Life is as simple as the Zen teaching above. But we, as human beings, are complicated creatures. If you have a pet though, it’s easy to see, from close quarters, how little they need to stay happy. Here are some simple things I have learnt from my dog:
1. Every day is a new beginning: Rain or sunshine, every day for my dog is a brand new beginning. He struts to life with a zeal and enthusiasm that is infectious.
2. Live in the moment: Ever noticed how peaceful your pet is while playing with you? S/he will be equally peaceful when commanded to sit, walk, run etc. In fact, even if scolded, s/he may sulk for a while... but forget it the next moment. If we could also let go of emotions that drag us down, we could do much better.
3. Lively, spontaneous, mischievous: It’s as if your pooch has taken the responsibility to keep your life positive through his/her lively and mischievous acts. Spontaneity keeps him (and you) interested in your pets’s next moves. There is never a dull moment with a pet around. Such moments help us recuperate and rejuvenate the body, mind and soul. We should always keep our spontaneity alive.
4. Eat, play, love: That’s all you need to stay happy and healthy. Just ask any Lab parent – all they do is eat, play, wag their tail and sleep.
5. Be a good listener: Your pet can’t talk to you... well, in words. But they do get you, don’t they? Can’t we try harder, since we have the advantage of speech?
6. Self-belief: Have you noticed how a small breed, say a Pug or a Spitz, can easily tame a large breed? The fear always lies in our minds. We must get past it.
7. Look cute when you’ve goofed up: A funny lesson but it works really well (practically speaking). Goofed up on something? Simply roll your eyes, look cute and plead with love. Most hearts would melt.
8. Explore new possibilities: Your dog is never afraid to put his wet nose on a new object. Given a chance s/he would take a bite too. How often do we stop short of greatness simply by not treading unchartered paths? Mostly, isn’t it? It means we go through our lives without knowing even 50 per cent of our own potential.
9. Repetition begets mastery: We did this as children – do the things we love again and again. Play, laugh, dance... How did we grow out of the ability to do the same as adults? Look at your pet; s/he never forgets to repeatedly do things they love.
10. Stand up for what you believe in: We often hesitate to speak up for ourselves. Have you ever seen a dog which hesitates to bark up a riot to make his point clear?
11. Show love: A wag of a tail and the excitement of your pet to see you is all you need to forget your pain or tiredness. Imagine if we could do it to the people we love, instead of dumping our bad mood on them?
12. Loyalty matters: The world may teach us to be selfish, self-centred to see ourselves through but a pet dog is all you need to know that loyalty isn’t just an an age-old virtue that people just talk about – it soothes your soul to know your pet dog will always be loyal to you. People aren’t any different. Betrayal hurts.
(Hema is a pet groomer)
Are you a proud pet parent? Have a cute cat story to share? Maybe your guinea pig is giving you trouble? Whatever is your creature companion, we are here to listen to you. Send your photos, queries and stories to [email protected]
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Keep Them Active. Energy varies between breeds, says Dr. Becker. “Greyhounds, Labs, Golden Retrievers, Jack Russell Terriers, Border Collies, and other active breeds have unfathomable energy.” He continues, “wolves spend 80% of their time awake, moving. With cats, there’s not such an exercise requirement,” but providing outlets for play at home is still crucial. For both cats and dogs he recommends food-dispensing that “recreates the hunt,” and puzzle feeders that engage your pet’s “body and mind.”
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