For all my canine friends and our humans, I present some uniquely honed New Year tips for all! Humans can have their resolutions and goals, but we canines prefer a more laid-back approach to the new cycle: suggestions rather than manifestos. It is a go-with-the-flow way of being, rather than “I’m a human I’ll make it happen” or the feline mindset of “who cares, just feed me.”
In the New Year it’s a good time to address our expanding waistlines from so much holiday food. You know what I mean: the bits of turkey Aunt Dot sneaked to you under the table, all the treats in that weird delivery system hanging from the mantle called a “stocking.” Holidays give us the tidbits of crumbs on the kitchen floor and under the dining room table, the counter-surfing for sugar cookies and gingerbread, and the predominant smells of forbidden foods like chocolate and candy canes. But now it’s time to get fit again.
I, myself, prefer a brisk deer chase with my fellow pack members, followed by a nap to recover, but my human insists on reducing the amount of food in my food bowl, which, based on the fact that I chased a herd of deer for ¼ mile is a violation of the Australian Shepherd Geneva Convention on canine feeding: the bowl must be properly filled with food. This is what happens when you live with Nurse Ratched. If we canines exercise more after the holidays, we will lose those unwanted pounds. No need to punish us with the punitive few morsels in our food bowls. Let the humans punish themselves after the holidays with their draconian diets and frequent freak-outs when they put on their clothes.
In the New Year it is advantageous to assess how to help your human in the coming twelve months. I know, I know, they are a pathetic lot when it comes to telepathic communication, senses of hearing and smell, but the fact of the matter is: they can’t live happily without us. We are their touchstone, their grounding. We are the one being in their lives that gives them unconditional love and acceptance. Cats on the other hand, just want to be fed and claw the furniture.
In 2019 I am going to help my human by not rolling in dead animal carcasses I find in the woods, or leading the young dog Wookie on one of my expeditions over hill and dale. Furthermore, I am resolved not to carry any of my human’s shoes outside the house to my stash area where undoubtedly the shoes are rained on.
3. Promote Peace:
No New Year Tips list would be complete without this one: to help my human promote a peaceful existence. Every little thing we canines can do to support equilibrium in our homes and farms does wonders for our humans.
This entails not trying to boss or herd the equines around, no games of Scatter the Chickens (did you hear that Thunderbear?), no mosh pit on the youngest member of the pack. And no taunting of cats or the infamous feline/canine stare-down at the OK Coral.
It includes not stealing food off the human’s plate when her or his back is turned, and mostly obeying the standard requests: “come,” “sit,” “down,” and “leave it.” *
* In the active pursuit of squirrel, fox, raccoon, deer, and rabbits, the canine obedience to the word “come” is, of course, optional.
Some canines live with humans who have a lot of drama around them. My advice to these dogs is to not get drawn into the human drama. I know it’s hard, but it is important to connect with the inner zen master that resides in all dogs. And just to be clear: cats don’t have inner zen masters, they have inner Kung Fu masters.
One of our profound gifts to humanity is our being-ness. Our being-ness is humankind’s Om.