I spent today doling out belly rubs. First one dog, then the other, repeat (and they say Sunday is a day of rest). I remind my fur babies that some people get paid for animal massages. They look at me cynically and don’t respond because neither of them are fluent in Human.

So, I’m on my thousandth belly rub, and it suddenly occurs to me. It doesn’t matter that the only time these pups are on a yoga mat is when they’re obstructing my practice. It doesn’t matter that their legging collection is non-existent. These dogs are better yogis than me, and they are woke AF.

1. Everything is the best

Despite the fact that I have delivered one thousand belly rubs today, in the dogs’ minds, every single one of them is the best belly rub they’ve ever gotten.

They aren’t annoyed that by the last one, my mind wanders to when I can watch the next episode of “Shameless.” They don’t take for granted that they’ve gotten a million of these (again, an accurate calculation) before and they’re going to get a million more.

They shine with gratitude and are absolutely stoked that their little tummies are getting the treatment they deserve. There are no expectations and there are no letdowns.

2. They have no shame

Sometimes my dogs make eye contact with me while pooping. Others, they poop while staring down a squirrel. Then, there are the times they get a stomachache and poop on the floor. No matter the location, situation, or company, they’re cool as a cucumber when the deed is done.

There’s no embarrassment. They know pooping is a necessary function of their bodies, and they make no apologies.

What’s my point, here? Am I telling you to do the doo in public? I’m just saying, your body requires no excuses or apologies. Ever. Use that wisdom as you will.

3. Food. OMG, food!!!

I do a little training trick with the dogs and make them wait a few seconds before attacking their grub. Then, while they’re ‘nomming’ kibble, I have to mop up a puddle of the lady dog’s drool (see item 2: no shame). They eat with absolute joy, with ecstatic elation, like they’ve never eaten before. It makes me feel like the mighty provider.

These hungry, hungry hippos aren’t counting calories (though admittedly it helps that their food is already portioned by said mighty provider). They’re not obsessing over macros and micros or whipping out the scale every day and exclaiming, “Oh, those crunchies are going right to my hips!”

They take their nourishment unabashedly and with pleasure, just as the dinner gods intended.

4. They love me, but they let me live my own story

Sometimes I’m in a mood. Sometimes things didn’t go my way at work or a friend is majorly pissing me off. I know that I can expect a couple things when I get home: infinite love, acceptance, and snuggles from the dogs, and absolutely no coddling.

I cry into their fur and ask them what to do, begging them for their mystical canine wisdom. They lick away my tears (ew), but they stay silent.

When someone we love is in a tough spot, we often have the urge to fix it for them. We want to get involved, save them from their situation, and make them feel better. Sometimes, this is exactly what’s needed. Most of the time however, that person needs to live their own adventure. There’s always a lesson to learn or strength to find, and we rob them of that if we intervene.

5. They don’t take anything personally

When another dog walks by the house, these beasts leap into the window seat and bark insanely (because you never know what kind of cute dog the devil will choose to execute his evil). Their eyes bulge and their jaws slather, and these are the times that I realize I sleep every night with murderous fangs two inches from my delicate jugular.

But when that dog passes, mine hop off the window seat, yawn, stretch, and curl back up on the couch. They’re usually asleep again within five seconds while I sit there thinking, “What the fudgsicle just happened?”

My little spirit animals brushed off that passing dog immediately. They didn’t let any fear or anger sit in their fuzzy bodies and fester. No, they shrugged it off and went right back to living their rent-free, silver-platter lives like being zen is their job.

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