I’ve always liked dogs, but since adopting my Shar-pei mix last November, I’ve become pupsessed. New hobbies include dog-researching, dog-watching, and dog-speculating (as in, “Guess what kind of dog that is?”). Luna has been my BFF (best fluffy friend) for the past eight months, and despite a chewed couch, some shredded books, and several pairs of ripped underwear, the happiness she brings into my life makes it all woofwhile. I’ve taught her how to high-five, catch, and roll over, but it turns out that she’s taught me a thing or two in return.
1. Forgive and forget
Now, maybe it’s because dogs have short-term memory, but every time Luna gets annoyed by a dog park friend (no one’s perfect, am I right?), they grumble, separate, and then find their way back to each other. It’s as if she woofs, “Hump me once? Shame on you. Don’t do it again and we can be friends.” Dogs don’t hold grudges, and neither should we…even if that means forgiving them for gnawing on our favorite pair of designer of shoes (ahem).
2. Life is a game
To Luna, everything is a toy. Throw pillows, laundry (dirty or clean), plastic recyclables, and the fleshy skin of my poor, defenseless hand are all fair game. Also, attempting to put a harness on her without a high-speed living room chase is utterly impawssible. I’ve learned to accept it.
3. Honesty is the best policy
Luna doesn’t lie. She wears her emotions on her, well, paw. When she’s sad, her ears pin back. When she’s scared, her tail tucks. When she’s curious, her nose twitches. When she’s happy, her tail swooshes back and forth. When she’s snuggly, she practically spoons you off the bed. And when she’s hungry… well, she does this thing where she picks up her food bowl and spills any remaining nuggets all over the floor. The point is, it’s usually pretty easy to tell how Luna is feeling, and communication is key healthy relationships.
4. Don’t be afraid to get messy
One time I took Luna to the dog park right after a rainstorm and she found the only gooey, sloppy mud puddle in the whole place. First, she poked at it. Then she dug in it. Then she laid in it. Then she rolled around in it. Why? Because it was fun! She didn’t think about the mess it would leave in the car or the apartment (that was her hooman’s job, of course). Her little act of rebellion was about enjoying life in the moment.
5. Love with your whole heart
… and don’t be afraid to show it! Every time Luna sees me after any amount of time–whether it’s two minutes or eight hours–she becomes the happiest puppy in the world. Dogs remind us that there is nothing wrong with showing pawffection toward loved ones, and to never take for granted the time we have with them. Just ask Luna: there’s no such thing as too many kisses!