My daughter loves puppies, the third word she learned to say was actually puppy. She does not discriminate. She loves dogs of all sizes, shapes, and colors. When she sees a dog she screams “Puppy!” and if she doesn’t get to pet it she starts to cry. I love puppies as well. Three years ago when we decided to get a dog I learned so many lessons including the importance of napping, cuddling, and ‘puppy loving myself’. Let me explain.

If you go to any veterinarian they will all say give your dog lots of exercise and nutritious food. They will weigh a dog for dosage reasons but most veterinarians determine if a dog is healthy by their breathing, heart, and teeth. They don’t simply look at a number on a scale. Why? Because dogs are diverse in their builds, so their weight is not a primary indicator of health. My dog is the exact same age and height as his girlfriend Winnie, she is an English Bulldog. It would be ridiculous to compare her weight with my dog who is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Why then is the health of humans judged so predominantly by weight, height, BMIs, and percentages? Humans are all built differently, with various frames and proportions. I always joke that my dog has better health care and insurance than I do, and sadly in regards to weight and self image he does.

If someone said they wanted their English Bulldog to lose some weight and look like a Greyhound they would be considered insane, because no matter how much a bulldog diets it will never look like a Greyhound. So instead of trying to change their bulldogs owners rejoice in how unique their dog is and focus on giving their dog enough exercise and wholesome food so that their dog is happy and healthy… not because they want to change the way their dog looks.

I still talk to my therapist all the time about this because it is a difficult concept to apply to day to day life. Yet it is very important. If everyone started accepting humans for who they are and loving themselves because of their differences, a lot of our culture’s problems with self image and eating issues would disappear. So, whenever I feel insecure about my looks I try and give myself some puppy love; which means I give my self the same acceptance, free of judgement or critique, and adoration that we give to a puppy.

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