love; taking care of dogs. It’ll never make me rich, but, it pays quite a few bills and allows me to have balance in life.



Difficulties can seem insurmountable, but somehow, “life goes on”.

Just keep reminding yourself “it’s only temporary”.

You WILL survive!

In 2010, my father was diagnosed with lung cancer. (He and my mother had moved to San Diego, California – over 2000 miles from Toronto- in the 1970s.) This started a chain of events that continued for almost two years. All of the responsibility fell on me, an only child. I flew back and forth a total of eight times during that period. Imagine leaving your home, husband and business so often, for several weeks at a stretch and trying to cope with everything on your own! When the anxiety became overwhelming, I made a point of taking short breaks and reflecting on the plus side of things. This got me through the worst times and I am most grateful for:

– My husband, who kept things running smoothly at home and patiently listened to my rantings and ravings. He was such a comfort! After more than four decades together, a certain amount of complacency had set in, but we are closer than ever now. Those frequent, prolonged absences made us appreciate each other anew!

– Good friends, who took care of the clients’ dogs when hubby was working.

– Clients who were sympathetic to and accepting of the situation.

– Music! Head phones on – hard rock blasting at FULL VOLUME!! Works every time, especially when I’m ready to explode!

– The fabulous weather and beautiful scenery of Southern California. I was especially grateful for that during the winter months.

– My laptop and online friends; when I needed a distraction.

So you see, no matter how dreadful the situation, there is always something to be grateful for! ♦♦♦♦♦ Adversity shapes our characters and makes us more resilient to life’s battering ram.


You know it!

Debbie signature (2)


  1. […] made my day and encouraged me!  Corinne then invited me to write a guest post for her “Living Gratitude” series at “Everyday Gyaan”.  Truly a challenge, as the subject matter was out […]

  2. Carol Graham Carol Graham July 19, 2014

    As always, your post was inspiring and right on the money. Attitude means everything and will carry you through trauma, big and small. Always appreciate your posts, Debbie.
    Carol Graham recently posted..How to Handle the Little (Big) ThingsMy Profile

  3. Corina Ramos Corina Ramos November 20, 2013

    Hi there Debbie!

    I was just over at your place and came right on over. I just love the way you write Debbie!
    That’s why I’m so glad we connected…I just love the positive energy you give out. It’s so easy to be negative and in a rut all day but the day would go by so much faster and more peaceful if we had this very mindset.

    I’m actually going to write some of these down and tape them to my computer. I can look up at them to remind me how great things really are before slipping into panic mode :).

    Hope all is well my rocker friend! Hope you’re having a great Tuesday!
    Corina Ramos recently posted..It’s A Christmas Baker’s Edition Giveaway!My Profile

    • Debbie Debbie November 20, 2013

      Hi Corina; Thanks so much for the compliment and I’m glad the post was helpful, in some way. 🙂 Sometimes, I get down and depressed too, but am able to shake it off by taking stock of all the good things. We’ve been through some very rough times and survived to tell the tale. Have a great rest of the week, my friend!
      Debbie recently posted..GREEK ODYSSEY – PART IIIMy Profile

  4. Kathy Kathy November 19, 2013

    There is always a bright side and this post exhibited it in every way possible. It was so uplifting! I honestly believer that good can be found in every situation and that everything happens good or bad for an important reason. ♥
    Kathy recently posted..Only One Knows AllMy Profile

    • Debbie Debbie November 19, 2013

      Hi Kathy; Yes, looking on the bright side was what got me through some difficult periods. thanks for visiting! 😀
      Debbie recently posted..GREEK ODYSSEY – PART IIIMy Profile

  5. Debbie Debbie November 18, 2013

    Hi Lisa; Yes, the beautiful surroundings certainly made it a little easier to cope with a difficult situation. I was also fortunate enough to meet two online friends while there and am grateful for that, too. My husband was truly my rock and this whole thing brought us closer together. Will be forever grateful….Thanks for visiting. 🙂

  6. Lisa Lisa November 18, 2013

    What a great inspiring post Debbie! Of course I loved Southern CA and can see why you were grateful to be living there as I am to have visited there. I too am grateful for my online friends when things are not going well in real life, they sure can pick me up. You are so fortunate to have an understand hubby too – hope you have a great week ahead Debbie.
    Lisa recently posted..Does The Facebook Algorithm Change Your Friends?My Profile

  7. Debbie Debbie November 17, 2013

    Hello Usha; I always fight back! Don’t know how to live any other way. 🙂 Glad you liked my story and thanks for visiting.
    Debbie recently posted..GREEK ODYSSEY – PART IIIMy Profile

  8. Suzy Suzy November 17, 2013

    Music always lifts me up too. Yes things could be worse but hindsight is a very good thing. It’s a discipline to remember that the window always opens. Nicely written.
    Suzy recently posted..Running with meMy Profile

    • Debbie Debbie November 17, 2013

      Hi Suzy; Can’t imagine getting through life without music. 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the post and thanks for visiting.
      Debbie recently posted..GREEK ODYSSEY – PART IIIMy Profile

  9. Talya Tate Boerner Talya Tate Boerner November 17, 2013

    Since I ‘met’ you, I’ve enjoyed reading your blog and this post is no exception. Great reminder on the subject of gratitude. Yes, things can always be worse.

    • Debbie Debbie November 17, 2013

      Thank you, Talya. 🙂 I also enjoy your writing. People sometimes get annoyed with me when I start spouting these phrases, but, they’re absolutely true. Cheers!
      Debbie recently posted..GREEK ODYSSEY – PART IIIMy Profile

  10. Linda Linda November 16, 2013

    HI Debbie! I love reading your stories, and I’m grateful to of been part of your California time! It was fun to share some time with you while you were here, hope we get the chance to do it again someday.


    • Debbie Debbie November 17, 2013

      Hi Linda! I’m grateful for your friendship and really enjoyed our time together. ♥ It was a wonderful break from all the drama going on at home.
      Debbie recently posted..WORDLESS WEDNESDAY: ART IMITATES LIFEMy Profile

  11. Cathy Graham Cathy Graham November 16, 2013

    Loved your post, Debbie as I do your blog. You tell it like it is and are so honest and true. So true about there always being something to be grateful for no matter how bad it gets. And out of something bad, you can always find something good if you look hard enough.

    Love from your fellow Canadian, Cat from Ottawa!

    • Debbie Debbie November 16, 2013

      Hi Cat; Glad you enjoyed the post. Yes, I have always been a forthright, “no holds barred” kind of person. 🙂 I enjoy your blog as well and will be making the rounds shortly. Great to connect with a fellow citizen! We are only 5 hours apart, by car. Cheers!
      Debbie recently posted..HOME AGAIN AFTER 41 YEARS!My Profile

  12. Proactive Indian Proactive Indian November 16, 2013

    “I’m neither a religious nor a spiritual person. In fact, my sensibilities tend towards the cynical and skeptical. You could even call me a hardcore pragmatist.” The moment I read these lines, I knew I’d love your post because it could be I saying those lines. And love it I did!

    Almost all the one-liners in your post are my favourites, including my all-time favourite: “I wept because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet.”

    Thank you for a super-duper post, Debbie!!
    Proactive Indian recently posted..Genuine apology or ‘Chulbul Pandey’ apology?My Profile

    • Debbie Debbie November 16, 2013

      Nice to meet a kindred spirit, Proactive Indian! 🙂 So glad you enjoyed the post. Have a good weekend.
      Debbie recently posted..GREEK ODYSSEY – PART IIIMy Profile

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