Ringo’s Tips for Living

Living with a dog is a lot like living with a zoned-out stoner. They both stretch out across the couch all day, smell bad, mooch out of the pantry and don’t have jobs. But I LOVE our puppy!!!

In my last Life and Laughter column, I wrote about the last two years since we adopted Ringo. (Shhhh. Don’t tell him. He doesn’t know we’re not his real parents.) Here are some life-isms I’ve learned from our crazy-ass puppy:

(Ringo, two years ago. I don’t know the name of the dog sniffing his butt.)

Naps aren’t a luxury–they are a necessity. Ringo spends most of his day spread out across the living room floor, or couch, moving only for food, a walk, or a belly rub (see below). He has turned napping into an art form. Taking a cue from him, I will curl up around him on the couch until we both start snoring.

Belly rubs make everything better. Ringo LOVES having his belly rubbed vigorously. In fact, when he sees us coming, he’ll roll over so we have better access to his tummy. But NO ONE better touch my belly. I will slap you. Instead, I’ve learned that shoulder and back rubs make amazing substitutes for the belly rub.

(Ringo, letting it all hang out for a belly rub.)

Eat only when you’re hungry. We feed Ringo twice a day. Sometimes he eats, sometimes he doesn’t. He doesn’t ever feel the urge to clean his plate or finish all of his dinner; unless steak, gingersnaps or small pieces of cheese are involved. I haven’t quite mastered this lesson since I eat anything that isn’t plastic. And some things that ARE plastic.

Be excited about going outside. Ringo has trained me to walk him twice a day. Each walk is an adventure for him. He’s as excited today to walk as he was the very first time we took him to the park two years ago. I especially like our winter walks when no one is outside. Great way to clear my head.

Sometimes a hug makes everything better.

(Giving my daughter a hug. Or strangling her. I really can’t tell.)