Meet Jennifer

Writer. Photographer. Dog Wellness Advocate.

My Four Dogs Brought Me Back to Life

In my decade as a pet photographer, I met women who had the most incredible stories of love, loyalty and healing – thanks to their dogs.

Women who tried to hold back tears while they told me how their dogs sat by their sides through cancer. Kept them company through a painful divorce. Filled the void when they learned they couldn’t have children of their own. Became the last shared connection to a spouse who had passed on too early.

Even saved them from taking their own lives.

These stories always touched me and pushed me to create the most beautiful images I could. I shot a little longer and tried a little harder so that they could have gorgeous, heart-stopping photos of the companions that meant so much to them.

But to be honest, I didn’t truly understand how much a dog can mean until I went through heartache of my own.

A week before our 20th wedding anniversary, my husband and I filed for divorce. I had learned from watching him not to numb myself with addictions and denial, so I committed to letting the feelings come up and working my way through whatever I found.

The pain turned to grief, grief turned into depression, and the depression turned into paralyzing fear and fatigue. The more I explored my feelings, the faster and harder they came. What started as a mourning period for our marriage turned into the suffocating awareness of just how unhealthy the relationship had been. How unhealthy most of my relationships have been.

I became consumed with the fear of rejection and the idea that I had never been good enough, would never be good enough.

I became terrified of opening myself up to anyone else. I started having panic attacks when too many people were around. I retreated from life, preferring long walks in the woods with my dogs over interactions with people. When the people you love the most hurt you the worst, how can you learn to trust again?

Then one random day, I remember coming home and seeing my dogs wagging their stubby little tails and dancing with excitement at the sight of me. It had happened thousands of times before, but for some reason, that day it really struck me: my beloved babies were dancing with excitement at the sight of me.

How powerful is that?

“In my dogs’ eyes, I was good enough.

I was loved.

I was lovable.”

It only lasted a second or two, but it was perhaps the first time I’d ever truly felt good enough.

That one moment opened up something in me, and it led me, over time, to stop letting other people—especially those who don’t even like themselves—to define my worth for me or decide whether or not I am lovable.

It is not an overstatement to say that I was healed by my dogs.

They not only surrounded me with their pure, unconditional love, but I also found a sense of normalcy in caring for them. No matter what I was feeling, I still had to make sure their needs were met. They needed walks, which got me moving. They needed to play, which got me laughing. They needed affection, which gave me comfort. As I met their needs, they gave me affection in return—and showed me again what love feels like.

Now it is my goal to give my dogs the same love and healing in return.

As I put the pieces of my life back together, I became obsessed with two questions:

How can I feel happier and healthier? And how can I do the same for my dogs?

I spent years researching everything from plant medicine and ancient Shamanic wisdom to cutting-edge neuroscience and subconscious transformation, looking for the most effective methods for creating lasting health and happiness in my life and my dogs’ life.

What I learned not only freed me from fear, grief and depression, but it also dramatically improved the health and vitality of my four dogs.

Our healing became a cyclical fountain of wellness. As I healed, so did they. As they became happier and healthier, so did I.

I found that the best way to heal our dogs is to heal ourselves first.

Our dogs absorb—and often mirror—our own energy.  When you can give yourself the same love and care you give your dogs, you create a transformational cycle of healing that no food, enrichment or training can provide.

It is now my mission to show other dog moms the psychological and spiritual transformations that took me from feeling lost and unlovable to unconditional love and happiness–and that added years of vitality to the lives of my dogs.

Become a Happy Dog Mom

Join with me as I share simple steps—all backed by research and experience—that you can take today to create more joy and energy for you, and for your dog.

Let’s build a dog mom community where we can share the messy, funny, healing, tearful stories about what our dogs mean to us, what makes us happy, and what struggles we face chasing health and happiness.

Let’s gain a deeper understanding of what our dogs truly desire. We give so much attention to how we train and what we feed our dogs, but we’re missing the key ingredients to health and happiness. At an emotional and spiritual level, our dogs aren’t that different than us. It’s time to re-imagine pet parenting by treating our dogs as the conscious, communicative, energetic beings that they are—and creating a deeper, more fulfilling bond than ever before.

happy dog mom jennifer waters sitting with three boxer dogs

Jennifer Waters is a former journalist, healthcare content writer and owner of Grumpy Pups Pet Photography. As the founder of Happy Dog Mom, she is obsessed with finding ways to feel happier and healthier for herself and her four senior Boxers.

Berkley University

Science of Human Happiness Certification

Duke University

Dog Emotion & Cognition Certification

Join the Happy Dog Mom Movement.

Sign up for as much or as little as you want. You’re welcome any way you come.

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happy dog mom jennifer waters sitting with three boxer dogs

BECOME A HAPPY DOG MOM

 

Get the best baby steps to better health and happiness (for you and your dog) delivered to your inbox twice a month.

Connect with other dog moms who understand.

Share your story. What does your dog mean to you?

 

Did we mention it's free?

You're in! *happy dance* Please check your email to make sure your inbox is happy to hear from us, too!

BECOME A HAPPY DOG MOM

 

Get baby steps to better health and happiness (for you and your dog) delivered to your inbox twice a month!

 

You're in! *happy dance* Please check your email to make sure your inbox is happy to hear from us, too!

happy dog mom jennifer waters sitting with three boxer dogs

BECOME A HAPPY DOG MOM

Get the best baby steps to better health and happiness (for you and your dog) delivered to your inbox twice a month.

Connect with other dog moms who understand.

Share your story. What does your dog mean to you?

 

Did we mention it's free?

You're in!
*happy dance*
Please check your email to make sure your inbox is happy to hear from us, too!

happy dog mom jennifer waters sitting with three boxer dogs

BECOME A HAPPY DOG MOM

Get the best baby steps to better health and happiness (for you and your dog) delivered to your inbox twice a month.

Connect with other dog moms who understand.

Share your story. What does your dog mean to you?

 

Did we mention it's free?

You're in!
*happy dance*
Please check your email to make sure your inbox is happy to hear from us, too!