Shake it off
I really debated about whether to get a dog. My daughters desperately wanted a dog, my husband was game, but I wasn’t sure.
In the end, I decided to follow my own advice, and to “Choose the bigger life.”
And I’m so happy I did! Barnaby makes us very happy.
I’ve thought about three things, in particular, that Barnaby taught me — or more accurately, highlighted the truth of — since he joined our family.
2. Go outside.
Since Barnaby arrived, I’ve spent a lot more time outside. And I love it: experiencing the weather, observing the patterns of my neighborhood, watching the days grow longer and shorter. I feel more connected to the natural world and to my environment. Now, I’ve known for a long time that going outside boosts happiness, but that knowledge didn’t make me go outside more often. But Barnaby needs to go outside! So we go. Interesting fact: dog owners tend to get more exercise, and to enjoy it more, than people who go to the gym.
3. Shake it off.
Taylor Swift sings about this, and Barnaby actually does it. At first, I wondered why he kept shaking as though he was trying to get water out of his fur, when he was dry, but I learned that this is a stress reaction in dogs — when they’re anxious about something, they literally shake it off. Perhaps weirdly, I’ve tried this myself. When I feel a rush of stress about something, I do some jumping jacks. It really works.