Over the years, I have had my fair share of dogs. Each came with his or her own unique personality. Some were lazy good-for-nothings that were really just furry foot-stools in disguise. Some were so hyperactive they needed a sedative mixed in with their breakfast in order to see the day through. Some were needy and clingy, and some just wanted to eat all day.
But all of my dogs seemed to share common traits that I have come to think of as basic canine values. Values that, in this topsy turvy time of our’s, we humans could stand to learn a lesson or two from. And in so doing, perhaps we may end up in a slightly better world.
2. If you see a puddle, splash in it.
3. Love your family unconditionally.
4. To your enemies, be vicious unconditionally.
5. It’s always a good time to get a massage.
6. Be unwaveringly loyal.
7. Sniff first before you say hello. You might not like what you smell.
8. Clean up your plate and then look around for seconds. You never know when the next meal may be coming.
9. Be grateful.
10. Be patient with children. They don’t know any better.
11. If all else fails, a little growl and bared teeth will usually sort out an unpleasant situation.
12. Regard every tree as an opportunity to pee on.
13. Never pee on the furniture. For some reason, people tend to get a little upset.
14. There’s no problem in the world that can’t be overcome with a nap.
15. Assume everyone is your friend.
16. Until they give you reason to decide otherwise. (See No.7.)
17. If you stare long enough at a person, eventually they’ll weaken and give you a snack.
18. Assume that everyone thinks you’re cute.
19. And know that you are.
20. Be sad when saying goodbye.
21. Greet with enthusiasm.
22. Stay close to the ones you love.
23. Be alert in the presence of food.
24. There’s never a bad time to tell someone you love them.
25. Always be up for a long walk.
26. Especially if good friends are coming along.
27. Always say hello to everyone you meet. (But see No. 7.)
28. Wave when saying hello.
29. And good-bye.
30. Smiling at everyone is a cheap way to get what you want.
31. Sometimes, bad things happen even to good dogs.
32. But that doesn’t mean you have to obsess over it.
33. And sometimes, it’s good to clear the mind with a nice, deep-throated bark.
34. Not all cats are your enemies.
35. But approach with caution.
36. Or better yet, let them approach you.
37. You may see nothing wrong with licking yourself in public, but not everyone shares the same opinion.
38. It’s natural to fret when you don’t know where your loved ones are.
39. Always make time to stop for a quick chat.
40. The vet is not a good place to be.
41. But he will make you feel better.
43. Take every opportunity to show someone how much you love them. A smile, a lick, a wave. It all works.
44. When you gotta go, you gotta go.
45. Sleep soundly. Tomorrow is another day.