10 Things My Dog Taught Me

March 30, 2011, by Carine Fabius

Carine’s dog Tulip, photo by Pascal Giacomini

Carine observes that some of life’s best lessons come from our four-footed friends

1. When you have an itch, scratch it. If something is nagging at you, insisting a certain person or circumstance just doesn’t feel right, go with it sooner than later. You’ll save yourself a lot of grief. Plus, your wallet may still be where you left it when you go to pay for your session with that shrink.

2. If you need to fart, just do it. If you are feeling bloated with the gaseous fumes of critical words that need to be said or important ideas which need to be expressed, let them out; you’ll feel a lot better. When you’re sick, do you try to repress your cough with syrup? Stop it! Cough up the mucus, baby. Blocking a bodily function has never been a good idea.

3. Show love with enthusiasm. If there is someone in your life who you just adore—be it a spouse, friend or special family member—show them you can’t live without them (you know, get all excited when they walk in the door, jump all over them, ask if you can sit on their lap, etc.). They’ll think you’re nuts but they’ll be thrilled, and you will have them eating out of your hand.

4. When you need to go for a walk, make sure somebody knows. If your needs are not being met and you’re not speaking up, wake up. Most human beings cannot read minds. In fact, they are very bad at it. So, say it loud! Otherwise you may just have to clean up that awful mess yourself.

5. If you confront a cat, expect to get scratched. Everyone knows about so-called “catty” people. No explanation needed.

6. When all else fails, bite ‘em. Sometimes being nice just won’t do. There are situations that call for aggressive action, like if someone is trying to stake claim to your brilliant idea, steal your money, or take away your rights. This is not the time to try a little kindness. Don’t attempt to show them the error of their ways; just bite their head off. If necessary, you can always offer to pay for the doctor’s bill.

7. Be open and shameless about wanting a treat. If you need to pamper yourself, and you can afford it, it doesn’t matter that there are starving children in America. You can always send a few dollars to your favorite charity if it makes you feel better. So go ahead, drink expensive champagne, buy a really good quality bra just because it gives your breasts that extra lift, or splurge on a weekend getaway with your favorite buddy because it’s exactly what you need to get out of your funk. Just make sure you look puppy cute when you tell your out-of-work friends.

8. If you want to run after squirrels, prepare to be outrun. If you are in your fifties but prefer significantly younger partners, they will eventually leave you for another equally energetic squirrel. If you go after them with full acknowledgement of this fact, you will enjoy the chase more, and when they do leave, you will resist the embarrassing and futile effort of leaping up repeatedly at the trunk of their tree.

9. Wag your tail to show you’re happy. I am talking about the fine art of flirting. Yes, even though I’ve been married a long time, I still remember how fun it is, and practice it whenever appropriate. You know how to do it, don’t you girls? Just put your two rear cheeks together and wiggle!

10. If you want to belong to someone, don’t worry if they put a collar around your neck. Just make sure it’s got diamonds in it!

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11 Responses to “10 Things My Dog Taught Me”

  1. Conz Says:

    So–It’s not enough that dogs succeed, the cats must also fail? I’ve learned purr-fect lessons from my cat pals, too. Good grooming is a must, take naps with abandon, maintain a little mystery, and nibble, don’t scarf your food like those ridiculous dogs.

    I love this post, Carine. Dogs or cats, I love them all. Don’t get me started on elephants VS donkeys, though.

  2. christie Says:

    Brilliant! I am sewing this blog into a sampler. It’s everything you need to know to get through life. Thank you, Carine.

  3. Mellimel Says:

    And everything is worthy of consideration, exploration.
    I think dog’s were the inspiration for Ram Dass’
    Be Here Now! Certainly wherever Dot is she is here now.

  4. Linda Myers Says:

    Suggestion #1 is just what I needed to read today. Thanks, Carine!

  5. Cathy Says:

    Yes! Carine your observations and brilliant interpretations are fun and smart reminders that we must get back to our animal nature. I’m with Connie on the cat wisdom. I’ve learned from Cleo the Superkitty that a good butt pat can be heaven and hair balls are a reminder to cough up the bad and just move on.

  6. dearpru Says:

    In an unscripted moment of synchronicity, just as I was reading point #2, my adorable Bedlington terrier let fly a fart right under my nose. The overall sensory experience was brilliant! And, I think that was her way of saying, “I whole-fartedly approve of this piece! Woof!” Can’t get much higher praise than that!

  7. Carine Says:

    Connie and Cathy,
    I was thinking my next blog should be about the things my cat taught me since I am lucky enough to have one of those too. By the way, just so you know, the cute critter in that picture up there is my very own dog, Tulip!

  8. Lisa Says:

    Carine, I laughed out loud several times…then had to post it to my fb! In other words, loved it! You rock. Kiss Tulip for me!


  9. Jerry Says:

    If I may offer a mans perspective having spent many hours with my wife and her friends as they gossip and enjoy their wine. If a dog is gorgeous, other dogs don’t hate it!

  10. Annice Says:

    So so true. That’s why we all love our dogs. Great post.

  11. Cathy Goodwin Says:

    I’m not so sure about #8 and #10! Some of us keep up with the younger folks pretty well at the gym. And *nobody* puts a collar around me. I don’t care if it’s got diamonds, rubies and pearls. I like #1 and #3. And my cats wouldn’t dream of scratching a dog but I like that metaphor.

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