Updated: Jul 22, 2019
Welcome to the 3rd in my series on emotions, this blog is about happiness or joy.
I truly believe happiness is a fundemental and integral part of every living thing.
Obviously humans & mammals show happiness in a very visual way, but working with many different species, I have seen forms of happiness displayed in other creatures too.
Yoda our tortoise, clearly shows his joy when in the morning I approach his house and say hello, he reacts to my voice and comes rushing over[as quick as a tortoise can rush!]
I have looked after reptiles and a gheko called Lemon tapped at the front of her tank until I got her out and held her. Birds I have cared for become excited when I arrive and talk with them, you can hear their joy and happiness in the noises they make back, I'm currently caring for a lovely old cat ''Mikey'', he shows his joy when I stay and make a fuss of him, with the loudest purring and the odd affectionate bite!
So happiness is a fundemental emotion we mustn't lose in this ever increasing busy and social media driven life we now find ourselves entangled in.
The core emotions are set in our DNA and if we surpress or let a specific one rule we can I believe become unbalanced.
Therefore how we react and let our emotions show certainly affects others around us. We have all heard the phrase ''You could cut the air with a knife'' meaning the energy in the room is heavy and unbalanced causing an atmosphere, this would almost certainly have started by
someone coming into that environment with a heavy emotion or attitude.
Our emotions can really have an effect on our dogs. I have worked with a few dogs who have been through some trauma in their poor lives and if they are confronted by the emotion the original perpetrator brought on them, they react really fearful or scared.
The emotion of happiness is a key in not only making ourselves feel good but how we engage with our dogs.
Try and do a big smile to your dog, or even laugh out loud in front of them and watch their reaction, they absolutely love it, it will make their tail go into instant wag and they will look joyful and pleased that we are happy. It brings a sense of relief and calm to the room which our dogs thrive on.
No one knows quite why we laugh, doctors and scientists have researched on it and have no convincing physiological reasons for it but it certainly helps our bodies. Our immune system fortifies, our blood pressure drops & we can even lose calories! Happiness is an infectious emotion making those around us happy too including our pets.
As with my blog on love, we still have to know how our dogs react to certain forms of happiness and keeping a balanced happy pets is down to how we act around them.
For example if we are one of those types of owner who comes in the door and puts on a really high pitched voice and exuberant mannerisms we are going to create a dog who is of very high energy and excitement, this is all well and good but when old granny comes around to visit and a 100lb dog charges up and jumps up joyfully knocking granny flying, we know then we have installed the wrong kind of happiness into our dog, and the dog will probably be told off for his actions, leaving him really confused!
It's interesting that we as humans need laughter and joy to counteract the crap that life can bring, so we go to comedy clubs, watch comedy films, live stand up comedians and tell jokes to amuse and distact us from the real world issues, but a dog craves a different kind of happiness, a balanced life, regular food and water, a loving leader led pack to enhabit & the most important - TIME, time with us [24/7 if they could] ,this is what makes our dogs smile.
Another absolute joy for our dogs is meeting and socialising with other dogs, of course there always exceptions to the rule, but most dogs love to meet and greet their own kind. I see many owners so nervous of this interaction that over time it causes aggression in the dog because it's feeling the anxiety of the owner and reacting.
On a friday I am blessed enough to work with an English bull terrier, Cocker spaniel, a couple of cockerpoo's, a yorkie, retriever & chinese powder puff cross. This little pack all love being with each other, they come from different families and households and when I put them into my vehicle they say hello to each other before settling down for the trip to the dog park.
Upon arrival I get them all out of the car, on a lead, and they are at such a high level of happiness because they know where they are,that they pull on the lead to take me to their beloved park. Once at the gate I remove their leads and the excitement hits 100%! , they charge into the park barking, wooping and running free. If any of their ''friends'' are there or arrive later they are met with a welcome party and the usual; noise, nose to bum welcome where they read all the news about the friend! and then seperate to run about. This to a dog is pure happiness, free and running around with their own kind. Now and again a dog who isn't as well socialised will come in and the tension may rise for a short time before the dog is calmer and accepting, sometimes with some human leader interaction, then they get back to running around together. It always makes me smile.
The emotion of happiness or joy is a beautiful, I believe God given trait to animal kind. It is something that bonds us into friendships initially as we are attracted to a joyful person way before a miserable angry person.
The world needs more happiness at this time in history, when we view the news it is full of division, hatred, racism and anger. We human beings can learn so much from the simple, balanced beings all around us, including our pet dogs. By working at keeping a simple lifestyle engaging with our immediate family & creatues in OUR world will benefit our mental state to go into the world and engage it with a smile and joy, that believe me, IS infectious. Change someones day, smile and say hello, change your dogs day with a long bonding walk and spending the whole day together.
Until next time.