Just Sit on the Floor, Next to Someone You Love.

Be the Person your dog thinks you are michele chahine sin no

Continuing the special series for Minjay’s birthday week. Today, lessons on love:

Love everyone and everything. Say hi to everyone you meet, and assume they are the best. (But retreat quickly if they’re mean to you).

Minjay is not only the happiest dog in the world, but he’s also the friendliest dog in the world. If he had his way (and he usually does), he would stop and say hello to every single person that we pass on our walks, snuggle his head inside every stroller, play with every dog, big or small, old or young.

MinjayWith most dogs, he does the sweetest thing by laying down flat on the floor as a gesture—‘I mean no harm, just want to play!’

I’m often surprised that he even continues to approach dogs we’ve seen before, that were less than friendly, and tries to say hello every time. Sure, he’s cautious, and pulls away or simply moves on if a dog, or person, is unfriendly. But he gives everyone a chance, wants to say hi to everyone, and assumes, in general, the world is a wonderful place. His basic assumption is that people and dogs are great, and then he adjusts if they’re not—rather than the other way around. I now try to emulate him in how I interact with new people I meet, even if it’s someone I might just be seeing for a few minutes, like while checking out at the grocery store, for example.

Just sit on the floor, next to someone you love.

Last year, a couple of months before Minjay’s fifth birthday, he had to have knee surgery. It was heartbreaking. There’s no other word for it. It was so painful to see something so innocent and good in so much pain. The first few days, when he was hurting and confused, I didn’t know what to do. There was, in fact, nothing I could really do to help except give him his medicine. So I would just sit with him on the floor, as close to him as possible. And it was enough. He would wag his tail ever so gently. It was a soft sweep on the floor really because he was so tired and couldn’t move, letting me know he was grateful. That was all it took, just being next to him on the floor.

Ever since then, my favorite spot to do my work is on the floor next to him. Or after a long day, when I get home, I just lie down and pet him quietly while he wags his tail.

We don’t really need much more, at our core, than being right next to someone we love.

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Start Each Day by Waking Up Delighted to Be Alive.

Mornings With Minjay Lessons Michelle Chahine Sinno

On the occasion of Minjay’s sixth birthday, I’ll be sharing a special, short series this week on the lessons he has taught me over the past six years. These are condensed versions of longer essays that I’m working on. I hope to one day put them into a book to share with others who don’t get to spend as much time as I do with the happiest dog in the world… (In fact, that was an impetus for starting this blog, as a forum to define and get my ideas out, as a first step to putting together a book of all his wisdom. More on this soon!)

But first, today’s lessons on happiness:

Sit down on the grass. Let me chew my stick. What is the hurry?

Lessons from Minjay Michelle Chahine SinnoThis lesson is very much in line with my post from last week. I learned this one evening in the park around sunset. For some reason, I was in a hurry to get home. But it was a beautiful evening, and there was just no reason to be in a rush. Minjay planted himself on the grass with a stick and forced me to slow down, plop onto the grass like a kid, and sit there, enjoying the sunset and the light wind.

Start each day by waking up happy to be alive.

Every morning, every single morning, Minjay wakes up with such joy, energy, and a wide, loud smile on his face. And when we wake up, he’s delighted to see us so we can start our new day, with all its adventures, together. Every single morning.