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14 Life Lessons My Dog Taught Me

Updated on September 5, 2016

From Aunt Baby

Mar and Aunt Baby
Mar and Aunt Baby | Source
The smile that lit up a room
The smile that lit up a room | Source
A reminder of all things joyous
A reminder of all things joyous | Source
A model of gratitude and appreciation
A model of gratitude and appreciation | Source

Universal Lessons

"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage." (Lao Tzu)

A Accept that you are human. You are 'my human'.

U Understanding is better than having all the answers.

N Never give up on yourself.

T Take a joy ride - Feel the wind on your face.

B Believe in yourself.

A Allow yourself to feel what you are feeling.

B Bask in the love around you.

Y You are beautiful always.

J Just smile - It makes a difference.

O Ordinary days make good days.

R Remember to smell the flowers

D Dare to be yourself - don't apologize.

A Acknowledge gratitude for little things.

N Never forget how strong you are

"Sitting back in the evening, stargazing and stroking your dog, is an infallible remedy." (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

"There is no better psychiatrist in the world than a puppy licking your face." (Woodrow Wilson)

Luther Vandross: Always and Forever

Elton John: "Tiny Dancer"

Barry White: "Can't Get Enough Of Your Love Baby"

Manager of the Branch Office
Manager of the Branch Office | Source

Thank you, Baby

Dear Aunt Baby,

Ten years ago you came into my world, at a time I needed something very badly.

I was stripped of my duties as a nurturing caregiver as a nurse in 1999 by a senseless act of violence. My body healed fairly well over the years. Yet my mind was so very sad, so bereft of purpose.

When your Daddy and I picked you out of the litter, you stood proud, beautiful and rather independently. You fit perfectly in my arms on the car ride and our home has never been the same.

Your joy has left a permanent legacy. Your smile is unforgettable. You spoke to us with your eyes and 'funny vocal barks'. You listened to us - as your parents and as our trusted confidante.

You kept me in line. You showed me that nothing is 'that bad' if you think things through in the Branch Office. You always reminded me of the '6 PM sharp dinner rule' with your sweet stare that made me puddy in your paws.

Thanks for allowing me to sing my heart out through our years together. I never realized how many songs were written for you, Baby. I hope you weren't as frightened to start off on your next journey with my voice singing in your ear and your parents hugging you tight.

I know you are frolicking with Alvin Wesley and your other fur angel pals now. I know Granma Sammie has shown you to your new home where you will spread your joy some more. And I know our reunion will be amazing when that day comes too.

You will always be loved, girl. You will never be forgotten.

Always and forever love,

Your Momma and "D"

© Maria Jordan (May, 2014)


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    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      5 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Thanks, dear MT and Audrey...aren't our dogs the best?

      Yes, we now have a funny Black Lab, Andy ~ he brings joy every day although not a day goes by that I don't remember and miss Baby (who is now fast friends with Clancey).

      Love to you both, mar

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      5 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Dearest Maria - I am back once again to read this treasured story about the loss of your precious Aunt Baby. I have a strong belief that our pets who have passed on to that glorious 'fire hydrant in the sky' are patiently waiting for us to once again give them a splendid belly rub.

      My Clancey passed on 5 years ago and I miss him as much today as I did back then. I know our souls connect for all eternity. Our hearts have a hole the size of a doggie bone...and this hole is reserved for our fur angels alone.

      I miss the unconditional love...

      Sending hugs to both you and Andy.


    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 

      5 years ago from Minnesota

      Oh wow Mar!-wasn't ready for this tear jerker. You really captured the depth of love between you and your special baby. Wondering if you have another dog since your loss. Hugs my friend :)

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      6 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Oh Victoria,

      I am so very sorry for the loss of your Gizmo. We feel these losses as hard, if not more, than the loss of people in our lives - I am convinced of that.

      I know our worlds crashed when we lost Aunt Baby and I shared your feelings about never replacing her. And we didn't. Yet, in August (after her death in May)...we were drawn to young Andy, a Black Lab, who is now 9-months old and the center of our world in a very different way than Baby was...

      and I believe that our little girl sent him to keep us company. His personality is totally different but he is just as sweet as she was. I pray with my heart that you find another fur baby when the time is right for you.

      In the meantime, here is a huge hug and all my love, Maria

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 

      6 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I lost my dog a week ago and am heartbroken, so I was drawn to your hub. These words are so wise. Dogs live in the moment and enjoy every moment. Such joy! I miss my Gizmo's smile and energy! It's so hard to lose them. I've thought about looking for another pup that steals my heart, but I don't know if I can. All I can think of is how much I want Gizmo back. We spent nearly 11 years together. Thanks for this hub.

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      6 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      She sure does. I think she had her paws in sending us Andy Jordan as well, dear Car51.

    • Car51 profile image


      6 years ago

      I know Aunt Baby lives forever in your heart!

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      6 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Now I am convinced the two of you are in cahoots... :)))

      Have a happy day and catch up when I can. Love, Mareer

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Dear Mareer,

      Now I REALLY love that boy! He's smart and has his ways of getting his Momma's attention! Go, Andy!!


    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      6 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Ah, Vickster,

      Thank you, my friend. I know you think of my little girl and always will.

      Yet I know you have this 'little devil's number'... did I tell you he hates cell phones too?? He chewed through my charger (destroyed...) as if to say...'talk to ME, Momma'! OK, I got it!!

      Love you, Mareer and Mr. A

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Good morning dear Mareer,

      I always think of Aunt a baby too. Just wanted you to know that! But I sure love that little black baby of yours, 'cos he keeps you extra busy, torments you a little, and makes you laugh all day.

      Who can resist that?

      Loveya, and hugs, Vickster

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      6 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Thanks so much for this sensitive remark, dear effer.

      I love that Andy is so completely different from Aunt Baby...color, sex, personality...yet both are smart, sweet and entirely lovable. There is not a day that I don't miss the heck out of Baby but now I am laughing and loving the 'new kid' in Dodge for his own quirky stylings. And I know Baby would have adored this 'hot mess' as well.

      Have a lovely Sunday. Hugs back, Mar

    • fpherj48 profile image


      6 years ago from Carson City

      Awwww.....Mar......I just felt a little twinge of sadness, seeing those precious pics of sweet Aunt Baby as a's so damned hard. I hope your new baby is helping you to heal in his own unique way.

      We just never ever forget any person or pet who touched our lives so profoundly............Hugs, Effer

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      6 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Thanks for your wise appraisal and accurate assessment of dogs.

      Have a peaceful weekend, marcoujor

    • manatita44 profile image


      6 years ago from london

      You obviously love dogs, Marcoujor.

      A bit sentimental, too, perhaps? Nice choice of videos.

      Dogs are cool. They remind us of loyalty and devotion, so necessary in the spiritual life, and they bear with much. Cute photos and great poem.

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      6 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Rebecca,

      Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by with such a lovely comment. Hope you are having a peaceful evening. Hugs, Maria

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      6 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Very nice acrostic! I've never heard those quotes by Emerson and Woodrow Wilson. Thanks for sharing!

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      6 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Thanks to Shyron, shanmarie and Nell Rose...your tender and sensitive comments mean the world to me.

      I continue to miss Aunt Baby's sweet presence in our home. And yes, we were so fortunate to have had her in our lives as long as we did.

      Hugs to you all, Maria

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      6 years ago from England

      Hi Maria, oh I am so sorry, I feel for you, I know what it means to lose a beloved dog, you were so lucky to have such a wonderful friend, nell

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      6 years ago from Texas

      The sentiments in this hub are so sweet and beautiful. Love it.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 

      6 years ago from Texas

      This is so beautiful, I had to come back and share it again.

      Hugs to you.

      Love Shyron

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      6 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Shyron, Thanks for your sensitive comments. I know how deeply you miss Trixie as well. Hope you are having a peaceful week and will be by to visit you as I can.

      Elizabeth, How lovely to meet you and thank you very much for your compassionate and understanding remarks. I will greatly look forward to checking out your work as well.

      Hugs to you both, Maria

    • Elizabeth Bowers profile image

      Elizabeth Wilson 

      6 years ago from Tennessee

      My heart goes out to you in your time of loss. She was a beautiful, beautiful girl and I know you miss her terribly. That was a truly gorgeous piece of work, accompanied with incredible pictures. Your family is in my prayers. I am so glad you were blessed by the furry angel. :)

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 

      6 years ago from Texas

      Oh Maria, my heart aches for you. I hope your beautiful memories will comfort you. I am thinking of you!

      We were not with Trixie our family pet when she expired. Trixie was with Aunt Hattie, but it still hurt.

      Love Shyron

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      6 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Good Morning, dear friends,

      mio cid - Hoping you continue to enjoy every day with the center of your home, dear sam. Your comments are appreciated greatly.

      Harishprasad - What a gracious and insightful remark. It was a joy to share Aunt Baby with all those in my life, including my virtual friends. She was a "people - doggy" and would have loved you all for sure.

      dearabbysmom - "The empty feeling around the home, especially at first, is just so...loud." That sentence tells me how much you understand. Your compassion is beautiful.

      tobusiness - Your understanding, kindness and sharing is appreciated.

      Faith - Thank you for your constant friendship and support. I know how you can relate to what I'm feeling.

      Pam - I love you too and am grateful for your understanding and prayers.

      Wishing all of you a peaceful day and thank you again. Love, Maria

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I have experienced that type of loss, and I know how painful it is. I am so sorry aboutyour loss. No words can fix that pain. I love your and will pray for you, so you will find peace.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      6 years ago from southern USA

      Dearest Maria,

      I can feel both your pain and love in your beautiful poem and tribute to Aunt Baby. Our beloved pets do provide that unconditional love and they sure can sense our pain when we are going through stuff. I am so glad she was there during that time and offered the healing you needed through many doggie kisses and understanding, as only she could, sweetie.

      She was a beauty and I am sure you will see her again.

      Hugs and much love to you and Geoff.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 

      6 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      Oh my.... this is beautiful and so very touching. We've been there and it's really tough, but it helps to remember all the good times you were so privilege to shared. Thank you for sharing this wonderful tribute to Aunt Baby. Up and pinning

    • dearabbysmom profile image


      6 years ago from Indiana

      Maria, I'm so saddened to learn about Aunt Baby. Losing your beloved dog is such a universally painful thing...the news of anyone going through it stops those of us in our tracks who HAVE gone through it. The empty feeling around the home, especially at first, is just so...loud. My thoughts and prayers are yours.

    • Harishprasad profile image

      Harish Mamgain 

      6 years ago from New Delhi , India

      Maria, what a wonderful acrostic poem about such a wonderful and very affectionate "co-being " as Aunt Baby ! This is not only a poem but art of living expressed succinctly. Aunt Baby is not only now your human but our human too. My favorite line is " Take a joy ride- feel the wind on your face ". My friend, this tribute is very soulful and touches the very recesses of our heart ! Voted up and shared

    • mio cid profile image

      mio cid 

      6 years ago from Uruguay

      I love this hub I understand in my heart everything you say because our dog sam is the baby of the house and me my wife and children have him as the center of our family as he gives us joy and love every single day.

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      6 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Rebecca,

      Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by. I am so terribly sorry about your dog disappearing...and I appreciate your kind and wise words of support.

      Take care and have a peaceful night, Maria

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      6 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      This is a beautiful tribute to your best friend. And you will see her again, my friend. I know how you feel, but be glad you had a full life together. One of my dogs disappeared recently. She was six. We can't find her anywhere, so there is no closer. ): Take care!

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      6 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Mike, Ruby (x2), femme, Sunshine, Car51, Gail, Bill, Genna, Martie, Kimmie, Sha, Audrey, Paula, DreamerMeg, Peg, Vicki, Randi, Sannel, Jodah, Jim, Becky and the countless family and friends who have read my tribute to Aunt Baby.

      Geoff and I are so grateful for your friendship, support, shared memories and offering the assurance that our Aunt Baby is feeling young, happy and healthy with beloved family - both two legged and four legged.

      Some of you understand exactly and I believe Aunt Baby has also joined a circle of friends with Winter, Clancey and Max and the fur angels belonging to Sha, Kimmie, Randi, Martie, Bill and others who have visited this tribute.

      Today our home feels way too quiet. We keep thinking we hear Baby and on some level, probably always will. It's impossible for someone to steal your heart for 10 years without leaving paw prints, "Baby" smells and paraphernalia (toys, bones, blankies) all over your world.

      My comfort is her favorite furry toy duck, her bandanna du jour with her wonderful smells and the kindness of each of you.

      May you have a peaceful and restful weekend. Love you all, mar

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 

      6 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      Oh Mar, my heart is breaking with yours, to hear of Aunt Baby's passing over. I know you will meet again someday on the 'Rainbow Bridge". Take care of yourself while you mourn. We love you and offer any support you may desire.

    • The Frog Prince profile image

      The Frog Prince 

      6 years ago from Arlington, TX

      Hi ya Maria! And here I thought it was 14 lessons from a wise FROG. My bad! Just kidding Hon. Very nice tribute to Aunt Baby.

      The Frog Prince

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      6 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Maria, what a wonderful tribute to a faithful friend. We have four dogs that we think of as our children. They are all about eight years old now but we rue they day we have to say goodbye. Lovely words for life lessons as well. Voted up.

    • profile image

      Sannel Larson 

      6 years ago

      Dearest Maria, I'm so sorry for your tremendous loss. I know what a difficult and sad time this is for you and Geoff. Aunt Baby had the most wonderful mommy any dog ever could ask for. She was blessed with a wonderful life thanks to you and Geoff. She is now a very happy and loving angel in peace, frolicking with her friends, and keeping a close watch over you from above.

      My heart and all my love go out to you, Geoff and Aunt baby.

      Hugs and God bless you, sweet friend


    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 

      6 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Oh Maria....I am so, so sorry! What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful girl. My heart is heavy for all of you. She was a beloved member of your family. How very sweet that the last thing she heard was your beautiful voice. What a comfort it must have been. I do believe that Aunt Baby will be waiting for you on the rainbow bridge. xoxoxo.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Dear sweet friend,

      Aunt Baby was known to us all with admiration, laughter and great affection, thanks to the power, joy and love you shared in your many writings about this adorable furry child of yours. What a gift to us all that you could compose this tribute to her wisdom and uniqueness within hours of her gentle but enormously sad passing. You are a Momma extraordinaire.

      The photos are beautiful, and so expressive of her wholeness. The music you selected helps us to understand. Thank you so much dear friend, and condolences to you and Geoff. Love you, Vicki.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      6 years ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      I can't see to type properly. My heart is so sad and grieves for your loss. To be taken so young is heartbreaking. Oh my sweet Maria, I'm so sorry. My deepest condolences on the loss of your dear sweet Aunt Baby. I had no idea the time was near. So very sorry. Love to you today and always. Peg

    • DreamerMeg profile image


      6 years ago from Northern Ireland

      What a beautiful hub and how much she gave you without her even having to "think" about it.

    • fpherj48 profile image


      6 years ago from Carson City

      I am a limp, sobbing mess. OMG Maria, this kind of broken heart causes every kind of pain. My Love & Thoughts & hugs of Comfort....Paula

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Dear Maria - The unconditional love given to us freely by our beloved doggies can never be replaced. I still hear the sounds of my precious "Clancey" and feel him near me.

      Your sweet Aunt Baby never leaves you. Still, the loss is more than heart-breaking. I am so very sorry my sweet Maria. I pray that God will help you to navigate through this, the most difficult of times.

      My love and thoughts are with you ~ Audrey

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      6 years ago from Central Florida

      Maria, I feel your pain. I really do. I've lost pets naturally and I've had to put one down. It broke my heart. The look in my cat's eyes as he said goodbye is forever in my memory. I don't know why you lost Aunt Baby; a loss is a loss. Our pets are more true than their human counterparts, which makes the loss even harder.

      You shared love with your precious girl and that will go on. I believe animals have souls, too. Aunt Baby will always be in your heart and will continue to console, enjoy, tease, and love you as she did when she was on this Earth.

      God bless you, my dear sweet friend. And God bless Aunt Baby.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Dearest Mar

      My heart and all my love go out to you today. I am so very sorry and know your heart is broken and no words can be adequately be said to take away the pain. We all love you and will one day see Baby dancing across heavens lawn. God bless you sweet friend.



    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      Ohhhhhh, and here I am, sick, so sick, while my dearest Maria is mourning the passing of her beloved baby. Mar, I am so very very sorry. My deepest condolences to you and Geoff.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      The videos chosen are beautiful. My deepest sympathy to you and your husband. I pray that you will only think of the good times with Aunt Baby. Your faith and hope rings loud and clear, just knowing she is with friends and painfree is wonderful.

      Love you..

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      I am so sorry to learn of Aunt Baby’s passing. My voice joins Mike’s and others in wishing your darling a safe journey where I know many await her with the same love she was so blessed to know from you and Geoff. Angels come in all sizes, shapes and forms…and she was one of yours. :- ) Love, hugs, and prayers, dear Maria.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sending hugs your way my dear. There are no words at times like these....our angels bring so much joy to our lives, and the pain is very real when they leave us.



    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 

      6 years ago from South Carolina

      Dearest Maria,

      Everything I need to know about the depth of love shared between you and Aunt Baby is in the first photo of this hub.

      It is so hard to let go of someone we dearly love and I know that behind the beautiful poem you wrote and the words you shared about Aunt Baby's wisdom in this hub, is an aching, deeply grieving heart.

      Yet, as ever, you show us that even in grief we can share a loving tribute to our departed loved one with caring friends and family.

      My thoughts and prayers are with you and Geoff at this sad time. I know you were the most amazing parents to your sweet Aunt Baby.

      Sending Love, Hugs and Prayers,


    • Car51 profile image


      6 years ago

      I am so sorry -- Aunt Baby will be missed by all of us who knew her. And I know she has left a void in your life. Thanks for sharing her lessons!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      6 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Oh MM, I'm so sad for you and Geoff. I know how much you loved her and I enjoyed hearing Aunt a Baby stories. We will continue to keep her memory alive, especially her being in the drivers seat :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago


      I'm so very sorry you and Geoff have said a "goodbye for now" to your beautiful girl.

      I also think this, is totally true:

      "I know you are frolicking with Alvin Wesley and your other fur angel pals now. I know Granma Sammie has shown you to your new home where you will spread your joy some more. And I know our reunion will be amazing when that day comes too."

      Love and prayers from the rivers' land ...


    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Oh Mar, my heart is hurting for you. I know how much you loved Aunt Baby. I will return later.

    • mckbirdbks profile image


      6 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello mar. All best wishes for Aunt Baby's safe journey toward the next step. My heart goes out to you.


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