Can Our Furry Friends Teach Us More About the Holidays?

Happy Holidays everyone!

Every year, my wife and I get a big bone for She-She and a bag of tennis balls for Roo.  The dogs are so happy, I can't imagine what else we could have gotten them that could even make them happier.  But, then I realize they are just as happy on all the other days of the season just sleeping on the couch next to us, running around on the Dog Run they inspired and getting fed; Oh! lets not forget, the ever impending food spills from the kids they get to clean up after.  Basically, everyday is like Christmas to them because they are happy with the world they live in and the people that were chosen to care for them.  Such a simple thing, sometimes it makes you wonder why that simple happiness is so difficult to achieve for humans.  Why do we need all this stuff to make us happy when there are clear examples of what I would call "true humanity" walking around your home showing us the way to happiness on a daily basis?

During the holidays you find yourself asking... did I get enough?  Are there enough "big" gifts in each kid's pile?  I hope he/she likes this... and the wheels turn and the stress level goes up.  Look, I don't know who invented the commercial Christmas we have today, but man is it completely dehumanizing all of us.  We go out, spend all our hard earned cash to see a smile on someone's face or to measure up to a standard of what Christmas supposed to be.  Instead of traveling to see that person more often, learning from them or being a part of their lives, you give them a gift and hug once a year.  I think everyone has come to a point where Christmas is out of hand...but we all follow suit and fall in line and go buy those gifts because that is what is expected.   But, our animals don't even know the difference from day to day and Christmas is just another day.

Everyday, our dogs wake up they  go outside on the Double Dog Run fist thing.  I watch them play and walk around looking at the world and barking at squirrels while I sip my morning coffee.  Every once in a while they look at me to see if we are going back inside.  With a look and a short "inside"  they come running toward the door, ears flopping with that goofy looking smile on their faces.  I know what they are thinking, "Great! our moms are out of the bed, its time to take it over!!"

In they come through the door racing for who even knows what... half the time they come busting through the door and get half way through the kitchen.. then,  you can see them stop and think, "um...what was I busting in here for...???"  Then they look around confused as if they lost something.  Because of the dumbfounded face they have, OF COURSE, I can't help but squeeze them and tell them-- "yeah I know you don't know what you are doing, but you are the best-est puppies in the world!"  I give them each a treat for basically being just cute.

In they go into the bed and there they will stay most of the day with the exception of some mid-day belly rub downs by the people they love and of course they always get up for FOOD!  It is a simple life they live really...  and the best thing about it is they can completely communicate to us everyday without a word that they are happy and grateful; we return that love and kindness very quickly.. and if you realize, our forgiveness rate for our dogs is much higher than our loved ones many times.  Yeah, yeah... dogs don't remember after so many minutes... blah blah blah... regardless, we forgive them just like that!  Yes, humans talk and carry on like fools but are not easily forgiven... lets face it, its true.

I see my dogs and others being more empathetic than even most people when someone is upset.  I see them love, trust and embrace their humans as their beloved caretakers with no questions asked.  I see them trying to heal wounds before I can even get a bandaid on my kid's knee (sometimes even acting more motherly than I am in the moment).  Our animals, especially dogs are connected to us for a reason.  I don't think they were put here just to be man's best friend, but more of man's guide to real happiness, compassion, empathy, love, trust and loyalty.   In my opinion, they are an example of the Christmas spirit everyday... they evoke love and compassion from us and we don't even realize it... and its not a holiday!   I don't think we ignore this at all, but we choose not to look and SEE it.  What if, we took on some traits and learned more lessons from the animals we chose to care for and love?   Would we be better to each other and ourselves?  Would we recognized and be more attuned to our surroundings?  Would we forgive more and fight less?  Would we simplify our lives and start focusing on time and attention with people rather than giving one gift a year? Would we need to give gifts at all?

Our dogs are happy within their surrounding and don't care what they got or did not get for Christmas.  If you think about it, our dogs and animals could possibly be free-er than we may ever feel in our lifetime when it comes to their expression of emotions and their excellent sixth sense that tells them their humans need a lick on the cheek.  If we could only transmute that kind of unconditional love into ourselves and reflect it on the world, I think (again, my opinion) we would all be happier year round. And in the end it would be Christmas Everyday, not just for dogs, but for all!

Happy Holidays ALL- feel free to share your comments!

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