Nala’s Rules: How to connect with your inner puppy



I’m puppy sitting for my sister for a few days. Nala is a Golden Retriever, 6 months old, 35 lb (so far) and wildly enthusiastic about everything.

She believes that an acceptable way to say hello is to hurl herself at you. Repeatedly. I hope they break her of this habit by the time she reaches her adult weight of 90 lbs. I’m feeling like a tackling dummy at football camp.

Nala clearly subscribes to the canine philosophy of Every Day Is Christmas.

What would happen if we all connected with our inner puppy and bring that kind of joy to our daily lives and work? Yeah, I know, that sounds kind of Pollyanna-ish. But I’m thinking of giving it a try.

Nala’s Rules:

  • The simple joys are the best. Like squeaky toys. And people to tackle.
  • It’s more fun to play with somebody else. Especially if they’re willing to throw a ball for you again and again….
  • It’s easier to get forgiveness than permission. Melting brown eyes and a sheepish grin help a lot.
  • Everybody you meet could become your new friend. Or at least give you food.
  • Approach every new task with joy. Sink your teeth into it!
  • Look for the hidden rewards in your everyday life. (When Nala discovered bunnies under the backyard deck, going outside to do her business became a whole new adventure.)
  • Obstacles in your life (like doggy gates) are made to be jumped over.
  • Sometimes you just need a nap to get back into the action.
  • Never let anyone know your bark is worse than your bite.