Since getting a puppy, I seem to have added one more time commitment than I physically have time for.
Okay, not really a surprise a puppy takes up a lot of time, I get that.
Yet instead of feeling like I should return her (except perhaps when we’re working on her biting habit), I feel quite the opposite.
Instead, I get the sense I need to spend more of my time on beach walks appreciating the world through a puppy’s eyes and less time staring at a computer screen.
The way a young animal of any kind, human included, can be so incredibly joyful at the simplest things is truly amazing.
I can sit and watch my puppy run and jump after a ball again and again and then become distracted by some incredibly enticing scent, and it just doesn’t get old.
We go to the beach nearly every day, and she never tires of it – and neither do I.
I’m sure this is somewhat the feeling parents get when they have time to sit back and enjoy the antics of their growing children.
It is so exciting to watch young dogs learn, play and just generally take it all in.
Well, after thinking this very thing the other day, I looked up the power of play (and of course by “looked up” I mean googled).
One of the very first things to come up was an online article in Psychology Today about the importance of play to mental creativity, health and happiness.
Bonus, so I’m not being lazy, I’m just helping my creativity and making myself (and my puppy) healthy and happy.
The article even specifically mentions playing at the beach (see, I knew I was on to something!).
My favourite factoid from the article was “in the animal kingdom, play increases, rather than decreases, with increasing complexity of the brain.”
Of course, I also liked the fact some research indicates adults who play live longer.
Interestingly, one researcher interviewed for the article said the opposite of play is not work, it is depression, citing an experiment in which children were rewarded for finishing their schoolwork with a cache of toys which resulted in the students, teachers and parents all being happier with the school.
“Play is an exercise in self-definition; it revels what we choose to do, not what we have to do. We not only play because we are. We play the way we are. And the ways we could be. Play is our free connection to pure possibility,” wrote author Hara Estroff Marano. “It is a day at the beach.”
And on that note, time to walk the puppy. If you need me, I’ll be at the beach.
Click to read#mce_temp_url# the Psychology Today artice