How on earth do the themes of creativity and owning a dog fit in the same post? Unless you’re designing or creating for a pet brand, these two disparate worlds never really intertwine. So, I’ll set the scene.

For two weeks my wife and I fostered the perfect dog. He is a beautiful 1.8-year-old Chihuahua Pomeranian mix from a fantastic charity called Dogs Without Borders based in LA. They called him Kahlua however, we renamed him Cheddar.

We quickly found out that owning a dog is apparently very close to having a child. Dogs need your around-the-clock attention. They are loving, loyal and simply live to play. You invest all your time to make sure they are comfortable, continuing to learn (with training) and are the happiest dog in the world.

What I certainly didn’t realize about owning a dog, would be the increased creativity levels it brought. Admittingly, I hadn’t figured out a fixed schedule to turn these ideas into execution, but my mind was continuously ticking. The ideas that sprung into my mind were more playful than before and certainly had more childlike influences than previous months.

It got me asking the question, why?

Why have I seen an increased fluidity to my ideas? & Why have I seen a new playfulness to them?

I believe these new batch of playful ideas stemmed from Cheddar (dog), tapping into my childhood memories. As a kid, my family had a fluffy German Shepard. He was my best friend, my partner in crime, my protector, my stallion going into battle and the only way to travel from the Wild West (Bathroom) to the Big City (Kitchen). He was a part of my childhood that I adored, but couldn’t remember the intricate little details.

Bringing Cheddar into our home, playing, needing his attention, released happiness that I hadn’t felt since I was a child. It honestly felt like I had gone back in time. I dug deep into my inner child, which surfaced experiences and memories that I once lost.

The experience grounded me and made me feel whole. It felt like I accessed a part of my brain that was once locked and I started ideating like a child.

I’m certainly not saying all creatives need to go out and foster/adopt a four-legged companion to become a better creative. However, we become too comfortable with ourselves and our lives. As creative types it’s important to change the norm from time to time. We need to bust our routines and step outside our comfort zone more often. Whether that means finding a new hobby for new experiences or tapping into your youth to expedite your mind from the mundane. By opening yourself up to happiness in different parts of your life, it will ultimately make you feel whole as a person, and in turn, bring inspiration to your creative day-to-day.

I found my new lease of creative life, and life in general through a foster dog, albeit for two weeks.

What are you going to do to increase your creativity and keep your ideas fresh?

Thank you Cheddar, and enjoy your forever home.