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10 Love Lessons to Learn from Your Pet

Stephanie St. Martin
Jan. 27, 2012

Forget the self-help relationship books, your horoscope and suggestions from friends. There's one person in your family who might just give the best advice on love in the business...your pet. Dogs and cats are known for showing unconditional love, and yet, none of us bothers to look to them for the "WWYD" answer. The next time you want to rekindle that loving feelin' with your spouse or revitalize date night, stop and think: What Would My Pet Do?

  1. Greet with Enthusiasm
    Whether your loved one is a solider coming home from overseas or just coming home from the gym, dogs jump and greet them with excitement. Do the same. Run to the door. Wrap your arms around them for kiss. Encourage the whole family to do it, too.
  2. Nestle into the Couch Corner
    However small that extra cushion space is-cats and dogs help themselves to it, cuddling close to warm up and show their affection. So next time your partner has a little vacancy, make yourself comfortable.
  3. Say Yes to a Joy Ride
    Fido never says no to a car ride, and neither should you. So cold you don't want to go outside? Rev up the car and explore. Check out different towns, beach locations (even off-season) or a quick jaunt to a new snack shop. You could even hire a dog sitter for Fido for the added bonus of alone time.
  4. Go Fetch
    Sure, fetch may not be an endearing term but hear us out. Dogs will fetch anything-a ball, a newspaper, and sometimes, your slippers. Take a cue from your pup and do the same. Pick up the dry cleaning. Fill up the gas tank. Plan a date night - and the babysitter. Doing the little things goes a long way.
  5. Be Loyal
    It's clear to see why dogs are "man's best friend": They're protective, supportive and show unconditional love. So while you may find certain traits about your spouse utterly irritating, be his dependable supporter -- at work, home, and especially, in public.
  6. Take a Different Approach to Walks
    Follow your dog's lead and treat this uninterrupted time alone as your most anticipated time of day--or better yet, a date! Schedule your dog walker for morning and afternoon visits, and enjoy the evening walk with your spouse (and your pooch!). Then get creative. Take turns choosing the route or destination-it can be a fun way to connect each week.
  7. Forgive the Small Stuff
    As every dog knows, the person who just scolded you also makes you smile from head to tail. They forgive quickly. Take note, couples. Of course, you'll want to talk about why you're angry, but then focus on the appreciation you have for each other.
  8. Show off Your Skills
    Roll over. Sit. Stay. Dogs are always willing to perform tricks for our amusement (and for the treats that follow of course!). How about performing some human tricks of your own? Knit a scarf. Hang a picture. Help with a work situation. These tricks don't have to be incredible (we haven't seen any dogs perform card tricks) but just something that will make your loved one smile.
  9. Groom
    Cats are clean creatures and will clean themselves all day just to look their best. For you, it might mean a haircut, wax, a nice outfit. But take a cue from your feline friend and get "dolled-up" for your spouse every once in a while.
  10. Purr with Appreciation
    Dogs and cats know how to show they love what you're doing. Cats purr with gratitude and dogs wag their tails with excitement -- take time to thank your spouse. Want to go beyond saying the words? Leave a card for them in an unexpected place (underwear drawers, work bag). Purchase flowers for her or his favorite dessert. Even better? Dogs and cats love to be petted-offer a massage or a back scratch.
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