Lessons My Dog Taught Me
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10 Lessons my dog has taught me in 10 years

Even though dogs are only here for a short time, they teach us some of the most important lessons in life.

Megan Landon
Megan Landon

Dogs are special. Our love for them is sometimes over the top, yet we continue to love them a crazy amount, simply because they make us smile and feel good. They impact our lives in such a short amount of time and I am so grateful for everything that my dog has taught me throughout the last decade.

1. Don't take life too seriously all the time

If you take life too seriously all the time, then you'll miss out on the fun moments in life. Dogs make sure to live life always looking for an adventure rather than dwelling on the bad things that happen. If my dog is grumpy, I just grab him a treat and then he smiles from ear to ear, completely forgetting what made him mad in the first place. The world would be a much better place if we stopped taking life so seriously all the time.

2. Never underestimate the power of a good nap

Power naps are the key to leading a carefree, relaxed and happy life, and I am convinced of this because my dog sleeps for roughly 20 hours a day (or more) and is the happiest creature I've ever known in my life. Naps can literally cure everything. Tired? Nap. Hungry? Nap. Crabby? Nap. It is actually the solution to everything.

3. Being around the people you love is sometimes just what the doctor ordered

Dogs are lucky because they get to spend all day, every day with the people that they love most in the world, and in the comfort of their own homes. Sometimes during the school year, I got a little homesick. I knew what I was getting into when I went to school 12 hours away from home, but being home for the summer has honestly been the best stress reliever ever. When I come home from work to see my dog's smiling face and wagging tail, smell my mom's dinner cooking in the oven and hear my dad and sister laughing in the living room, every bone in my body feels at peace.

4. Spending time with your best friend is important

My dog has shown me that spending time with your best friend is an absolute essential, because even if you don't need the validation or time with them, maybe they need you more than you know. Dogs need love and care from their owners and best friends, so why should people be any different? They are so happy if you just take them for a 10-minute walk or play fetch a few times, so that goes to show that just taking a few minutes out of your day to spend time with someone you love is the perfect way to show them you care.

5. Goodbyes are hard

Every single time my family leaves the house or goes out of town, we come back to a pouty dog who seems to honestly think we left and were never going to come back. Sometimes, he even goes to the bathroom in the house to prove a point to us. That goes for humans too though, that the goodbyes with people we love never get easier because part of our heart is going somewhere that we can't go.

6. Life is too short to be embarrassed

Sometimes my dog does some of the dumbest, most embarrassing things I've ever seen, and he just brushes it off his shoulder like nothing ever happened. One of my favorite things that he does often is sprint off the deck while connected to his chain and run across the yard like he's free until he hits the end of the rope and gets yanked back. But he gets right back up and looks at me with that dopey, innocent smile as if to say "Hey, I'm okay!" If only people had that mentality because we choose not to do things to prevent embarrassment, but if we were like dogs we wouldn't have to worry about those things since they just don't matter.

7. Finish what you started

My dog has taught me that if I commit to something, it's important that I stand by my promise to do it and finish it right. If he has a bone, he is determined to eat it all in one night. He doesn't stop begging for my dinner until the last bite has been eaten and he no longer has a chance. Sticking to something even when it is tough and frustrating is a really important lesson that dogs make look easy.

8. Protect the things you love and love them unconditionally

Whenever my dog hears a noise in the house, he freaks out and barks so loud as if to scare away any intruder. We always make sure to thank him and let him know that it was just my sister closing her closet door or my brother opening a drawer in the bathroom. The amount of love he feels for us is so amazing that he is willing to do anything to protect us.

9. Never give up and smile through the pain

The persistence my dog has is astounding. When he wants something, he goes for it and doesn't give up until he gets it. On a larger note, the older he gets, the more pain he is in. But he never gets down on himself and he works as hard as he can to continue to do the things he loves with a smile on his face, even though I know he actually hurts a lot. I am so proud of him for putting on a brave face for us and hope that when times get tough for me, I can remember the example that my dog gave me to work hard and never let it get to me.

10. Words are overrated

As much as we would like to think that our dogs understand the words we say, odds are they probably don't. I think it's so amazing that we continue to bond with them and love them so immensely without any words. Just one look can tell so much between a human and a dog, and it really makes you appreciate the moments of silence you have with your loved ones or by yourself. Sometimes the silence speaks for itself, and dogs are the masters of making the most of those little moments.

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