Take cues from animals for longevity, contentment

Sam the springer spaniel is a happy boy.

The world’s oldest person (116 years young woman) the other day said the keys to her longevity are avoiding junk food and minding her own business.

Most of you shouldn’t be alive and reading this at all if that needed to be true for all of us.

We can’t not eat junk food (at some time or another), and we always are sticking our noses into other people’s affairs; it’s just how we roll. We can’t help it, as to a degree, it’s probably written into our DNA.

I tend to take my cues for longevity, at least quality longevity, from the domesticated animal kingdom.

Take a look at our dogs and cats for instance…

They don’t have spoken language, at least not to the extent that us humans do. They do just fine, however, most of the time when we aren’t stressing them out in one way or another.

How do they manage a long, peaceful existence on the planet?

They simplify their life, that’s how.

They don’t let stress get the upper handle on their happiness. That is, unless of course, we are constantly arguing loudly with other members of the household or not being kind to them.

So, animals in good homes have minimal stress to contend with.

That leaves their lives to these four basic principles for contentment:

Eat. Sleep. Play. Poop.

As humans, we tend to get high and mighty living at the top of the scrap heap known as the food chain.

We are all so self-important, we lie, cheat and are mean to one another.

The poor behavior we engage in all too often places stressors on our bodies.

We break down. We may live a long time, relatively speaking, but our quality of life surely suffers when we complicate things by acting badly.

Some people used to urge us to get back to the country to simplify things, to resume the four happiness ingredients that are eating, sleeping, playing and pooping.

Animals are sort of in the country—they have back yards, or go on “countryside” walks and we pick up the poop they make.

I swear you can see them smiling sometimes as you scoop their waste neatly, or as neatly as possible, into a plastic bag. That’s some funny stuff (and I think it is to them, too). Don’t you love it when your dog proudly kicks his hind legs back, shooting piles of dust and debris over the general vicinity of his droppings? That’s happy pooping pride manifesting itself, ladies and gentlemen!

I secretly hope print media like newspapers never completely die as the plastic wrappers they are delivered in make perfect waste receptacles for this necessary endeavor of “scoopage.” Newspaper writers may still have news story “scoops,” but we animal lovers get to actually “scoop” with the plastic that surrounds their scoops—can you dig it?

But, seriously, take a look at your animal.

He or she will usually have a calming effect on even the most neurotic of us, with their daily displays of unconditional love.

Animals know instinctively that it’s better to give than to receive.

We as humans have our moments when we are thinking along the same lines, but for the most part, there are quite a few days where we are not able to even muster a hello to a stranger in passing, let alone perform a completely selfless act on behalf of another, less fortunate human being.

So, we complicate our lives to the point we make ourselves sick and we die too young as a result.

If we aren’t predisposed to some genetic abnormality, illness nor have an accident of some kind that leaves us less than intact at some point in our lives, we are mostly given a clean slate to live as best we can health-wise.

Now cats and dogs don’t live long actual numbers of years like we do, but I like to assign the dog life “seven years for each one year” theory, and that has some beasts living into their 90s and 100s.

So, to summarize…minimize your stress, give and love unconditionally and remember that doing anything beyond eating, sleeping, playing and pooping is potentially compromising your overall longevity and happiness.

And thank you for picking up after your pets, too.


10 replies »

  1. Bob Skelley is an old friend from Boulder, A musician and dear friend of Sharon Meyers……In my recollection, they jammed some great stuff…
    I was slow on the uptake of his blog posting via Facebook –
    I think because on Fbook, and the decision to click on his link – as any link i see on Facebook etc.. – I was/am resistant to “going there” –
    maybe my hesitancy to respond via Fbook made me “feel” like i have some ‘say’ (delusional? naive at best….) on the cyber world….The cookie collectors & the powers that write code for FaceBook, Google – the semi-gods/demi-gods of the writing revolution may seem to have so much control?? ….everything tracked and shared and marketed etc……
    ahhh but i distract (easily)
    I just read though his posting below tonight, i subscribed to his blog, and I gotta say….he scratches a particular itch in the world of connection, observation, with humor, and bittersweet truth-ities /truthisms ( a la George W – )
    Good shit Bob!


    • Hi Kit!

      So great to hear from you here!

      I “publicize” this blog on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Publicizing is a feature of WordPress blogging that allows you to instantly “blast” your post as soon as you finish it to any number of social media, including the ones I send it to. I control this blog’s content and publication, so you can safely click on a link to here from FB and arrive here knowing it’s only me–Bob–your old friend. 🙂

      I do agree you have to be careful about what you click on in general when it comes to being on the Internet, though.

      So thanks for taking the time to leave comments here, Kit! I love it when people are moved or affected positively in some way from my writing.

      I know I used to write a lot of songs back in my musician days, but I am grateful for the blogging platform as a new mode of expression for me, as well as an outlet for some creativity (since I haven’t been writing too many songs lately)! I am having a lot of fun with it–part of my “playing,” along with my pooping, eating and sleeping. 🙂

      Thanks again for your comments, Kit. But I have to ask which “W” George you were referring to…”hoping” it’s Washington? 😉



      • I thought one of the George Bush-es made a verbal faux pas once (of many) – involving the word “truthy”, “truthier” or some s-thing like that. But when I went to Google it last night though – it did NOT appear on first Google page and frankly, i got a bit a-d-dadeedd..dee deee distracted.
        The George W reference made sense to me at the time but, honestly, Bob- I cannot recall why so ahh…guess I’ll let that one fall through the sieve WHILE i will keep working on working with the good stuff, the stuff that sticks……..my thought process /writing is what i am referring to here –

        Your blog and your writing serves as act of support (gives me permission/an added ease) to take some of my own risks, some of which include putting my own thoughts and creativity out there – so thanks Bob, that’s a fu!@#$%^&ing big deal in my world…..

        I am starting a lounge lizard act – another topic another time – If interested, I wld love to tell you more about it as it progresses ….. beyond my singing around the house/taking out the trash etc.
        I am in search of voice lessons for trade – not to change my oh-so-low tone – but learn how to throw my voice without throwing my voice out – AND – mister, my guitar just walked out the door to get fresh strings put on it ( after 3 plus years) by someone who knows WTF they are doing…..
        So, like i said, will keep you apprised of my “progress” – my song list alone is a joy and i am living large…I am pretty happy here in California….Hope this finds you the same – arms around – and keep writing – your topic and manner is apparently the sweet spot!
        ps – my dogs are suckers for my singing- (as if they had a coice!) Oso, my golden retriever -chow mix, in particular likes my version of Bob Marley’s THREE LITTLE BIRDS – he even knows the words!
        also i have a lounge lizard song i wrote for “dinner time”….kinda influenced by the great Billie Holiday…….


      • I was thinking it might have been a “W” George reference you were making, but I wasn’t sure, Kit!

        So happy to hear anything here is inspiring you to do your own thing expression-wise. I believe we must allow our creative selves to come to the forefront when at all possible. To stifle, repress or suppress, is to hold yourself back!

        Your writing, thinking, singing and playing guitar are some of your outlets for all this artistic energy–so keep on keeping on!

        I love that you have original dinner theme music that is appreciated by your animals–when you’re happy, they are happy!

        And I know they recognize their mom is happy when she is singing for them.

        Oso sounds pretty smart–he’s already got one over me…like “W,” I used to often “forget” lyrics and make up/mumble my own, back in my performing days! 🙂

        Sounds like you are doing well, Kit. And yes, always good to hear how everything–personally, professionally and creatively–is coming along. Love that I can practically see you smiling through your comments here!

        Have a great weekend and thanks always for your mutual support!



  2. This is so true! I have come to the same conclusion and would rather lead a little more quiet life if it means not being swept up in drama. It frees up a lot more time for “Wild Riding” too! Great post!
    Thanks for stopping by my blog. The way it works is the more links you click on, the more they will click back! The party will roll through the weekend. I would invite you to follow me if you aren’t already, so you don’t miss out on the fun!


    • Thank you, Susie! I will endeavor to fully partake in at least a share of your Wild Riding; your blog is bursting with flavor and activity it would seem. Consider yourself followed (in a gentlemanly, nice, WordPresshish way, of course. 🙂


    • Might not be a bad gig if we come back at all. Until then, I try to live like the animals, sprinkling the best ingredients civilized humans can, when at all possible. Ain’t Susie awesome? Thanks so much for stopping by. I’ll be returning the favor.


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