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Everything I Need To Know, I Learn From My Dog

Sometimes the most important lessons in life come from unexpected teachers, such as my dog. I’m not the only philosophical pet-owner who writes about canine inspiration, so here’s my take on what my six-pound apricot toy poodle named Luci teaches me.

Always wake up in a good mood.
Love unconditionally–it’s your number one priority.
Don’t hold grudges. Forgive easily.
If you’re dirty, clean yourself.
Don’t judge people by how they look. Treat everyone equally.
Give lots of kisses.
Be loyal.
Protect your loved ones and your property.
Chase butterflies.
Play hard.
Watch leaves flutter to the ground. Stay curious about everything.
When you’re tired, take a break. Better yet, sneak in a nap.
Enjoy the cool breeze and warm sun on your face.
When you’re thirsty, drink lots of clean water.
Get plenty of rest and exercise.
Comfort people when they’re sick or sad. Kiss away tears.
Be there.
Cuddle often.
Bark, but don’t bite.
Lay in the grass.
Play in the snow.
Never pass up an opportunity to go for a walk or play ball.
Smell something before you eat it.
Learn how to relax.
Sit up straight.
Follow your instinct.
Be cautious of strangers.
When you have an itch, scratch it.
Stretch your arms and legs. Stay limber. Curl your body into a ball sometimes.
When someone in your family comes home from work or school, greet him or her like you haven’t seen each other in years.
Run circles around the big guys.
Being small makes you mighty, strong, nimble, and fast.
Make friends easily.
Be brave when you hear a strange noise in the middle of the night.
When you’re feeling cute, flaunt it.
Look at people in the eye when they talk to you.
When you’re excited about something, don’t hold back.
Pay attention to body language. If someone’s tail and head are down, give them space.
When your belly is full, leave food in your bowl.
Then again, there’s always room for dessert.
Don’t eat garbage; it’ll make you sick.
Never give up. Keep digging for what you want.
It’s the journey, not the destination, so enjoy the ride with the windows down.

“Mishegas of Motherhood” is the creation of Ellie S. Grossman, a St. Louis freelance writer and stay-at-home-mom who never stays home. Currently, she is obsessing over the invitations for her son’s upcoming bar mitzvah, so please feel free to send any advice to: ellie@mishegasofmotherhood.com or visit her website at www.mishegasofmotherhood.com.