It’s no secret that I’m a dog lover, proud dog mother, and a self-proclaimed spokesperson of all things dog related. Nearly all my clothing items have some version of “dog mom” or “can I pet your dog” or “dogs > people” ostentatiously stamped across the front of it. There is no shame in the game, folks. Don’t hate me for finding the members of society that don’t suck. I take my groupie responsibilities very seriously. Besides, talking about dogs is my pageant talent. 🤷🏻♀️
True story: Matt and I discuss, at least once a week, which dog of ours we would be, if we got the chance. Obviously, Lucy is the sweetest, but she’s got some joint issues. Brantley, is confident, but also yells all the time. Ultimately, we both end up choosing Zeppelyn, because she is truly the happiest being on the planet. Nothing bothers her. Her feelings are never hurt, she is never stressed, she sleeps well, wakes up well, and gets around great.
So, as always 99% of my brain was thinking about how great dogs are, and somehow, someway, I got sidetracked into thinking about how much better people would be… if they would just be more like dogs. Stick with me here. 🤣
Lucy, Brantley and Zeppelyn wake up every single day happy and ready to embrace the day. They don’t care if they have a hard day ahead of them, they aren’t dreading socialization, they aren’t even worried about what’s for breakfast. They just want to take their morning potty break, then snuggle up for a quick morning cuddle session and then enjoy a good stretch. What if we, as people, woke up, took a quick potty break, and then took a minute to cuddle up with all our favorite people and enjoy a good morning stretch?
Every single day, when Matt and I get home, all three of our beasts coming running at us, full speed, just to say hello. What if we made this a common practice? What if we ran to the people we love, and showed them how happy we are to see them, unabashedly and without excuse? For the record, I started practicing this in my own relationship, greeting Matt with excitement and a big smile/smooch, no matter what kind of day I have had. It’s a game changer for both of US.
Our dogs EXUDE joy. They don’t care if it’s an old toy to play with, or the same breakfast they’ve had the last 365 days, or a simple ear rub, they are happy. They love the mundane. Simple acts of affection, a full meal, and attention, and they’re happy. What if we woke up everyday simply happy and were able to find pleasure in the little things?
Everything is an adventure to our babes. A car ride, even to the vet, is exciting. An open window and ears flapping in the wind is pure bliss. What if we approached every car ride as an adventure, and every adventure as if it’s the first time we’ve ever taken one? I’m trying – I enjoy my drive more when I’m not in a hurry, I like the fresh air hitting my face (even if it’s cold) to wake me up. I want (and am working) to approach each day as an adventure, surrounded by my loved ones.
Do you know what my dogs do when I pull out the leash or mutter W-A-L-…? They run to the door, they sit down, wait for the leash click and then take off for the hills. Lucy has never once said: “wow mom, not with these knees” or “did you forget about my arthritis?” Or “in this weather”. (Matt said I should clarify that there’s millions of other words Lucy has never said, because she does not speak English – much to my disappointment). She, of all creatures, has every right to fight exercise, and she is thrilled for any opportunity to move that big, achy body of hers. I want to be like that. I want to approach exercise, like it is my favorite activity, like my joints don’t ache, like I didn’t have a long day. Let’s move our bodies, let’s be excited about it, let’s not make any more excuses.
Let’s be enthusiastic about the day, excited to be alive, excited to go on an adventure with our people, and delighted to feel the fresh air on our faces, the wind in our hair. Let’s enjoy belly rubs from loved ones, simple things like brushing our hair, sharing our “toys” with our favorite people, and moving our bodies around. Let’s enjoy the outdoors, no matter the weather. Let’s jump into the cold water to take a quick swim, shake it off, and sunbathe, just because we can. Let’s share kisses and eye contact, freely and fully, with our loved ones (Lucy!). Let’s yell when we need to, scream hello to our neighbors, and bite the feet of people we don’t like (Brantley!). Let’s lay in front of the fireplace, enjoy the peace, and just cuddle. Let’s snuggle up and share a nap. Let’s practice loyalty and self-confidence, let’s love our bodies, the way they are. Let’s lose track of time, forget when we’ve been wronged, and just drop the drama (Zeppelyn!) It’s easier to just cuddle it out anyways. Let’s love one another, like our dogs love us. 💕
It would be irresponsible if I just left it at that. So quickly, we should probably take a second to talk about when it is not a good idea to embrace “being the dog”:
1. Don’t shit in the wilderness (unless you’re camping I guess, but in that case, you’re beyond my help).
2. Don’t sniff your friend’s butts. Don’t sniff stranger’s butts either. In fact, just don’t sniff any butts. It’s weird. It’s not how we make friends.
3. Don’t hump any legs. We aren’t in middle school anymore. Actually, just don’t hump anything, especially in front of others.
4. Don’t sort through the trash, looking for tissues full of snot to chow down on. It’s not cute, it’s not appetizing, and I’m pretty sure it could lead to a bigger health concerns.
5. Don’t eat the shoes. I don’t care how delicious they look, how spiteful you feel, or how ugly they are, leather is not as replaceable as you think. Or the couch (Zeppelyn!)
6. Don’t chew on bones. Especially human bones. Your dentist will thank you, and it turns out, we (as a people) aren’t overly thrilled with cannibalism. Think Ted Bundy – not the most liked person in the universe.
7. Avoid eating things off the ground. Especially, ESPECIALLY, if you didn’t drop it and have no idea when it was dropped. I’m all for the 5 second rule, the 10 second rule, whatever your family abides by, but don’t, and I mean do NOT, eat random things off the floor. It’s bad practice.
8. Use a shower to clean yourself. Shower, water, soap. Maybe a nice squeegee. No one cools licks themselves clean. And by cool, I mean, no one without major hygiene issues.
There’s a lot worse things to channel in the world, than to channel being like a dog. Be happy, be cuddly, be loving, be forgiving, be kind, and smile… a lot. Sunny daze ahead, sweet friends, be like the dog. 🐶