5 Essential Happiness Tips from a 4-Legged Guru

Sometimes life sends us wisdom and guides in the most unexpected of ways. When a long-legged, wide-eyed puppy joined our family 3 years ago, I had no idea what wisdom he had in store for me! Here are 5 things my dog, called Cash, has taught me about creating happiness in life.

1. Follow Your Nose

Cash follows his nose, never second guesses himself, and is always clear on what he wants. He goes on instinct. He never wonders, ponders, questions or challenges his knowing.

Lesson – Let your intuition lead you, and let your mind be a useful tool for navigation onthat path. Trust your feelings of inspiration and inner knowing at all times, they are your most reliable source of wisdom.

2. When in Need – Speak Up

Cash never holds back on telling me what he needs. He doesn’t assume anyone around him to be mind readers. He makes noises at the front door when he wants to go outside to the toilet. He sits by the laundry door when it’s time for his dinner. He puts his paw up when he wants a cuddle. He nudges me with his nose when he’s bored and wants play time. There’s no holding back on telling those he loves when he requires something to tend to his basic needs for interaction, expression and health.

Lesson – Speak up when you’re in need. Be responsible for asking for what’s important to you. Lovingly and clearly articulate what you need from those closest to you, whether it’s an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on, more love and affection from your partner, or simply asking a friend to hang out for some fun and relaxation. Speak up.

3. Express Your Energy Fully

Cash is happiest when he is out running and chasing balls. This is his way of expressing his energy fully. If he gets two brief but high energy runs per day, he is a blissful dog who behaves well. If he doesn't get to express his energy fully, he is like a bottle of fizzy drink shaken up and ready to explode. He becomes restless and destructive.

Lesson – Always express your energy fully, physically, emotionally and creatively. If you don’t have healthy outlets for your energy, you will either bottle it up (internally imploding) or unconsciously your energy may channel into things that are destructive (poor health choices, negative thinking, or other behaviours and tendencies that aren’t good for you).

4. When You Meet Someone You Like – Play & Have Fun

Cash is a big dog and he loves to play with everyone, dog or human! However, not all dogs want to play with him. In the past, some very little dogs have yapped and snapped at him because of his size. Yet, he doesn’t live by the adage “once bitten, twice shy”. He treats every day afresh, every new dog as another opportunity to be friends and have fun. He jumps right in to play without the past hanging over him, never judging the situation negatively by what has gone before.

Lesson – Don’t let past relationships and experiences bleed into the present moment and colour your perception of what’s possible when you meet new people. If you meet someone nice, be it a possible new friend or partner, play and have fun. Don’t hold back, allow yourself to live in the moment, not in the past. Start every day afresh.

5. Listen to Your Body

Cash sleeps when tired, eats when hungry, drinks when thirsty and exercises when he needs to exert his energy.

Lesson – Listen to what your body needs and wants, and respond kindly. Slow down a bit and remember that to thrive and be happy in this high-paced, demanding and schedule-driven world, you need to have a healthy vehicle to carry you around. Your body will always tell you what it needs, first in a quiet whisper, then eventually in a scream. Don’t wait for the scream before being willing to listen.

With love, Bernadette

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