What I Learned From My Dog Rocky About “Radical Joyfulness”

My dog, Rocky, a 10 pound Shi-Tzu loves going for walks on the beach.  

Actually, love is putting mildly, he goes insanely crazy when he knows we are close to the beach and he is moments away from a long beach walk.

I call it “radical joyfulness” because he exhibits such “over-the-top” joy and happiness.

He could be sound asleep in the back seat of the car and somehow the smell of ocean air, or just his innate GPS will wake him up from his deep slumber.  

Quickly he runs back and forth, whining and yelping with excitement and anticipation of going “to the beach.”  He is very vocal and if he could speak the human language, I know he would be saying, “We are going to the beach right?  Are we almost there? When will we arrive? Are we close?”

If I just tell him, “we are going for a walk on the beach” do you want to join us?  I better be ready with his leash and harness and my shoes on my feet to get in the car otherwise he will be uncontrollable in his excitement for his favorite walking spot and will not let me out of his sight until we are on our way!

One day, as he was literally flying out of my car as the door opened for our walk, it dawned on me just how ridiculously excited he gets about something as simple as a walk on the beach.

You could say, it is what he lives for!  That 20-30 minute walk, brings him such incredible joy that when the walk is over, he is so content that he “crashes out” for the rest of the day.

Rocky’s “radical joyfulness” got me thinking about the little things that bring joy to our lives each and every day.  Unfortunately, it is so easy to forget those joyful moments when we are juggling practices, patients, employees and families.

Rocky has taught me that it does not have to be something life changing, a huge event or even an upcoming vacation, to make even the most simple events and experiences of the day something to be grateful for and to be excited about.

“Radical joyfulness.”

This year, with Rocky’s help, I too am going to focus on radical joyfulness each and every day.  Whether it is a simple walk on the beach, a day spent with patients or hanging out with family and friends. I hope Rocky encourages you to do the same.

I encourage you to find your radical joy each and every day just like my dog, Rocky.