Are you struggling with happiness? Or with a puppy? The two have much in common. These are the surprising ways that happiness is like a puppy.
We all love puppies. They’re fun when they’re playful. They’re cute when they’re sleeping. Or eating. Or anything else. Puppies diverting. Novel. (novel as in novelty, not as in Old Yeller) They also have many of the same qualities as habits. Pets bring happiness along with all the inconvenience they cause. If we’re patient.
This is how happiness is like a puppy (How Happiness Takes Dog Years).
Puppies Are a Pain in the Ass
Puppies are annoying. They’re a constant pain in the ass. They chew on toys and shoes. They pee on your carpet. When they pee on the tiles, they aim for the corner to cover as much grout as possible. Hopefully, you sealed your grout before you got the puppy.
Then they grow up. About two years for us, but 7 to 10 dog years.
Happiness Takes Dog Years
So we take on the pains in the ass of
-Chewed up clothes, toys, and furniture
-Getting out of the yard
-Expensive visits to the vet
-Inexpensive visits to the vet
-Licking you in the mouth (although some people like that)
-Pulling on the leash when you try to walk
-Fleas, ticks, and worms
-Having to put them in the kennel when you travel.
All in exchange for a little fetch, tug of war, and cuteness.
Do You Know What Else is a Pain in the Ass?
So treat it like a puppy.
“Treat Life Like a Puppy.”
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How Happiness is Like a Puppy
Then in about 10 years (10 dog years), we’ve got a little best friend.
A Dog is Never Not Happy to See You
They are always waiting at a door, tail wagging and wearing a big, bright smile. Your dog sits at your side when you watch tv or read. They follow you from room to room, looking up at you and yearning for petting or a scratching. Maybe a little fetch.
My sister’s lab Gator is about 100 years old in dog years. He still loves to play fetch. If you play fetch with Gator, he can barely move the next day. He’s so old that just a little bit of fetch makes him that stiff and sore.
Still, Gator loves himself some fetch.
By the way, Gator’s sister is Allie. Get it? Allie. Gator.
So when you’re thinking about some fleeting thing that you think will make you happy, ask yourself if it’s like a puppy. These things are pains in the ass right now…
- Eating vegetables
- Saving money
- Making time for loved ones
…but if you love them and feed them every day for a few years, you will have unshakable happiness. You’ll be Independently Happy. And probably Healthy.
Just as Charles M. Schulz said:
“Happiness is a warm puppy.”
– Charles M. Schulz
Don’t Bite the Hand That Feeds You
We’ve all heard that phrase. Here’s a partial list of things that are fun right now:
- Beer (guilty!)
- Social media
There are lots more, but you get the gist. This is a blog post, not a confessional. If you love them and feed them every day for a few years, you might have some problems.
Don’t feed the hand that bites you.
“Don’t feed the hand that bites you.”
Next Time You’re Tempted
“Is this like a puppy?”
Will it grow into a loyal companion who keeps me company and protects me?
Or is this going to turn into something that bites?
If it’s a puppy, then go ahead and feed it, brush it, play fetch with it. Let it sit next to you when you read.