by Andy Dappen

Big ears, big nose, big hair, big brain… listen to your four-legged Yoda.

Few creatures live as fully or as transparently as a dog. That’s why friends I recently visited in British Columbia recommend that we spend more time imitating dogs. These friends, were even aware of a creed, Fidolosophy so to speak, helping people live bigger, better, fuller, kinder, richer, profounder, lives by copycatting dogs.

“Nonsense,” you say. “Getting down on all fours and wagging my bottom isn’t going to accomplish anything.”

Au contraire!” says a Fidolosopher. “Try it. You’ll find yourself laughing and happier.”

As I read through a list of 19 Things We Can Learn From a Dog, it was apparent that Romulus and Remus must have been happy that they were raised properly by wolves rather than messed up by people. It also occurred to me that about half of these lessons applied to why we should seize the moment to get outdoors and play… a lot. Getting outdoors to romp, play, exercise, unwind, and de-stress is good for the body, the mind, and the soul. Dogs know it. We’d know it, too … if we were half as smart.

Here’s are a few lessons we might all do well to adopt:  

  • Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride (or an outing).
  • Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
  • When it’s in your best interest, practice obedience (i.e., the honey-do list is sometimes worth ignoring).
  • Run, romp, and play daily.
  • If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
  • On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.
  • On hot days, drink lots of water and lay under a shady tree.
  • Take naps and stretch before rising.
  • Avoid biting when a simple growl will do. (Grrrowl…if I don’t get a ride in, I might bite off your head.)
  • Delight in the simple joy of a long walk. 

Got a clever, one-line phrase that adds to the creed of whiskered wisdom? Add it as a comment below.


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