When a human perceives a threat, the body activates the stress response. The stress response occurs in both your body and brain. The stress response triggers a very short circuit in your brain that directs us to fight or to flee and your body starts doing what it needs to be strong enough to do it. Adrenaline and other hormones are released.  Our most important concern is survival.  In that moment we are both in need of protection and at the same time others may need protection from us.

Throughout my professional life I have observed this response in the people I have worked with whom have experienced multiple traumas, interpersonal and environmental. When there is too much trauma the circuit and your body does not turn off, having a physical impact that damages your body and brain. Society likes to split the flight or fight reaction into victim and offenders when in fact the short circuit response tells us we can be either or both/and.

Our trainer, who has an advanced degree in animal behavior confirmed my suspicion, dogs have the same reaction to trauma and abuse that we do. The constant influx of stress hormones impacts the entire body of a dog and in the case of our dog includes his digestive system. Because our dog is so cute, people find it impossible to believe he can be dangerous.  Sometimes they make us feel mean because we make him wear a muzzle (which by the way took several weeks of gentle training to get him accustomed to).  But the irony of it is that we must protect him and protect others from him.

A muzzle is like a bodyguard and offers protection, often from ourselves-just like my beautiful Yamamoto coat.

Accidental Icon Wears

Black Silk Coar with Brown Lining: Yohji Yamamoto, Black Pleated Wrap Dress: Ivan Grundahl, Black Zipper Booties: Acne Studios, Tortoise Vintage Earrings, Dawn’s Vintage