15 Lessons Our Dogs Teach Us
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15 Lessons Our Dogs Teach Us

"I think dogs are the most amazing creatures...For me, they are the role model for being alive." - Gilda Radner

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15 Lessons Our Dogs Teach Us
Kendall Catterton

They say dog is man's best friend, and I'd have to agree with that statement. I would also add that dog is man's best teacher.

Throughout my lifetime of being around dogs, especially owning one of my own once in college, I've learned more about life than I could've ever imagined. I've learned to love and laugh and I've been tested and tried, but in the end, owning a dog has changed so many ways I live and look at life.

1. Not everything is about you.

Sometimes you want to sleep in or perhaps you want to go out for a few drinks after a long shift or maybe you want to stay out all night. A dog teaches you that your decisions affect others, and sometimes you have to put others before yourself.

2. Patience is a virtue.

Starting the day you pick up a furry companion, your patience is going to be tested. Training dogs takes time, patience, and understanding on your part. My dog has absolutely no patience, so he definitely puts mine to a test.

3. Don't hold grudges.

Dogs are some of the most forgiving creatures on Earth. We leave them for hours, and they still love us. We discipline them for misbehaving, and 10 minutes later they're in our laps. They teach us to forgive and forget.

4. It's the little things that matter most.

It might be a ball or it might be a blanket. It could be a few extra minutes spent together or a kiss or a hug. Regardless of what it is, dogs seem to find joy in the some of the most smallest ways possible -- maybe we should too.

5. Love is unconditional.

Dogs don't care if you're old or young, rich or poor, what color you are, if you're sick, disabled, or healthy. Once a dog loves, a dog loves unconditionally.

6. The past is the past.

Dogs forgive so quickly and move on with life, something us humans should learn to do. They forget the fact that you scolded them earlier when you walk back in the door and are instantly happy to see you. It happened, move on; life is too short to worry about what's already been done.

7. Looks aren't everything.

Humans love to be judgmental and stereotype. We stereotype each other and stereotype dogs. But dogs have taught me more about not judging a book by it's cover than any human ever will.

Fun fact: I have a 90 pound Lab/Great Dane/Italian Mastiff mix. He looks like Mr. Kill-You-With-One-Bite, but his best friend is a teacup Yorkie.

8. Fun doesn't have an age restriction.

Dogs will play and enjoy life until they are physically unable to. They teach us that just because we grow older doesn't mean we can't still have fun.

9. Don't be materialistic.

Dogs can find joy with anything. They don't care if it's a name brand pet toy or some super expensive brand of 100 percent gluten free organic grass fed beef premium dog food. In the end, they're just things and sometimes the cheaper the better.

Fun fact: my Newfoundland would much rather play outside with a stick than any toy from a pet store.

10. Spend time with those you love.

You never know how short or long lives will be, take the time to spend it with those you love. Be happy and make sure they know you love them.

11. Be sensitive to others.

Dogs can read emotions and they can react based on those emotions. When you're sad, they try to either cheer you up with a toy or simply come cuddle up beside you in silence. They understand emotions and somehow they're always the first ones to notice a change in them.

Fun fact: my niece was put in time-out and the family chocolate lab went over and sat in time-out with her.

12. Take naps.

Everyone could use some extra energy in order to play and enjoy life. Take a quick nap; reenergize yourself. There's so much in life to do that requires you to not spend half your life yawning.

13. Be adventurous.

Jump out of a plane, climb a mountain, go white water rafting -- just adventure. There's a whole world out there to see. Dogs love exploring and are fearless in the way they do it. They don't have all these preexisting fears that humans seem to have; they just go and maybe we should to.

14. Sharing is caring.


They want to share the couch and the bed and the pillows and they want just a bite or two or three of whatever you have. Sharing even the slightest bit with dogs makes them happy; they feel like they're a part of your world. The more we share, the happier right?

Fun fact: Donuts won't kill your dog. My dog ate four in this sitting alone and didn't get sick once. Although I probably don't recommend you give your dog donuts on the regular, Britt's season opener is a good reason.

15. Dog will always be man's best friend.

At the end of the day, dogs will always be our companions. They love us unconditionally, they forgive us, and they comfort us. They bring us joy and laughter, and they teach us lessons from the day we get them. They will never judge you and will always be willing to be by your side.


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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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