Our dog’s name is Aria and she has a wonderful influence on the family. She loves to play with the kids and is excited and happy whenever any of us walk in the door. She adapts to each family member’s mood and has enough love to spread among everyone in the family with some left over for visitors. As I learn and write about happiness, I noticed she already knows most of what I am learning and provides great examples for how to be happier.
- Gratitude comes natural to her. She is grateful when we get home, grateful when we take her on a walk, grateful when she gets fed and really grateful when we throw a ball she can chase and bring back.
- Positive Relationships – she connects and gives unconditional love to anyone who is willing to spend a few minutes with her, as long as they pass the sniff test. She notices people’s moods and adjusts her actions to fit their mood. When we are excited to see her, she shares that excitement and when we are quiet and thoughtful she lies down and patiently waits. Her expectation is that she will love and be loved back, so she ignores any actions that don’t support that belief.
- Forgiveness – she never holds a grudge. No matter how forgetful or thoughtless we are, she will immediately forgive us and be ready play and love and just hangout.
- Positive Attitude – She believes everything is going to turn out right and ignores any evidence to the contrary. She never stops and worries, what if they don’t feed me. She just keeps expecting that at some point she is going to be fed. If someone in the family is in a bad mood, she waits patiently with the expectation they will eventually transition back to a good mood and she does everything she can to help them get there.
- Owns Her Happiness – If we are not around or are too busy to play, our dog will sit in the sun, chew on a bone, or chase squirrels as they jump from tree to tree. She finds a way to be happy and enjoy herself no matter what the circumstances.
- Higher Purpose – she knows her purpose in life is to make us happy. You can see in her eyes the joy she gets from making someone in the family smile. The happier we get, the happier she gets. She is never angry or upset. She stays focused on her purpose; making us happy and being happy with us.
So, if you need a quick reminder about how to be happy, talk to your dog. Her response will be happiness itself.
“Happiness is a warm puppy.” – Charles M. Schulz
What have you learned from your dog about happiness?