We all want to live a happy, carefree life but instead of searching for answers in astrology and other new age sciences, we have the best guru of all just a tennis ball throw away.
The life of a dog is simple, uncomplicated, and hopefully full of love and treats. It sounds like a dream lifestyle and for many it is!. In life, we are faced with two options… 1. Complain about what we don’t have or what we need, or 2. Enjoy what we have and make the most of it. We all know what option our dogs have chosen. Yet, why is it we are incapable of doing the same? Since our dogs are our BBFs in canine form they also play a key role in being our gurus and teaching us everything they know about enjoying a happy and carefree existence. So, the next time life sends us into a meltdown, stop and ask “What would my dog do?”.
Eat, play love
Elizabeth Gilbert brought us Eat, Pray Love but dogs were using this philosophy decades before Hollywood made the book into a worldwide phenomenon. Dogs know exactly how to cheer up the mood when you are feeling down, sniff out opportunities and they would never pass up the chance to show you how much they love you. Dogs are the undisputed gurus that every pet pawrent needs in their life. Don’t believe us? Here are the top 5 life lessons we can learn from our dogs.
1. Live in the moment
Let’s be honest! Have you ever seen a dog hold a grudge? Or, attempt a game of tug-of-war with a head full of worries. The answer is most probably an all-around NO. Why? Because dogs have mastered the art of living in the moment. They are four-legged zen-masters who prioritize activities that offer instant gratification such as playtime in the park, a cool-looking stick found on a walk, or that comfy corner of the couch. Of course, humans should focus on planning the future and learning from past mistakes, but everything in moderation. Right? So, when we notice our minds running 100mph think about how our dogs would confront the situation. They would shake it off and move on to the next thing, probably food.
2. Make time for zoomies
Exercise! For many, this is the item that gets pushed to the very end of our to-do lists. Especially after a long day. Yet, our dogs live for this. While they may feel stir crazy being trapped inside the house all day long, it is nothing that a quick burst of exercise won’t fix. Instead of letting their discomfort build into something worse such as anxiety, dogs let all that nervous energy out in the form of zoomies. On the other hand, humans let it build up until we feel overwhelmed, anxious, and burnt out. Not a fun mix! Next time that tensions rise, take the dog and head out for a quick 20-minute power walk or run. That oxytocin boost is not only healthy but it also provides us with that pick-me-up that our bodies and mind both crave. Plus, it is a pawtastic way to earn extra brownie points from our dogs.
3. Love unconditionally
Everyone deserves to be loved. Dogs have to witness us at our best and our worst. They are our ultimate ride-or-die partners in crime. They are there for us through thick and thin… when the treat jar is full, and when it is not. But, guess what? Dogs don’t judge. Dogs stay by our sides when we need them the most. They provide a shoulder to cry on and their fur is the best thing to soak up all of our tears. Their love for us is unconditional and they are put in our lives to teach us important lessons about forgiveness, strength, and happiness. In life, it is important to develop loyal, loving relationships with those that matter to us. Be it at work, socially, or at home. Keep your wolfpack strong and happy and life’s ups and downs will be easier to navigate.
4. Enjoy your meals as if they were your last
There is nothing dogs love more in life than food. Most dogs would do anything for a juicy slice of steak. When it comes to living a happy life, dogs do it best. They savor every moment as if it was their last and they certainly won’t leave their bowls half full. Making sure that we find time to nurture our bodies through food cooked with love and care is essential to good health. And, this doesn’t just involve using locally grown, seasonal, and organic produce. It also depends on how the food is cooked and especially on how it is eaten. Don’t rush mealtimes, put the phone away and taste every mouthful. Food is one of the greatest pleasures in life and we just have to look at a dog with a bone to be reminded of this. Don’t forget to stay hydrated too - this is important for a healthy brain and body.
5. Respect rest time
While cats are the king of naptime, dogs are a close second best. Dogs are known to dedicate around 16 hours a day to catching Zzzs. And, best of all, they are completely shameless about it. Why? Because they understand the importance of rest and the restorative power that sleep has on our mind and body. Despite what pop culture may lead us to believe, dogs are not stupid. Without quality rest we cannot enjoy quality playtime and where is the fun in that? So, to enjoy the highs we must enjoy the lows. So, next time we feel like curling up on the sofa and sharing the blanket with our pups, give in to that feeling and relish it. We will all be better off with more rest.