Bernard (The Saint’s) 2023 New Year's Resolutions

Submitted into Contest #179 in response to: Write a story in the form of a list of New Year's resolutions.... view prompt

36 comments

Fiction Funny Happy

1.     Worry about feeling good, not about being thinner.

You are not the number on Dr. Collie, the vet’s, scale. You are done with obsessing over what the “normal” weight is for your breed and are going to focus on what the “normal” weight is for your soul.


2.     Stop gossiping about other dogs.

Just because Lucky, the Doberman next door, may or may not have ruined Mrs. Robbin’s flower bushes, it’s not your business. Don't be that dog. Spread positivity only.


3.     Give one compliment a day to a human.

You like the smell of Annabelle’s new boyfriend’s crotch? Give it a good sniff and let him know it. You like Michaela’s new leather shoes? Give one a good chew to let her know you approve. You never know when you just might make that person feel a whole lot better.


4.     Try going someplace you've never been.

Step outside of your comfort zone and do something daring. Try hopping the fence and checking out the new dalmatian three houses down or running across the street and seeing if the grass really is greener. Travelling is good for the soul, and you just may learn something new.


5.     Clear out the clutter.

Clutter is factually bad for your health and research says it stresses you out. Find things your owners don’t need and chew them into oblivion. If they weren’t important to them, they won’t even notice they were gone. Make 2023 the year of organization and cleanliness for you and your owners.


6.     Do Random Acts of Kindness

Help someone every day without letting them know you did it. Give the hydrangea bush a tinkle if you see it needs watering. Chase away any strangers from the yard if they try to enter, especially the mailman. Hide any valuable possessions of your owners so they don’t lose them by digging holes in the back yard to keep them safe. Remember, anyone can be kind, it costs you nothing.


7.     Reduce your waste.

Some research says that the average American produces over 2,000 pounds of trash every year. Humans are so wasteful. Reduce your family’s waste by going through the trashcans every night and eating what leftovers you can. Everyone can make a difference!


8.     Drink more water.

75 percent of humans are chronically dehydrated, and probably dogs too. Your house has a toilet on every floor. Drink up!


9.     Let go of grudges.

Wouldn't it be nice to start 2023 with a clean slate? Just because Lucky from next door stole your lucky frisbee two years ago, it’s time to let it go. Leave hate behind. Anger is so 2022.


10.  Try a totally new restaurant.

Go on. Be adventurous. Pop into Lucky’s house or the dalmatian’s house down the street and see what they’re serving up. Chicken and rice? Kibble and beef? No invitation? No worries. You never know what you’re missing until you try new things…


11.  Start a new hobby.

Aren’t you tired of doing the same exact thing every day? Do something new like chasing the squirrels out back instead of the rabbits. Chew on the couch or purses instead of just shoes. Stare out of the back window instead of the front. Let yourself blossom in 2023.


12.  Get a Real Haircut

Some of us are so attached to our fur—literally and figuratively. Next time you go to the groomer, chop off a few inches, or have them shave it into a cool design like your cousin Margaret, the poodle. You might feel like a brand-new dog.


13.  Do Something That Scares You

Practice a little bravery. Let your owner cut your nails. Keep your eyes open during the next thunderstorm. Don’t run out of the room the next time the vacuum is on. You may surprise even yourself at your new-found courage.


14.  Spot Clean as You Go

Overwhelmed by a dirty coat of fur? Simple solution: Clean as you go. Lick your hindquarters and other parts daily to obtain an overall cleanliness. It will make your next bath time go much smoother.


15.  Pay it Forward

Paying it forward does more than just make someone else happy — it also helps reduce our stress and improve our overall well-being. 2023 is a great time to do something nice for others. Maybe you'll leave your half-chewed bone on your owner’s bed for them to enjoy. Or perhaps, you’ll only chew the right shoe of Michaela’s and leave her the left to wear out. When you do good things, you’ll receive them too.


16.  Let go of the toxic people in your life

If someone is causing more harm than good, then it's time to cut ties. Just because Lucky lives next door, it doesn’t mean she has to be your best friend. You don’t have to bark at her when you see her, but you also don’t have to invite her over to play catch either. Sure, it's easier than it sounds, but it's worth it in the end.


17.  Try new fruits and vegetables at mealtime or for snacks

The next time someone drops leftovers on the floor, and you want to turn your snout and walk away, give it a try instead. You may find that you actually enjoy the carrot that you once turned your fur away from. 


18.  Be stricter about your sleep schedule

A well slept dog is a happy dog. Instead of just sleeping sporadically throughout the day, make a sleep schedule. For example, you could sleep from ten am to 1 pm and 3 pm to six pm daily. Make sure to keep a journal of your schedule and what works best for you.


19.  Try a new activity

Always wanted to branch out into something new? Digging holes rather than jumping fences? Sniffing butts rather than crotches? Try something new. You never know what you’ll like unless you try it. 


20.  Give yourself at least one compliment each day

When you first look in the mirror every morning, give yourself a mini pep-talk such as, “My butt smells better than every dog in the neighborhood,” or “Some dogs would kill for a toosh this firm.”


21.  Schedule more me-time

Sure, it’s nice to have a cuddle once and a while with your owners. But you deserve more me-time. Do something you enjoy, like laying on your back and sleeping on the couch in “banned” living room. Or cuddle up in Michaela’s closet and have a tasting board of her shoes. You deserve it.


January 04, 2023 20:23

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36 comments

Graham Kinross
02:58 Jan 16, 2023

I laughed at the bit about reducing waste. This is a very conscientious dog, it’s nice to know that they approve of your footwear, or think that they should be open toed and do the work for you.

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Wally Schmidt
22:15 Jan 12, 2023

We took the same prompt and the dog MC-but yours was much more disciplined than mine. I was the kid that colored outside the lines of the coloring book, and truth be told, didn't really see the point of the lines to begin with. When I saw the prompt I couldn't imagine how to make a literal list-thanks for showing me how. I think our dogs would love each other! Going over to check out your website and am looking forward to reading your other stories.

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Kathleen Fine
15:11 Jan 13, 2023

Thank you Wally!

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18:43 Jan 12, 2023

Oh, I adore this story! A dog's resolution list!

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Kathleen Fine
15:12 Jan 13, 2023

Thank you Prithviraj!

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John Jenkins
14:49 Jan 12, 2023

I chose the same prompt, because I thought it would be hardest. You did something completely different from what I did and I love it. The best part was when the narrator says "Some research says..." I can only imagine the look on the dogs face when the narrator is discussing science. Also, the use of dalmatians as the "attractive" dog is culturally significant.

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Kathleen Fine
15:12 Jan 13, 2023

Thanks John!

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Susan Catucci
18:33 Jan 10, 2023

Hahahaha - sooo much fun, Kathleen. What a dog's life/list! I imagine it was as much a delight to write as it was to read. I always knew that dogs were people, too (sometimes better than) but the proof is in your story. Wonderful stuff.

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Kathleen Fine
15:12 Jan 13, 2023

Thanks Susan!

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Delbert Griffith
12:56 Jan 10, 2023

Brilliant. Every "doggy" resolution is also a great resolution for humans, at least in the broader sense. I doubt that humans should be sniffing crotches or butts, but the overall themes of making others happy and trying new things is solid advice. I love the almost subversive messages in the story. Chewing on shoes (or couches) is what a dog aspires to, but the humans may not take this so well. This really speaks to the differences between animals and humans, though humans are always trying to impose their will on the animal kingdom. Gr...

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Kathleen Fine
15:12 Jan 13, 2023

Thank you Delbert!

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Stevie Burges
07:34 Jan 10, 2023

Love this Kathleen - and particularly love the dog. He's my kind of pooch! Great story. He's got a better Resolution List than I have. Loved it.

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Kathleen Fine
15:12 Jan 13, 2023

Thanks Stevie!

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Michelle Oliver
22:34 Jan 09, 2023

So cute… don’t think my doggo needs this list though! He’d probably add a few to his daily routine. He’d tell me he deserves it.

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Kathleen Fine
15:12 Jan 13, 2023

Thanks Michelle!

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Michał Przywara
21:46 Jan 09, 2023

Ha, a fun story :) Looks like there's a lot of history with Lucky. I also like the implication of this, a very much "it's the thought that counts" story. The dog means well, though the behaviours will likely cause nothing but headaches. A great miscommunication between dog and human :) It's like when cats give you tiny animal corpses as gifts - bit of a culture clash, but the heart's in the right place.

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Kathleen Fine
15:13 Jan 13, 2023

Thanks Michal!

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Chad Eastwood
14:22 Jan 09, 2023

Ha ha, brilliant. My dog's resolutions must include 'stealing socks' and 'waking everyone up at 3 am.

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Tommy Goround
12:19 Jan 09, 2023

Our dogs are cousins. Hate water much? Berner here

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Kathleen Fine
15:13 Jan 13, 2023

Lol

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Lily Finch
00:36 Jan 09, 2023

The story is cute and funny. Well done. LF6

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Kathleen Fine
15:13 Jan 13, 2023

Thank you Lily!

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15:46 Jan 05, 2023

This is so cute and funny! We've always had dogs, and have 2 Havanese rescues. I'm not letting them read this, but some of the ideas are good for people too! xo

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Kathleen Fine
19:08 Jan 05, 2023

Thanks Patricia!

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Molly Kelash
15:20 Jan 05, 2023

Oh, this made me laugh out loud! The obsession with shoe-chewing and butt-sniffing and eating garbage was so very "dog" and yet fit so well with these very human resolutions. Loved it!

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Kathleen Fine
19:08 Jan 05, 2023

Thank you Molly!

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Rebecca Miles
10:44 Jan 05, 2023

Every dog owner is just going to gobble this up. I'm keeping my rescue dog away from this; he'll pick up bad habits ( more than begging and drooling for titbits at the dinner table!) Very light and lovely, welcome back from a mini pause🤗

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Kathleen Fine
19:08 Jan 05, 2023

thanks Rebecca! It’s nice to be back!

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AnneMarie Miles
06:24 Jan 05, 2023

Oh how cute is this! I sure hope our dogs are NOT making this list right now -LOL! I love how you kept the descriptions of each list concise. Each line is purposeful AND funny. I appreciated the added cliches at the end of some of them - "being nice costs nothing," "everyone can make a difference," "you never know until you try it," etc. Gave the got a great voice, like they're parroting what their humans say to sound smart. Really a fun piece!

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Kathleen Fine
19:08 Jan 05, 2023

Thank you Ann Marie!

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Rama Shaar
23:07 Jan 04, 2023

At first I was like, yes, I want to do this too... until we got to crotch smelling and it dawned on me 😂 great list and quite funny too!

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Kathleen Fine
19:08 Jan 05, 2023

Thank you Rama!

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S N
21:38 Jan 04, 2023

Lol I love how this dog being thoughtful and caring involves property damage and burying needed items lol! First thing on the list, right with them. Really fun.

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Kathleen Fine
19:08 Jan 05, 2023

Thanks Sasha!

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Tommy Goround
21:35 Jan 04, 2023

I'm not showing this to my dog. It was funny :)

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Kathleen Fine
19:08 Jan 05, 2023

Thank you Tommy!

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