There’s a lot we can learn from our K9 friends especially when it comes to leading a care free and happy life. Here are some tips I try to take on board from my gorgeous dexter dog:
1) Know when to play and when to rest
I consider myself very lucky that Dexter is the K9 version of a lazy teenager, this dog knows how to sleep! He is happy to lay in with us on a Sunday and if I am up before 9am the only movement he will aspire to is getting from his bed to ours.
However when it is time to go for a walk he makes the most of it. Exploring his surroundings, running, playing and enjoying every second of it.
We dwell too much to on the guilt of being inactive and often make exercise more of a chore than it is. Embrace the balance by giving your all to the activities you do so when it is time to recuperate you know your body is getting what it needs.
2) Look forward
K9 interactions can often be hit an miss, as with humans you can’t get on with everyone! The key thing is the ability to walk away with nothing but a forward focus. Dexter wont spend the rest of the walk worrying about what that dog thought if him, feeling guilty for stealing her ball or considering a myriad of reasons the dog may have barked at him. The moment passes and the journey continues.
Rumination is a human trait that we would all be better off without; Why did that person look at me like that? How did I come across? Did they like me? How? Why? What if? We exhaust ourselves reviewing insignificant interactions when we should be leaving things in the past to focus on a positive future.
3) Broaden your mind
Saturday morning is dog school and from the minute I wake up Dexter is pestering me to leave the house. He loves seeing all his friends, getting fed treats and having to engage his brain. Although the commands are often simple and ones he has done a hundred times before the mental stimulation keeps him active. As humans we tend to focus education on the young when there are too many other distractions going on to get the most from it. Without using the cliche about old dogs and new tricks it is important to learn new skills, broaden your mind and spend your time on this planet developing yourself.
4) Eat well
Being a dog, Dexters diet is not one I’d recommend to any human; although it will give you strong teeth and a glossy coat! However, his attitude to food is something we can learn a lot from. Yes he’ll sneak a treat here and there, even if a treat to him constitutes some cat poo or a mouldy banana skin! But each day when he is presented with a bowl of his dried dog food he greats it with such enthusiasm it may as well be a full roast dinner or hearty fry up. He knows it is sustenance & fuel for his body which gives him the nutrition and energy he needs to chase that squirrel or catch that ball. Granted he has little control over his diet and perhaps if we all had our own private chef a balanced diet would be easier to achieve. Only you are in control of what you eat so next time you look at a bowl of salad or a plate of greens appreciate it for the fuel it is and enjoy that you are giving your body what it needs rather than what your brain thinks it wants.
5) Be yourself
My favourite thing about Dexter is that he is truly himself (as are most dogs). Dogs don’t put on an act to get people to like them or hide their feelings for fear of rejection. He will try and lick your face no matter your size, religion or pay packet – you’re just another human that needs a kiss! Dogs have no perception of their size or breed, they meet each other and with a sniff and a bow they’ve made a new friend. Our preconceptions can hold us back as we convince ourselves that we wont fit in or we have nothing in common with other cultures. Instead take a moment to have a conversation, you’ll probably learn something and your life will be richer for it.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog which is a fun way of thinking about the bad habits us humans come to form. What could you learn from your pets? I’d love to hear your stories and photos of your 4 legged friends. Take Care x