New Year’s resolutions are not popular in the dog world. After all, we dogs know it’s best to live in the moment and don’t typically plan resolutions too far into the future. However, I’ve overheard my human discussing them with her friends. Their collective list of resolutions seems typical for humans. Losing weight tops the list, along with quitting smoking and exercising more. It all sounds very straightforward, so I’m puzzled as to why it would be dependent on a certain day of the year. Are humans more successful if they start on January 1, rather than at any other time during the year?

Anyway, since it’s a human tradition to set New Year’s resolutions and we dogs like routines and traditions, I thought I would come up with my own top ten list of New Year’s resolutions. So here goes:

1. Stop eating the cat’s food. Yup – for sure I have to stand on my hind legs to reach the cat’s food that’s been placed on the counter to tempt me. And I think that the cat wants me to eat and enjoy it. Otherwise – why would it be left sitting there uneaten and unattended?

2. Stop my evil thoughts about the neighbor’s chickens being nothing more than tasty morsels. Yes, I know they are pet chickens with names and it’s verboten to grab them with my mouth, so I don’t. But I still have evil thoughts about them. And, since my dry kibble food is labeled “chicken” – it’s confusing. What’s a dog to think?

3. Stop barking at the mailman. I know I shouldn’t – but he does give me biscuits whenever I bark and charge him. My human always apologizes profusely which I don’t understand. But, as long as he keeps rewarding me with biscuits, I’ll keep doing it to make him happy!

4. Stop shoving my toy giraffe in my Mom’s face at 5:00 a.m. I thought she liked it until she put the giraffe away. Was it the early 5:00 a.m. time, or the giraffe that she didn’t like? Maybe she would prefer my squeaky squirrel toy instead at 5:00 a.m. so I will try that in the New Year.

5. Learn to drink water more neatly. I think that most of the water I drink ends up on the floor. Why is that?

6. Tolerate nail-clipping. This is a hard resolution. As a dog I need my feet to be nimble, to run, and to protect myself. So, that darn nail-clipper sure does upset me.

7. Stop sniffing the cat’s butt. Yup – my human always says “Oh, that’s gross Benny H.” which isn’t good. I don’t think I’m “gross” and again, why does the cat let me? He is always getting me in trouble!

8. Learn to enjoy swimming. I am not a big water dog, but I want to learn since I see my human and other dogs really enjoying it! But again, the cat warned me that it’s awful and refuses to do it so I’m wary.

9. Stop taking one human slipper and hiding it. I do admit that I feel badly to see my human hopping around the house wearing only one slipper and looking everywhere for the other. But slippers fit perfectly in my mouth and are fun to carry, and to chew and hide! But I’ll try harder to ignore them.

10. Write enjoyable columns for my readers! You are all very important to me and I want to make you happy! That’s what I live for, to make you humans happy!