Celebrate Earth Day Like a Dog

Honey the Golden Retriever checks out the mud.

Ok, I found the mud. Will you join me?

Earth Day is a time for us to appreciate the earth’s gifts and take action to reverse the damage we’ve done to her. Would we take better care of our planet if we acted more like our dogs?

Care for the Earth; Act Like a Dog

Maybe we’ll appreciate Earth more if  we experience it the way our dogs do, everyday.

1. Go Barefoot.

The earth feels cold, squishy, hot, dusty, or grassy depending on where or when we are. But we wouldn’t know it because we’re often wearing shoes.

I wonder how differently we’d think about the ground if we went barefoot the way our dogs do.

2. Eat Food on the Run.

What does grass taste like? How about squirrel road kill?

Okay, I’ll pass on the squished squirrel. But there are so many tasty things to eat on the run—gnawing on a birch branch, a rose hip clinging to a bush at the end of the season, tangy dandelion leaves making their first spring appearance.

Do you think eating on the trail is more earth friendly than grabbing a Twinkie? Or a hand full of extruded kibble?

3. Sniff the Air.

When it’s sunny and breezy, Honey sits on the porch rapidly sniffing the air. When it’s damp and foggy, she puts her nose to the ground. What do you smell, Honey?

While my sense of smell isn’t as good as Honey’s, I know there are interesting scents I’m missing because I’m not paying attention.

I wonder if we’d care more for our planet if we paid attention to what it smells like.

Honey serenely chews her stick.

Snow cools the belly. You don’t know what you’re missing.

4. Feel the Wind In Your Fur.

I hate being cold. I’m still wearing mittens and it’s April.

But Honey goes outside in glorious nakedness.

Maybe I need to expose a little bare skin to the elements. After all, a light breeze or a little rain won’t kill me. I can always dry off later.

5. Poop in the Woods.

I used to think roughing it was staying in a Holiday Inn. Then I discovered camping. I love sleeping and eating outdoors.

But when nature calls, I find myself more like a dog than at any other time.

While dogs go when they need to go, I have to think about the location of water sources and leaving no trace.

So while Earth Day celebrations urge recycling, I’m reminded more of my impact on the earth by pooping like a dog.

Get Out In the World

We Americans work very hard to limit our exposure to nature. We heat and cool our homes. We bathe indoors. We eat food processed in a factory somewhere.

While I’d never argue that dogs were better off roaming the streets on their own and rarely visiting a vet, we’re also working to disconnect them from nature as much as we are.

Luckily, most dogs are always ready to take us back to nature. It may be on the end of a leash, but your dog is happy to teach you what he knows about the world.

Let’s celebrate Earth Day, Honey. Let’s go for a walk.

Will you and your dog join us?

Your Turn: Do the animals in your life help to reconnect you to nature? How?


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  1. What a great post for Earth Day, although I’ll also forgo the squirrel kill. Grass, well, probably rather bland but I’m willing to give it a try

  2. I confess: I too have pooped in the woods. When we lived on 40 acres in the woods. Pretty good chance no one else would dig a hole in the same spot!

  3. Sue at The Golden Life says:

    Oh boy, do they ever! Shadow likes nothing more than to spend a sunny day out in the back yard, chasing the squirrels, birdies, and neighbors’ cats and then sunning herself and resting for a while before getting up to stalk the neighbors’ free-range chickens. If I allowed it, and Callie would stay out there with her, she would stay outside all day. Unfortunately, we have a neighbor who can’t be trusted, so when I come inside, so do the dogs.

  4. You make me laugh. Like out loud.

  5. I think I’ll have to pass on #5… which maybe should have appeared on your list as #2? 😉

  6. We celebrated by going to the park and chasing squirrels. Some great sniffs today too. Have a marvelous Monday and Happy Earth Day.
    Best wishes Molly

  7. If people had to go barefoot…there would be a LOT less litterbugs in the world!

  8. True, true, true. Except (like everyone else) the road kill!

  9. Yup we’re joining you. Finally have some nice weather here. And while I love to sniff the fresh air and go barefoot, there are some things on your list we just can’t do here in the city.

  10. Yep we will join you “fur” sure!

  11. Oh my gosh! The sniffing thing! I love it when I catch my guys with their noses up in the air breathing in deeply. Lucas does it with his eyes closed, which I adore. They look so happy, so natural! But you’ve inspired me: Next time I’ll lift my nose and see if I can catch a whiff of what they smell.

  12. Frankie and Beryl like to be as feral as possible, as long as they’re not too far from the couch or my bed:) I think they’ve got the best of both worlds, I hope they would agree.

  13. Happy Earth Day! Let’s all poop in the woods! woo woo woo!

  14. Im sure life in general would be better if we lived like our dogs do.

  15. Well, we didn’t get our walk in tonight because Bunny and I were planting flowers. I couldn’t stand those empty planters anymore! I’m giggling over number four and trying not to make a reference to being aroused by barking.

    Are you going to BlogPaws this year?

  16. That’s a great idea. I think they’d be a lot less glass left on our streets if we all went barefoot for a day!