I 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, pleading with the universe for just five more minutes. I wrestled with the snooze button a few more times before I finally dragged 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. I watched her bounce 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 favourite spot. Putting breakfast into her bowl, she gulped it down, not leaving a single crumb, not worried about calories.
Suddenly 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 constantly looking for more, she is content the way she is. It hit me: maybe dogs also figure out life seven times faster than we do.
Looking at my little furbaby, I realized that if she could give me advice, these would be her top 10 life lessons—and they’re brilliant.
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”.
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’s in this with you. If my husband and I were as excited to see each other as my dog is to see me, we would be in the honeymoon phase for the rest of our lives–a whole lot happier and lot less stressed.
Be excited to wake up
Yes getting up sucks. It would be nice to lie 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 and there’s a whole, beautiful day ahead of you.
Take the time to smell the roses (or in her case the grass)
You get what I am saying here.
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 the cycle endlessly. My dog will snooze anytime she gets the chance; maybe that is why she is so happy all the time.
Wear out your favourite toy, don’t try to preserve it and keep it like new
I have jewellery, shoes, and clothing for special occasions. Things I adore but do not want to wear in case 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?
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. This is just logical. Stay away from potential danger. If you can’t rationalize why it’s not dangerous even though it appears that way—don’t do it.
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.
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’ve done it and regret it. My dog loves everyone, even those who irritate her the most (ie. my kids.)
Love with every fibre 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, so this works for me. It takes too much effort to hate someone. Being angry is so exhausting. On the other hand, being positive and loving life is easy and fulfilling and totally awesome. 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 way, way quicker.
This post was originally published on Stage Too