Here we are once again, nose-deep in the thick of lazy summer days. Unfortunately for my mistress, the self-anointed “Bitch’in Suburbia,” it’s a busy week so, I, the real bitch (in Suburbia) have volunteered to teach you a thing or two about better living through canine chemistry:
1) Put your butt in the air like you just don’t care: Did you think that yogis invented downward facing dog? It is my favorite stretch by far; my go-to whenever I need to kick out the jams and get the blood flowing again. Don’t just do this on a sticky mat – get down on all fours and do it several times a day. Oh, and be sure to take pictures and share on the internet. A surefire way to win friends and influence people (said every Kardashian always).
2) When in doubt, nap it out: You humans love to burn everything at all ends, always. Look, I get it – someone’s gotta keep me in kibble. But who says that you can’t close your eyes and meditate for a few? Just a couple minutes can rejuvenate a body and get your tail wagging.
3) A walk is worth getting excited about: The fresh air! The crunch of gravel under your paws! The stopping and smelling of, well, everything, everywhere. And then there’s the actual exercise part, which humans sometimes discount because it doesn’t necessarily work up a major sweat. But did you know that even a 30-minute walk each day can cut your risk of heart disease by 40%? (I know it sounds like I made that up to get you moving so that you can get me moving, but it’s a real stat from the CDC.)
4) Play is an important part of every day: I can make a lousy tennis ball seem like the most amusing toy of all time. Do you think that’s some small-brained distraction? I beg (sometimes, on my hind legs) to differ – finding a simple, non-electronic device to fix your attention on, like a bouncing a tennis ball, and spending a few silly minutes goofing off is just what Dr. Feelgooddog orders!
5) Reward yourself for a job well done: This one you guys came up with – I get a snack for a polite and prompt response to a simple query (sit, paw, etc.). Who’s to say you don’t deserve the same kind treatment when you do a good job? Just a little treat goes a long way.
6) Get high on love: Did you know that gazing in your pet’s eyes in a way that only lovers (ahem) do can make you feel extra fabulous? Studies show that happy hormones including oxytocin, beta-endorphin, prolactin, beta-phenylethylamine, and dopamine are released in both peeps and pups when they play together.
7) Mark your territory: Now, I’m not saying you need to do it how I do BUT setting clear boundaries with the folks around you makes a lot of sense. Loving, clear, and pungent boundaries.
8) Keep track of your pack: Surround yourself with those you love and trust, and you will find you are able to cover a lot more ground. Take a lone wolf stance, and howl as you may, you find yourself complaining to crickets.
9) Trust your sense: Fear, anger, trouble, worry – these things all have an emotional scent. You can sniff them all out too. The trick is to be honest with what you pick up on, and make smart choices for yourself and your pups.
10) Don’t eat shit: This is a little do as I say, not as I do advice BUT female dogs in particular have a tendency to clean up their dens by chowing down on the mess their pups and even others they don’t know leave behind. It’s not a great habit, but it is often an innate tendency. So check yourself before you wreck yourself (and your breath, too!).
I’d keep going, but it’s taken me ten minutes to write these ten tips, and I’m tired. Until we meet again, just keep in mind that It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog (Twain), happiness is a warm puppy (Schultz), and if I’m fat, you’re not exercising enough (me, not to dog shame you, but seriously)!
XO The Real Bitch’in Suburbia