September 25, 2015

Life Lessons from a Puppy.


Downward dog with dog

As a yoga teacher, I’m always seeking new ways to inspire my students.

I want their yoga practice to start on the mat and continue after savasana, so I spend time every day meditating on “my message” and gathering inspiring words to share with my yogis.

I believe that everyone has a message and the ability to bring more light into the world by sharing this message. Some share their message verbally. Others share their message through their actions. My dog, Bubs—even though he can be a troublemaker—is always bringing light into the world. He shares his message through his actions, living the life I wish for my students. Sometimes he practices yoga on the mat—by putting his toys on my face during savasana. But most of the time, he practices yoga off the mat.

After being inspired by Bubs time and again, I decided it was time for him to share his message with the world. Here are his 16 tips to live a fulfilling life:

1. Be happy

It’s that simple. Choose happiness. I can punish him, and within a few minutes, he’s got his tail wagging and tongue sticking out in pure joy. No need to overthink it—just be happy.

2. Always greet others

While walking, Bubs always pulls me over to greet everyone (and everything) that crosses our path. “It’s another person! We have to say hi!” he says. Humans, on the contrary, tend to walk by each other without even a glance. We tend to be more concerned with our to-do list than the community of people around us. Not Bubs.

3. Respect your elders

There is always an alpha and the alpha always has the final say. Respect.

4. Express gratitude with love and affection

And lots and lots of kisses! With Bubs, I receive a kiss just for waking up! I don’t need to put on make-up or brush my teeth first. He loves me stinky breath and all!

5. Don’t pee on the floor

This is a universal rule that we all must obey. Do your business in the designated area.

6. Be disciplined

Learn from your mistakes and make better choices. With discipline comes rewards.

7. Always love unconditionally

This doesn’t need an explanation. This is a fact of life for all.

8. Enjoy the little things

Like the feeling of the wind in your jowls as you stick your head out the car window. Ah, pure bliss!

9. Take the time to get to know others

Bubs recommends butt-sniffing. I think asking someone “How are you?” or “Tell me about yourself” makes a better first impression.

10. Take rest as often as necessary

Animals are a lot better at listening to their bodies than we humans are. If Bubs is tired, he doesn’t care where he is—he will take rest. He could be at a party surrounded by people, but if his body says it’s nap time, that is exactly what he will do.

11. Don’t be afraid to take risks sometimes

Go ahead, go wild! Throw that cushion on the floor!

12. Express yourself

Always let others know exactly what you want, when you want it. If there is food in my hands, Bubs will be sure to let me know that he wants that food in his mouth now.

13. Always make time to play and have fun

Play time is an activity that you must not go a day without. Several times a day is preferable.

14. Allow others to help take care of you

Leave your pride at the front door. Sometimes we need help. A lot of times we need help. Don’t be afraid to let others help you.

15. Unapologetically be who you are

Bubs really doesn’t care what you think. He will lick himself inappropriately and roll around on his back no matter who is around. That’s just the kind of guy he is.

16. Always forgive

Bubs’ ability to forgive is my favorite part about him. He never holds a grudge when I get home later than I said I would—he’s just happy to see me. He never holds a grudge when I take away his toys—he can find other ways to have fun. He always gives me kisses at the beginning and end of the day and we never go to bed angry.



Author: Laura Cordon

Editor: Evan Yerburgh

Photo: Author’s Own

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