Life Lessons from My Dog

1I did not want to get up this morning. My hand shot out from under the sheets to slap my alarm with lightning fast reflexes while the rest of me grumbled and groaned for just 5 more minutes. I wrestled with the snooze button a few more times before I finally drug myself out of the bed. As soon as my feet hit the floor my dog hopped up, literally wiggling with joy, and ran to the door; ready to start her day.

She ran outside and stood for a moment, breathing in the cool, crisp air. She bounced through the grass, eager to do her business then come back inside. She trotted in and ran right to me, pushing her body into mine so I would scratch her behind her ear – her favorite spot. I fed her and she gulped down her breakfast, not leaving a crumb, not worried about calories.

As I watched her I realized – she is happy all the time. She doesn’t mope if she doesn’t get her way, she doesn’t pout or whine. She isn’t looking for more, she is content the way she is. It hit me, although dogs don’t live as long as people they have life figured out.

If she could give me advice these would be her top 10 life lessons:

  1. If it tastes good – eat it.

Stop worrying that bite of chocolate is going to ruin your waistline, stop torturing yourself over a piece of cake. And on the other hand, don’t eat just because it is in front of you. If you aren’t really hungry there is no need to eat just because it is “time”.

2. Greet your person like it’s the first time you have seen them in months.

We all get so wrapped up in what is going on around us that often we forget to pay attention to who is in this with you. If my husband and I were as excited to see each other as my dog is excited to see me we would be in the honeymoon phase for the rest of our lives – a whole lot happier and less stressed.

3. Be excited to wake up

Yes getting up sucks. It would be nice to lay in the bed for 30 more minutes. But you cant. So might as well suck it up and be grateful that you woke up at all.

4. Take the time to smell the roses (or in her case the grass)

You get what I am saying here.

5. If you are tired, go to sleep

I am guilty of staying up way too late to watch some crappy show or just to have a little quiet time to myself. Then I have a hard time waking up (see point 3) and feel like crap the rest of the day – only to repeat it over and over again. My dog will snooze anytime she gets the chance; maybe that is why she is so happy all the time.

6. Wear out your favorite toy, don’t try to preserve it and keep it like new

I have jewelry, shoes, and clothing for special occasions. Things I adore but do not want to wear incase they get ruined. And usually I wear them a few times then either cannot fit into them anymore (they shrink, I swear!) or they go out of style and I find myself donating these ‘precious’ items. My dog plays with her toys, rips them up and wears them out, cause what is the point in having it if you aren’t going to use it?

7. Stay away from situations and people that make you nervous

If she doesn’t like it, she doesn’t go near it. End of story. Something I need to learn to do, avoiding a potentially stressful situation seems worthwhile to me.

8. When you do something bad, show remorse

If you screw up, own it. Stop pointing fingers and trying to lay the blame on others, they all know the truth anyway and by not admitting you messed up people lose their faith in you. If my dog makes a mess she greets me at the door with her tail tucked, ready to let me know she did something bad. She owns it, which makes me less likely to get mad.

9. Don’t hold a grudge

On the other hand when someone does screw up get over it. We all make mistakes so think long and hard before you write someone out of your life. Good friends – true, amazing, there-for-you-always friends are hard to come by; don’t throw that away if you don’t have to. I know I have done it and regret it. My dog loves everyone, even those who irritate her the most (ie my kids)

10. Love with every fiber of your being

Her breakfast? LOVES IT! Bedtime? YAY! A car ride? ALRIGHT!! Everything she does is with excitement and joy. And I am all about taking the lazy way out. It takes too much effort to hate someone. Being angry is so exhausting. But being positive and loving life is easy and fulfilling. Focus on what you enjoy about your spouse, job, home, car etc. and stop focusing on the negative. You will be a happier person for it.

If you take my dogs advice on life you will be a more positive, happy, fulfilled person. Maybe that is why dogs don’t live as long as people, they get it right the first time.


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