My dog makes me feel guilty

Do we always have to be so serious here?  The next few entries will try to lighten up a bit, as laughter is always good medicine. See what you think.

I love my dogs. I’ve always loved my dogs, but now that I have only one, she follows me around even more or that’s what I seem to think, anyway.  And that makes me feel guilty.  Everytime she looks at me,  she looks longingly into my eyes and wags her tail and sits up taller and everytime that happens I feel she wants something from me. So sometimes I need to not go home, because once I go home I feel guilty if I don’t walk her.  And there’s no way I can do yoga at home.  She crawls on the edge of the matt and stares at me with those big brown eyes and I can’t resist,  5 minutes later I’m on the floor rubbing her.  I have to leave the house to exercise.   And it’s  almost as impossible for me to get her to lose weight as it’s for me to lose weight, maybe you can look at those eyes and say no but I can’t, I actually have to avoid eye contact with her or I’m doomed.  When I go to watch TV with my husband, she crawls between us and paws us to pay attention to her, and if I go to rub his shoulders or hand, I have to have another hand rubbing her as well, so forget reading if she’s around! Who owns who?

I read a great article years ago about how dogs domesticated us.  They’re great at mimic, they mimic our behaviors and get us to do what they want us to.  Pretty smart animals.  Sometime early on, we got the idea that they would benefit our lives.  They convinced us of that.   They totally depend on us for everything, and we love it!  In return for their attention, we get all kinds of good things from them.

They always love us.  One of my happiness exercises when I was teaching happiness class was “channel your inner dog”.  If we go somewhere, especially somewhere we are dreading going, but instead channel our inner dog, the whole experience changes.  We smile at others and wag our tails, and guess what?  People smile in response and wag their tails too.   Then dealing with that dreadful event becomes kind of silly and funny and even a fun surprise!  Hardly any of us can resist those big eyes and a wagging tail!  We instantly reach out!  It works!

So what can we learn from dogs?

1.Mimicking others’ behavior is a great way to get what we want.  This is why “fake it until you make it ” works.  Mimicking creates comfort in others, and that helps us get a nice welcome and get treated well.

2.  We project an awful lot of what we’re feeling onto others.  When we’re happy, everyone seems happy and the opposite is also true.  Put out love and a wagging tail and people will treat you better.  Be careful what you project.  Much of what we experience is just our thoughts projected onto others when we feel rejected, paranoid, unloved, we can easily be misconstruing our feelings as theirs.

We can learn alot from dogs. Who can resist  that unconditional love we get every time we come home?  Hardly any of us can.  That greeting is a great gift we get for feeding them.  So many people feel they like their dogs more than people and couldn’t live without them.  Wouldn’t life be so much easier if we just had to feed people to make them be nice to us?  Wouldn’t it be great if we could train our kids to be nice to us because we gave them food and treats?  Maybe life gets a lot better when we act more like our dogs!

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My dog makes me feel guilty

3 thoughts on “My dog makes me feel guilty

  1. Rhonda I was lucky enough to take your happiness class. I know that ‘smiling like a dog’ works. Before my life traumas occurred I was a happy person and I smiled all the time. People do respond better to you when you do. I work in a hospital and I once had a patient’s husband seek me out after I cared for his wife to tell me how my smile made him feel so good and he thanked me for it. I would get comments like that often. Once my traumas occurred I stopped smiling. No one sought me out to tell me they were uplifted by my frown or sad face. I had to relearn how to be happy. After 3 1/2 years I am pleased to announce that I have learned. People are slowly beginning to comment on my smile again. I also am pleased to say that it is a smile that comes from my soul. Through God, Rhonda, counseling, medication and the determination to get better I have found my genuine smile. I recommend every unhappy person practice at least once daily ‘smiling like a dog’ . Sooner or later your heart and your brain catch up with each other and the happiness slowly comes back into your life. It is a different happiness than before. This happiness was well earned and therefore so much more precious. Thank you Rhonda for your part in my recovery. Nancy

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