Category Archives: Happy healthy living

Beach life

I love the beach. We have it very near our house, so we go there almost every day. I love the spaciousness of it, I love sensing the silky sand underneath my feet, how soft it is and yet hard enough to give me a solid grip when I press my feet down to jump really high. I love the fresh water of the ocean to cool me down after some thorough running.

There are a lot of things I love to do on the beach. Like running, playing with other dogs, digging deep holes and fetching ball. When I am lucky there are seagulls for chasing. When I am even more lucky, there are funny little birds I do not know the name of. They are small, like little balls, they have very short legs but they can run so fast one does not see the legs anymore. Of course I am faster. Too bad they can fly.

No matter what the weather is like: the beach is always the best place to go.

beach-life

 

One lucky dog – a listicle

I am a lucky dog. You know why? I made a list of all the things that make me so lucky:

I could have been a poor and skinny stray dog in Greece, but I became a wealthy city dog. Because some loving humans organized for me and my friends to come to Holland and they got us adopted. This is me, 5 months old and new in Holland. Cute, hey? No wonder M and P adopted me on the spot!

Foto Bubbles

I get lots of yummy food, sometimes really fancy stuff:

Confit de canard

I have nice soft warm beds on every floor in our house:

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Exhausted

We have this as our backyard:

And this (when you take the other turn):

Forest

I do all sorts of fun stuff. Like (when M isn’t looking) fooling around with little dogs. I like to surprise them, so they start running and I can chase them! They are always very impressed by my approach.

Nicoline 3

I have exiting Adventures with my humans, M and P. We travel!

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I have loads of friends:

Bubbles holiday1

On top of all that, I have my own blog! Which you are reading now. Thank you for that!
I wonder: what makes you happy? Can you tell me?

Run!

We had a nice run, M and I. We did our usual walking track, through the forest and the dunes and the beach and back. But this time we did it as a running training, well, kind of a running training. As I wrote before M does this training that feels more like playing than like a heavy workout. I like that, I always prefer playing above serious stuff. The catch in this method is that it feels like playing but actually it is quite a workout, M tells me. I wouldn’t know about that, it doesn’t feel like a workout to me. It is just fun, hiking through the forest and the dunes. The pace is not running to me, just a slightly quicker walk.

On the beach M sets me loose so I can do some real running. This morning I ran as fast as I could through the water and I raced over the sand. I am the fastest dog on the beach! I love it.

Run

After this we returned home, M running and me trotting next to her. It would be nice if we could run together, but M would have to become zillions times faster than she is now. She has been training for some time and it hasn’t happened, so I guess this is it for her. P is too slow for me too. Now I think of it: I never met a human who is as fast as I am. So I guess I will have to run on my own. Well, that is okay, I don’t mind.

Happiness

I hear humans wishing each other a happy new year. Well, I’d like to wish you the same, but I would like to add something to it. Because, you see, humans tend to overdo things. Especially when it comes to their idea of ‘happiness’.  They seem to think that happiness is something huge. They think they have to work hard for it to achieve it, that they can only be happy when they have lots of money and/or time.

A lot of humans are very busy with this pursuit of happiness. The sad thing is: they will never get it, not that way. Because happiness is not something huge to strive and work hard for. It is the opposite: it is very small. If you search for it you will never find it, because it is not to be found. It is already there, everywhere around you! You just have to look in the right places to find it, or more accurate: you have to feel it.

Just think about it: what has made you very happy in the past? I bet it was something small. Like a tasty dinner with a good friend. A walk in the park with the sun warming you. A hug from a relative you hadn’t seen for a while. Something you did with other humans, like laughing or singing or playing a game. Those things make you feel happy, right? They are not huge, they do not cost much and they can be enjoyed anytime, whether you are rich or poor, healthy or ill.

This is my top 3 of most happy things:

  1. Yummy food.
  2. Snoozing in the sun, after a nice long walk.
  3. Having a big or small adventure with M and P.

What is your top 3? Think about it and do it more, in 2016! Then you will truly have a happy new year.

I love mountains

Busy weekend

We had a very busy weekend and as you know from the Bubbles guide to Happy Healthy Living: it is absolutely necessary to relax when one has been busy. So that is what we did on Sunday evening.

We did doga, M and I. As you can see in this picture. M is stretching her back and I am helping her. You think I am sleeping? Ha! No way.  I am putting some extra weight on M, so she can stretch deeper.

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Feeling sad?

Here in Holland the days are getting darker. The trees are becoming more bare every day and the air smells of earth and the decay of leaves. I don’t mind but a lot of people do, I have noticed. They are becoming sad or even suffer from something that is called sad: seasonal affective disorder. Do you wonder how I know that long and difficult word? Well, I read a lot when I am home alone. That is how I got to know the definition of sad – the disease, I mean. Not the feeling. I like being alone now and then. That probably makes me a not so average dog but hey, that’s me!

People suffering from sad are a bit depressed. They are tired and irritated by small things. They are vulnerable to little annoying illnesses, like a cold. That is all too bad, because there are some easy and natural remedies to get over this sadness. I think that in this case, too, humans can learn a lot from us dogs. We are never really sad. You want to know why? Here are some simple cures for sadness:

1. Sleep more. Take notice of what we do when it is dark and raining outside. We curl up in a nice and cosy place and we sleep. When we wake up and it is still dark and raining, we sleep some more.

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2. Go out and exercise. No, this is not contradictory to number 1. It is complementary! We go out and run and play and when we are tired we sleep. Being outdoor and exercising is combining two important remedies for sadness. You soak up whatever light and sunshine there is and you use your body. That makes you feel good. Even when it is cold and cloudy outside. Just try it, for at least one hour! You will feel much better afterwards.

Hike9

3. Do doga. Which is more exercise, but indoors so you can do it anytime, day or night. Doga is three things combined: moving your body, soothing your mind and having a good time with your canine. Don’t take it too seriously (you are not training for a doga contest, I hope), but laugh and have fun! It will melt your sadness away. Then, after doga, rest some more, if possible together.

Snoozing

Life is good, even when the days are getting darker.

 

 

 

 

 

The power of rest

I like to relax. In fact, all animals do. When you take a close look at us, you will see that we are active during a small part of the day. I mean really active, when we run and hunt hares and bite burglars and play. The rest of the day we rest. We sleep, we snooze, we doze.

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And that is fine. What is more: it is necessary in order to stay healthy. Humans don’t differ that much from animals, they need to rest too. The odd thing is: they don’t rest enough. They are doing loads of things that aren’t logical from a canine point of view. They have to work, okay. I don’t understand why, but they all do so apparently there is a necessity to work in the human world. But then, in the time they should be resting, they do the most silly things. They look at luminous devices for hours on end, which isn’t relaxing at all with these lights en noises. They go shopping, which means buying stuff they don’t need because their houses are all ready full of things they never use. They are busy in their houses doing things that are totally useless, like cleaning – why bother? It will get dirty again!

I am surprised by all this. Sometimes I hear humans telling each other about their hobbies, all of them time and money (also hugely important in the human world) consuming things. They do it because they want to relax, they say. I don’t get it. The best way to relax is to rest. You can do it anywhere, anytime. It costs nothing at all. Humans should try it! It is good for them and for us who live with them, because more rest means less stress. And we all know it is better to live with relaxed humans.

So please, my human readers: rest more. Sleep, snooze, doze. Even better: relax together with your canine friend. Cosy!

Samen relaxen

 

Mindset

When it comes to mindset, canines and humans are very different. Some humans get it, they have the right mindset for a happy healthy life. Mostly these humans are kids.  When they grow up, they develop bad habits and thinking patterns that do not contribute to a happy healthy life. That is why mindset is the fourth part, an essential one, to a happy healthy lifestyle.

I wrote earlier that humans don’t seem to get their priorities right. This is the result of a mindset that has gone astray. I will give you some clues on the right way of thinking. You want to be happy and healthy, right? So read carefully!

Enjoy the moment

This is key when you want to become happy and healthy. Humans, I notice, take a lot of things in life way too serious. In general, they think too much. They brood about the past (why? You can’t change it anymore) and they worry about the future. Again: why? You will never know what tomorrow will bring, so it is no good worrying about it. The only thing that is real, is the present. Be there, enjoy the moment.

Running

 

Decide fast, act fast

This is something where humans really should take us canines as an example. We never think long. We trust our instincts and that is a good thing, because our instincts are always right. I think humans call this their gut feeling. Listen to it, act on it and don’t look back! For instance: when you are in a place and it doesn’t feel right, just go. When you are with other humans or canines and their energy feels bad, go.  The reason is obvious: humans and canines with bad energy are not worth your time. Time is precious, so why waste it? Leave them and spend time with the ones you like, the ones you have fun with. Don’t bother about what ‘the others’ will think of you. Who cares? What your friends and loved ones think of you, that matters. Nothing else does.

By the way, this is my friend Sjaak. I love his ears.

Nicoline 1

 

Be curious

Explore, stay curious and be ready for anything. Then you’ll make sure you will have the most fun. To be able to do this, you have to stay fit. And I mean fit in a physical and mental way, so train your body and mind. Investigate new things. Never stop exploring. You’ll never know what Adventures will happen and what great personalities you will meet!

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Food

I promised you another episode in the Bubbles Guide on Happy Healthy Living and this is it. It is about food. It can be a bit tricky for me to advise you on what to eat, because I am a dog and most of my readers on this topic are probably human (dogs don’t read about food, we eat it). We dogs have a slightly different taste than humans. For instance: we both love pizza, but most humans will not like my favorite topping. That is why M helped me out a bit with this post.

Food is very important if you want to be happy and healthy. Most humans probably know what healthy food is, since there are loads of blogs on this topic. Therefore I will not go into detail, but summarize what you should and should not do when it comes to food. The method is simple and based on what our bodies are made for, as I explained in my first post in the Bubbles Guide on Happy Healthy Living. Meaning: eat like your predecessors.

This is it:

1. Only eat natural things. This includes all kinds of animals, like pigeon, duck, fish, little crabs, lamb, cat, lobster, cow, pig… the list is endless and mouthwatering. If possible: hunt them yourself, with your canine – it will give you great exercise, too! Also eat loads of vegetables, eggs and fruit like berries (I love berries!). Eat dairy, preferably Greek yoghurt (did I mention I am from Greece? They make great yoghurt).

Greek yoghurt

2. Do not eat food that comes from factories. That includes meat from chickenfactories and the pigindustry. Why? Because these animals had a horrible life with lots of stress. When you eat their meat, you will eat their unhappiness and stress. It will not make you happy and healthy.

3. Do not eat things unnatural. For us dogs this is not hard – I once ate a cigarette butt and believe me: you never do this a second time. However, there are lots of unnatural things sold as food for human consumption. And as a matter of fact for dogs, too. Ever heard of Pina Colada syrup as a topping for dog food? It exists! Crazy. For humans it can be difficult to recognize what is natural and what is not. M has an easy rule to end this confusion: never eat things that have more than four ingredients on the package or ingredients that are mentioned in numbers. This will keep you on the safe side, most of the times.

4. This point is probably known by all humans, because it is in almost every healthy-food-blog. But M tells me it is important to mention in our list of happy healthy food. So here it is: do not eat things with added sugar. Nor the chemical alternatives to sugar (see point 2: it comes from factories). Skip this altogether from your diet. And yes, that includes cake and pies. And all drinks with sugar, like soda.  Do I have to explain everything?

5. There is a lot of discussion on whether or not to eat bread. I do not know the truth about bread being healthy or unhealthy. I’d say: when in doubt, eat pizza!

6. Enjoy your food. Sit down for it, chew on it. Lie down after a good meal and take a short nap, enjoying all the flavours in your mouth and the sounds your tummy is making. I have to admit I can improve on this point, because I usually eat my food too quick. I always intent to eat it more slowly and really savour the food, but when it is in front of my nose I forget my intention and gobble it. Unless it is food that needs some careful handling, like little crabs.

Little crabs are the best!

7. Last one: eat whenever you feel like it. Do not believe this stuff of three meals a day, it is rubbish. Just eat when you feel hungry. If you live a happy healthy live, with loads of the exercise I explained in my previous posts, your body will tell you exactly when you need food. Trust your body. Enjoy your happy healthy food!