6 Ways I Want to Be More Like a Dog

Dogs get the most out of life. Their very existence embodies awesome. I honest-to-dog wish I had half their spirit.


Dogs are so cool. No matter what they do, they’re totally confident and brimming with awesome. They’re WAY cooler than me. Even after they’ve rolled in some dead thing, they look fantastic. Smell, not so much, but they totally own their stink. I wish I could say the same thing about me when I haven’t showered for a few days.

Dogs also know how to find the joy in nearly every situation. I’m sure dogs would laugh at my shelves of self-help books. I want some of that poochy panache! Here are six ways I’d like to be more like a dog.

1. I want to smile at strangers

The other day in the grocery store, I noticed most people I passed didn’t even make eye contact, much less smile or look even moderately friendly. What’s up with that? You know what else? I realized I don’t regularly make an effort to connect with strangers — even with a simple smile. And I consider myself a friendly person!

Dogs usually have no trouble in this area. They smile at most everyone, generally don’t try to avoid contact, and don’t pass judgement. What’s the worst thing that could happen if I smile or even extend a greeting? They don’t smile back? They don’t return my cordial “hi”? Oh, well. We can all take a lesson from our canine friends and show a little friendliness to strangers. We probably want to avoid any crotch-sniffing, but a smile and greeting would be swell.

2. I want to eat everything with gusto

Saying a dog eats with gusto might be a bit of an understatement. They absolutely adore their food and embrace mealtime with zeal, times infinity. Sometimes I look at the way I eat. I stand in front of the refrigerator and stare at the contents. Then I walk to the pantry and gaze blankly at its nonperishable innards. Then back to the fridge. Then back to the pantry. This goes on until my hunger quickly morphs into crankiness and I just blindly grab something that looks easy to prepare. Usually it’s a bowl of cereal. There is nothing about that whole process that screams “zeal.”

You know how you go out to eat and order something that sounds completely heavenly? Like a golden aura surrounds the description in the menu and you hear angelic harps with each bite? That’s how a dog feels every time he eats. I want to hear harps when I eat my Cheerios. Or at least a little keytar.

3. I want to stop and smell the flowers

Dogs are the most grateful beings on this planet. They appreciate every belly scratch, treat, sniff, squirrel sighting, and kind word. And each wag of the tail and doggy kiss is a emphatic “thank you!” Sometimes my “thank you” is an automatic reply, and I don’t stop and allow the feeling of gratitude to really sink in. With dogs, every “thank you” not only sinks in, it oozes out! I want to ooze — not in a creepy way. In a thankful way.

4. I want to always ask for what I want

Do I always ask for what I want? No. Why? Because as humans, we sometimes feel like we’re being rude or greedy if we make a request. Sometimes you have to ask in order to get. I’m working on this one. Dogs have it down pat. Even if they don’t open their cute little mouths, their eyes speak volumes. Have you ever eaten a piece of cheese in front of a dog? You know the look I’m talking about. And we usually give in, right? At least some of the time.

As humans, we need to do more than stare when we want something — we need to ask. Although there’s something to be said for the puppy dog eyes. They work wonders on my husband.

5. I want to use things ’til they’re spent

Dogs love their toys and will play with a tennis ball until it’s completely busted open and caked with layers of drool and mud. And they’re no more excited about a new ball than they are the nasty old one. They love their stuff ’til there’s no more lovin’ to be had.

I think about that when I consider my patterns. I sometimes buy new when the old will do just as well. I’ve sort of become the consumer I’ve always complained about. Not that there’s anything wrong with nice new things, but accumulating unecessary stuff is not how I want to be. In fact, I try to shop at thrift shops and recycle my own things when I can. I could be much better about it, though. I need to apply the tennis-ball principle to my shoe-buying habit.

6. I want to get excited about everything

Who’s more excited that a dog? Nobody. I love feeling excited and, truly, there are so many things in my life to feel excited about. You know that feeling when you receive a really cool gift or find that perfect pair of shoes? I’d like to feel that excited about other things, like spending an afternoon with a friend or hearing a song I really love on the radio. Not that I don’t feel happy about those things, I just love that excited feeling so much and would like to experience it more often.

Dogs feel absolutely exuberant about most everything. Going to a walk? Yay! Grandma’s over? Yay! Chipmunks on the front porch? Yay! I would love to feel more excited about the small things. But I definitely don’t want to pee on the floor.

In what ways do you wish you were more like a dog? Tell us about it in the comments!

Read more posts by Angie Bailey:

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