Last Fall an event happened that affected me deeply. I was sad, angry, and emotional. When I looked at my dogs they were as happy as can be. They didn’t know what was happening in the world. I wished to be a dog. No, not really but observing my dogs made me realize I can learn a lot from them.
Life’s Lessons Learned from a Dog
Lesson One- Live in the Moment
A dog lives in the moment. They are not concerned about the past or future. Dogs don’t dwell in the past or ponder about their future. Polar Bear forgot that he ate an entire block of Havarti cheese and I was mad at him for days. He had no idea why I was still mad at him days later. We need to learn to enjoy the moment and live in the “right now.” I really need to let the Havarti cheese incident go. Let the past go! If you live in the past or focus too much on your future, you will miss the present.
Lesson Two- Love Unconditionally
Dogs love you when you are in bad mood. They are always happy to see you and greet you when you arrive home. We should practice being more loving to others. Be excited to see the ones you love when they come home. Learn to love unconditionally.
Lesson Three- Enjoy Your Mealtime
Be excited when you dine and savor every bite. Food is sometimes the highlight of the day, especially from a dogs’ perspective.
Lesson Four- Make time for Playtime
Run, jump, and play often. Staying active and having more playtime makes you younger. Our Java, may be an old dog but when he gets to swim after a ball his ears perk up and he looks years younger. When you play, play hard! Go do something you love this weekend. Schedule more playtime in your calendar.
Lesson Five- Spend less time on TV and Devices
Dogs have no idea about the news, what is happening in the world, they see the world through their own eyes without social media or TV. This is why they are happier in life, it gives them more time to sleep and play. Get dressed up and go out on the town instead of sitting home in front of the TV, computer, Ipad, or cell phone. Take yourself out on a date or plan a date with a friend or loved one. No cell phones!
Lesson Six- Get lots of rest
Dogs sleep a lot! We need to make sure we get enough sleep and relaxation in our lives for our health and wellness. Try to get the recommended 8 hours of sleep each night. Take a nap on a weekend. The point is to enjoy some R& R.
Lesson Seven- Treat Yourself
Dogs love new toys and treats. They are easier to train because they love being rewarded. In daily life, reward your successes and learn to treat yourself with a nice dinner, a bath, spa day or new toy. Get motivated by setting a goal and rewarding yourself when you achieve it.
Lesson Eight- Kiss Often
Remember to kiss those that you love often! Dogs love to show affection! We should too!
Lesson Nine- Drink More Water
Try to drink more water. It is an essential part of life. Water will keep you hydrated. It has so many health benefits. Ditch the soda’s and drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. If you don’t like the taste add cucumbers, berries, mint, lemons or oranges. See if you notice any changes when you drink more water. How do you feel?
Lesson 10 -Spend time Outdoors
When stressed, go for a walk. Swim in a lake or ocean. Get outdoors in nature. See the flowers and smell the grass. Problems can be solved just by reconnecting oneself with nature and getting lost on a trail. Dogs use all of their senses. Pay attention to what you see, hear, and smell on your next outing. You will feel renewed and refreshed when you spend more time in nature.
“People always joke that ‘dog’ spells ‘god’ backwards. They should consider that it might be the higher power coming down to see just how well they do, what kind of people they are. The animals are right here, right in front of us. And how we treat these companions is a test.”
Java & Polar Bear are my best friends! I love these guys and they teach me as much as I teach them. I’m off to spend time with my dogs! If you have a dog, spend time together this weekend. Go be in the moment, play, get some rest, and watch the sunset together. Learn from each other. After all, a dog is, “Man’s best friend.”