1. Forgive mistakes–No matter what we humans do-move our dogs from comfortable seats in front of the television or go on walks or jogs without them when the weather is too hot or cold-dogs never hold a grudge. They forgive us and don’t dwell on our wrongs.
2. Celebrate time together—How wonderful is it to come home to someone who’s always thrilled to see you? Whether we left the house five hours ago or five minutes ago, canines are thrilled to be reunited with us. In today’s world of constant “busy-ness,” pausing to celebrate the entrance of a loved one doesn’t always happen. That makes the act even more powerful.
3. Prioritize exercise–We live in a stressful world. Exercise is a great way to fight back against tension in our lives and also to have meaningful time with loved ones away from computers, phones and other distractions. Most dogs would agree that we would all be better off if we spent more time together on walks.
4. Embrace the power of silence–Listening is hard work. Many of us spend more time waiting for a turn to speak than paying attention to what our partners are telling us. Our dogs are never waiting to talk. They cock their heads and try their best to understand our message.
5. Show love in big and small ways–From laying their heads on our laps while we watch a movie to barking wildly and running in circles when we take them to the park, dogs let us know we are loved every single day.
6. Be yourself–In the words of RuPaul, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?” Dogs have no interest in being anyone but themselves. That’s why they can show affection so easily. They don’t want to impress. They just want to love.
7. Don’t forget to have fun–Life is too short not to play and feel good with those we care about.
8. Be loyal–Dogs don’t complain to their friends when we leave dirty dishes in the sink, gain a few pounds or show up late for an evening walk. I’ve never seen a dog make someone look bad.
9. Treat your loved ones even better than they deserve–We should all aspire to be the types of people our dogs think we are.
10. Give each other some space—Your dog doesn’t understand some of your hobbies, like Facebook or reading. We don’t get the joy they get from chasing birds or rolling in mud. But you get along. Having time to pursue individual hobbies keeps you happy and well balanced. Everyone needs personal space from time to time.