Stuff I've learned from my dog

Dogs are more than just trusty companions; they can help you get back to the basics and be a better person.

Here's what my sweet (and sassy) Jessie Belle has taught me so far:

1.  If you like someone, let them know it.Get excited when you see them!  Give more hugs!  Lick more faces!  (Don't do that.)

2.  Enjoy the simple things.  Good friends.  A warm bed.  A new toy.  Bacon.

3.  Don't eat if you're not hungry.This is a surprising one, because in my experience most dogs will eat whatever is front of them.  But JB is more particular.  And if she's not feeling it, she doesn't eat it.  Good reminder - don't eat just because it's there.  Eat because you are hungry.

4.  Look 'em straight in the eye.If you stare at someone long enough, you'll get what you want out of them -- whether it's the truth, information or just your way.   This is actually a legitimate interviewing technique.  JB is excellent at it.   She stares at me with her beautiful brown eyes and eventually I'm telling her where I buried the body...er, I mean, giving her treats.

5.  Forgive and forget.  If someone does you wrong, forgive them and move on.  If JB got down in the dumps every time I yelled at her, she'd be in the nut house by now.  She takes it all in stride.  I need to do a better job at this.

6.  Get up early.  JB is up and ready to go at 7 am every day.  I wish I could be more like that.  People at work don't seem to appreciate it when you roll in 20 minutes late every day.

7.  Know how to suck up.  JB has mastered the art of doing her shtick to get attention.  She knows what works.  Unfortunately it's a reality that we all have to put on a "dog and pony show" from time to time.  It's an important skill to have.

8.  If you're tired, take a nap.  Some days you're sharp, some days not so much  If you're having a rough day, and all you need is some extra sleep, take a nap!  (JB has no responsibilities so this is a no-brainer for her, so don't give her tons of credit for this one.)

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9.  Trust your gut.  Ladies, this is a good one for us.  I think we sometimes force ourselves to give people a chance who -- in our gut -- we know is not kind/well-intended/meant for us, just to be polite.  Don't waste your time.  Growl at them and move on.

10.  Find a good alone (hiding) place.  Sometimes we all just need to be alone.  JB hides under the bed.  I hide under my covers.  Same idea.

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11.  Be loyal.  Have a small group of close friends you trust and protect them fiercely.  But don't bite anyone.