Happiness: What Joey Has Taught Me

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I found a (huge) tick on Joey yesterday. I was able to remove it without much of an issue, but (a) ewww, and (b) it was the second tick in three days. It was time to re-apply his flea and tick meds, but before I did, I called the vet to see if I should try something different. We decided to keep him on the same product, but the vet strongly suggested that he be vaccinated against Lyme disease ASAP.

So yesterday afternoon, Joey and I took a little trip to Dr. D’s office. In that short little trip, I realized just how much I could learn from Joey. Even though he’s still a youngster (he’s 11 months old today!), he is so wise.

Joey being all wise. Or just watching some birds.

Joey being all wise. Or just watching some birds.

Here’s what he’s already figured out about life:

1// Expect good things. This was Joey’s third trip to the vet since we brought him home to live with us. The first trip, he got his booster shots. The second trip, he got…umm…snipped. His third trip, he was still so excited to be there. He really expected it to be a blast, despite the fact that he’s never actually had a good time there. I think we could all benefit from that optimistic attitude.

2// Everyone is a potential friend. All you have to do is say smile and say hi. Seriously, everyone. He saw playmate potential in every creature that he encountered yesterday: the litter of two-day old boxer puppies, the chubby pug who clearly didn’t feel well, the cranky cats, all of their human counterparts, and every single person who worked at the vet’s office. And his approach is so simple and effective: he just smiles and wags his nubbin and everyone offers a friendly response (well, except the cats).

3// Don’t bite back. When it was time for his shot, Dr. D asked me to hold Joey’s head. This seemed smart- the pinch of a needle could hurt and frighten the poor little guy, and you can never be sure how he’ll react. But it never occurred to Joey to retaliate when he felt the prick, he just tried to turn his head as if to ask “hey man, what are you doing?!” The world would be a much nicer place if we’d react like Joey did; we need to seek answers first, rather than respond to a perceived slight with aggression.

4// Forgive quickly. Joey immediately forgave Dr. D for giving him a shot. As soon as it was over, he went right back to smiling at the good doctor and wanting to play with him. Joey didn’t seem to totally trust him as long as he had the syringes in his hand (he’s no fool), but he still had the general expectation that they could be buddies.

5// If it’s coated in peanut butter, don’t question it. To be safe after the tick bite, the vet gave us a bottle of antibiotics. Daisie has been known to suck the peanut butter off of pills and spit them back out, so I was afraid Joey may try to do the same thing. Nope, he just gobbled it up. He appreciated the extra treat without questioning it or putting too much thought into it.


He’s just such a sweet little soul, you can’t help but love him. He’s friendly and happy all the time. I really think the world would be a happier place if we took a lesson from Joey and embraced everything that life has to offer. Just start with a smile.





  • I absolutely adore this. We can really learn a lot from our dogs! Warner has such an outgoing, friendly and positive personality I really need to start taking a page from his book. I loved this post and obviously I LOVE Joey!

    • Thanks! They just have such a love for…well, everything, don’t they? I wish I could be so perky all the time 🙂

  • Kathy@Vodka and Soda

    OMG THAT FACE!! i want to steal and cuddle him all the live long day!

    Vodka and Soda

    • Haha that face gets him out of a LOT of trouble. I’m a sucker 😉

  • Awww he’s so cute! Our vet loves Hawkeye, he gives her a shot and she licks his hand. Dogs are just lovers.

    • That is the sweetest thing I think I’ve ever heard! What a sweetheart!

  • Aw he really is adorable!! I’m so looking forward to getting a dog.

    • They are so fun! Are you guys planning to get one soon?

      • Unfortunately we’re in an apartment right now that doesn’t allow dogs. I’m hoping to be out of this apartment next year. But definitely when we have a house!!