Dogs have a lot to teach all of us, but especially unhappy people.
Let me preach on it.
This flat coat retriever came home with us from the kids’ daycare in a deluge after his family had moved off and left him. We initially named him Sherlock, but it became clear pretty quickly that his loyalty and steadfastness exceeded his intellect.
So, he became Dr. Watson. Our best guess is that he was 16 when he finally passed. It’s hard to replace a dog like Dr. Watson. But I learned a lot from him about life and happiness.
Science tells us that to be at their happiest, people need:
– plenty of sleep
– to eat on a regular schedule and
– to exercise daily.
Dogs & Happiness
Dogs – I learned from Dr. Watson – have these things down to a science.
A dog understands the joys of sleep. Your canine will stop, drop and snore if the urge strikes him.
You don’t see a dog get grumpy because his blood sugar drops. They are opportunistic eaters. If they see something that looks edible, they eat it and are happy about it. End of story.
Of course, the question I have is, why don’t they all get fat? Oh, yeah. It’s that exercise thing. When a dog isn’t snoring or chowing down, he is on the move. Look! There’s a stick. Got to pick it up and run with it. Better chase those wind-blown leaves. Oh, boy. The neighbor’s cat. He’s mine now. A ball, a ball, a ball! I got it, I got it. Here, you throw it again. And repeat.
And dogs are grateful for the nap, the food and the ball you threw. Gratitude is the shortest path to happiness for people, and probably for dogs as well. Dogs have short memories for slights. So, you forgot to feed your dog last night. Fido is still just as happy to see you the next morning as he would have been if you had fed him steak.
So, if you are unhappy, take a tip from a dog: sleep, eat, run, be grateful and don’t hold a grudge. You’ll be glad you did.