There are several reasons why people have pets. It helps stave off loneliness, teaches children responsibility, and some pets provide lots of laughs.
For me, my dogs have always provided me with a sense of being unconditionally loved and have taught me a host of other life lessons. Here are my top 5:
Dogs don’t try to be anything more than a dog. And what’s more, they usually stay true to their breed standards as well. Dogs will never apologize for being a dog – they might be sad that they made you mad for chasing the cat but they don’t apologize for it. They are what they are.
Live in the Present
Dogs don’t worry about what happened yesterday at the dog park – they don’t sit and replay that little scrap with the yappie dog over and over. Nor do they worry about what’s going to happen tomorrow. They only worry about what’s going on this very second.
Enjoy the Surroundings & Stop and Smell the Flowers
I have a 5 year old boxer who loves to stop and literally smell flowers on our walks. It makes me laugh and it makes me appreciate that when we stay in the present moment and not worry about getting to where we’re going, you always have time to appreciate the flower along the path. When we go out for pee breaks she stands and gazes off into the distance, taking in the scenery, the wind, the sun – all of it. When I notice that she’s doing it, I make sure that I’m doing the same -no judgment, no labels,no thinking about anything but the feeling of gratitude.
Dogs don’t care if you are in a bad mood, if you have morning breathe, if you’re sad or if you just landed the dream job of your life. Dogs love you no matter what!! They don’t care what you do for a living, they don’t care if you’re nice to other people, they don’t care if you’re beautiful – all they care about is that you’re home and they missed you like you had been gone for a million years (even if it’s been 5 minutes).
Listen to Your Needs
Dogs sleep as long as they need to, eat when they’re hungry, drink lots of water, and exercise with 100% enthusiasm & commitment. There’s no time wasted on arguing and making excuses about whether or not they should do any of those things. Nor do they care about what they look like or what other dogs might think about the way they look.
Several years ago, while dealing with some pretty serious depression, I decided that a dog would be the solution to treating my symptoms and to help me to remain balanced. Being forced to get up and get outside, to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine always made me feel better and the days when the sadness really sinks in, she’s there to cuddle up and just be there with me until I feel like getting up. Sharing a life with a dog also doesn’t allow me to sit for hours at my laptop working! By learning and emulating the 5 lessons above, I am able to create a more abundant life.
Even if you are not able to have your very own dog, you can always visit a dog park and watch them play. If nothing else, you’re going to have a few good laughs and meet some wonderful humans who’ve learned from their pets.