Five Lessons from our Four-Footed Friends

lab in the grassFull disclosure: I am a dog person.  Many of us consider our canines to be our best friends or part of the family.  They are full of love and so easy to love. When I watch my pup live her life, I often find myself learning from her. I can teach her the fanciest tricks, but she teaches me life lessons.

If you’re a dog owner, you can probably relate.  Here are just of few of the things I’ve learned from my pup:

  1. Show those you love how much you care.

My pup cuddles with me for no reason, and she’s happy to see me when I come home. Her tail wags (sometimes in a full circle!) when we look at her or say her name, and I have no doubt that she loves me as much as I love her.

In the human world, we don’t tend to show that much affection.  We aren’t always as kind as we could or should be to strangers and family and friends alike.  But really – there’s nothing like your four-footed friend coming to meet you at the door and that’s an attitude we can absolutely learn from.

  1. “Me” time is not a waste of time.

I’m not encouraging everyone to live like dogs and sleep for hours and hours during the days and dog But I do advocate taking personal time for yourself, even if that includes a Netflix binge, as long as it is not severely interrupting your life.  Everyone needs time to themselves.  Everyone needs to take care of themselves.  As long as you are using the time to relax and recharge yourself, you are not wasting your time.  When my pup is tired, she rests. If she’s thirsty, she gets a drink of water. She takes breaks for herself, which we humans often forget to do in busy days.

  1. Always be open to joy rides.

Being open to a spontaneous adventure doesn’t mean you need to take every one.  But be open to a spontaneous hike or walk in the park, or a cruise your friend invited you on, or a random road trip.  It is refreshing to see my pup excited for a walk or a road trip.  She doesn’t care where she’s going, as long as she’s with the ones that she loves.

  1. The simple life is full of joy.

If we really think about it, a dog’s life isn’t all that exciting on the surface. I can only speak for my pup, but she sleeps a lot and her main entertainment is her food, her napping puppyexercise (her routine walks), and her family. To my pup though, she has everything: food and water, exercise, and her family. It seems so simple, and she finds adventures in everyday things. She sniffs around her yard and she can entertain herself endlessly.  Even the most routine walks have something interesting and different every day.

In the human world, we have more responsibilities than our canine friends, but we should likely take their cue and find some pleasure from the simple things like an after dinner walk or a conversation with a loved one.

  1. How to just listen.

Dogs are easily the most popular ones in the room. They don’t discriminate, and they find all people interesting. What makes dogs so popular is that they don’t make things about them. They aren’t talking about themselves, and they aren’t judging you.  What you see is what you get.  Dogs listen. They are completely and genuinely interested in you because you are a living and breathing human.  The pets and the treats probably don’t hurt.

dog-in-car-with-gogglesPeople are interesting.  A lot of us have amazing stories, wonderful adventures and a wealth of experience and knowledge that we are willing to share with those who take interest and care.  Maybe dogs don’t actually understand what we’re saying, but we as humans can. If we start listening too, we can learn a lot from each other.

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