They say a dog is the only thing in the world that will love you more than it loves himself.
I can vouch for this. I’ve never had a friend more loyal than Lily or Romeo. Or a friend who’s lived with so much passion, happiness, and eagerness to live life to the absolute fullest, which made me think… if humans lived more like dogs, maybe we would all be happier too.
Here are 20 ways how to live like a dog, in hopes that we can be as happy and wise as the best creatures in the world.
1. Always be up for an adventure…
Ever notice just how excited your dog is to hop into your car, having no knowledge where they are going? They’re always ready to go! Something us humans can learn from.
Be adventurous. Take chances. Stay open to new experiences.
2. But know your limits
Dogs aren’t afraid to put the brakes on things when they need to. As much as they can go, go, go… they will let you know when they need to recharge.
Life isn’t fun when you’re running on empty all the time. Take care of yourself by knowing your limits.
3. Make friends easily…
Dogs (most dogs) LOVE making friends! At the park, on a walk, or on a trip to the pet store. They’re always ready to say hi and play!
Somewhere along the way we forget how important it is to connect with new people. Let our dogs remind us that life is better with friends.
4. But trust your instincts
With that being said, dogs are never afraid to trust their instincts when they meet new people or are in situations that don’t sit well with them.
Trusting our instincts is an essential part of living a happy and safe life, yet so many of us deny them. I think we would all enjoy life a little more if we learned to trust our initial gut feelings.
5. Be wary of the vacuum
Some things dogs do are hard to relate to, such as always yelling at the vacuum when it is turned on. But I think loud, scary objects that move around the house probably should be avoided.
Be wary of anything that suggests cleaning your house. That’s my best analysis here.
6. Forgive and let go of grudges
Dogs have this amazing ability to forgive and let go of grudges completely. Many dogs have been victims of neglect, abuse, and poor decision-making. Some have watched their families drop them off at a shelter, never to see them again. Some have lived their life tied up outside, never to feel the comfort of a warm bed. Some… well, some have been so physically abused their body takes new form. Yet these dogs – with a lot of love and nurturing – remain some the most loving and loyal dogs ever.
We have a lot to learn with this one. Forgiveness is hard, but living with bitterness and anger is much harder. Try to trust again – you may just be pleasantly surprised with the outcome.
7. Be up for trying new foods
It does not matter what food I have in my hands, both my dogs will try their hardest to sit patiently until I give them their treat. They LOVE new food!
I read once that people who try new foods are generally happier than people who don’t. I don’t know if there’s any truth to it but if you asked my dogs, they’d tell you yes!
8. Be so excited you sometimes pee a little
Maybe not all dogs do this but on more than one occasion I’ve returned home and Lily has been sooooo excited, she’s peed a little.
Can you imagine being that happy over something?!
9. Cause a little harmless trouble aka destroy as many stuffed animals as possible
Romeo has killed many stuffed animals in his time. Was it nice to do? No. Was it fun to do? Oh, I’m sure! Did it hurt anyone? No, not quite.
Break a few rules. Have a little fun. Don’t hurt anyone in the process. Pretty simple things to live by.
10. Don’t judge people on their height, weight, or skin color
Dogs don’t care if you’re 5’2″ or 6’5″. They will love you regardless. They don’t care if you’ve lost or gained 10 lbs. They will love you regardless. They don’t care if you’re black, white, or Asian. They will love you regardless.
Take note, humans. Dogs get this one completely.
11. Live in the moment
The here and now is the only moment that exists for dogs. Their uncanny ability to stay in the present moment is admirable.
Be here. Stay here. This is the only moment that exists; let everything else go.
12. “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”
Lily looooves getting into the garbage. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve come home to find garbage all over the place. It doesn’t matter how many times I yell at her for this either, it happens more often than that.
Which clearly only means one thing, one man’s trash really is another man’s treasure.
13. Channel your inner frog
This one falls in the same category as be wary of the vacuum. I’m not quite sure why they sit like frogs but if my dog thinks it’s cool to be a little different then I should probably listen.
Don’t be afraid to be a little weird. Channel your inner frog, just like your dog does.
14. Accept yourself fully
Dogs don’t get hung up over what color their coat is, how big or small they are, or where they’ve come from. Without a second thought, they accept things just as they are.
Imagine waking up, looking in the mirror, and accepting yourself completely. I think this is one of the hardest things we have to do, but it’s clear that when you do life naturally becomes so much better. Try every day to worry less about things you can’t change and focus on the things you can.
15. When someone’s not looking, steal some of their food
Just yesterday, Lily and Romeo snatched three pancakes off the counter when I wasn’t looking. I definitely don’t agree with this behavior but it makes you think… who’s the real winner here? It wasn’t me.
Do it… just once. Blame your dog if you get caught. :)
16. Don’t be afraid to get a little dirty
When Romeo rolls around in the grass it’s impossible not to see how much joy it brings him. Last fall when I would bring him to the dog park he would literally dive into the wettest parts of the park. Splashing water everywhere. Getting covered in mud. Having the time of his life.
Don’t ever let the responsibilities of being an adult let you forget to have fun. And don’t ever get so out of touch with nature you forget that getting a little dirty is actually really, really, really fun. Go four wheeling, go for a hike, go play out in the rain.
17. Sometimes not saying anything is everything
The few weeks before a close family member passed away from cancer, I would come home mentally and emotionally exhausted. Overwhelmed with how unfair life seemed, I usually would cry myself to sleep. Without fail, Lily and Romeo stayed by my side offering comfort and affection without saying a word. I will always be grateful for them during that time.
Sometimes it’s hard to know how to respond when someone close to us is going through a hard time. Sometimes not saying anything, but offering a shoulder to cry on is one of the best things we can do.
18. Love without conditions
Lily and Romeo don’t expect me to be anything other than who I am, in this moment. They don’t care about what I look like, how clean our house is, or how much money is (or isn’t) in the bank. They love me regardless. That’s what dogs do, they love regardless. Without any conditions or strings attached. They love regardless.
How better this world would be if we could all love unconditionally.
19. Always wipe your feet after you go to the bathroom
This is an odd one, dogs. I’m not quite sure what this is all about but it never fails, Romeo always wipes his feet after he pees. Kicks up grass and dirt, which usually hits me, and always walks away feeling very accomplished of himself.
If dogs are one of the happiest creatures on earth, maybe we should follow suit. We should all wipe our feet after we pee.
20. Chase the squirrel
Maybe your dog has, but neither of mine has ever caught a squirrel. They’ve both wanted to but it’s never happened. Three years together and not a single squirrel has been caught, yet that doesn’t stop them from still trying. They’re always interested. Always excited. Always ready to pounce. I would think by now they would understand that it’s probably not going to happen. But they never give up. They never give up.
Following your dreams is a lot like a dog chasing a squirrel. Most people don’t achieve their dreams or reach their potential, not because they aren’t capable but because they give up. They lose interest. They become bored. They abandon their passion. They believe it’s not possible and they give up.
Be a dog.
Don’t give up. Don’t lose focus. Don’t surrender your dreams for a belief that isn’t true.
Be a good friend. Take a trip to somewhere new. Enjoy naps when you want to.
Let go of the past.
Live with passion.
Follow your dreams.
Be a dog.