Service dogs? No. Service Humans. Yes!!!
If you're a dog person, then you are probably aware of all different ways in which dogs help us humans. Specifically, there is a group of dogs who deserve a special mention. I'm talking of course, about Service Dogs.
Seeing-eye dog would be a perfect example; there are also tracking dogs who help find people in rubbles, drug-sniffing dogs working with police departments, even dogs who are able to sniff out dust-mites working with exterminators.
Incredible? Yes. Possible? Absolutely.
Of course, there are countless other ways in which dogs help us, but I think you get my point. We owe a great debt of gratitude to this amazing animal.
Lets turn our focus now to humans.
What is it that we do for dogs and how does that reflect on us? That will be the focus of this article.
Since "New Thought" (now commonly known as Positive Thinking) replaced the oppressive shackels of Calvinistic doom and gloom few hundred years ago; there has been a steady momentum building (in the western world) towards happiness, pink butterflies and all-things positive.
Positive thinking (in its worst form) has permeated religious institutions (think non-denominational corporatized mega churches), corporate culture (think motivational speakers, team building exercises, and similar nonsense.), and even the economy.
How else would you explain so many people signing up for ARMs (Adjustable Rate Mortgages) thinking -no doubt positively- that interest rates will go down over the next 30 years.
To really beat a dead horse; books and DVDs like The Secret, The Power of Positive Thinking, Law of Attraction and countless others have not only reached best-selling status but have gained prominence in scientific circles over the last few decades.
The big idea behind "positive thinking" is that in order for you to be happy you must think positively.
All you have to do then is ask the universe to send you a pony (or a low interest rate, pink cadilac, or whatever) and the universe -your personal fountain of fortune- delivers.
What does "positive thinking" have to do with dogs?
I want to focus on the "happy" part of the positive-thinking equation.
We do all this positive stuff to be happy. In fact, I will argue that there has never, ever been any other industry other than happiness.
- If you buy that new flat-screen, you will be happy.
- If you can get a bigger house, you will be happy.
- If you can get that promotion, you will be happy, etc, etc, etc.
In our never-ending pursuit of happiness we've overlooked something obvious.
We are happiest when we can do something for others.
Think about it. All these material things give us temporary elation which dissipates with the next commercial for a newer, shinier toy.
On the other hand, things we do for our kids, parents, friends and neighbors, and the universe in general are in fact quite selfish. Why? Because they ultimately make US feel good about ourselves.
Its easy not to notice this. You really have to pause and pay attention. And I hope that you will if you haven't already.
So again you might ask, what does this have to do with dogs?
There is one, super secret way of making ourselves feel happy.
Become a Service Human to your dog.
Work to understand your dog's needs and dedicate yourself to meeting those needs. I must quickly qualify that statement.
It is important to understand that our dogs DO NOT need us for things we think they do.
They dont need us to provide them with shelter and food. They are perfectly capable of providing that for themselves.
- What they DO NEED is for us to love them enough to make a commitment for life (average life span for a dog is about 14 years).
- They DO NEED us to show them compassion when they do something wrong (I really should say that a dog never does anything wrong, we just perceive it as wrong).
- And they DO NEED us to work harder at understanding them.
To that end, what they really need from us is to respect their dogginess, provide them with ample activities, purpose, the right kind of leadership, companionship, the right kind of mental and physical stimulation, and so on.
Keep in mind. Your dog cant go and roam or otherwise meet its real needs on his own. You have to go with him.
After you start noticing how good it feels to be in service of another, you might extend your services to the universe at large. Our dog can be our guide and teacher to get us there.
"I got to get mine, Jack" decade is over. Having "things" beyond basic necessities doesn't make us proportionately happier. But there is one thing that does. Being in service of others. Start with your dog, and work your way up to the universe. Cheers.
DIY Blogger Net blog. He is also behind the great social media tool, Triberr. Hopefully one day he'll return to dog blogging. Meanwhile, you can connect with Dino on Twitter or Facebook.
Human-Dog Problem Tree - PART ONE
Human-Dog Problem Tree - PART TWO
Human-Dog Problem Tree - PART THREE
Human-Dog Problem Tree - PART FOUR
Human-Dog Problem Tree - PART FIVE
Human-Dog Problem Tree - PART SIX
Human-Dog Problem Tree - PART SEVEN
Human Dog Problem Tree - PART EIGHT
Human Dog Problem Tree - PART NINE
Human Dog Problem Tree - PART TEN
Human Dog Problem Tree - PART ELEVEN
Human Dog Problem Tree - PART TWELVE
Human Dog Problem Tree - PART THIRTEEN