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Everything You need to Know in Life you Can Learn from a Dog
Our four legged friends are good role models
I love dogs. I've had a lot of experience being around dogs. I've been a dog owner; a dog groomer, a dog walker, and an animal-rights activist. I'm very familiar with dog behavior and I think that we humans have a lot to learn from our canine companions. Humans are so caught up in pre-concieved notions and judgments that cause a lot of grief and bickering. Let's look at a dozen things dogs have to teach us.
Let People Know How You feel: Did you ever feel ignored or unappreciated by your spouse or the person you're dating? Do you wonder if their feelings have changed because they aren't very demonstrative anymore? Or maybe you're not showing them how glad you are that they're in your life. Well, you never have to worry about that with a dog. Your dog will greet you by the door, jumping up and down; tail wagging and excited that you're home. There's no wondering about how your pooch feels. The love is obvious. That's how we should treat the people in our lives. Let them know you care.
Appreciate the value of a good rest: We're all so busy in the modern world that we don't get the rest or sleep we need. But rest is important, not only for the body but for the mind. Sleep is important. Look at your dog. After he plays for a while, he'll lay down and take a nice nap to recharge his battery. Everyone needs sufficient time to recharge.
Be Loyal: Everyone appreciates loyalty, whether its in a relationship, a job or anything else. We want to know we have another person's complete loyalty. Well, who's more loyal than a dog? He'll follow you anywhere. No matter what you want to do--walk, play, swim, eat, sleep, run--he'll be happy to join in. He's there for you 24/7. He's never too busy to spend time with you.
Forgive: You have to yell at your dog sometimes; often its necessary, sometimes it isn't and you just took your bad mood out on your little friend. They'll be sad but they won't hold a grudge. 15 minutes later, its like it never happened. Dogs don't keep bringing up your mistakes over-and-over, accusing you and demanding an apology or issuing ultimatums. Once its done, its done and they forgive you. Dogs aren't like your angry teenage daughter who tells you she hates you because you had a fight about her staying out late and sulks for days. Dogs forgive and forget.
Learn How to Accept:People are often uncomfortable with being the recipient of kindness. If someone does us a kindness, we'll say 'I owe you one". If someone treats you to lunch, you'll say, "Let me treat you tomorrow." We seem to think there needs to be some payback for every favor done for us. Dogs don't feel that way. When you feed your dog, he doesn't worry about how to pay you back. He just accepts that he's worthy of this act of generosity.
Enjoy the Outdoors: In modern times, we spend so much time in the office and much of our leisure time is spent on the computer or watching TV. Its a big, beautiful world out there and we should enjoy the outdoors, whether it's a walk in the park or a stroll down the avenue. Dogs LOVE to go outside. Just rattle your dogs leash and you'll see how fast he runs to the door, waiting to get outside. Dogs appreciate being outside in the fresh air and sunshine.
Enjoy your food: Some people can be very picky and fussy about their food. Everything has to be just so. We don't want that burger if it isn't well-done enough. Learn from your dog. No matter what you give him, he'll gulp it down like it was the greatest meal ever and then beg you for more. Wouldn't you love to cook for a person like that?
Don't be Self-Conscious: We're all image obsessed and we worry about what other people will think of us. Well, dogs don't bother with all that. Do you think a dog cares about what people are saying about him when he's not around? A dog will take a nap in the middle of a crowd or lay down on the sidewalk, without any fear of who'll think he's lazy or rude or crude. Dogs do what they want to do and they don't care how it looks to someone else.
Don't be judgemental: We tend to be very judgmental and critical about other people. Dogs don't care what color, religion, height or weight your are. They don't care if you're smart or dumb. They don't care if you're rich or poor or attractive or ugly. Dogs know how to love unconditionally.
Be Honest: People can be very phony. They say one thing to your face and another behind your back. But you know how a dogs feels about you. If he likes you, he'll greet you eagerly. If he doesn't, he'll bark or growl at you. There's no pretense in a dog. You know where you stand.
Make time for play: We're all very busy and that makes us stressed out. We all need to unwind. The more complex and busy our life is, the more we need the simplicity of playtime. We need to do something fun once in a while. Well, dogs understand that better than anyone. Who loves to play more than a dog? A dog will play fetch for hours. Recreation is important.
Enjoy the simple things in life: We all have lofty goals and we tend to take the little things for granted. We're easily disappointed when we don't get the big things we want. We don't appreciate the simple pleasures the way a dog does. Look how excited a dog gets just by taking a ride in the car, or getting a new bone to chew on, or going out for a walk. Dogs take pleasure in the tiniest things. They don't ask for much. Give him a chew toy and he's in heaven.
The most important lessons I've ever learned, I learned from watching dogs.