Updated: Jul 29, 2021
Some people seek insight from the morning news or online chat rooms. Others ask advice from friends or relatives, and make plans according to their work schedules and children. There are many ways to learn how to do this life thing. We are all living the best existence we know how, and often times our motives come from the most unusual sources.
But what is our motivation in how we treat each other, the humans that we are all in this together with?
A blazing summer is among us here in 2021. The newspaper I worked for let me go, so my income transpires from many different sources currently. All legal, of course. My days are still busy with my numerous side hustles, but busy on my own terms. I largely attribute my daily schedule now to one source, a 4-year old English Bulldog named Tooty, or Toots for short.
You see, I have attained a good amount of mental health relief by planning my days around what this sturdy little gal has in mind. For example, she does like to lie around much of the day. But, this does not mean that I lounge my hours away with her. She is very loving, and simply wants to be near me while she is splayed out on the floor. So, I often take her with me on my daily exploits.
As Toots joins me on my excursions around town, my errands unfold according to her plans. Wherever she feels like going and whatever she feels like smelling is our course of action. If she isn't welcome at a friends home, then I choose not to stop by there. If I need to go to the grocery store and she is with me, then my plans are delayed. She loves my couch, but I usually don't let her on it to avoid wear and tear. But if I want to go to the gym, I'll let her up on the couch until I come back from the workout. She obliges our agreement and is cheerful upon my return.
The regard we keep for each other is mutual and bonding.
Our arrangement is never more evident as when we travel out of town. In our most recent stay in Kansas City, my girlfriend and I wanted to galavant around downtown and have some fun. Instead of taking advice from local friends on eating and lodging, we formed our own plan. The desire for an afternoon drink found us at a dog park that served local craft beer. BAR-K was a pleasant way to spend the afternoon. We unjudgingly watched hundreds of dogs play and yelp all while catching a small wheat beer buzz.
Now, I understand that a dog park or small rewards such as being on the couch are not novel ideas. But, the more evident theme here is one to be reckoned with. When you struggle less with every mundane decision in life and attribute it to how it makes Tooty happy, then in turn my happiness ascends. So, is there something more to that idea?
Since I have figured it out for our pet, how to keep her happy, I wonder if it could work on people also. If we love others and show respect and courtesy to people during our days, will the world be a better place? If we look beyond ourselves with an awareness that includes our surroundings, could we be contributing to the betterment of our collective consciousness?
Simply stated, could the way we treat our pets (often the ones closest to us) give us insight on how to treat others in the world? Good question. I'm not sure. I think I'll ask Toots.