It’s pretty well known among visitors to Pet Camp that I spend more time with Splash than anyone else in my life. She sleeps next to me (on her own bed on the floor – but still next to me); shares my office during the day; does errands with me; and ends every Thursday night at a dive bar in San Francisco after my hockey game. It is a nearly perfect relationship. Frankly, I would have been more than happy to stop there, end this blog and move on.
Sadly, our friends at Vet Street think that I should learn things from Splash to make me a better human-to-human partner. As we approach Valentine’s Day here’s Vet Street’s 10 tips on what our dogs can teach us to make a human-to-human relationship work almost as well as a human-to-dog relationship.
1. Forgive Mistakes: No matter what I do, Splash forgives me. I make plenty of mistakes, forget to do things, miss a walk but she is always there for me (unlike Virginia who never forgives me when I fail to brush Splash).
2. Celebrate Time Together: Granted I’m not away from Splash too often or for very long, but as soon as we are reunited she is thrilled to see me. No matter what she is doing, she is up in a heartbeat to say hello and snuggle.
3. Prioritize Exercise: There is so much going on in our lives, so much stress, so many phone calls, emails, texts, blog posts that there is almost never any down time. Take the time to take a walk with your partner (dog or human or both). If you’re lucky enough to live in a place like San Francisco, take a walk along the beach or at Fort Funston! You’ll feel much better after an hour and the phone calls, emails, texts and even this blog post can wait until you get back.
4. Embrace the Power of Silence: Enjoy the quiet times, enjoy listening to your partner rather than simply waiting for your chance to speak. If you have to, cock your head to one side and at least try and understand all the big words your partner uses and if you can’t understand the words at least listen to the tone in their voice.
5. Show Love in Big and Small Ways: Really, what can’t a dog teach about this? From a quick snuggle, a brush across the leg, or a peck on the cheek all the way to bounding down the hallway and almost tackling you when you walk in the door, the list of ways a dog shows love is pretty endless.
6. Be Yourself: As all of us at Pet Camp can tell you, there are simply no dog wannabes. They are who they are and they expect you to love them just that way and they are prepared to love you no matter who you are.
7. Don’t Forget to Have Fun with the Ones You Love: There is always time for a few minutes of frolicking about. There will be time for that nap (or work or whatever) as soon as you finish goofing off for a while.
8. Be Loyal: Don’t whine about your partner to your friends or colleagues. Do you think dogs are spending time at the dog park telling each other how many dirty dishes you left in the sink, the clothes you still need to fold, or how you burnt dinner (your dinner not you dogs!) last night?
9. Treat Your Partner Even Better than They Deserve: Come on, we would love to be the people our dogs think we are, so treat your partner they way your dog thinks you (and hopefully they) should be treated.
10. Give Each other Some Space: There are times when some alone time is necessary for a relationship. Splash simply doesn’t get why I like to read or why I think riding a bicycle that doesn’t go anywhere would be the way to spend an hour in the morning. Then again I almost never join her to scratch my back on the floor, or jump up and down just because I can (I said almost never). That said, I respect her need to roll on the floor and jump around and I hope that she respects my desire to read and get some non-dog time exercise.
So there you go, Pet Camp’s 10 ways your dog can save Valentine’s Day. Want to build on Vet Street’s list? What relationship tips have you learned from your dog?
Thanks for reading!