16 things dogs can teach us about living well.

I wrote this article for MindBodyGreen last year, and I thought you'd enjoy it. A little mid-week lightness. I've learned lots of useful things about life from watching dogs. I often joke that I am ratherlike a dog: if I am unwalked, unstretched, unfed or unloved, I get grumpy, and start tugging on my leash. OK, the leash bit is metaphorical, but the rest is 100% fact.

As I tramp the parks and beaches near my house, I watch the dogs and I think about how much simpler our lives would be if we just lived like, well, dogs.

dog yogis

Everything you need to know about living, you can learn from watching dogs:

  1. Drink lots of water.
  2. Rest in the heat of the day.
  3. Walk every day.
  4. Stretch when you wake up, and when you have been still for a while.
  5. Playtime is always good, no matter how old you are.
  6. When you meet someone new, be friendly, but sniff them out and don’t get too close until you are sure they’re not going to bite you.
  7. If your ears are being scratched right now, then life is good. It doesn’t matter what happened five minutes ago...
  8. Greet every new day with enthusiasm!
  9. Sometimes, if you don’t follow the rules, you will get into trouble, but sometimes you won’t. It’s worth pushing the boundaries just to investigate what’s possible.
  10. Seeing your loved ones again at the end of the day really is the most exciting thing ever!
  11. There are so many interesting smells and sights in this world: investigate them.
  12. It helps to be in the right place at the right time: how else do you get the best pickings off the barbecue?
  13. Be gentle and patient with children.
  14. Growl when you need to, and bite if you feel very threatened. It’s not always appropriate to roll over and show your belly.
  15. Be loyal.
  16. How you have been treated is a direct indicator for how you will behave now, but that can change with love and the right circumstances.

Dogs are the ultimate yogis!