Everything I Needed to Learn about Health & Happiness, I Learned From my Dog

The Littlest Lamb.

The Littlest Lamb.

 After last week's serious post, I decided to write something light-hearted. Having a dog has taught me so much about myself, healthy boundaries, and the importance of sleep. You don't need to go through the delightful torture of mothering a pup because here is:

Ollie's Top 5 Lessons on Health & Happiness

Is this blog an excuse for me to be a crazy puppy mommy and show you cute pictures and videos?

Most definitely.

But I promise there are valuable lessons, too!

 

 

Play time at the park!    

Play time at the park!

 

 

 

 

1. Honor yourself.

When Ollie wants to eat, he eats.

When Ollie wants to sleep, he sleeps.

When Ollie wants to play, he annoys the shit out of me, but he plays.

The Takeaway: Sometimes the healthy choice is to honor your needs and let go of pleasing others.

 

 

 

 

Napping on Grandpa after a long day of being cute. It's exhausting!

Napping on Grandpa after a long day of being cute. It's exhausting!

2. Listen to your body.

Much to my dismay, you cannot control the bladder of a puppy. Nor can you force a puppy to go on a walk when he would rather lie down in the middle of a busy intersection.

The Takeaway: Don’t listen to what you “should” do. There’s no such thing. You don’t need to run a marathon and you don’t need to be a certain size. Sometimes self-love, means baking cookies and writing a blog about your puppy.

 

 

Ollie's reaction to my explanation that yoga time comes before our trip to the park. 

Ollie's reaction to my explanation that yoga time comes before our trip to the park. 

 

3. Express yourself.

We’ve all heard that communication is the cornerstone of any relationship. Ollie has not heard this, but he knows it well. Whether through a barkfest or a grimace, Ollie expresses his emotions and isn’t afraid to get mad. 

The Takeaway: When you want something, ask for it. Don’t expect anyone to read your mind. This is especially true if you’ve recently been let out and/or fed.

 

 

 

Ollie (left) and his best friend/cousin Baxter (right)

Ollie (left) and his best friend/cousin Baxter (right)

4. Make time for fun and friends.

 You know who doesn’t work too hard? Ollie. All he has to do is look cute and I’ll keep paying his rent and feeding him organic dog treats. When Ollie does need some quality fun time with his friends, he pulls his leash until I take him to our local dog run.

The Takeaway: Not everything is so serious. Carving out time for fun and friends, the same way you carve out time for meetings and obligations, is the key to a healthy and balanced life.

 

Photo courtesy of GDV, purveyor of images that have made me smile since 2003

Photo courtesy of GDV, purveyor of images that have made me smile since 2003

  

5. Celebrate Yourself.

This may not be Ollie, but it’s cute as hell.

The Takeaway: You did something awesome. Even if nobody recognized you for it, there are things you’ve accomplished that you can be proud of. Validate yourself and celebrate how amazing you are.

 

 

The Ultimate Takeaway:

When in doubt ask yourself, "What would Ollie do?" or, if that's too out there (or you keep chasing tennis balls) ask yourself this instead:

"In this moment, what would someone with abundant self-love do?"

You'll always make the decision that points you to your happiest and healthiest self.