Wag More, Bark Less

by Lucie Hemmen on December 11, 2011

I love Santa Cruz for so many reasons, one of them being the generous application of bumper stickers to all forms of local transportation. Who needs to read philosophy when you can get bite size inspiration from the bumper in front of you? Wag More, Bark Less is my inspiration of the day.

When you imagine Wagging, you surely picture it as behavior specific to dogs. No matter how much you love your cat, bird, or bearded dragon, only dogs Wag. (Your exceptionally spectacular cat Swishes, okay. Accept it.) Dogs Wag as a completely pure, spontaneous, and irrepressible physical expression of absolute love and delight. It is their physical manifestation of happiness in the present moment.

If we allow our teachers and teachings to appear from everywhere, why not embrace bumper sticker philosophy and lessons from dogs?

Wagging More with our kids means we can intentionally access and express our delight in them more often. Barking Less means we can intentionally decrease and redirect negative communication. In other words, if we amplify love, appreciation and playfulness for the day, or even for an hour, we might be in for a treat, as will our kids. If you have teens, as I do, we must be as undeterred by their moodiness as a dog would be.

Another great thing about dogs is that they never seem to take love for granted. Every SINGLE time they see us is like the first time only better because of the bond. As teachers to humanity, dogs demonstrate the capacity for unconditional and unflagging love. For fun, let’s all take a lesson from dogs today. Here are a few ideas and let me know if you come up with more of your own:
• Greet everyone you encounter today with sincere enthusiasm. You don’t have to wag, jump or sniff but tap into true appreciation.
• Be aware of your communication to others all day, especially people you tend to bark at. Hold back the barking and find other ways to interact.
• Commit to unconditional and unflagging love today or forever. Love because it’s who you are. Find ways of emitting it to everyone, in some small way.
• If you do find yourself barking, get over it quickly like dogs do. They don’t hold on to negativity. They reclaim peace and sweetness quickly and so can we.

Let me know how this works for you and share any good bumper stickers you’ve read.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristin December 12, 2011 at 10:56 pm

This was a great reminder to me today. Thank you!


Beth Ann December 13, 2011 at 3:18 am

Perfect timing since my kid got detention in Spanish today. He told me over the phone before I picked him up. I held back on my barking and explained that I would anxiously (is that the same as wagging?) look forward to his honest and accountable description of what happened to earn himself detention. He got real quiet and said “okay”. He followed through on an excellent description of what took place, I signed the detention slip, and we reclaimed our “peace and sweetness” quickly. Thanks Luc!


Jenna December 14, 2011 at 5:40 am

Great homework assignment! And a reminder that I need let my puppies train ME every once in a while :)


Noemi January 3, 2012 at 9:51 am

Very good topics and you are covering them well. I like the attitude that comes through in all of these blogs. My teens are much more stressful than I expected and I’m feeling there’s not as much support available as I’d hoped.


Alecia Akhavan January 3, 2012 at 12:41 pm

Regards for helping out, wonderful information.


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