29 Nov 2020
There was an article in the paper this morning that really caught my attention.
The writer was referring to her health, and how it improved dramatically once she started to treat herself like a dog. I really, really liked what she said so I’ve paraphrased and added more to it.
I have a dog. Many of you know this. If you don’t, you haven’t been reading carefully. The vet once referred to her as a bit of a princess, on a visit when she objected to have fat hairy fingers shoved up her butt, from memory. Ok it wasn’t that visit, it was a different issue – and it is perfectly acceptable in the canine and the human world to object to that. Anyway – she may be a bit of a Princess, but she’s a tree climbing, kayak riding, play with the big dogs sort of princess. A warrior princess, maybe.
But let’s be honest, she has a good life. She’s fit and healthy, but doesn’t lack from special attention and treats and love and devotion. Being treated like she does – putting aside those fat hairy fingers again – would be a good thing.
To treat yourself like a dog, you need to:
Eat good food. Many people cook up particular food for their dogs, whether it’s just their personal choice or whether your dog needs a particular type of food. My dog eats (as her proper source of food) a particular dry food that is specifically designed for small dogs who are prone to have teeth problems. Fortunately she likes it. She’s a bit of a grazer when it comes to eating – there is always her dry food available, but let’s be honest here, the little warrior princess prefers her starter dish at any meal time to be whatever the humans are eating. And she doesn’t want her serve of human food on a plate on the floor – she likes to be hand fed.
But if we are going to treat ourselves like dogs, we are going to choose as our main source of food, food that is good for us, and that we enjoy. We won’t eat stuff that is good for us that we have to suffer through, though. We will choose what’s nice.
Treats. Any dog will tell you that treats are a very necessary part of the day. They help solve little psychological issues, like “Mum appears to be leaving me to go out shopping. I could sulk, or I could eat this tasty bit of dried kangaroo”. Let’s just accept that treats are necessary, they shouldn’t be over utilised, but are a necessary part of life.
Naps. Every dog knows that energy is a renewable source, and the way to recharge is to just have a lie down for a while. Sometimes in the sunshine, sometimes on the couch, sometimes on a comfy bed. Sometimes on a load of washing waiting to be folded. Whatever works – if you are tired, have a rest.
Talk. My dog gets a lot of verbal love. Imagine how our lives would be if we talked to ourselves with the same kind of loving affirmation that we give our dogs?!?!??? It might even spill over to how we treat other people, but just imagine how our own days would go if we constantly praised ourselves for doing something, anything?
Walk. We all know that walking is the first part of exercise we all need to be doing. I count steps each day, and if I don’t pass 10,000 steps each day I feel as if I’ve sat on my butt all day and have failed. Dogs like to exercise too, but what they really love is to have a wander. Have a sniff. Look at things. Interact with other dogs (yes there may be butt sniffing involved here).
How would our lives be if one of our little exercise trips each day was just simply to have a look around, bask in the sunshine (if available), have a smell of the roses, and have a chat with people walking by? Yes it would be exercise – not blood pumping exercise – but soul lifting exercise, which is just as beneficial.
Cuddles. We have all seen or experienced dogs who are cuddle hounds. There are those who need their tummies rubbed, those whose ears need a rub, and ones who have a sweet spot on their back just before their tail where they REALLY like to have a rub. My dog also likes to cuddle up on the bed or couch and just snuggle.
A human version of this can of course be achieved with a hug or cuddle from a loved one, but also by having a massage, or maybe a visit to the hairdresser.
Let’s all start to treat ourselves like dogs. I’m going to have a treat and then a wander to smell some flowers and chat with strangers. I won’t sniff their butts unless they start it first.