From David B. Bohl, Independent Recovery Management Consultant
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Tip #4: Be the Dog (Take a View of Life from a Dog’s Eyes)
If you’re a dog lover like I am, you’ll probably appreciate today’s Tip for Finding Health and Happiness. And even if you’re not, there’s still something to be said for the dog’s approach to living.
My black labs Kobe and Bear had it good. There was nearly always someone home (usually me) to let them out, give them a scratch behind the ear or a belly rub, or chuck one of them a doggie treat for being good boys (which pretty much just means keeping off the couch or thumping their tails and “grinning” as I pass by).
And yet, there are times when we weren’t around. On those occasions, we let the dogs out in the morning and give them the run of the house until we return later in the day.
When we turn the key in the door, we were received with welcome-home barks, excited dancing, and fierce tail-wagging. My dogs eagerly sniffed up the scents we carried home that tell stories of where we’ve been and who or what we encountered along the way.
I want to point out here that my dogs naturally would prefer it if we were around all the time, lavishing them with love and attention. But we have our own lives to tend to, which of course cannot include catering to their whims at every given moment.
What’s interesting is that when we did occasionally leave Kobe and Bear alone for long stretches of time, they’re still always overjoyed to see us when we return.
THAT is what I call living in the moment. It’s something that we humans could take as a lesson from our canine friends.
Imagine if instead of bounding about excitedly to greet us at the door, our dogs harbored resentment over being left alone?
Imagine if, when we did grab a tennis ball and shake the leash, signaling it was time to play… our dogs just looked at us with sad eyes and turned their heads away, preferring to dwell in the injustice they felt they had been served earlier?
To their credit, dogs are loyal to the bone, and true opportunists. And there is no better animal who knows how to cultivate happy relationships.
Take it from a dog:
- Why turn down a potential good time in favor of moping about and coddling old hurts?
- Why let pride rule (ruin) the beautiful moments that we can share with people we love?
Wouldn’t it be amazing if humans could take their relationships at face value… letting bygones by bygones, and living joyfully and ecstatically in the present, just as our dogs do?
If something or someone angers or displeases me, or if I feel let down in some way, I try to let the moment pass. Then I move on in anticipation of the exciting possibilities that lie ahead.
I learned this from my dogs, Kobe and Bear. Dogs know how to be happy. Why don’t we?
Slow Down… Fast.
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READY FOR TIP #5? READ TIP #5 HERE.