Because it’s so hot nowadays, given that it is summer, I often find myself walking my two dogs, Chelsea and Jamie, at night. As always, my younger brother accompanies me on these walks and every so often we use that time to catch up with each other–whether we’re complaining about something as simple as our mother’s lack of interest in cooking or the most recent scientific findings. Yesterday night during our usual walk, I spent a lot of time thinking about the way our dogs behaved and how almost everything in their lives excited them. Additionally, I noticed that beyond this excitement was an expression of gratefulness. As if with every meal they received their wagging tails were symbolic for the phrase “Food! This is awesome! I am truly happy to be receiving food!” Then it hit me–imagine if we all lived like that.
Most of the time, people look at a dog’s life in a very simplistic way. They eat, sleep, casually ignore the concept of depth perception and then do things that make you wonder whether they are trying to be cute or just trying to annoy you. That being said, because dogs haven’t really been proved to “think like us” (whatever that’s supposed to mean), a lot of people only look at the face values of their actions and just leave it at that. But when I look at Chelsea and Jamie, I try to imagine myself in their heads. What would I say, from the perspective of my dogs, if I was asked how I felt about my life? Would I say I was content? Or would I say I was downright bored with it?
When I see the way my dogs react to me–their smiling faces and wagging tails, I see that they are obviously quite happy. For those who think this is a prerequisite for being a dog, unfortunately it isn’t. I’ve seen some dogs, both on the internet and in real life, who literally have no light in their eyes. A lot of these dogs have been dealt a hard hand and when I think about this, I am both saddened with their situation and elated to know that my dogs are not going through that. It’s a confusing mix of emotions but the reality for most dog owners I know.
There’s an old saying that goes “a tired dog is a happy dog” and in many ways, I agree with this phrase. On each of our thirty minute to one hour walks with our dogs, they end up completely pooped out. Yet, at the end of every one of their walks, they happily wag their tails through our front entrance without fail. For me, that says a lot more than my reaction when I walk through the front entrance from a day at work. Can you imagine the average nine-to-fiver or even a part-time worker like me, smiling (the human equivalent of a tail wagging) at the thought of work? Unless your job is to taste-test at a candy factory, that usually isn’t the case (and if that is the case, you and my dogs should go for coffee).
In essence, every moment of my dogs’ lives is something that they are grateful for. The food they eat, the walks they go on, the times spent being loved and loving–these may seem small to us humans but hold a lot of importance to them. As we rake our minds for something to criticize, or complain about our own little mediocrities, my dogs sit in their own clouds of happiness, just trying to take in the whole world. Albeit they can’t speak a human language and lack opposable thumbs, with their drive to live a life of endless positivity I’d hardly say we have the upper hand.
Dogs By Mercedes Villanueva – All Rights Reserved
Previously Published At You Love Mercedes
Guest Author Bio
Mercedes Villanueva is a freelance writer from Scarborough, Ontario, Canada. She currently attends University of Toronto as an undergraduate student where she aims to complete her Honours Bachelor of Arts by 2016. Realistically, she aspires to earn a career either in high school education or law, but her true goal lays in the desire to make a positive difference in everyone she meets.
On a regular basis, however, she is just that young woman who looks too young to be smoking a cigarette.
Blog / Website: http://youlovemercedes.wordpress.com
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