Whether you’re a dog, a person, or a poodle, there can be a lot of pressure in our world to conform to the norm. Just take the poodle world, for instance: Most people don’t recognize me as a poodle because my tail isn’t docked, and I’m not groomed in the expected poodle cut. But, if I’m being honest with myself, I prefer a less pronounced puff, short ears, no tail pom-poms, and my full-size wag-a-lag. And to top it off, some days I like to wear a row of bows. That’s just me.
The reality is, we can only ever be ourselves. And we often waste a lot of time and energy trying to be what we think others want or expect. At first it seems easier to adjust to fit in…but for humans, this pressure can lead to miserable teenagers, superficial young adults, topped off by a midlife crisis in the 40s. The pent-up distress from losing track of one’s real self can even lead humans to buy red sports cars and make other rash decisions in an effort to feel alive. If a dog has a midlife crisis, it hits at age six. That’s when we may suddenly find ourselves growling at children and fighting with other pooches, while our humans stand on the sidewalk, apologizing to strangers, in complete dismay. So why not avoid all the trouble, and just have fun embracing the truest version of who we are? This week’s Woofs of Wisdom remind us it’s pawesome to be unique. Expressing one’s true self is a quality to be admired, not quashed. And best of all, being yourself puts you in the flow, so you don’t wreck your life along with your new red sports car.