Lessons for a happy life according to dogs – and cats

Time to take another break from thinking too hard and worrying too much about the state of our world. Let’s turn our attention to some of the good things in life, our pets.

Lately a heartwarming tale about a young boy’s explanation of the wisdom of dogs has been recirculating on social media. For those of you who may not have seen it, these dogs’ lessons are worth sharing. And even though I’m a cat person, I agree with all of them. However, after I share these observations about how to lead a good life from a dog’s perspective, I think it only fair that cats get their turn. It turns out that both animals have much to teach us.

Lessons in leading a happy life from a good dog:


  • When your loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
  • Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
  • Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy.
  • Take naps.
  • Stretch before rising.
  • Run, romp, and play daily.
  • Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
  • Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
  • On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.
  • On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
  • When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
  • Delight in the simple joy of a long walk. Dog_Walking
  • Be faithful.
  • Never pretend to be something you’re not.
  • If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
  • When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.

It’s hard to argue with any of these, is it?!  Now let’s think about what a good cat might have to teach us about leading a happy life:


  • Cleanliness is next to Godliness. Being well-groomed is very important.
  • Embrace your curiosity … up to a point.
  • Stretch before rising and then stretch regularly throughout the day.
  • Get plenty of sleep. Plenty. Cat-Box
  • Communicate your needs.
  • People who are kind to you are nice to be around; show your appreciation by keeping them company.
  • Pay attention to your surroundings; you never know when opportunity may knock.
  • Persevere at what you’re trying to accomplish, try and try again.
  • The best things in life involve good companionship and little money. For example, who needs a new video game when you can chase a piece of string?

Remember, despite some occasional frustrations with their “exuberance”, when your dog or cat is sitting by your side wanting to be petted, you can feel the weight of the world melt away.


Image sources: PInterest, http://www.givosgourmet.com.br, tuxedo-cat.co.uk, holistapet.com, Good Housekeeping 

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37 Responses to Lessons for a happy life according to dogs – and cats

  1. Margaret says:

    “ Thrive on attention and let people touch you.” …
    I certainly thrive on attention; depends who it is regarding the ‘touching’ 😂🤣
    I’m definitely more like a dog which is why I marginally prefer cats – they’re not so much trouble!😏
    Our cat Dylan is 16 1/2 so the jury is out on whether we get another dog when he’s gone over the rainbow 🌈.
    Your post made me smile Jane.
    Animals know where it’s at – less of the analysing and questions – they simply act, or not! 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Lol. It sounds like you have a good handle on the very different approaches to life of cats and dogs, Margaret. They’re both very good at getting their humans to do their bidding! But they’re so worth it!!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Sign me up for a happy life according to a good dog! The dog list has me wagging my tail 😁💜

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Great post, Jane! The new dog in my life is re-teaching me these lessons every day.


    Liked by 2 people

  4. Wonderful thoughts and almost makes me want to have a cat again.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Wynne Leon says:

    Love this post, Jane! The best lessons from great teachers!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Bernie says:

    We have 2 dogs and 2 cats (barn cats). They all love a good walk in the prairie! The persistence thing is very cats and the greet your owner is definitely our dogs. Bernie

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Belladonna says:

    Great Post Jane!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Rose says:

    This made me smile. 😊 We love both cats and dogs. We currently don’t have a pet; our heart hasn’t quite healed from our last loss. But we have neighbors with some of the best pets – gorgeous cats who walk our property perimeter keeping us safe, and fun dogs who run to meet us and sit on our feet like we’ve always been best friends. ❤️

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Loved this piece, Jane. Let’s hear it for the cats and dogs!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Jane, I enjoyed both lists. We live with three felines, who spend their days sleeping, eating, purring, and enjoyed the pampered life.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. “Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.” Now there’s something we can all learn from, and certainly “communicate your needs” as well. Love this, Jane. 🙂 – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

  12. heimdalco says:

    I’m way behind reading your posts but I’m so glad I picked this one to begin catching up. What EXCELLENT advice from both dogs & cats. While I, too, am a cat person (& the cat perspective is somewhat different) the basics are mostly the same … love, rest, be a good companion, love, rest, find joy in the small things & in the people you love that love you back. What lovely & simple life lessons. So simple even a human can do them (with a little practice & just the right furry coach).)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Oh, Linda, you summarize the lessons we can learn from our pets so very well. We’re lucky when we can share our lives with our pets … especially cats! 😏


      • heimdalco says:

        In 2016 we lost our 19-yr-old cat to kidney failure. We’d had him so long he wasn’t just a pet … he was part of us. While I still grieve his loss, I am so sorry for people who never know that special bond we can have with a member of another species & the love we exchange with them.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. According to cats and dogs, life is simple—don’t think too hard or worry too much and do love your people.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jane Fritz says:

      If only, right?! Well, if we could at least learn not to worry so much about what’s not within our control that might help. Loving your people should be a given. But I don’t think I could ever master not thinking too hard! The emphasis on sleeping and stretching, on the other hand, … !!

      Liked by 2 people

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