Who says that we cannot learn something every day, and even moreso if that knowledge comes from our own dogs? Many people believe that it is us, human beings, who teach our furry friends how to live well. However, it’s often the opposite.
Dogs are reminders that the best lessons can come from the most unexpected places. If we are receptive, we can learn more than we could imagine, especially when we refer to important aspects of life that we are accustomed to take for granted.
Dogs are great teachers for us humans. Continue reading this article to discover 10 things that dogs teach us. What has your dog taught you? Leave us a comment at the end of the article and share your experiences!
1. You are never too old to play
Taking a moment to remember those days when we played without worrying about time and consequences, is something that dogs teach us to do everyday. Playtime for puppies and adult dogs alike, is part of their daily lives.
The simplest things are the most pleasurable
For example, playing with a stick is the greatest ecstasy. For some unknown reason (because the complexity of life is not enough reason) adults forget that we were once children, and as we grow, we become more serious, inflexible and rigid, We lose the notion of the importance of finding those moments of fun in life. We will always be children inside, although our exterior will grow old.
2. Stop and listen
There is rarely a conversation between two people when one of them does not stop talking about themself. We dominate our human encounters, talking about ourselves and hearing very little of what the other person has to say.
This is something we must learn from dogs. They listen attentively – to each other and to you. When you talk to your pet, they show interest, as if you were the center of the universe. At that moment there is nothing else they care about.
You have to try to rest your tongue from time to time and listen. This is a sign of respect and empathy, worthy of appreciation. You will see that people will want to get closer to you.
3. Don’t swallow food, savor it
Dogs eat practically the same thing every day. A human being would die of boredom if that were the case for them. However, for dogs, their treats are always a delicacy.
While it is true that dogs usually eat as if there were no tomorrow, this does not mean that they are not enjoying it, quite the opposite. All food is rich because it gives them life. Try to find pleasure in all kinds of food, from bread and butter, rice, to food from a five star restaurant or our mother’s homecooking.
4. Appreciate one another
Seeing someone you love can be as exciting as the first time. This is one of the things we value the most in dogs: their emotion to see you again. All dogs go crazy with happiness even if it has only been 5 minutes since their last meeting.
A dog waits at the door of their house and runs to greet us when we arrive. Why do we not do that between us? We constantly take for granted the presence of others, when it is rather a wonderful gift to have company. Loving and appreciating one another will be well communicated. Dogs don’t speak and we manage to comprehend their infinite love for us!
5. Let your anger go
A dog will never be angry the day after you scolded them the night before. Most dogs get angry with each other and then in a little while they play again as if nothing happened. Dogs have the gift of short memory and zero resentment, unlike humans who can spend days, months and even years engulfed in a fit of anger, rages and frustrations.
It will sound cliché and difficult to apply, but it is very true: every day could be the last, so it is not worth wasting them with emotional nonsense. You have to be a little more exclusive, even with your anger and choose your battles well. Let actions be guided by good intentions and not from ego and resentment.
6. Don’t dwell on the past
You cannot correct the past but you can make the present better. Dogs are only interested if their caregiver will take them out for a walk now. Promising something that will happen tomorrow does not count today.
Keeping our word will create stronger relationships with our dogs and people. Human beings are so attached to the idea of fixing our errors that have already happened, that we end up neglecting what is happening in the present. Sadly, somewhere in our strange human mind, we believe it will always be there. Holding up yesterday prevents us from seeing today and moving towards tomorrow.
7. Live life to the fullest
All it takes for a dog is to stick their head out the window! Living in the moment is another one of their great teachings. Dogs don’t turn their heads to the past, have expectations, or elaborate short, medium or long-term plans for their lives. Their routine is the simplest routine and at the same time complicated to carry: eating, pooping, playing, sleeping and loving.
Dogs don’t smell flowers, they close their eyes and inhale deeply, just as if they were being petted by their favorite person. The next time you go out for a drive in the car, stick your head out the window, you’ll feel like a dog living in the moment!
8. Love endlessly
A dog doesn’t need to know you for years before they come to love you. They are very sensitive and instinctive and will know who to give their love to, but not take a lifetime to give it. Your puppy will not hold back their love until you show them that you love them back. Nor will they think about it a thousand times, they just give it to you. The more love, the better.
9. We must accept ourselves
A boxer will never want to be a German shepherd, and a bulldog will not want to have the legs that a greyhound has. They are as they are and are very comfortable in their own skin.
Humans waste a huge amount of valuable time looking in the mirror and longing to have what we do not have and to be who we are not. We seek to see ourselves in a perfect version that does not really exist, instead of accepting us with all our characteristics, whatever they may be.
And that life would be too boring if we were all equal, without diversity and originality, including animals and humans. Acceptance ourselves and others is the true key to happiness.
10. Be loyal and trustworthy
Being loyal is one of the most important qualities and, unfortunately, is in danger of extinction… not to mention being reliable. There is no animal more loyal in the world than the dog. They are there in good and bad, without any condition. The dog entrusts their own life, to their caretaker, with their eyes closed. There are people who rely more on their own dog than on other people, even within their closest circles.
Being present and being a good friend, parent, partner, sibling and lover enriches us in many ways and makes us build strong, positive and eternal relationships around us. Think about being less selfish and more generous, loyal and trustworthy. Think about being more like a dog.