This is a guest post by Second Hand Sandy
Look. I’m no out of control puppy anymore. I like my naps and sometimes my legs feel stiff when I get up. But I know things. I’ve spent many, many eternities observing the humans and discovering the world’s greatest secrets. And, while I’ve learned some things from the humans, they surely have learned more from me. I hope to pass on some of that wisdom here.
Never skip morning pets
Each morning when I hear the boy get up, I wack my tail super hard to summon him over to me. Like clockwork, he gives me pets. He loves it. Even though I’m still sleepy, I then nose my way through the door to the sleep room where I find the girl’s hand outstretched, ready to give me more morning pets. I snort and nuzzle, snort and nuzzle, snort, which always makes her laugh. Humans like to start their day with a laugh. Believe me.
Once I have done my duty of waking them, I can return to sleep. It’s a win-win.
Look at each other
Humans are always looking at glowing screens. Oh, how I’d love to know what the screens have that I don’t. Small ones in their hands, medium ones on tables, and the big one at night. The girl stares at the medium one for many eternities every day so I do my job and keep her company. Once in a while, when I sense she needs a break, I walk over to her and put my head in her lap. Her gaze unlocks from the screen and she looks at me. I, of course, am the best looker. I look so hard at her she can hardly look away–she can’t help but give me pets and smile. And, while this is largely to my benefit, I think it also benefits her just the same.
Take chances to get what you want
Some dogs gulp down their dry kibble the second it hits the bowl. But, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that sometimes it’s worth holding out to get what you really want. So I wait to see if something more delicious comes up. Sometimes, to persuade me to eat my food faster, the humans add meat grease, bits of eggs, or one of my beloved TREATS. That is what I call a success. They don’t always give in, but it’s always worth a shot. Sometimes you have to take your chances in life.
But if you ever hear the word “TREAT”, don’t hesitate. Go. Go forth and get your treat right away. This is what I call seizing the treat.
Go for walks
“Wannaaa go for a walk?” is my second favourite word (after TREAT).
It means we’re going on a mission to find the best smells and figure out who has visited our land. I keep my nose to the ground collecting data. The humans don’t do much, just follow me. But they still get some benefits from our walks. We meet many people and dogs and trees and rocks. We get to run around and chase squirrels and poop in foreign territory. A walk is an adventure for the body and the mind. Walks also make other things seem even more fantastic. For example, after a walk, snoozing is more fun and food is more yummy. If you aren’t going for a walk at least once a day, you’re missing out.
Change is good
I lived in one house with the four main humans for about eight hot seasons. It was bliss. But I haven’t been back to that house since last hot season. Since then, I’ve lived in about six different houses and never with all the humans at once. Why, I’m not exactly sure.
Today, I often go from house to house seeing a couple of the main humans at a time. It’s a little tiring, but it’s mostly lots of fun.
I’ll tell you one thing right now–I get to discover lots of new smells and magic water bowls* [editor’s note: * refers to toilets]. I get to go on lots of new car rides and even boat rides. I have also met a lot of new humans along the way, who worship me just as much as the main humans.
Sometimes I don’t see some of the main humans for a long time. But when I finally do, it’s very exciting and they are VERY happy to see me. Usually results in lots of TREATS, too.
Sit and stay
Despite my endless wisdom, there aren’t many words in my vocabulary that the humans understand. But, I’ve discovered the secret handshake of all secret handshakes. No, not the one I do when I’m asking for a TREAT.
It’s simply my presence.
I know that sounds conceited. But really–my presence has magical effects on the humans. When they’re sad, I give it to them. They become less sad. When they’re happy, I give it to them. They become extra happy (unless they’re dedicated cat people). I’m telling you–just being there is like a TREAT. Everyone needs treats.
Now, stop staring at this glowing screen and go give that treat to someone.
Happy Family Day.