Lessons I Have Learned From My Dog

Lessons I Have Learned From My Dog

Because man's best friend can also be a great teacher.

Lessons I Have Learned From My Dog
Kelly Goodwin

Of the many dogs I have met in my young life, and the 5 that I have owned, one truly stands out from the rest; my 6 year old chocolate labrador retriever, Toby. Toby has a certain spirit about him, one that is very rare and kind. Anyone who meets him seems to by truly uplifted by his presence, and I think would agree that there are a few things we can all learn from him.

  1. Never take anything too seriously, including yourself.

As we learn and grow, we are bound to make mistakes. This is something to keep in mind as you judge both yourself and others. Sometimes we forget to think before we speak, forget to stop before we act, and forget to check ourselves. Especially as young adults, this is a time of learning from our mistakes. Don’t get too caught up on something you did or said wrong, but take it with you for the future; because I guarantee you will have a chance down the road to fix your mistake.

2. Be kind, always.

To Toby, everyone is a friend. It doesn’t matter if you are human, dog, cat; any other animal that he encounters, he approaches with the most benign attitude. To him, hostility just isn’t on the radar. All this guy really wants is to be your friend. Even more, when another dog shows negativity, he does something that many people in this day and age can’t even buck up enough to do: he walks away.

    3. Love unconditionally and know how to forgive.

Toby’s mind works pretty simply: he loves those who are good to him. He knows who loves and cares for him, and for that, he loves them back. Sometimes I am having a bad day or in a rush, and just can’t take 5 minutes to play with him when I get home. Like the good spirit he is, he doesn’t hold this against me, and approaches me with the same excitement the next day. As people, we tend to hold grudges over the little things. Maybe your boyfriend didn’t text you back, your sister ignored your call, or your friend forgot about the plans you made, but many people have a tendency to take these hiccups personally. While a red flag should go off if these habits become regular, a bump in the road every now and then shouldn’t be something to fret over. Like my mom always taught me, don’t cry over spilt milk: the milk is gone, clean it up and move on with your life.

    4. Enjoy the little things

If only we could all get as much joy from something so simple as playing catch with a tennis ball. Especially in this day and age or technology, it’s easy to miss out on the little joys of life. Sunny afternoons, mimosas, the ocean breeze, the smell of fresh cut grass; these are only some of the little treasures that we often pass by. We are so focused on getting from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’ that we forget to stop and smell the roses. Take 5 minutes from your evening commute to watch the street performer on the corner. Wake up at 5am to watch the sunrise. Listen to your favorite song on full volume while speeding down the highway. Sing at the top of your lungs. Laugh until your stomach hurts. Stay our late with your friends when you have to be up for class at 8am. Life doesn't always have to be about “the grind”, and sometimes its the little things that get us through, and make it all worth it.

We all have a lot to learn in this life. We may not always know where we’re going, or what comes next. We cannot always predict what will happen tomorrow, let alone a year from now. All we really can do is take each day as it comes, follow our hearts, and live each day to its fullest. Because if we aren't following our heart, and we aren't happy, then what are we really doing? Take a lesson from Toby and enjoy the little pleasures, love, play, and never look back.

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

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less

Whether you're in an unhealthy relationship currently, you know someone who is, or you just want to have these numbers saved just in case it could one day save someone's life (if not your own), this article is for you. Here are three numbers to save in your contacts ASAP so you can always be safe, both physically and mentally, in every relationship.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

If I Unfriend You During The 2020 Election, Yes, It's Personal

President Donald Trump and Joe Biden's plans for Black America matter.

The Black Lives Matter movements have sparked widespread conversations and protests across the nation. With justice not being served for the murders of innocent Black people like Breonna Taylor and absolutely no support from President Donald Trump, this upcoming election is quite important.

Keep Reading... Show less

The Caribbean is a place where people go for vacation, but if you set out from a cruise ship you miss out on all the beautiful culture. Their exotic beaches are nothing without their zinging food and hospitality. Locals in the Caribbean are warmhearted with a zest to live life to the fullest.

This is exactly where most of their words and phrases come from, having a good time. I definitely enjoyed myself living in the Caribbean, but it's not always about lounging. They get work done too and I've learned proper phrases for accomplishments.

Keep Reading... Show less

What's Coming To And Leaving Netflix In August For Your Summer Viewing Pleasure

Just in time for another your end of summer binge-watch list.

Flower Films, Warner Bros, New Line Cinema

August is here, which means we will be losing some of our Netflix favorites but gaining some new ones. Here is a list of TV shows and movies we will be losing and gaining on Netflix during August.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

Dear Closeted Latina,

You were never alone.

Remember how the Latin world got rocked when Ricky Martin came out?

Keep Reading... Show less
Photo by Omar Lopez on Unsplash

I'll admit it, when I first met you, I wasn't sure how well things were going to work out. Although I didn't know you that well at the time, we seemed to be opposites in almost every way. You were cool, edgy, and laid-back, and I was more awkward, goofy, and anxious.

Keep Reading... Show less

It wasn't until I hit 23 years old that I started getting hangovers. It could've been from two glasses of wine or even a margarita at happy hour, the next day, consider me bed-bound until further notice.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Feel A Lil' Better: Because Air Travel Looks Different Now

If you have to travel, you can — you just have to take a few extra steps.

No matter how good (or bad) you'd describe your health, one thing is for sure: a little boost is ALWAYS a good idea. Whether that's reading a new, motivating book, or listening to a song that speaks to your soul, there are plenty of resources to help your health thrive on any given day.

As we are learning how to live our lives in the midst of a pandemic, one big question being travel. States that were initially labeled coronavirus (COVID-19) epicenters, like New York and New Jersey, are extra cautious in how freely residents can travel and then come home. Other states may not have the same travel restrictions as the epicenters, but one thing is for sure — no matter where you fly within the United States, that trip will look different than your usual summer vacation. Sure, it can still happen, you just need to take a few more steps to make sure your trip will go smoothly.

Keep Reading... Show less
Bobbie Hall

I've seen too many people faking various conditions to claim that they cannot wear face masks right now. Often, the claim is asthma and other breathing conditions. I figured it's time for people to hear from those who actually have these conditions. Not only are these people at a higher risk for serious complications after contracting COVID-19, but many of them also have been wearing face masks before this pandemic began. Take my mom, for example. As someone with damaged lungs, she has been using face masks for years. For those with compromised lungs, face masks protect from bad air-quality, dust, and other hazardous things that can be breathed in.

I figured hearing the facts from the source is the best way to hinder the spread of false information. I interviewed my mom about what life is really like for those with compromised lungs during this pandemic.

Keep Reading... Show less

According to Urban Dictionary, a "simp" is defined as "a man that puts himself in a subservient/submissive position under women in the hopes of winning them over, without the female bringing anything to the table." There are many other definitions for a "simp," but basically it's shaming men who are kind to women without getting anything in return.

Let's just stop attacking nice men. Work out your own issues, don't project your shortcomings onto another man. What happened to the brotherhood? Y'all can lie for each other, but can't raise each other up? You guys can encourage murder, gang rape, and violence against women — or at least stay silent about it — but can't let your brother know it ain't cool when they bring you down for being nice to women with no expectation?

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments