Lessons We Can Learn From Being A Dog Owner

On September 2nd, our family rehomed a 7 1/2 year Lhasa Apso called William and he's an absolute sweetheart (he's also got his own instagram account @williamthelhasa). Before William we had a little pug called Benson who we also rehomed and it's safe to say he saved me, in more ways I can describe. I don't think dogs realize how much they complete someone, and to be honest i couldn't imagine never having a dog.

Dogs are a man's best friend (and a woman's too i'd like to add). Living with a doggy companion is arguably one of the best things ever. Dogs are good for your health, keep you company, and are easily the most adorable member of your household. Turns out that we can add “wise sage” to the list of things that makes up your dog. There's nothing like being a pawrent.

Here are some life lessons we can learn from our four legged friends

It's easy to drudge by, day to day, week to week, absorbed in the constant, rhythmic chaos that is life. I know, because I forget what day it is.

Dogs don't really interpret time the same way that we do. Sure, they know when dinner is supposed to be served, but the existential dread that comes with growing up as a human doesn't really apply to dogs. They live life one beautiful day at a time. They appreciate something as simple as a walk, or dog treat, or a belly rub. They don't think too far ahead, and they always make time to let you know they love you. Stop and smell the roses.

Us humans as a whole have to learn to be a little less self conscious some of the time. Do you think our dogs care what people think of them when they’re having the time of their lives playing in the park with their owners? Does a Dalmatian ever look at a Golden Retriever and think “Damn, I wish I could get rid of these spots”? No, your dog loves life and loves him or herself for who they are, regardless of how others around them act or look. Dogs are happy to play with all different types of breeds regardless of their size, colour or species.

We humans spend a lot of time trying to make ourselves look like someone else’s version of perfection instead of loving our unique features, our unique life, and yes, our unique problems. How boring it would be if all dogs (or all humans) looked and behaved alike! Love everything about yourself — the good, the bad and the ugly! They are simply happy with who they are. Life would be much easier if everyone had that kind of confidence.

No matter where you’ve been or how your day has gone, your dog is always ecstatic to see you and hear about your day (or at least be petted). The way our dogs act, you would think we have been gone for centuries even if it’s just been a few hours. Maybe we shouldn’t jump up on our spouse as soon as they get home, but a genuine happiness to see someone you care about is always appreciated.

Dogs of all ages seem to understand this and they lead by example in a wonderful way. Playtime isn’t just for kids. We all need to let loose and act a little wild sometimes, so build a few breaks into your workday or schedule a rendezvous with friends surrounding some kind of silly adventure, like a trip to a theme park, cinema or zoo.

Dogs give love in abundance. They don’t care if you have a big nose, bags under your eyes or spots, or if you wear glasses or wearing hearing aids, or about anything to do with your appearance whatsoever. If you love them, they’ll love you back unconditionally, and for a dog owner that’s one of the best feelings out there. It’s also a great quality to have as a person. So let’s all try to judge others less quickly and remember that there’s a lot of love out there to give. Every dog has its day, and so can us humans. 

No matter what, dogs love you unconditionally. They wag their tails when they see you, no matter what mood you’re in. They still want to give you big wet kisses, even if you’ve just yelled at them. And they instantly forgive you no matter how you behave. Loving others unconditionally is a difficult task, but it’s the one that would surely make the world a better place if we all just tried. Dogs are kind souls, full of compassion and love

Although dogs remember things like where the treats are kept, what street takes them home and who they’ve met before, they only access that information when they need it — in the moment. Whether they’re eating a bowl of food or chasing a ball, dogs live for the present moment. The past is gone; you can’t do anything about it. The future is unknown. The only thing you can really enjoy and affect is the present moment.

 As much as our dogs love to go for walks and run around, they also know how to take a break and just enjoy the quiet.

We can learn a lot from seeing our dogs rest. It doesn’t make us lazy to create time in our day to just take in the silence. There is something very calming and rewarding about making some quiet time for yourself.
Especially if you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, a quiet space can give you the chance to think a problem through or even just clear your head. Who knows what our dogs are thinking? But they seem to be enjoying the quiet.

The feeling of a dog sleeping next to you, especially when the dog knows you are sad and has come to comfort you, is one of the best medicines you can take. It reminds you that even a little ball of pure energy is capable of calming down and being tender when you need it, and you wonder why you can’t be that compassionate with the people around you.

Watching how happily and curiously dogs and puppies approach everything - even things that should intimidate them - reminds you of all the things you should be trying more in your own life. It makes you ask yourself why you’re so scared of adventure, and so judgmental of things on first glance.

Dogs teach us that we can change who we are. Many people have a bad time in their life; it changes who they are and they can become cold and perhaps even violent. The same happens with dogs.

Some canines are treated incredibly cruelly, but, once they are rescued and shown love, they turn it around. There are plenty of stories of dogs that switched from terrifyingly aggressive to mushy lumps of love over the course of a few months. They put walls up, waiting to be broken down with love and kindness. We would do well to remind ourselves that we can change what history has turned us into. It does not need to define us. Don't wear your scars, let those scars better you.

Lets face it we could learn a thing or two from many different animals. I truly believe that dogs are much better than humans in many senses, especially when it comes to the purity of their feelings. Just animals in general, i guess you could say i'm more of an animal person rather than a people person.

I also believe that dogs are much wiser than most humans, understanding wisdom as the unique faculty to learn from mistakes and strategy to solve a problem. Animals are blessings in disguise and one us human's take advantage of.

What lessons do you think we can learn from dogs?

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