15 Valuable Lessons Dogs Teach Us
“The only creatures that are evolved enough to convey pure love are dogs and infants.” ~ Johnny Depp
I recently watched an inspiring movie called Hachi: A Dog‘s Tale. The true story depicts loyalty at its rarest form. In the movie, Richard Gere takes in a young, abandoned puppy named Hachi. As the movie description states: This film is not sappy but “heartfelt and immensely powerful.” Be prepared to be moved to tears.
I am known to tear up occasionally during a movie, but I wouldn’t consider myself a huge crier. Let me tell you, at one point during this movie I looked over at my husband, and not only were we both crying, but we were both actually sobbing. Maybe this is due to my zany love for animals – but what’s his excuse? The next morning my mind wandered off to the movie and unexpectedly, right there standing in the shower, I broke out into tears again!
This movie paired with my unconditional, immense love for all animals including my own two dogs have inspired this post.
There are so many life lessons dogs teach us, below are 15 of my favorites.
1. Looks can be deceiving.
Don’t judge a book by its cover; a very big man or woman can be hiding inside any body.
2. Allow fresh air and wind in your face whenever possible.
Dogs truly do know how to live in the moment. I don’t stick my head out the car window, but I try to appreciate the spring smells and fresh air. Dogs aren’t thinking about tomorrow, they are excited for this very moment all the time. You can be too.
3. Be loyal.
If only we could all be the person our dogs think we are. When you think you’ve lost everything, take a good look around, I guarantee your dog will still be there, full of love and admiration.
4. Never to pretend to be something you‘re not.
Dogs don’t care what other dogs think. They have adorable personalities and we love them for it. Embrace your own adorable personality.
5. You are never too old to play.
Life is short, so have fun and stop taking everything so seriously.
6. When loved ones come home, always greet them.
Take an opportunity every day to tell those who mean the most to you that you are happy to see them.
7. Stretch before rising.
This is a good one to follow especially as we get older. I often see my dog stretching into “downward facing dog.” It makes me smile every time.
8. Avoid biting when growling will do.
Stand up for yourself, but no need to be unnecessarily aggressive or harmful.
Don’t hold grudges, even if someone hurt you; you have the choice to forgive.
10. Show compassion.
Dogs are kind souls, full of compassion and love. In times where I have been upset, my dog is the first one to cuddle and comfort me.
11. Trust your instincts.
Trust your initial instincts of a situation or person, before you let the mental chatter in your mind tell you you’re wrong. Your gut instinct is usually correct.
12. Things don‘t matter.
A dog can have the best time with an old worn out ball. You can find joy in small things. Lose your obsessions over materiality.
13. Go for walks every day.
Dogs are oddly excited by going for walks whereas some days I feel I have to convince myself to go. Appreciate the opportunity to get outside and be within nature; take in the smells, sights and feelings.
14. Love unconditionally.
Love yourself, your friends, your kids, your family, your job, your community and most of all, love mother earth.
15. Get lots of rest.
You know the old saying, let sleeping dogs lie. Dogs love to sleep, and we should not downplay our need for rest either.
Please add to this list any life lessons that you‘ve learned from your dog. I‘d love to hear from all you fellow animal lovers.