07 May 2016

A Dog's Guide To Happiness

It was only as I was gripping onto the side of the kitchen table with claws like a vice of suffocation, my hair limply scooped back into a messy - sans chic - bun and anxiety drenched whimpers of exasperation that my wild eyes clocked the conked out hairy mutt chillin' out, maxin', relaxin' and keepin' it cool with his feet nonchalantly flung in the air and not one flying fudge given in the slightest. Hard life for some. It was in this moment of predicable stressed drenched de-ja vu that I came to the realisation that my dog Coco, the very dog who casts me filthy looks of disgust as he decides to disgrace the middle of the road on his morning walk and has an unhealthy OCD fetish for a blue rubber ball lives a life of authentic happiness that we're all seeking a piece of. 

Finding such enjoyment in a damn good ear scratch, munching on a cabbage leaf like it's caviars' finest and finding peace in a cheeky scamper round the garden, my gay little companion really does live a joyful life simple fulfilment. Staring back at my sorry state of existence, I decided it was about time to put my solitary pity party to rest and take a few life lessons out of Coco's simple life. 

So without further adieu, here is my dog's guide to digging out a life of meaningful happiness courtesy of the one and only, Coco...

#1. Don't try to be something you're not
Coco has been from day one and till this very moment a complete an utter gay pansy. He's a dog who likes to trot around the garden with a blue rubber ball, adores munching on raw carrot and will not under any circumstances venture outdoors if god forbid it's drizzling unless he's accompanied to the front porch under cover. He's precious about his hair, ok? He does what he wants; completely unapologetically. We could all learn a thing or two from that example. Except the blue ball fetish...

#2. Be consistent
Coco knows what he likes: to sleep and chase after blue balls. He also knows what he doesn't like: rain and lettuce leaves. He receives a royal bollocking if he decides to take himself for a walk outside the gates yet he still worships every inch of the ground we walk on. He lives in the here and now, in each and every moment and always does what he's always done.

#3. Schedule in some 'me' time
In between scouring out attention for some jolly good belly rubs and hovering around his toys to signal some awaited play time, Coco knows when his own downtime is well and truly needed. He looks for comfort when he needs it but is just as content taking himself off for a lounge outside in the sun or to the quiet comfort of his bed for a well-needed snooze. He looks out for himself and his needs; a lesson we're all too quick to brush aside. 

#4. Ask for what you want
If Coco needs to pay a visit to the little man's room, he'll sit by the back door to signal his need. Hungry? He'll pace the kitchen near his food bowl. In need of some lovin'? You'll find him by your feet snuggled up and content. The point here is that we're all too polite these days and instead of asking directly for what it is we want, need or desire, we beat around the bush in vague circles. Coco knows we're not mind readers so goes directly to the source of his fancies trusting in the knowledge that he is worthy of having those very needs met. Clever rascal.

#5. Love
It's as simple as that. All Coco wants to do is love; to love and be loved. At the end of the day that's all any of us truly want, right? No care, attention or worry is given to what might happen in the future or what has happened in the past (i.e. chewing through the net curtains), what matters to Coco is living in the present moment and living it entirely through the existence of authentic love. To love without fault or hesitation is something that could make our world that little bit happier.  

#6. Each day is an exciting adventure
As soon as he senses an inch of movement from upstairs, the jingle on his collar starts to jangle and a consistent thumping can be heard as his uncontrollable tail hits the staircase as he patiently waits to say good morning. Each and every day is an exciting new opportunity for new smells to be sniffed, new ways to invite us to play with him and a new day for us to fill his bowl and his tummy with the good stuff. Coco embraces life and its uncertainty each morning and that's something we could all try our hands at doing!

#7. Life's too short to moan and groan
As long as he sees our faces each morning to ensure that yes we are still alive and therefore food will see the bottom of his bowl, Coco is one content pooch. He may not get a walk each day and he may not have his blue ball chucked every. single. second. of. the. day but does he complain? No. He knows it'll happen again eventually so he doesn't sweat the small stuff. After all, there's plenty of sheep to be catching in a cheeky bit of shut eye, eh Coco?!

#8. Don't sweat the small stuff
So he's dragged upstairs for his weekly wash despite all attempts at wedging himself into his bed and digging his claws into the carpet but does he then sulk and cast the stink eye over us for the rest of the year? Maybe for roughly five minutes or so but give it another minute or so and all is forgiven, forgotten and buried under the hatchet! We're all entitled to get moody, broody and angry when wronged but try taking a lesson from Coco that life is too valuable to be spent in misery so swallow your pride, get over it and scamper back over for some more petting. 

#9. Let people know your boundaries
Coco is a man who knows his own mind; he knows what he likes and equally he knows wholeheartedly what he doesn't. Without doubt or reservation, he's all too happy to let us know the exact spots for 100% scratch satisfaction, that he's all too happy to take one for the team and rid us of the leftover chicken skins so why can't this notion apply to us? Truth is, nothing's stopping us apart from our bloody stereotypical British politeness! We're all too scared of asking for what we want and being the masters of our own happiness but what a difference it would make to our lives' if only we put on some bravery pants and let people know what it is that we like and don't like!

#10. End the day with a cuddle
No matter how late or what adventures have occurred in the day, Coco will always come trotting over for a quick cwtch and head pat before climbing into bed and hitting the hay with the jumping sheep. Life is unpredictable in good ways and bad so don't end the day in a temper or dis-ease...share a touch of love with someone or something (...hello teddy bear) before closing your eyes. Ending the day with a hug or a kiss puts the wrongs to bed and gives us the choice to end the day with good feelings.

So without realising it in any way, shape or form, Coco has become a figure of utter inspiration in showing me that choice lies entirely in my own hands and that to live a good and fulfilling life is only created through the decisions and actions I choose to make day in day out. My mindset curates the quality of my living and to live a happy life is something we're all capable of achieving and something we all undoubtedly deserve. 

Start Simply. Start Living. Start Today. 

[Photo Source Inspiration: Pinterest]


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