2 June 2017
By Huw Le Lytle
Today is the first day of our “goods of happiness” diary – Delivering the Goods! And one of the most important goods is doing good for others. And that means looking after our important relationships and making a contribution. So Jeff contributed by sleeping on the desk. And Howard contributed by sitting in Human’s lap. And Aubrey contributed with some sofa cuddles. And I contributed by never leaving Human’s side. And Human contributed by giving me a nice cold towel to sleep on and walking us in the dark.
It doesn’t sound like much, but it was all very important, because one of the things dogs enjoy, more than anything else, is just being with their humans. And cats are the same, they like being with their humans more than they like food! So, as well as the walks, don’t underestimate the importance of just sitting together, spending time together, quietly and happily bonding. Bonding and belonging is one of the greatest sources of joy. Because belonging means you’ve been accepted. And for a rescue dog, that’s a great thing indeed. It’s social connections, not our social climbing, that make everyone happiest.
And we did good for ourselves as well. Although in a way, doing good for others is also doing good for ourselves. But anyway, we stayed cool, we ate ribbies, we slept on our sofas, we had a couple of silly hours, we played in the garden, and Howard even had a swim.
Which brings me to doing what we are good at. This is really so very important from a dog’s point of view. It is why Aubrey Beardsley does his log-on and loves it. So this is why I think it is important to think about learning and training and happiness together. It’s not about getting any dog to do something it doesn’t want to do or can’t do. Which is why you won’t find me anywhere near the concept of a log-on or rock-on. It’s about taking an individual’s talent and turning it into happiness. It’s about Aubrey’s personality and his capacity for joy.
Happiness is the best way to learn. Why is that so hard for some humans to understand? As for my talent. Well, of course, apart from my intellectual musings, my talent is clear. It is the talent for cuteness. It doesn’t matter what group of people we come across on a walk, they all fall in love with the “little grey dog”.