Follow Trixie’s advice for a good life

Ruth has been a special friend ever since I first met her years ago in Edmonton, Alta.
Since we moved to Kansas, she and her husband, Jake, often have stopped by en route to Texas for the winter. And sometimes they bring a little puffball of a dog.
For years, I’ve had a picture on my fridge of their 10-pound darling white puffball with our 60-pound beautiful white dog, Phoebe. Quite a pair!
Obviously, Ruth and Jake are dog-lovers. And one time Ruth said, “I don’t trust people who don’t like dogs.”
I wouldn’t go that far. Some people have had bad experiences with dogs, like being bitten as a child. But I usually form a special bond with dog-lovers.
One of those people is Nan from Colorado. I first met Nan when her parents, Norman and Ethel, invited us to their Colorado condominium for skiing. Nan and her husband, Don, were also there.
Nan and Don love the mountains. They are both prolific skiers, and Nan also snowshoes and hikes in the mountains with her dog, Annie, a yellow lab.
Nan loves dogs as much as I do. She had a difficult year last year and says Annie really helped her through it.
Recently, Nan sent me a special dog book written by Trixie Koontz.
?Trixie is a dog. And the title of the book is “Bliss to You: Trixie’s Guide to a Happy Life.”
This is the third book Trixie has written (with a little help from her human dad, best-selling author Dean Koontz). All three are full of dog wisdom that humans can apply to their lives.
In this book, Trixie suggests eight steps to help people find bliss: calm, beauty, fun, meaning, others, humility, loss, and gratitude.
I was especially attracted to the third step to bliss–fun!
Dogs know how to have fun and they’re always happy. That is, except when they see how their human companions sometimes refuse happiness. “Then we are sad for you,” says Trixie.
“The world is fun,” according to Trixie. “Meadows to run. Ponds to swim. Hills, valleys to explore. A bajillion things to smell.
“So much to learn, to see. Cats to chase.”
But Trixie has a serious warning: “Cats are only for chasing.”
Catch a cat and you’ll get a lacerated nose, you’ll go to the vet, get your cuts sewn shut, and everybody will be laughing, especially the cat.
Some people say “Dogs rule.” But Trixie says that isn’t true. “If dogs ruled, you would pay taxes in frankfurters!”
This book will make you laugh—and laughter is a tranquilizer without side effects, says Trixie.
“The world is a gift to make you happy.” Dogs know this. Thus, they’re always happy.
But happiness is a choice, says Trixie. You can choose to be happy or unhappy, no matter what happens. No one else can make you happy. You must make yourself happy.
Dean Koontz says his dog, Trixie, changed his life and made him a better, happier person.
So, if you have a dog friend, enjoy it! But even if you don’t have a dog in your home, just following Trixie’s advice will enrich your life and make you a better, happier person.
One last bark for the road: Always remember happiness is a choice.
Marie Snider is an award-winning health care writer and syndicated columnist. Write her at or visit

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