Jackie Quinn-Piper
November 01, 2014 7:33 am

It doesn’t matter if it’s a Monday morning or a Saturday morning–my dog is the most excited living creature on Earth. He greets my husband and I with a fevered zest for life that surpasses the kind of giddy excitement you had as a child on Christmas morning. He is on another level of happiness and I cannot help but let a little bit of that rub off on me. Now, every morning I wake up and think, I want to be like my dog! I’ll tell you why.

1. He maintains a positive attitude

I immediately go from, “Boo, it’s only Tuesday. Why didn’t I marry rich?” to “Oh, but it’s not that bad, it’s good that I have a job to go to and I do have a lunch I’m looking forward to eating.” Just like that, a few whiffs of happy puppy breath and extreme tail wagging and my overall perception of the day has changed for the better.

2. He’s no quitter

I’ve also learned that persistence is key to getting what you’re want. How did my furry friend teach me this? I’ve never seen such determination and tenacity exemplified as I have when my dog really wants a treat that has been left on a table slightly beyond his reach. He doesn’t normally stand on two legs, but he’ll do that for a treat. He’ll do whatever it takes to get that treat. It may take scratching up the coffee table, or shamelessly drooling out of the side of his mouth, but he will snag that treat. And he’ll enjoy it even more after all that hard work.

3. He enjoys all aspects of life

And that leads me to another thought. He encourages me to relish life, to really enjoy it and all of its simple pleasures. For me and my dog, the best simple pleasure of all is eating. He will close his eyes, toss his head back and chew his food like he has never eaten anything so divine in his little dog life. Every once in a while, he may even do a dance, pause, and stare at that piece of food to prolong the happy anticipation.

4. He’s never shy

He has taught me that making friends is easy as long as you’re approachable and if you get rejected, there’s always someone else who will accept you. He brings that openness to the dog park and sometimes it’s a little more than other dogs can handle. He does a little hop (which I think is his way of shrugging) and will bring that wagging tail up to another dog who shares that same enthusiasm. He does not let someone else’s opinion of him bring him down–he moves on and finds someone else who sees just how amazing he is.

The best part is that my dog is not alone. He’s perfect because he’s mine, of course, but most dogs are like this. They are open, they are loving, they are vulnerable, and they are bursting with positivity one-hundred percent of the time, no matter how many tough obstacles they face. It may seem silly, or possibly absolutely brilliant, but when we’re trying to determine the formula for a wonderful life, we should look to our dogs.

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