My dear friend and I took our two canines apiece to a dog park on several acres of land. Watching them enjoy the setting made me think of the lessons we as humans can take from their experience.
1. When you arrive somewhere new, get the lay of the land. It helps to climb a nearby hill to gain perspective on the layout, visitors, features, muddy places, and must sees. 2. Check in with the locals, those who know the spot best. They will have the inside scoop on the most authentic places to visit, complete with interesting views and smells. 3. You will come across many interesting visitors in your travels. Get outside your comfort zone if you must to learn their story, what brought them there, what they like, and how they approach their time there. 4. Know that some you come across may look scary, but they're often all bark and no bite! And quite fun to play with! 5. Be respectful to everyone you meet. At times you may need to be submissive to your elders because they have important lessons to impart to you. If you listen, you can avoid a lot of pitfalls! 6. Always be yourself! You bring something to the experience that no one else can! If you're authentic, you attract exactly who you should. Plus, it's a lot less tiring than pretending to be something you're not. 7. Speak up when you need to and be sure to set boundaries. Just because you're new doesn't mean your feelings and needs aren't important. You teach others how to treat you by what you accept. 8. It's important to take risks. By leaving the trodden path, you may discover the lesser known parts that are truly the heartbeat of the place. 9. Remember to be playful! Enjoy this new setting and connect with what delights you! Exercise is a great way to see a place, whether it's running or walking. 10. If you don't like going it alone, bring your buddy/buddies with you for company. They can give you courage and confidence, plus you already know they're fun to be with! 11. Finally, be sure to get plenty of rest at the end of a long day of exploring. Tomorrow's another day!
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