1. Walks. Yes, this one is obvious. But you don’t realize how hard it is to say “no, I have too much to do” or “I’m too tired” while an eager little dude looks up at you and wags his whole body at the thought of 15 minutes out around the neighborhood with you.
I can’t say no to that. And besides, if I tried to ignore him, he’d have so much excess energy that I’d never be able to get any work done over the din of insane tail-chasing and lap-climbing that would ensue. And afterwards, we BOTH feel better— and Jack can nap, and I can work. The moral of the story is, get up, move your body, and get fresh air as a matter of course. It will pay back your time.
2. Play time. Dogs play. Dogs want to play with you. Sometimes, you just have to throw that tennis ball— no ifs, ands, or buts. It’s time to play. Mandatory. I am terrible about that in my life! But when Jack does it, I 1) think it’s adorable, and 2) do it. So remember to play!
3. Not giving a damn. Jack does not appologize for being Jack, and he never thinks he isn’t good enough at being Jack. He sticks his butt in the air, prances around like a racehorse, and barks at garbage trucks. He does his thing— He doesn’t care if you like it (shout out, Tina Fey!)
4. Routine. He gets up early. He goes out in the yard to poop. Then, he has breakfast, and then he tells you it’s walk time. There’s nap time, bird-chasing time, and dinner time. This is Jack’s routine— and so it’s my routine, too. It’s the little things that we need every day to make us healthy and happy, and it’s making them part of the backdrop of life.
5. Non-judgement. Jack don’t care! I can eff up at work, wear two shoes that don’t match, quit after 15 minutes on the treadmill, or forget to bring my reusable bags to the grocery. Guess what? Jack still wags his tail when I get home, and he still looks at me like I’m the best thing since bacon. Thanks, buddy— I needed that!!