Luna is my two-year-old mini Maltese whom I am obsessed with. No, really – I overshare photos of her and will try and squeeze her into every conversation I have. Just one mention of her, and I’m suddenly a six-year-old in a candy store. She’s brought in so much unconditional love and happiness to every waking moment, and for that, I’m so grateful. While most of my conversations with Luna are filled with chants of ‘Good Girl!’, Luna has taught me a few valuable lessons in just a year.
- Keep your routine simple:
While we crave variation and overfill our schedules to keep ourselves busy, Luna keeps her day simple: go for a walk, eat, nap, play, and repeat. Anything else is an added adventure. It’s a gentle reminder that monotony can also be exciting if you allow it. A good routine provides your day with structure and helps eliminate idleness, so don’t let it be a burden or tire you out. Keep it simple.
2. Cherish every meal:
Luna eats the same thing almost every single day, yet each meal, her eyes widen with excitement as she falls in love with sweet potatoes and shredded chicken all over again. As a fussy eater myself, it’s a nice reminder that it’s simply just food. It’s going to be great regardless – and if it’s homemade, even better!
3. Always share your meals:
Having a four-legged creature means having a meal just for yourself is no longer an option. Every bite has to be shared, even if it’s a crumb. And, honestly, I love it. Mealtimes become boring if Luna isn’t scavenging around. There’s no greater love language than sharing a meal, and no meal times should be spent alone.
4. Greet your loved ones with excitement:
It may not mean a lot, but it makes me feel incredibly special when Luna is excitedly waiting for me by the door. The good days instantly get better, and the bad days suddenly disappear. Not sure why we preserve this excitement solely for guests, but it’s time to pass the feeling on. The next time a loved one returns home, greet them with big smiles and hugs.
5. Take time to listen & be present:
Whether or not you can actively contribute to a conversation, it’s okay to sit still, chime in with a nod, and listen. I love it when Luna lounges around us, deep in her own thoughts. Her presence makes me feel safe and guarded. We don’t always need to fill gaps of silence with words; it’s okay to take time to be. Give your undivided attention to those in front of you, and try your best to make them feel important in any way you can.
6. Don’t be afraid of things that might seem bigger than you:
This one makes me laugh because Luna acts very brave for her size. This 2.5kg puppy will let out her loudest growl when she sees a dog larger than her. A bold message to her opponents that there’s more to this than meets the eye. It’s encouraging to see her not let her guard down and show off her little Maltese power – a reminder to me that things will only be intimidating if you let them, and there’s nothing that’ll come across your path that you won’t be able to handle.
7. Spend time outdoors:
There’s never an outdoor opportunity that Luna lets slip away. Although her neighborhood walks sometimes feel mundane to me, Luna approaches the same path every day with newfound zest. With zoom fatigue taking over our lives, there’s a larger need to find solace in the little things. So, take time to enjoy the outdoors like a puppy. Get some sunlight in, let your toes embrace the grass, and don’t be scared to get a little messy! Whether it’s sitting on a park bench, or taking a stroll, take time to people-watch and get some fresh air in. Take time to connect with nature, and take part in things that will energize you.
8. Treat yourself with your favorite snack:
No, I don’t mean endless snacking, but take time to treat yourself. When Luna abides by her simple commands of ‘sit’, ‘jump’, or ‘stay’, she gets pampered with treats. We get so carried away with the idea of treating ourselves only if something is worthy of a celebration – but it’s important to celebrate your little wins. Even it means completing a workout or reading an extra chapter of a book – take time to give yourself a little pat on the back.
Luna has taught me the power of unconditional love and that it’s okay to give more than you receive. Her naive excitement is a stark reminder that life is short, and we have just enough control to make each day as exciting as we want it to be. There’s something new waiting to be discovered every single day; it’s merely up to us to decide how badly we want to make it happen.