DOGS: Better people than people.

Please note that never in my life did I ever think I would be the weirdo, blogging about the fact that tomorrow is my dog’s birthday – but alas, here we are.  Up until 3 years ago, I didn’t have any idea what it would be like to be a dog owner and I can even admit to being a bit judgmental when I saw people pushing their pups around in strollers or spending hundreds of dollars on a doggie wardrobe.  But now I get it (although the only item of clothing my dog has ever worn is a little red bandanna tied around his neck because he’s a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel of the bad ass variety).  What I didn’t understand before becoming a doggie parent back in 2011 is that dogs are better people than people.  That’s why man’s best friend isn’t Tom, Dick or Harry, it’s Spot.

In our quests to live happier, fuller lives, it would serve us well to turn to our furry friends for a little inspiration.  My 3-year-old pup (oh gawd they grow so fast!) has already taught me some Oprah type shit about how to get the most out of every day, and since it’s his big day tomorrow, as an ode to him, I want to share them with you:

Wake up excited – For a dog, every day is the best day ever and the excitement starts the moment they open their eyes in the morning.  Imagine if every human started their days with that kind of enthusiasm?  Surely the world would be a happier place.

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Play everyday without exception – The fact that my pup loves nothing more than a good, 2 hour long game of fetch is a wonderful reminder to spend your time doing fun things that excite you.  Go play hockey with your friends, hit a yoga class, whatever!  You don’t stop playing because you get old; you get old because you stop playing.

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Wear your heart on your sleeve – When you see someone you love, or eat something delicious, or meet a new person, the best thing you could do would be to wag your proverbial tail, because – man oh man – is there anything better than witnessing genuine excitement?  The sad thing is that had I not brought a dog into my life, I wouldn’t see it nearly as much as I do now, because for some reason, humans have decided to “play it cool” all the time.  Showing joy and sharing it with others is such a beautiful way to create a bond; we really should try it more often.

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Tell the ones you love you love them… all the friggin’ time – Imagine that every time you saw your loved ones you greeted them with a smile and a hug… How full would all of our hearts be all the time if that was the case?  I’d be willing to bet that if dogs had arms, that’s exactly what they would do.  (I imagine a personified dog to be a lot like Buddy the Elf)

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Find joy in the little things – The excitement my dog exudes when I take out his leash to go for a walk, or the pride he feels when he’s just found a long forgotten toy again is so remarkable.  These things have been in his life since day one yet he still gets so much from them!  Humans, take note – appreciate what you have.  Make a conscious effort to be grateful for the little things.

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Cuddle as much as possible – If you aren’t a cuddly person, dogs don’t give a shit and they will cuddle the hell out of you anyway and YOU WILL LOVE IT.  Show affection.  You’ll be glad you did.

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Be empathetic – Dogs can sense if you’re feeling sad, or sick, or just not yourself and they will adjust their behaviour to suit what you need.  As humans, we are so concerned with our own lives that we forget that we too have that same ability, we just vastly underuse it.  Don’t treat others the way you wish to be treated; take the time to get to know them, then treat them the way they need to be treated.

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Actions speak louder than words –  If you want a lesson in showing love and accepting everyone who has a good heart and a kind soul, look no further than our canine companions.  Although they lack the ability to communicate linguistically (obviously), it’s quite profound that we can still form such an incredible bond with our pets.  We mustn’t forget that people will never remember what you said, but they’ll always remember how you made them feel.

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Don’t be afraid to make new friends – Big, small, silly, tough, young, old, human, canine, squirrel – my dog does not discriminate when it comes to making friends and it’s quite admirable.  The world would be a better place if we followed their example.

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So there you have it.  Go hug your partner, your mom, your friend, your child.  Get out and exercise.  Love with your whole heart.  Tune into other people’s energy.  Judge less; Appreciate more.  BE HAPPY.

Happy Birthday, Eddie.  We love you.IMG_9210

Has your dog taught you any serious life lessons? (duh, of course he has!) Show your pup some love and comment your top doggie wisdom!

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