Posted 6 months ago ago
(Credit Dave Francis)
Written by Susan Griffin, PA
Dogs are incredible, affectionate animals, that much we know. When they’re not chasing their tails or acting like goofballs, they’re intelligent too, emotionally and socially. Instinctual, positive and open-minded are just some of the inspiring attributes pups lay claim to, which is why we can learn so much from them about how to become a better person.
So, rather than reaching for the latest self-help manual, it’s time to channel the traits that make our dogs so special and lead a happier, more fulfilling life just like our four-legged friends.
Don’t waste your time on people who let you down
Academics in Japan discovered dogs won’t react to people who’ve proven themselves untrustworthy. In an experiment, researchers pointed to a container with food and then a second time to a container without. When they then pointed back to the container with food, the dogs weren’t interested. It suggests that once a pup has made the decision that they can’t trust a person, they’ll not waste their time on them anymore. If humans followed suit, they’d save themselves a lot of bother.
Live in the moment
We’re told by psychologists and therapists time and time again that the key to a contented life is living in the moment, a philosophical approach that dogs swear by. Pups don’t ponder life’s decisions and regrets, or panic about what the future might hold. Their life is spent living in the present and savouring whatever that might involve.
Show unconditional love
There’s no game-playing with dogs. If you show them affection, they don’t question your intentions or suspect you have ulterior motives. They’re not afraid to look adoringly at you, they’ll share in your excitement, cuddle up if they sense you need to be comforted, and they’re ecstatic when they’re reunited with you, however short the absence. As far as they’re concerned, love is love.
Dogs don’t judge, at least not in a superficial way. If they sense that you’re a potential threat then they’re going to react protectively, but other than that, dogs don’t care about your education, background, social standing or job title. They don’t care what sort of clothes you wear or the house you live in; it’s of no importance to them. As long as you don’t let them down, the rest of it is immaterial.
If you’ve ever looked at a dog rolling around in the mud, then you’ll know what sheer happiness looks like. Pups love getting out in nature. Beach, countryside, woodlands and parks, it’s all wonderful as far as they’re concerned, and they appreciate everything about it, from the sights and sounds to the smells. For dogs, it’s a full sensory experience as it should be for us.
Keep to a routine
Dogs love their routine. In fact, experts believe that pups become unruly when their owners are inconsistent, as they’re not sure what to expect or when. Us humans can benefit by creating our own routines and rituals, as it provides a sense of order and control, as well as a form of selfcare.
Our four-legged pals rarely turn any opportunity down and are always up for trying new experiences. Admittedly, they don’t know what they’re agreeing to half the time, but chances are they’ll throw themselves into it wholeheartedly. Dogs, curious creatures that they are, live for new adventures and so should we.
Find joy in the little things
As long as they’re well-fed, walked, sheltered and cared for, then dogs don’t ask for anything more. Well, perhaps a ball - ‘ball is life’. But they’re not looking for anything fancy and expensive to fulfil their lives, it’s the simple pleasures that provide all the nourishment they need, and we humans are no different when it comes down to it.
Perhaps the culmination of all these factors is the reason dogs nod off so soundly. They’re not cringing about past events, or catastrophising about the future; they’ve tired themselves out with exercise and gone to sleep with a sense of contentment. If we do the same, we too can wake refreshed, revived and ready for whatever the next day brings.