Oh, the things dogs do...My dog is one of my greatest role models. Sure, he’s slobbery and usually covered in filth, he barks fervently at the wind, and he spends entirely too much time cleaning his groin – but his permanent positive attitude adds an ongoing layer of happiness to my life.
There are many things that my dog does better than me – and many ways that humans could try to be a little bit more like our beloved best friends. Here are some things dogs do we could all benefit from adding into our lives, too:
1. Dogs always wake up wagging their tails. Unless a dog is truly, very sick, he will wake up with a wag. There’s no “wrong side of the bed” for dogs. They enter into every new day with a happy demeanor and a big stretch.
2. Dogs sleep when they are tired, eat when they are hungry, and play when they feel frisky. Dogs don’t second-guess their physical needs or paint them as good or bad - they accept them. Dogs enjoy sleeping, eating, relaxing and playing and they never feel like they should be getting things done instead.
3. Dogs don’t get too old to play. Sure, a decade-old dog will be less playful than a puppy, but dogs retain a playful attitude throughout most of their adult lives. They never outgrow their lively spirit or regard it as pure puppy BS.
4. Dogs give love freely and often. They’re never concerned with what they’ll get in return. You can give your dog ten treats a day or zero, and she will still provide you with affection, companionship and fluffy love.
5. Dogs live for the moment. Have you ever seen a dog rolling in the grass or laying in the sunshine? You have witnessed pure bliss. Dogs may not have the same future-oriented faculties that human adults have, but we can all learn to relish the moment just like a dog in the sun.
6. Dogs don’t judge by appearance. Perhaps you haven’t had a bath in three days, your hair is a mess and your clothes are more wrinkled than a Shar Pei – your dog couldn’t possibly care less! In fact, it may even like you better with the additional layers of smell.
7. Dogs are experts at reading your tone of voice and body language. They don’t need to speak English to understand what you are saying. Unlike humans, they don’t discount their interpretation of one’s actions based on contradictory words. They trust their intuition to ascertain a person’s intentions.
The great French philosopher Michel de Montaigne esteemed the humble dog for sucking the marrow out of life and encouraged his fellow human beings to do the same – but perhaps Thoreau said it best:
I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately,
I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life,
To put to rout all that was not life and not when I had come to die
Discover that I had not lived. ~ Thoreau
Get thee to the woods – and of course, take your dog with you!
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images: agropaws (top), shilo urban