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10 Reasons Why Dogs Are Man’s Best Friend

10 Reasons Why Dogs Are Man’s Best Friend

To put it simply, dogs are awesome. Whether they’re begging for your food, barking at their leash to convince you to take them on a walk, or simply greeting you when you get home, dogs do all of the little things that put smiles on faces around the world. What are some of the more endearing reasons why dogs are and always will be man’s best friend? Read on…

1. Dogs have terrible short-term memories.

    One of the crappier aspects of human friends is that, generally speaking, they remember all of the times you’ve wronged them and will hold it against you for the rest of their lives. Dogs, on the other hand, have the “gift” of poor memory. That means you can mess with their tail, play keep away with their food, and tug on their ears to your heart’s content, even if it annoys them. You get to have your fun, and your dog will forget all about it and treat you like their best bud within a couple minutes! It’s truly one of the only win-win scenarios in life.

    2. Dogs have great long-term memories.

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      While your pooch will forget you pulling on their tail, they won’t forget the connection they share with you, and, if you are good to them, you will leave a lasting impact on them that they’ll never shake off. Take, for instance, my dachshund Chester. From a young age he was babied by my mom, and now, nearly twelve years later, he never leaves her side. Unfortunately this sort of thing goes both ways, as I used to mess with him quite a bit on a consistent basis (actually I don’t think it had anything to do with me; he’s just too attached to my mom to like anyone else), and so nowadays he barks in my general direction whenever words of any sort come forth from my mouth.

      3. Dogs have your back.

        Even though my dog Chester isn’t exactly a huge fan of me, he’ll still take me over strangers. Now, when a dog actually likes me (like my dog Sally does), they’ll defend you even more vehemently. Whenever a creepy solicitor or girl scout cookie peddling entrepreneur knocks on your door, your dog will be right there beside you barking at them as you tremble behind a corner, too afraid to answer. Of course, this can go a little overboard, like this one time when the UPS guy showed up and tried to put a box on my porch, only to be chased away by three dogs rushing out to defend the homeland. Understandably, he now leaves packages by the front gate instead.

        4. Dogs can mimic your emotions.

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          Based on the tone of your voice and your body language, your dog will do its darnedest to emulate your current state of mind. When you’re sad, they’ll look at you with big doe eyes. When your angry, the fur will rise on their backs and they’ll start barking and growling at inanimate objects. Whereas humans might not respond to your emotional upswings and downswings in a way that you’d prefer, dogs will always be there whether you’re thrilled, depressed, or anywhere in between.

          5. Dogs act as mini-dishwashers.

            Ok, that sounds a little gross, but hear me out. Ever finish dinner and have too little food on your plate to save, but too much that it’d be a hassle to wash it in the sink? Well, here’s where your dog comes in! Just hand the plate over and let them polish it off. They’ll be happy, and you’ll have an easier time doing the dishes!

            6. Dogs are great motivational tools.

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              In case you’re afraid that using your dog as a dishwasher will lead to them becoming overweight, fear not. Dogs prefer being active, at least when they’re younger. Make use of their abundance of energy and take them on walks, or, if you are super ambitious, runs! They’ll be tuckered out and supremely amused, and you’ll be on track to becoming a healthier person!

              7. Dogs are freaking smart!

                Intelligence varies depending on the kind of breed you get, but overall, dogs are some of the most intuitive animals around. This is demonstrated by their multiple facial expressions (I especially like the one where they tilt their head and look at you quizzically), their ability to deviously hide toys in the strangest of places, and more. One of my dogs is a miniature schnauzer, and he cracks me up with how smart he is. I have a few tennis balls by my desk (which I don’t use for tennis; I just toss em in the air whenever I’m concentrating), and he knows this. So, what he does is go on little reconnaissance missions into my room. If I’m in there, he pretends to look out my window or inspect my bed, while simultaneously stealing a few glances at my tennis balls (which usually lay haphazardly on the floor). Then, he’ll leave, but only after making a mental checklist of where the balls are. Later in the day, or it could even be several days later, I’ll go downstairs and see him happily chewing at one of my tennis balls, a mischievous look in his eye as he gazes up at me. It’s hilarious every time! He planned a stealth mission, waited for me to leave my room, retrieved the ball, and escaped without me noticing. Sounds like he should be made an honorary Navy Seal…

                8. Dogs won’t allow you to eat alone ever again.

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                  Who wants to eat alone? Sure it’s nice sometimes, but even as an introvert I’ll admit to liking a nice dinner with other people (only if I enjoy their company of course). Well, fear not, because if you have a dog you’ll always have company for dinner. Of course, they’ll be sitting by your knee, panting in your face, asking for your food, but it’s company all the same! Recently I went to go eat alone in my room, when I heard a distinct huffing and puffing outside my door. Turns out my 14 year old dachshund Sally had dragged her fat little body all the way up two flights of stairs to be there while I ate (presumably because she expected me to give her some of my Chinese food — oh and by the way she looked exactly like the corgi pictured in the above gif). After you’ve had a dog, it’s difficult to eat without the incessant barking in the background!

                  9. Dogs won’t leave you hanging.

                    Ever make plans with a human friend, only to find out that they canceled at the last minute? Well, no need to worry about that when you have a dog. They don’t know how to use phones, as far as I know, so there’s no reason to fear them calling up the neighbor’s poodle to see if they want to hit up some local bars, abandoning you to your TV and a paltry, lonesome microwave dinner. They’re there for you, and you alone!

                    10. Dogs know how to live.

                      To put it simply, dogs behave like humans who aren’t concerned about the more ridiculous aspects of sentient existence. For example, paying the bills, getting an education, running errands, dealing with annoying people all of the time, etc. All they want to do is wake up, say hi to you, run around, play with their toys, eat, nap, eat again, nap again, say hi again, and sleep. Is that so bad?! Sure, we humans have certain responsibilities thanks to our “intelligence,” but it sure would be nice if we could all go through life like dogs; care free and completely sure of ourselves. At the very least, if you have a dog, you can live vicariously through them. As long as you know what you’re getting into, it’s totally worth it!

                      Featured photo credit: DSCN7900.jpg/ pippalou via mrg.bz

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                      Last Updated on July 3, 2020

                      How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                      How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                      Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life. To control your thoughts means to influence the way you live your life.

                      Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affects your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality)

                      I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive, and just a general waste of energy.

                      You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

                      Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Be someone who can control your thoughts—become the master of your mind.

                      When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

                      I currently have a few thoughts that are not of my choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

                      Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

                      Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in control of your thoughts.

                      If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

                      Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create unhealthy and unproductive thoughts.

                      1. The Inner Critic

                      This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

                      • Other people’s words—many times your parents
                      • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples’ expectations
                      • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media
                      • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

                      The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance, and lack of self-love.

                      Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is youwhy else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

                      2. The Worrier

                      This person lives in the future—in the world of “what ifs.”

                      The Worrier is motivated by fear, which is often irrational and has no basis. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

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                      3. The Reactor or Troublemaker

                      This is the one that triggers anger, frustration, and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

                      This person can be set off by words or feelings and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

                      The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control. He is run by past programming that no longer serves you—if it ever did.

                      4. The Sleep Depriver

                      This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

                      The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

                      • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
                      • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
                      • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity, and generalized anxiety
                      • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

                      How can you control these squatters?

                      How to Master Your Mind

                      You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You can control your thoughts, but you must pay attention to them so you can identify “who” is running the show—this will determine which technique you will want to use.

                      Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

                      There are two ways to control your thoughts:

                      • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
                      • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

                      This second option is what is known as peace of mind.

                      The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go-to” thoughts in applicable situations.

                      Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

                      1. For the Inner Critic

                      When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

                      You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

                      For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

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                      You can also have a dialogue with yourself to discredit the ‘voice’ that created the thought—if you know whose voice it is:

                      “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

                      If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready.

                      This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

                      • They rile up the Worrier.
                      • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
                      • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
                      • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
                      • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

                      Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

                      Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

                      2. For the Worrier

                      Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally, and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

                      Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind, and creates anxiety in the body. This may make it more difficult for you to control your thoughts effectively.

                      You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

                      • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
                      • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                      • Muscles tense

                      Use the above-stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time, you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

                      If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

                      Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

                      “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

                      Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense. Both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

                      If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

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                      Now, take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like! Do it until you feel that you’re close to being in control of your thoughts.

                      Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

                      For example: If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

                      “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place.

                      Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

                      Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

                      “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

                      Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

                      3. For the Troublemaker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

                      Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers. But until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

                      The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain.

                      I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

                      Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds—just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

                      Breathe in through your nose:

                      • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
                      • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
                      • Focus on your belly rising.

                      Breathe out through your nose:

                      • Feel your lungs emptying.
                      • Focus on your belly falling.
                      • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

                      Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize. Now, you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior, and you’ll be more in control of your thoughts.

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                      One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

                      Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

                      4. For the Sleep Depriver

                      (They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher, and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

                      I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

                      Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

                      1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
                      2. Then I came up with a replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

                      When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and thoughts, and I choose quiet.

                      From the first time I tried this method, I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

                      For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (closed, of course). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

                      If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

                      You can also use this technique any time you want to:

                      • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon
                      • Shut down your thinking
                      • Calm your feelings
                      • Simply focus on the present moment

                      The Bottom Line

                      Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or destructive purposes.

                      You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable, and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

                      Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. You can be in control of your thoughts. The choice is yours!

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                      Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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