06 May 2011

Lessons your dog can teach you about happiness

As humans, we never really take the time to think about the reasons our dogs are so happy. We notice they enjoy sleeping, relaxing, and being with their families. We also see how fast their tails wag when we come home at the end of the day, when they can finally curl up in our arms and be with the ones they love. When that moment arrives, they are the happiest they will ever be, and the simplicity of knowing that our dogs need us, make us feel happy on the spot. We can see by their wagging tails and jumps and spins that they are excited to see us, but it's not always that obvious with humans.

Ryan O'Meara, author of Clever Dog, offers some useful tips in his new book on how humans can be just as happy as their dogs. He explains how dogs can teach us how to make and keep friends, how to trust your first instincts, and how to live a dog's carefree life.

As dogs show, we can improve our relationships with other people just by showing others that we care for them. If we show our friends and family members that we care, they are going to reciprocate and show us—then we're all happy.

Dogs don't hold back—they show things as they are. If they are going to do backward flips and wag their skinny little tails so fast that they might bruise anything that gets in their way, so be it. Going overboard with our emotions is sometimes necessary to make ourselves and the people in our lives feel good.

Another reason dogs are so happy, is because they don't overly think before taking action. If they see a squirrel in the yard, they are going to immediately take off and chase it, and they never regret doing so, because they had fun. They come back panting and wagging their tail, until they take off again. If humans stopped thinking twice about doing the things they love, maybe we would be happier too.

Something that keeps dogs so happy is that they don't care what they look like, and they are going to enjoy life regardless of their appearance or their disabilities. O'Meara explained that we should "try to live in the here and now, breaking our days down into many enjoyable and worry-free moments." He also explained how he saw a three-legged Greyhound walking with his owner, and that he was struck by how the dog didn't show a single care in the world. "His ears were back and his tail was wagging," he said. Perhaps, if we could live like a dog, we would enjoy a nice walk with our friends, even when having a bad hair day.

Wouldn't it be nice to live a day in the life of a dog?

Alexandra Hedin Facebook @Alexandra_Hedin
Alexandra is highly passionate about animals and animal rights, and wants to raise awareness of the cruelty that many animals suffer in the best way she knows how, and this is by written word. She is a recent graduate of Metropolitan State University in Minnesota, with a degree in Professional Writing and a minor in Creative Writing.

Photo credit: cc: flickr.com/photos/wishymom