Author’s note: I wrote these dog inspired New Year’s resolutions when my dog was a few years old. He crossed the Rainbow Bridge one year ago, at the age of 16. The lessons he taught me will live on for the rest of my life. — Lisa G. Murray
Every year I make a New Year’s resolution or two, and most of the time, I actually keep them. This year I made a resolution to be more like our dog. He is splendid. I am still astonished at how much joy he has brought into the family and how his life serves as an inspiration.
Dog Inspired New Year’s Resolutions
These are the qualities I admire about our dog that I resolved to try to emulate.
1. Love Unconditionally
Our dog has the precious ability to love unconditionally. He seems designed to express love for his family with his whole being and without question.
2. Consume Less
He does not consume much. He is good to the environment, not taking more than he needs and not needing much. A dirty sock or two make his day.
He knows how to forgive. When I am mean or crabby to him he forgives instantly and without question. He makes it look so easy. Maybe it is.
Our dog has a tremendous capacity to relax, taking delicious naps in cozy corners in the sun whenever it seems suitable, which is quite often.
5. Be Welcoming
He welcomes friends to our home generously and warmly. Is there a human equivalent to leaping about and racing in circles around the house?
He eats whatever is presented to him with gusto and appreciation, despite being given a menu that contains an astonishing lack of variety.
7. Be Spontaneous
Our dog lives in the moment. (He never carries around infernal lists.)
8. Delight in Nature
He takes delight in every aspect of nature, displaying incredulous delight at new fallen snow, piles of crisp leaves, muddy puddles, or fields of flowers.
9. Be Playful
He has a playful spirit toward life that brings a smile to anyone privileged to witness it.
Our dog is always completely available to comfort those in need with simple signs of affection.
11. Be Excited
He has genuine excitement at the prospect of each and every car ride, turning the mundane into an exciting adventure.
12. Dig Deep
Our dog does not care about appearance. In fact, he does not recognize appearance as holding any value whatsoever.
13. Know Joy
He greets each new day with incredible joy and each family member as if he hadn’t seen him or her in years. He seems to cry out, “Yippee! It’s another day!”
I do not know what we would do if I could actually keep these dog inspired New Year’s resolutions and emulate our dog’s qualities. I would probably be committed to a mental hospital, because I’m not sure our society is ready for human manifestations of delirious happiness. But, oh, to dream.