• July 30, 2014

Adopting a canine mentality

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Posted: Friday, January 17, 2014 4:30 am

Every January it’s the same thing. We make vows to change for the better, improve who we are or become someone different. I can’t tell you how many pieces of exercise equipment or gym memberships are purchased in January, although I’m sure there’s a website devoted to it somewhere.

As dog lovers, we often joke we want to be more like our dogs. What if this year, we make that our goal?

I’m not talking about sleeping all day and sniffing rear ends. I’m talking about adopting the basic canine mentality. Hear me out on this one and then decide if I’ve lost my marbles.

Dogs take each day as it happens. No worrying about tomorrow, no stressing about yesterday. They bury their bones for safekeeping just like we invest for our future. Dogs wake up every day excited to see what the day has to offer and meet that day with wagging tails.

Dogs can make anyone a pack member.

Dogs don’t have to be blood relatives to allow a new member into their pack. In fact, new members don’t have to prove they are worthy to be allowed in; they only need to be deemed worthy by other pack members. Imagine how different your world would be if you allowed people into your life without the judgment that comes with the baggage most of us carry into adulthood.

Dogs are always excited to go somewhere.

There are the rare exceptions, but for the most part, show a dog a leash and they are ready to go. Doesn’t matter where you’re going, they are excited and ready. Let’s be more like that. No more debates about who gets to decide where to go. If it’s not where you want to go, that’s OK because you’re still  going somewhere with someone you care about. Isn’t that what’s most important?

Dogs listen.

This is going to be hard for a lot of us because we love to talk and we do it really well. But what we need to do more is listen. Not just listen to what is being said, but hear what isn’t being said, as well. When someone is talking to us, the subtle cues they use with body language can only be seen and understood if we put our phones down and pay attention. Have you ever spilled your heart out to a dog and felt like they knew exactly when to lay their head on your lap? If they were texting, they might have missed that moment.  

Dogs show affection.

Dogs don’t hide their affection from those they care about. If a dog likes someone, they know it. Tails will wag in large back and forth motions, bodies might dip playfully and barks become excited. There is no denying an affectionate dog.

How often do we hide our affection out of anger or ignorance instead of allowing our affection to show? This year, strive to show affection every chance you get.

Yep, I’m definitely going to be more like my dog.

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