Learning is a constant process whether we realize it or not. From school, work, people around us, to books and more, we never stop learning. But has your dog taught you anything lately? While dogs aren’t human, they do know a whole lot about life. Maybe at first glance their wagging tail, questionable napping habits and relentless desire for treats would lead you to believe otherwise, but after thinking it through, my dog Dagny has taught me a lot about the important things in life.
Life lessons I learned from my dog
When you mess up, sincerely apologize.
We’re all human and make mistakes. And so do dogs except dogs seem to get the apology part more correct than humans do. When Dagny steals food or a sock, she comes over immediately and looks remorseful. I can see it in her eyes that she’s sorry and she knows what she did was wrong. It’s sincere and then we both move on. No need to dwell on it.
Dagny’s days are pretty routine and consist of eating, walking, playing and napping, but don’t confuse routine with boring. Little things like the bird in the backyard or the noise a trash bag makes are interesting to her and even though it may not look like an exciting life, it is to her. She’s taught me to take pleasure in the little things and make do with what you have. What’s the point of living if we can’t have fun?
Dagny will walk up to random strangers and stand there staring at them and wagging her tail. People who like dogs find it cute and will usually stop to comment or pet her. Others ignore her and keep on walking. But she will always greet people with a friendly doggie hello. Us humans can do more of that and try to be friendly even if we don’t feel like it. Even if we don’t know the person. And even if we’re having a bad day. We have the ability to affect someone else’s mood. Dagny affects my mood all the time — nothing a doggy hug can’t fix!
Don’t hold a grudge.
If I yell at Dagny, she’s over it in 10 seconds. Like last night when she jumped up on the chair and then the table to investigate what was for dinner. Has she forgotten I yelled at her already or has she forgiven me? Either way, it’s in the past and she doesn’t let it affect the rest of our day or our relationship. She’s taught me that there’s no point in holding a grudge.
If someone stares at you long enough, you’ll have to give in. This works for Dagny with food all the time and we often give in and give her little pieces of vegetables and meat if she’s lucky (always after the meal, she doesn’t come near the table while we’re eating but she sure does STARE at us from her crate across the room!). She knows the rules and knows that if she’s persistent, she will get what she wants. Solid life advice there. Don’t give up!
If someone is barking at you, don’t bark back.
Dogs are funny. Sometimes they bark for what seems like no reason. Dagny is submissive and sweet yet sometimes dogs will bark at her when we pass. She never cares and never barks back (she actually rarely barks at all). How’s this relate to our lives? In human terms, if someone is yelling at you and getting out of hand, don’t give into the madness and bring yourself to their crazy level. Just stand there, let them calm down or walk away. There’s no point in getting worked up too.