It was a rainy day in Los Angeles yesterday, and Louie was in a mood. This could be because of the rain. He hates that I make him sit/stay on his dirty towel until I’ve attempted to dry his sopping curls. He literally won’t look me in the eye. This could also be because his best friend Babe came over and I took away his chew because sometimes they don’t share chews well. After I put it in the treats drawer he walked over to my desk and whined directly in my face. Or maybe it’s because we just came back from a two-week trip to the east coast and he misses his giant east coast family? Here two people give him 75-80% of their daily attention. There 8-10 people give him 100-150%. Also there are stairs in the houses there, and he loves stairs.
But I will never really know why Louie is in a mood because he will never tell me. Maybe that’s why I don’t pay his ups and downs much mind? I know he’s healthy. I know he’s safe. And I know that just as fast as these funks come, they go.
From 2:00 until 3:00 he sat with his head shoved between the couch pillows occasionally lifting it out to grumble at the rain through the sliding glass doors to the patio. Literally. He lifted his head, turned to the door and grumbled like a Wookie.
Not having it, professionally
Then around 5:00 he got a hankering to play catch with himself so he tossed his tennis ball from his own mouth and caught it approximately 150 times before falling asleep in the middle of the kitchen floor, smiling. Yes, of course he smiles.
Louie is an animal. He has emotions. They mostly make sense so I let him be because a. it’s not affecting me all that much and b. he can’t regulate them because he is a dog.
Imagine if I said – hey could you be happier because it’s bumming me out? Or I know you’re frustrated but chin up because the only way to power through a bad mood is with positive vibes! Or stop moping, we have company!
And yet (you knew this was coming…) that’s exactly what I say to myself as my own moods attempt to creep in. Um, that’s not cute. Um, that’s not convenient. Um, that’s going to make other people uncomfortable.
There is nothing I hate more than my own bad moods. They feel like this weird Dr. Jekyll side of me that is not comfortable or welcome. I much prefer to be happy. My face looks better that way. And when I’m happy I don’t have to think about why I might be sad.
Luckily I am not a dog. I can regulate my moods with things like positive thinking, lying to myself, and alcohol. Sometimes that is helpful. I don’t have the luxury of shoving my head inside my couch pillows for hours on end, most days. But throughout 2015 I started to realize that I can stand to sit in the feeling a little longer than I usually allow. In that time between ugh/ouch and buck up! I know that I will learn a thing or two – thousand.
After whining in my face post yesterday’s chew loss Louie walked himself to the corner opposite Babe and laid down with his head on his paw like a real baby. He also does this when he wants to go walk but it’s not time to go walking or when R and I come home and don’t immediately engage in our routine of sitting cross-legged on the floor so he can climb in with a toy for a cuddle. Babe, who is the dog equivalent of Leslie Knope, gave him a few minutes to be a brat and then bounded over and tried to get him to play with a toy that used to be a stuffed chicken but is now an unstuffed chicken head. He wasn’t having it so she left him alone and went to go play by herself in the dog bed. Fifteen minutes later I found them like this:
Apparently he just needed a minute, okay?
And so my New Year’s Resolution for 2016 is to be more like my dog. He has no time for image over truth. He does not give a shit what people think about his moody blues. And he thinks his face is just as cute pissed off as it is happy.
I’d like to think that’s all because he knows we love him – one day of grumbling at the rain or not. And I’d like to spend this year reminding myself that I should know the same.
For more like this check out:
How To Be Independent: According To My Puppy
How To Recover From Being Lonely: According To My Puppy
How To Handle Fear: According To My Puppy