Okay, so I’m not actually a dog. But I live with one, and that should count for something.
Besides, I feel like maybe I would do a much better job of being a human if I took a few lessons from my dog.
Allow me to introduce Max.
Max is a beagle who doesn’t believe in hiding his feelings. He never worries about being the first one to say “I love you” because his dangling tongue and wagging tail give him away right from the start. Every single time.
Max is the best. He doesn’t care what I look like, what color I am, how much money I have, where I bought my clothes, or how much baby weight I’m still carrying around (even though my baby is in middle school now). He doesn’t care what I got on my ACT and he doesn’t notice when I’m having a bad hair day. He doesn’t care what kind of car I drive, what neighborhood I live in, or what candidate I’m going to vote for (or NOT).
Max just knows I give him food and love when I get up in the morning and again when I get home from work at night . . . and that’s all he needs to know.
Can you imagine what a great employee I would be if I were more like Max? I’d bound out of bed in the morning and practically prance out the door toward my office. Once I got to work, I’d follow my boss around all day, eager to please.
Sure, I might stick my head out of the car window during my morning commute, and I might also feel the need to – er – water the office plants on occasion; but what’s that in the face of such unabashed loyalty and dedication?
And the best part?
I wouldn’t notice any of the office gossip or petty disagreements because I’d be too busy chasing my own darn tail to worry about sticking my wet nose into anyone else’s business.
And what about my home life?
Sure, my kids might get home from school to find I had gotten into the trash again, or chewed up their shin guards, or kept the cats trapped up on the kitchen counters just for kicks; but in the absence of my usual nagging, would they really even care?
I mean, if I were more like Max, I would come through that door at the end of the day – no matter what kind of day it had been – and I would greet them like they were the best things since Beggin’ Strips. Instead of going through the house asking who had left their backpack on the sofa or why the trash hadn’t been taken out, I would just smile and want to be with them more than anything else in the world.
In fact, I wouldn’t have any other thoughts at that moment except them and how happy I am when I’m with them.
When Max meets other dogs, he doesn’t care if they are purebreeds or mutts. They all make him equally nervous at first (stranger danger, you know), but once he meets them and knows they mean him no harm, they will be the best of friends.
(Now I admit I would have to draw the line here because when Max makes friends, it inevitably involves some kind of butt-sniffing . . . and . . . I’m sorry. I’m not gonna lie. Not gonna happen.)
But you get what I’m saying. Maybe living with the benefits of inductive reasoning and posable thumbs tends to make us forget we are really all the same at our core. We all want the same things, and we all know what really matters in life – even though we generally push all that aside in favor of the thousands of more pressing, less significant things that eat up our time and our thoughts.
So maybe we should all think of Max today and what he would do if he were in our shoes.
And if I see you sticking your head out the car window, I’ll understand.
Mine will be out there too.