3 life insights from a four-legged friend

Charlie the yellow lab has been human-sitting me this past week. In the process, she’s reminded me of a few important lessons that we humans tend to forget.


All photos: Marlys


Wisdom from Charlie:

1. Ask.

You have to train your human to know when you really really really want something — like going to the place called Outside and chasing the chewy ball.

At first, your human might just scratch your ears and then go back to tapping on that flat silver thing with the pictures.

But you need to sit still and keep looking at her. With your puppy-dog eyes. And maybe throw in a little whine. And wag your tail. (Humans think it’s cute when you wag your tail.)

Whatever works for you to get Outside, keep doing it. Don’t give up.



“I know we were just Outside, but can we go there again and play fetch? Please please please???” (You see what I mean by not giving up?)




2. Don’t take your eyes off the ball.

Keep your eyes open. Don’t get distracted by anything — not the deer running through the Outside; not the squirrels laughing at you from those Outside tall poles with the green prickly needles.

Don’t take your eyes off the chewy ball.



3. Put your whole heart into the chase.

I know I look ferocious in this picture, but there’s not a single ferocious bone in my body. I’m all about tail-wagging and rear-end-wagging and nuzzling the humans in my life.

But sometimes you gotta want to go Outside so badly that you’re willing to be ferocious about it.




This is Marlys again — having commandeered my laptop back from Charlie.

How badly do you want the chewy rubber ball?

How badly do you want to learn to speak Italian, take an Alaskan cruise, go back to school, change careers, start a blog, summit Kilimanjaro?

How intensely do you want to be awarded a scholarship or establish a non-profit?

How passionately do you want to speak on TED Talks, have your creativity featured in an art show, run for town councilperson, take advantage of that challenging job offer out of state, open a yarn and tea shop?

These three reminders from Charlie (who is an excellent human-sitter, by the way):

1. Ask. Knock on doors. Send in that application. Ask again and knock on more doors.

2. Keep your eyes on the goal and chisel away at it piece by piece.

3. Put your whole heart into the chase.


If you know of someone who could use a little wisdom from a dog, please share, tweet or pin!


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  1. Lonnie

    Learn Italian? Not nearly bad enough ; )

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