Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Why My Dog is My New Role Model

I love my dog. He is probably the best living thing in the universe. I love him, so much, my friends make fun of me for my constant baby talk and when I’m lying exhausted in my bed after a hugely long day and I hear his little whimper outside my door I cannot resist letting him sleep on my bed (despite the fact that his snuggliness ensures I don't sleep a wink the entire night). He is my fluffy baby, my furry little shmoo shmoo, who enjoys playing catch, licking my face when I least expect it and rolling around in stuff that stinks the day after we bath him.

He isn’t always a fluffy white angel in disguise, no indeed. As well as the abovementioned post-bath-stinky-roll scenario which occurs almost once every month, he also has a habit of bringing rocks from the driveway inside, running out of our yard when it’s foggy (as he’s white and little the fog makes him really hard to see for passing motorists) - nearly giving us all heart attacks in the process -, and is an attention hog making procrastination a breeze whenever he’s about. He also likes to tear apart any dirty tissues he can get his paws on and claim any underpants he finds as his new and most coveted possessions. Not to mention how grumpy, unfriendly and gosh darn loud he is whenever tall redheaded/male friends show up for a visit.

These things aside, there are a number of things my dog does that fill me with joy, that I’ve recently decided would be good things to emulate in my own life, minus the drool-y chew toys and face licking (unless entirely necessary).

Firstly, my dog is not ashamed of how incredibly excited and joyful he is when I turn up. He jumps and he runs and he looks up at me with those eyes and he follows me around for at least two minutes (which is a lot longer than many guys have followed me around, btw). He gets so excited his face seems to squish back awkwardly, like he has some weird head defect.

He also isn’t afraid to let you know that he wants to play, or go outside, or let some passing stranger/cat have a piece of his canine mind. Dogs cannot catch “their first album was better” syndrome, that pompous, too-cool, douchebaggery rife throughout our nightclubs, cafes and universities. Denying your enjoyment of something should never be cool. There is far too much sorrow and pain in the world to love something half heartedly, and just because Triple J doesn’t play their most recent album, or your friend thinks it sucks doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy it if it brings you enjoyment. When my dog greets me with more enthusiasm than a bus full of first graders on an excursion to Sea World in the morning as I wipe sleep from my eyes on my way to the toilet it makes me I feel awesome, despite having just woken up and needing to pee. Greeting others as you genuinely feel you want to (with exceptions to those you don’t like so much perhaps… Courtesy is a good thing) will probably make you and the person you’re greeting a lot happier than a “hey, yeah I can’t stay long, but” aren’t-you-lucky-I-can-fit-you-into-my-busy-highly-superior-life-semi-put-down hello. Own fully your enjoyment when you have it, because, as the cliché goes, life is too short not to, my friend.

Secondly, my dog loves to have fun. My sister won an ugly fish toy about five years ago at the local show, and from when my dog was about four months he has played with it non-stop. First he tore apart it’s fins, then it’s stuffing was ripped out, the fish’s eye had to be removed as it was a choking hazard, and now the weary blue and yellow plush shell is all that remains to be tossed and brought back again. When friends visit they flinch in horror when they see it, and when my shmoo hands it to you far too often for comfort you end up with the drooly end. And sure, it’s pretty gross if you’re me, or some poor fellow my dog has decided to dote upon, but he doesn’t care. He doesn’t know what gross is. He poops outside on the grass, gets excited when he can dig up a lawn grub and eats unwanted foodstuffs off the floor. He has a sense of fun and everything can be made into a game (except perhaps bath time… and personal hygiene is a very serious matter after all).

Sometimes I look at my life, look at my choices, and wonder where all the fun went. I divide my time into chunks usually consisting of; eat this, exercise, study, appointment, write, yoga and relaxation (if I’m feeling balanced) and then on many a Saturday night I have “drinkies at such-and-such’s”, or “Out on the town with Suzie blah-blah” scribbled in, and that is when I schedule the fun in. Most of these nights barely meet their week’s worth of fun quota. Then I’m stuck with an entire month where barely any fun had been had at all. And I ask you, what kind of month is that? Not the kind of month I want to have often, that’s for sure. So my second thing that my dog does that I want to emulate is a no holds barred sense of fun. Even defecating on the lawn seems to hold some kind of secret fun to my dog, and he even has a good time just playing by himself or running about in the grass. He doesn’t need to get boozed up on a Saturday night, dance like a slurry and flirt with some stranger to have fun. I’m going to take an educated guess and say I don’t need to either (although doing those things can be pretty fun every so often).

So as you can see, my one-year-old maltese-cross-shitsu-cross-pappion mutt is my new role-model, and rightly too. If I have half as much fun as he does, and is half as awesome as he is, I’m pretty sure I’ll be living a freakin’ fulfilling life. What more can you ask for? … Well, maybe he could stop peeing on the carpet.

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