Many of us have pets; 68% of households in the US alone have one or more. That makes it even more interesting when you consider how few places you can bring them to.
When you live in a climate ranging from warm to hot weather most of the year, which I happen to do, running errands or making a simple stop on a road trip takes some planning. That is unless you own a Tesla with “dog mode”!! Finally! I wonder which car brand will be next?!
That may not sound like a big deal to some of you, yet as a pet owner, you can emphasize wanting to bring your dogs along; they become part of the family after all.
You’re on the clock when you have a smaller pet, so you avoid being away from home for too many hours. Many of us are limited to running errands with our pets in the car when it’s cooler outside or simply leaving our dog at home.
I’ve often wondered why there couldn’t be more takeout windows on the street level for food & grocery orders when you’re out walking or driving. It sure would simplify life. Maybe it’s something we’ll see more of in the future, especially after our current global quarantine.
Depending on where you live in the country or world, the local laws will vary. I heard from a friend in Sweden that they now have eat-in restaurants for dogs and the owner(s), one menu for each; how cool is that?
Anyway, seeing life through my dog’s eyes has provided me with a lot of joy throughout the years (he’s 9.5 years as I write this). Here are some random awarenesses that he reminds me of in my everyday life of city living:
You can’t help but love your pets – they are there for us in ways no one but you, yourself, can be for you. The welcome home happiness, cuddles, and appreciation you receive is heartwarming, isn’t it?
Live in the moment
While my dog stops at its familiar places to sniff on new scents, leave his mark, and communicate that he was there, I love taking a moment to look around at the beauty around me. This is when I’m reminded to look up at the sky. Right now, the birds are happily singing, flowers and trees are blooming, and it’s a great time to see the details I often miss.
Explore with curiosity
Car rides are super fun when you’re a dog (cats, not so much). Seeing my dog’s excitement as he looks around, whether it’s into another car, the freeway, the landscape, or the beach, puts a smile on my face every time. He’s super present and alert and inspires me to be the same.
Trust your instincts
How people look on the outside doesn’t always jive with who they are on the inside. Trust your hunches and instincts. The most innocent-looking person, or animal, can be up to stuff you can’t foresee, and the least likely person could be the next best buddy giving you head scratches. In other words, don’t judge the book by its cover!
When you’re out walking and meeting people on the street, you won’t go hug a stranger out of anywhere, would you? Same with my dog, he likes a little space and will bark at forced introductions. When you give dogs and people some space, you create more of an invitation for interaction.
I haven’t mastered this one, but I am happy he does and cares for his needs. He does, however, remind me to take breaks now and then.
Life is much easier when you’re happy and, most importantly, you feel better. Have you noticed how pets run away if you get needy, mad, or irritated? Well, I would, too, wouldn’t you? Be happy for the small stuff, and life will flow better.
Just like your dog loves running after the ball or squeaky toy at a moment’s notice, follow your instincts. Join me in giving up looking good and just go for it when you’re nudged to take any action that sounds like fun at the moment. To be clear, I’m talking about legal stuff that doesn’t harm anyone.
It’s fun to play and be silly; all you need is imagination. Remember when you were a kid? Chasing my dog is a game he loves, and it has me laughing out loud – the bonus is that I get some exercise.
Happily accept the treats of your liking every time. I had a cleaning lady once who was great at receiving gifts which inspired me to give her more. A thank you goes a long way. Even if you don’t want it, it’s totally OK to say no.
Speaking of treats, the patience your pet can have waiting for that can be pretty impressive. Yeah, instant gratification, while appreciated, only lasts so long
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the examples above. If you have a pet, maybe check in with yourself and see what it is you appreciate the most with your pet and how it enriches your life.
I’m so grateful for my little being, whom I’m lucky enough to be the guardian of; he’s so filled with love + fun and makes me smile and laugh daily.