Smile – Good for the Dog; Good for You

Pamela & Michael smile while sailing on Cayuga Lake.

I have a few worry lines. Now I just need to work on the ones caused by smiling.

Some women’s faces make me uncomfortable just looking at them. Let me show you what I mean.

Martha Stewart is 71 years old. But her cheeks are shiny, her forehead is smooth, and she has no wrinkles in the corners of her eyes.

Judi Dench is 78 years old. The skin around the corners of her eyes crinkles. She has fine lines around her mouth. Her face moves.

Do you see what I mean?

Martha Stewart looks like she never smiles. Maybe she’s incapable of smiling. But Judi Dench’s lines are unmistakable proof of smiling.

Who would you rather spend time with?

Dogs Smile With Their Whole Bodies

Dogs never hide their feelings.

We may not always understand what they’re feeling. But it’s not because they’re practicing subterfuge.

When dogs are sad, they look sad. And when they’re happy… Well, let’s just say there’s nothing more amazing than a happy dog.

Honey the Golden Retriever smiles while waiting for her ball.

After I knocked a few glasses off the table, the Mom told me I could only smile outside the house.

When our friend D comes over, Honey rushes to the door. First, she starts a slow wag. She spins in circles. Then Honey goes frantically looking for a toy. She cannot greet her friend without a toy.

As D approaches the door, Honey steps back just enough to let her in before leaning into her with her whole body, tail swishing and struggling to stay on her feet in excitement.

You’d better believe D feels very loved at that point. And I feel just a little bit jealous because I never get that reaction from Honey when I get home.

There’s nothing like an enthusiastic smile to let people know they’re loved and appreciated.

Honey the Golden Retriever sits with her yogurt cup.

The Mom thinks I’m pensive. I’m just wondering if I put my ear up to the yogurt cup, will I hear the farm?


I Want to Smile Like a Dog

I find it hard to show people how much I appreciate them. Unlike Honey, I’m afraid to show affection.

When I do creep out of my comfort zone and try to tell someone what they mean to me, I get intimidated. I wonder if they’re going to think I’m stupid or wonder why I’m bothering them.

But as I draw near to a half century on this earth, I’m also thinking about what I want the second part of my life to look like.

For one thing, I’d like it to have lots of laugh lines instead of Botox. And since I don’t have a floofie golden tail to show my affection, I’d better start smiling.

After all, it’s good for the dog and it’s good for me too.

Your Turn: Would you rather be “beautiful” (wrinkle-free) or fun-loving? How about your dog?

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  1. Well, fun-loving is definitely more my style. I have found that life is simply too short not to let people know what they mean to you, too. Sharing what’s inside us seems to be becoming a little bit of a lost art, though.

  2. We agree smiling and fun loving is more our style too. We would much prefer Judi Dench. Have a marvellous Monday.
    Best wishes Molly

  3. if there is ONE thing that I do (well make that TWO)….I SMILE and I LAUGH…………..BIG TIME!

    Dakota is a “smiler” too! My husband calls him “Mr.Smiley”

  4. Smiling is the best therapy out there. I just read today, ” The older I get the less I care what people think of me. Therefore the happier I am.”

  5. Mom would like to be like me because I am just always happy. My Kuvasz sister has her moods and often looks sad or depressed but not me. Mom loves to have fun and laugh and be carefree but she is easily intimidated by people, so she tends to have just a small circle of friends that she hangs around with.

  6. Of course if Golden Retrievers or Poodles ever got wrinkles, they might rethink their joyful exuberance. I remember a drama teacher telling me that I had an expressive face…the kind that gets wrinkles. I don’t think I smiled for years after that. :(

  7. We always feel bad for those people who do not have “laugh lines” on their face somewhere. We can only imagine how dull their life must be if they haven’t laughed enough!

  8. Callie, Shadow, and Ducky's Mom says:

    Give me Judi Dench any time! To me, Martha Stewart is a phoney, inside and out. The reason she doesn’t smile is because she’s afraid it would literally break her face. She’s probably had more facelifts than she has birthdays! People in this country are so obsessed with youth it’s pathetic. I’ll be 60 on my next birthday, and I’m damn proud of it, not to mention grateful to God and the universe. My poor Mom fought breast cancer for the last 3-1/2 years of her life, which ended two and a half months before her 57th birthday. And she taught me how to enjoy life and not give a crap what others had to say about it.

  9. Smiling and laughing is definitely better!

    Famous folks always have less wrinkles, happy or not, thanks to Botox and Photoshop!

  10. I always think of myself as a happy person. But it’s just not so. The older I get, the more I worry and fret. Maybe it’s because I still have three teenagers at home and can’t kill any of them. Maybe when they leave I’ll smile more. Maybe? But the duck and goose do make me smile, so maybe I’ll just step out the back door for a bit …

  11. “I want to smile like a dog.” What a wonderful way to sum it! Dogs are so enthusiastic about life and really do smile with their whole bodies. If only humans would pay attention, we could learn so much from them. <3

  12. I’ll take Judi Dench, she looks like she has a good time. Martha Stewart is a different story. I met he at a friend’s house when one of her books came out and before she was famous. She talked a lot about herself. My friend was someone high up at AT&T, I don’t remember what she did, but Martha thought that my friend could help her. When she found out she couldn’t, Martha dropped her like a hot potato.

    I’d take a face lift without the “wind blown” effect any time. I would still be able to smile. With Botox you can’t change expressions.

  13. I always remind myself that just the act of smiling is enough to lift my spirits and try to smile more often…Gizmo can always make me smile, if not laugh out loud…His happiness is expressed by what i think of as a smile, but more in the zooming hopping spinning he does…It’s like joy is just bursting out of him (PS Never trust anyone so botoxed their face can’t move)

  14. I love to laugh. Bring on the laugh lines, I say. Rita – like Honey – can’t help it. She’s both beautiful and fun-loving!

  15. I’d much rather play with Judi Dench! I’ll bet she can throw a mean ball around for a dog!

  16. Well, I think you look much more joyful than either Ms Stewart or Ms Dench. And you must be doing something right for Honey to be such a happy girl! Happy dance everybody!

  17. Definitely Judi! Her fabulous hair makes up for any smile lines she has 😉

  18. I love to laugh, but never do it enough. I could care less about the wrinkles, but have a hard time smiling. I think it would be easier to smile like a dog!! If nothing else my dogs always make me smile more than if I didn’t have them. They have no problem being themselves and sharing their excitement with us. They just make my day.

  19. I’ve wanted to know who cuts Judi Dench’s hair for years :) Maybe I should Google it? She is a wonderful actress and I think a woman who is comfortable in her own skin.

    I usually have no trouble smiling at/with Frankie and Beryl. Nothing makes me happier than to see them happy. Hmm, that could be kind of sad? Sometimes they have me wanting to tear my hair out but not often.

  20. I’m a big fan of Martha Stewart. I think she has fun, I think she lives her passion, and I think she has enough money that she can look really good even as she ages. I do love to laugh. And I have the wrinkles to prove it. Just like my dogs, Labradors, I’m happy girl.

    If I had unlimited income, I think I partake in a little lift here and there too. And still laugh my head off!

  21. I’ve heard stories of Martha, from a person who lived in the area and socialized with her, I’d prefer to spend time with Judi.

    I can so relate to this post, I feel the same way about telling people how I feel. But the older you get the more you realize how short life is and if you don’t tell people today, then you might not get the chance tomorrow.

    I want to be the dog. :-)

  22. Great point! I’d much rather have smile lines and do have a few. I have the lines at the corner of my eyes and I love it. Whenever I’m on edge, I envision each of our dogs, one at a time, when they’re “smiling.”

    Blue does the sideways wiggle towards me, wagging his entire body.

    Sydney does something similar, but does at least one spin and then wiggles between my legs so I can reach down for a tummy rub.

    Rodrigo does a gallop towards me, like a horse, moving his head up and down and he stops just before he crashes into me and leans into my legs for a hug.

    These images are doing a great job adding smile lines to my eyes :)

  23. I love to smile and I love it when my dogs smile. Our family is a smiling family. :)

  24. Funloving, of course. Scooter and Alice don’t really smile, but Alice’s funny face markings sometimes look like she is. Maybe she is! Who knows with a cat.

  25. I much prefer natural smiles, wrinkles and all :-)

  26. In my early 20s, I noticed that everyone on my dad’s side of the family had a ton of smile lines… aka, WRINKLES! I strongly resemble that side of the family, and I thought no way! So I bought eye cream and slathered it on every night. I shudder to think about how much money I spent on that silly stuff. My perspective has long since changed. In fact, I love how my dad’s deeply entrenched smile lines make him look like he’s smiling, even when he’s not! He has a permanent twinkle in his eye! I can only hope to have as much fun as he’s had, smile lines and all! Incidentally, Cooper is a smiler. He also has a ton of wrinkles. But he’s also the cutest thing I’ve ever seen!

  27. I would most definitely rather be fun loving. I try to smile a lot! I love how Honey has to find a toy to greet someone….it’s a trait in dogs I’ve known that is just so sweet and cute. It’s the ultimate in happy greetings, as if to say “Welcome! Now don’t you want to play with me? Isn’t that why you’re here?” Both of our girls will run and grab a ball whenever company comes!