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Funny Dogs: An Endless Supply of Happiness

By: Renae Hamrick, RVT

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Everyone knows the old phrase, "Laughter is the best medicine". The best source of the best medicine may be sleeping at your feet right now - on his back, feet up in the air, tongue hanging out, snoring loudly. There isn't much more entertaining than a funny dog. Dogs can bring us comfort, health, and endless smiles all through their innocence and passion for life. A total lack of inhibitions allows dogs to be completely goofy and have fun with every moment. Take time out to appreciate the humor your pooch provides; you might be surprised how a little giggle with him can brighten your day.

Funny dogs are not tough to find; I don't recall meeting many dogs without a sense of humor. My own dogs, Buddy (a Golden Retriever mix) and Ed (a Doberman), make me laugh numerous times everyday. Things as simple as their eagerness for everything makes me smile. When they see me open my eyes in the morning, the excitement begins - it's time to get up! I imagine them sitting there intently watching me sleep, waiting for any sign of alertness. As soon as I am awake, I'm bathed in kisses and the two of them begin to leap back and forth over me doing their "It's-time-to-start-a-new-day-dance"! If only everyone could wake up with equal ambition.

Next comes the always exciting backyard. It never fails, I open the back door and Buddy and Ed sprint out as if racing one another to the fence. If Ed happens to get out the door before Buddy, he stands on the patio waiting for his brother to get to the "starting line", then off they go. They've been in that yard hundreds of times; their unending enthusiasm is so sweet and innocent - I can't help but smile. Don't you just love funny dogs?

Ed is never as giddy as he is when it is mealtime. Before he can indulge, he has to do a short sit-stay in front of his full bowl. It's part of his routine, and it is a strengthening challenge to his obedience skills. Before he gets my "okay", long strings of drool run from his mouth in anticipation. I look forward to this, it's a laugh I can count on.

The laughs continue with many other dog antics. When I arrive home and am greeted by the still-happy dogs, I can't help but feel a little joy at the grin Buddy gives me along with his full-body wag. Ed gives a welcome home greeting by bringing a gift, such as a shoe, a toy, or even the remote control!

There are several games we play which keep the laughs rolling, such as when the two dogs sing together. Buddy barks and makes squeaky noises, and Ed tilts his head back in a full howl. Then they run off together for a post-song romp. This is something we enjoy so much, my family will purposely start it by making our own howling and barking noises.

There is also the game of "Find Mom". I hide under a blanket and ask Buddy, "Where's Mom!?" He jumps on top of me and uses his front feet to pull the blanket away. This always ends with smiles, tail wags, and a big hug for my favorite yellow dog.

There is one particular funny moment I can remember from a time when Buddy was my only pet, and we were playing hide and seek together. It's a game Buddy enjoys a lot, and I always get a kick out of the silly things he does when we play. I put him in a sit-stay, and then I leave the room and hide somewhere. Then I call him, stay very still, and watch him hunt for me. On this particular occasion, I laid very flat along the top of the couch. When Buddy came for me, I was totally visible and he was standing quite close to me looking all around the room, but he couldn't spot me. This probably could have gone on for several minutes, except I could no longer hold my laughter, and he happily bounced onto the couch and gave me many kisses.

I could go on and on about my own funny dogs. They are my personal comedians. They keep me laughing and feeling great. Along with their unconditional love, dogs can use their silliness to bring healing and happiness to people.

Laughing at a dog's antics can lower your blood pressure and heart rate, help you forget about your worries, boost your body's endorphins (which are natural pain-killers), and decrease stress hormones. A funny dog can also help you lose weight - laughing about 15 minutes a day can burn up to 40 calories!

Enjoy your funny dog! Take time to appreciate, learn from, and smile as your dog soaks up every moment of life without any worries... as he tilts his head in curiosity at a hopping toad... runs in place while sleeping, dreaming of chasing a squirrel... happily chases his tail one way, then the other... sits in the sun, smiling wide, tongue hanging in the breeze. If we pay attention, dogs have so much to teach us - enjoy life's simple pleasures... find time to dream... have fun and be active... never stop laughing.

Do you have a funny dog? Share your story!

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