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Published on Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Lessons we can Learn from Our Dogs

Dogs have been a part of my life since I was born.  I have had at least a dozen dogs over my lifetime.  At one point, I had three at one time.  Currently though, I have two huskies – Niko and Aspen.  They are a very important part of my life.  Recently, I read an interesting bog on what we can learn from dogs.  It’s a bit tongue in cheek but makes some really interesting points.  
Dogs - Niko and Aspen

The blog is called theeverygirl.com.  She states 10 life lessons she’s learned from her dog:

1.      Place your trust wisely.  She states that her dog has taught her that it’s OK to “sniff people out” as you meet them.  I have experienced this with my dogs regularly, specifically Niko.  Niko is very protective of the females in my family, especially me.  In fact, when I was dating, Niko always played a part in my decision as to whether I’d keep dating a certain guy.  A date couldn’t sit next to me without Niko staring at them with his piercing blue eyes or “talking” as Huskies do.  Thankfully, Niko likes my boyfriend and lets him sit next me….but he still watches him closely.  Dogs tend to be very intuitive and have a strong sense of good and bad.  We can learn from that and trust our instincts more.  

2.      Forgiveness is key.  When a dog gets reprimanded for chewing a favorite shoe, they might hide in a corner for a few minutes, but then they are right back by your side asking to be petted and loved.  I think we can all learn from this.  It’s a good reminder to let the little things slide and not harbor resentment over trivial things.  Remember, life is short.

3.      The outdoors are your friend.  Have you ever let your dog out and he immediately takes of running like a small child?  There is just something about getting fresh air.  Dogs love it. Kids love it.  And adults love it.  Don’t stay cooped up too long.  If you have a long day at the office take a walk around the building.  Or when you get home at night, enjoy some time outdoors.

4.      Remember to play.  Like the author of the original blog, I’m also a type A.  My workouts are scheduled.  I stick to a schedule.  But watch your dog…they chase sticks, sometimes chase their tail, run up and down the hallway, etc.  I even had a Sheltie that chased his own shadow.  Be reminded that no matter your age it’s ok to just have fun!  Maybe your work out one night is playing fetch in the park with your dog. 

5.      The importance of connection.  Ever notice how your dog is always by your side, and even more so if you are sick or feeling sad?  Sometimes they will just lay by your feet.  It’s important to experience this with humans too.  Don’t forget about the value of human connection.

6.      It’s going to be okay.  Dogs can be a great reminder to us when we are going through a hard time or just having a bad day.  As the everygirl blogger points out – dogs don’t care if their food isn’t gourmet or if the house is a mess. They are just as happy.  I think we can take some good lessons from dogs on this one.  Don’t sweat the small stuff.

7.      Persistence pays off.  Ever had a dog stare you down until you pet them or grab the tennis ball from their mouth?  Dogs are very persistent and as the blogger states, it’s a great reminder to not give up on the things you really want or just because you didn’t succeed the first time.

8.      It’s not just about you.  Dogs are a constant reminder that life isn’t just about you.  They need to be fed, cared for, given shelter, and loved.  Use this as a constant reminder that no matter what’s on your mind, your furry friend still needs you…and so do your loved ones.

9.      Pay attention to those you love.  Anyone that’s been in a long-term relationship or is married probably notices that you aren’t greeted when arriving home like you were in the early, more romantic days.  But who still runs to the door EVERY time…your dog!  And think about how good this makes you feel.  For me, it can instantly make what was a bad day feel better.  So remember this when your significant other or any loved one arrives home.  Greet them and talk about their day.

10.  How much can you love.  Just like kids, dogs are a great reminder of how much you can love…unconditionally. 

What type of life lessons have you learned from your dog or other pet?  Email me at mcorrado@aseonline.org. 

 

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Author: Mary Corrado

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