My very first status on Facebook today was “Emma’s role model is Maida”. My friend Taylor asked if I meant Maida the puppy or Maida Heatter, the maker of the world’s best brownies, and I decided that it’s actually both. However, what I meant was Maida the puppy (who is of course named after Maida Heatter).
I expected someone to ask why my dog would be my role model, but I’ve since realized that I was clearly thinking fuzzily because it was 6:30 in the morning. That thought is SO unoriginal that there are roughly 75 billion hits when you search things like ‘reasons to be more like a dog’ or ‘dogs are the best’ etc.
However, I have never claimed to be particularly original. So, without further ado:
Things I’ve learned from Maida (the puppy)
- How to start a morning – once you’re awake, be AWAKE. At that point, snuggle and smooch your favorite person to let them know they should be awake too.
- Be excited about everything that’s given to you. Even if it’s the same thing you got last night and yesterday morning and the night before that, be as happy as you were the first time you got it.
- If something looks like it might be yummy, take a sniff. If it smells like it might be yummy, take a bite. What’s the worst that can happen?
- Don’t be embarrassed when you do something wrong. Now you know, and you’ll try not to do it again.
- Greet strangers with friendliness and enthusiasm. If a tummy rub ensues, all the better.
- Don’t be overly concerned with cleanliness – fun is more important.
- Know how to tell the difference between when your best friends need to be wrestled out of a bad mood, and when they need to be left alone.
- If something is just out of your reach, be creative (reference the puppy in the toy box picture above).
- Don’t be mean. Ever, if you can help it.
- Give kisses whenever possible. Sit as close to the people you love as you can when they’re around.
- If something makes you sad or hurts you, let whoever is responsible know immediately and go to someone who can help you feel better. As soon as you’re ok, forget about it.
- Last but not least: If you have time to go outside and play, do it!!
Maida is not my only dog, of course. My other girl, Cloey, has been with me longer and is, for all intents and purposes, my soul mate. That girl has been with me through the biggest changes of my life and has always loved me, and I don’t know if I can ever love another person or animal the way I love her. When she was a puppy, though? She was a bloody lunatic. She could have learned a few things from Maida too. That doesn’t mean I haven’t learned things from her.
Things I’ve learned from Cloey
- Defend your personal space.
- Be loyal to your soul mate.
- Don’t get talked into things that you’re not interested in doing.
- Focus on one task at a time.
- When someone needs you to be there, be quiet, listen, and hug and kiss them.