"Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success." - Henry Ford

German Shepherd Dog in the snowLiving with an animal is about integration: bringing another species into your world, your family, your life then working with them to achieve a mutually rewarding and beneficial relationship.  Sounds lofty, but here’s a question… why would anyone not want to fully integrate their companion animal into their life? 

Of course we can’t all take our dogs to work with us and we can’t take our cats out to eat, and that’s okay, because I doubt many dogs are interested in office work and cats have terrible table manners – although they do like to clean up before dinner. But part of working/living together is understanding the other individual, regardless of species, and find activities we both like to do. Paw prints in the snowFor some of us eating popcorn and watching a DVD is a good past time, but we can’t do it 24/7 and still enjoy it. It’s important to find other activities that you AND your animal companion like to do together. Walking? Sure.  Sports?  Yes, there are so many. Find one you both enjoy or make up your own. You can read aloud to them.  You can get up and dance with them. You can teach them things to help you out around the house; then you can do chores together. Have them carry your bucket, or a small toolbox.  Get them to bring you the keys and their leash. “Working together is success.”

What have you done for your dog today?

What has your dog done for you?

How do you define success in your relationship?