Yesterday I wrote a post about being happy. What makes you happy? What keeps you going when, as they say, the going gets tough? I’m thinking for many of us the going officially got tough many months ago.
 
People like to talk about the past like it was perfect and if we could just get back to March and have a do-over we’d all be happy. Here’s the thing. Many people were already unhappy because that’s a part of life. Some were in the middle of a divorce or had health problems, had lost their jobs, or were estranged from family members.
 
Lockdown and what has come since obviously has made things worse and the longer this continues the more unhappy people could become. And you know what that means?
 
It means we need to follow this quote from Nathaniel Branden.
 
Every day, it’s important to ask and answer these questions: “What’s good in my life?” and “What needs to be done?”
 
I know, it sounds simple and there are days it’s hard coming up with an answer to that first question. But if you have a dog you have something not only good but great in your life. Really, really great.
 
What needs to be done is an easy question when you have a dog. They need to be fed, walked, played with, kept healthy. And the cool thing is that when you do all those things you have a conversation and exercise buddy, you have someone to snuggle with on the sofa, someone to sleep with if you are okay with dogs in the bed. You get hugs and kisses and love and that will make you happy. You have a purpose.
 
After that question, you might have the energy to find other things good in your life and what needs to be done. The problems we encounter are real. And now more than ever we feel Pig Pen with that swirl of dust around, dust being unhappiness and the feeling of impending doom. But having a dog gives us an opportunity to shake it all for even a short time and be happy.
 
And laugh. We need to laugh when it feels like the world has gone topsy turvy.
 
Quarantine has turned us all into dogs. We do roam the house all day looking for food. We are told no if we get too close to strangers. And we get really excited about car rides
 
But the thing is dogs are really happy! Let’s add that to the list of how we are like dogs. And they nap. When all else fails, laugh, take a car ride to see new places, and nap. You can do all those and more and be happy.