Every year, our human friends get all fired up about making New Year’s resolutions. By this time, they’ve usually broken most of them. I think they aim too high. Dogs know it’s the little things in life that are important. So, let’s give our friends some new resolutions. With our help, they can’t fail.
1. Stop to Think. When we walk together, most humans march along without stopping to appreciate a fallen leaf, a blade of grass, a puddle of rain or a puddle around a fire hydrant. It’s up to us to make them pause and reflect upon the simple things. The next time your human totes a load of laundry down the hall to the washing machine, walk slightly ahead and suddenly hit the brakes. When commanded to move, pretend to be lost in thought and unable to hear (all dogs are good at this). If you are large, they can’t get around you; if you are small, they're afraid you might get stepped on. Either way, they must stop to examine their surroundings. Is that an overlooked cobweb in the corner? Is that family portrait slightly askew? And when was the last time we gave Aunt Gertie and Uncle Hank a call? These moments of quiet contemplation can do wonders for the human spirit.
2. Reach out and Touch Someone. Humans often resolve to pay more attention to their loved ones. Dogs can lead the way. After you polish off your next meal, get close to your human and say thank you with a resounding burp. Give them a sloppy kiss, a quick snuggle or a soft touch with your paw several times a day. A little hair and mud on their clothes is a small price to pay for letting them know you care. The more you reach out, the more your human will remember that we all need a hug now and then.
3. Sing a Song. Whether we harmonize with a neighborhood pooch or a passing siren, dogs know there’s nothing like a good sing-a-long. It feels great to sing, so take center stage and, in the words of Mama Cass, make your own kind of music. Start out soft and low, then build to a crescendo that rattles the windows. If your human doesn’t raise their voice in song, at least they’ll raise their voice to be heard over all your noise!
4. Boogie Down. If I've heard it once, I've heard it a hundred times: humans want to get more exercise. What could be more fun than dancing? Promenade left and do-sa-do, wrap 'em in the leash and around they go! At home, grab your favorite toy and really shake its bootie. Your joyful leaping and spinning should set human toes to tappin’. If not, let your toy fly free in the direction of something breakable. Your human will get on their feet in no time!
5. Share the Joy. Lucky dogs like me get lots of goodies during the holidays from friends and family. Even though their heart’s in the right place, sometimes humans don’t make informed choices. Won’t they ever notice that I don’t like peanut butter treats, or the Yorki-sized pet bed with the pattern of cherubs and daisies just isn’t my style, or that a cat toy (ewwww!!) is not appropriate under any circumstances? Now’s your chance to help your human keep their resolution to "give more" and drag them by the leash to the local shelter. Your rejected gifts can make a homeless pet happy while they wait for their own special human. And on your way back, swing by the nearest store for a treat you’ll really love because, remember, charity begins at home!