How to Live Your Best Life, According to a Dog

Whenever I hang out with mammals belonging to the domesticated canine species of doggy, I’m reminded of how good they are at living. They have a zest for existence that us homo sapiens are often missing. They really know how to seize the day, have stress free fun, appreciate their buds, wag their bums, french their kiss, express their emotion and consume giant portions of food and water and dirt. Don’t you wish you could enjoy your time on earth as much as a content dog does? I mean, being alive is much easier for them in many ways. They don’t have to work a job they don’t like or hunt for organic groceries or clean up their own bodily fluids. They also have no understanding of their own mortality or the mortality of others. So, of course these hounds are having a blast; that’s literally their only responsibility.

But, let’s forget about how our furry companions are on a 24/7 vacation for a second. Let’s focus instead on our similarities and how we can learn to seize the day, have stress free fun and wag our bums by following the way of the carpe diem pooch. Here are a bunch of tips and sage pieces of advice that I think puppies would give us if they could speak any of our languages.

Show the humans you like massive quantities of love all the time

Whenever I visit my sister’s rottweiler Roxy she greets me with an overwhelming amount of joy and enthusiasm and jumping and accidentally scratching my legs because she’s that pumped. If you’ve ever had a dog, you know there’s nothing like seeing the ridiculous excitement on their face when you open the front door after sometimes only being gone for 10 minutes. They don’t care how long it’s been! They missed you bad and adore you tons. Can you imagine if you said hey to your friends like a puppy says hello? It’d be so great (minus the leg scratching).

Make physical contact with other living beings as much as possible

And don’t stop at just saying hello. Also hug them, hold them, sit on their lap, lie down in their bed and lick every inch of their skin. Dogs are supreme cuddlers and they feel no shame in frequently requesting a cuddle session from all humans. We should make the same requests.

Always remember how delicious food/water/anything edible is

God, edible things sure are tasty. Meals are possibly the sweetest part of organ maintenance. Also, when you’re thirsty, how amazing are liquids? SO AMAZING. Americanos, craft beer, freshly squeezed OJ, heck even H20 is a superb beverage, especially served cold on ice or hot with lemon. We should savour every single bite/sip/nibble we take like we’re famished bulldogs.

Go outside whenever you can ˜cause outside is the best

Dogs would be disappointed to hear that I tend to spend my mornings under a roof. But I will say when I do exit in the morning I don’t regret it because, as dogs know, there is a lot of stuff to sniff and explore. Like trees, lakes, sidewalks, garbage bins, butts, bugs, gardens, more butts. So many reasons to take a stroll and check out what glorious nature has to offer. Hint: it’s butts.

But also go inside when you’re tired because inside is also the best

Dogs do fancy the outdoors but they almost fancy the building they sleep in equally as much. You don’t always have to go beyond the porch. Home base is a fantastic venue too and there are lots of reasons to take a sit and check out what glorious internet has to offer. Hint: it’s butts.

Goof around with your pals daily and run after sticks for three hours straight

If you throw a party, you gotta invite golden retrievers because they can energetically chase the red dot of a laser pointer all night long. We as a society need to experience more fun more often. We also need to give ourselves permission to not work, socialize and experience said fun.

Sleep when you need to and don’t judge yourself if you nap like all day

We should grant our bodies eight hours of shut eye a night too. Usually mammals pass out when they’re exhausted but our breed of primate tends to resist that urge in order to finish a task or scroll through Facebook until dawn. Be like a fatigued dog. GO TO BED. RIGHT NOW. DO IT!

Defend humans against enemy intruders

Dogs have a perfect judge of character, particularly when it comes to friends’ shitty boyfriends, rude strangers and misogynists. If you smell an asshole, fight them with your biting WORDS.

When you’re pissed off, bark

Don’t stop there either. If anyone ever makes you angry for a legit reason, like if they’re metaphorically pulling your tail, express that upset by impersonating a sassy pomeranian.

When you’re sad, whimper

Express every emotion! If you’re feeling down, cry and pout until the humans you like start to pay attention, console you and pet your body. Ask for help like you’re a glum beagle in need.

If humans say you’re hurting them then stop doing that thing that hurts them

Dogs are experts at listening to instructions and obeying commands. Obviously, we aren’t robots and I do not advise following every order from every person ever. Also, our relationships are a tad more complicated than a human-dog relationship is. However, I do think that our relationships could be improved if we listened like a husky during tough conversations with loved ones whose feelings we’ve injured. If your friend/colleague/partner/relative politely says, don’t do that several times, then I’d suggest being a good boy/girl/person and not doing it anymore.

Master cool actions/words/tricks

Dogs are super into training, learning and sitting/lying down/shaking/rolling over/playing dead/urinating outside. They’re a curious bunch and are always ready and willing to add another skill to their resume. You can add skills, too, but you have to commit to education like the pups regardless of age. Also, when we work hard we should get a bacon flavoured treat as a reward!

Find the toy you’re passionate about and never stop looking for squirrels

So, in this metaphor, toy represents career and squirrels represent opportunities. Dogs typically have dozens of various bones and balls and squeaky knickknacks to slobber on. But they always select their favourite object based on the noise it makes, how chewable and flavourful the material is, and if the toy is not a toy at all but just their owner’s socks which they like the most. And when they select their number one toy, they hold onto it with their teeth for dear life. They do not let go even if someone is literally trying to rip it from their mouth. This is the kind of dedication humans should apply to our careers, artistic pursuits and general passions. If you continue holding on even when it feels like rejection and insecurity are ripping your dreams from your heart, your persistence will win the tug of war. Also, keep an eye out for opportunities (squirrels) and when you spot one, sprint towards it like a greyhound, baby.

Sometimes you need to take cover when you’re freaked out and that’s okay

We all have our own personal struggles and so do most pooches. I had a shih tzu as a kid who was terrified of thunder and consequently fireworks because it sounds like thunder. He would routinely hide underneath a table to feel safe until the storm or celebration ended. We recognized his anxieties and tried to comfort him when he was shaking. He didn’t question his need to hide, he did it because he needed to and over time his fear decreased. If you know that something is too intense or scary or draining for you to currently handle, you have the choice to opt out or take a break or hide underneath a table for a bit. You do what’s right for you. There is no shame in protecting yourself and hopefully your humans will comfort and support you.

Reminder: you are extremely smart and and strong and cute

You’re as mighty as a saint bernard, as brilliant as a border collie, as feisty as a chihuahua, as sweet as a cockapoo, as pretty as a Cavalier King Charles spaniel, as funny as a dachshund, as unique as a dalmatian and as likable as a golden lab. Dogs are fully aware of how intelligent they are, how much power they have and how easily they can charm every human they meet as long as they don’t pee on their floor. You should be fully aware of your power/intelligence/charm too because you got loads of it (when you’re not peeing on a floor).

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