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Be the Wagging Tail!

Mars RunningI want to be my dogs. They have it all. Good places to sleep, lots of playtime, and plenty of hugs and kisses. There are bowls to lick and car rides to look forward to. What else could any dog ever need?

Last week I was at the BOBAA awards and heard David Chilton (The Wealthy Barber) speak. In his speech, he commented on how much Canadians complain about EVERYTHING. We don’t seem to be happy about our circumstances. We complain about politics, taxes, traffic, our cable plan, the climate at work–the list doesn’t end.

But we have so many things that make us fortunate–a beautiful country, safety, as well as wealth and prosperity and opportunity. He reminded us of our fortune by saying this one powerful statement:

“Here in Canada our pets live better lives than half the humans on the planet”.

It’s true. Actually, I think my dogs live better lives than I do, and truth be told, I live a pretty good life.

But let’s put this in a dog’s perspective for a moment. Recognize your fortune this way:

  • You have a home. It may not be the fanciest or with the latest inventions, but it is your turf. You’ve marked it. You do not have to guard it with such vigilance that being there is stressful. Sleep peacefully at night with the voracity of a dog and greet the next day with cheerful glee.
  • You have food. You may not be eating foie gras (substitute salad if you’re vegan) for dinner every night but you didn’t have to walk ten miles to stand in line to get food. Preparation was as easy as you wanted it to be. There is probably more food in front of you than you should eat. With that in mind, enjoy every bite and be thankful for the ability to nourish yourself without the need to hoard or fight for food.
  • You have friends. Well, even if you don’t, you live in a place where it is possible to make friends. Despite my dog Daphne’s “independent” personality, she has really come to appreciate having Mars around, as she gets to experience more things as part of a group than she did alone. Learn how to be a dog-style friend. Don’t talk, listen, and just be happy to be there.
  • You have an ability to have fun. What you characterize as having fun is up to you, but there are a myriad of things you can do that are enjoyable. Whether it is to play frisbee or compete in spelling bees, you don’t have to sit at home and do nothing. In fact, in my house, thanks to the dogs, doing nothing at my house is not an option. If we’re not out of bed early enough in the morning on the weekends, we are promptly awoken by our dogs to ensure we experience the most of the day.

Remember, it is difficult to turn down a wagging tail. Like a wagging tail, happiness is infectious. Think about this the next time you feel like being a downer.

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