Life Lessons My Dog Has Taught Me
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Life Lessons My Dog Has Taught Me

Just the simple things my little furry friend has brought to my attention.

Life Lessons My Dog Has Taught Me
Emily Van Allen

Eleven years ago, I had the pleasure of welcoming my beloved dog into my family. Rocco waltzed into my household and made himself comfortable in no time. He is like no dog I have ever met in my life; because of this, Rocco has subtly taught me a few things about life that are worthwhile. His quirks have inspired me to write this cliché article in honor of all the warmth and meaningful moments I’ve spent with him over the years. In a way, Rocco has been a teacher to me, and all of his lessons have shaped me into the person I am. So, here is what Rocco has taught me that I follow presently:

1. Appreciate the little things.

My entire family does all we can to spoil Rocco. A small gesture, like massaging his gigantic ears or giving him one-on-one attention, goes a long way. He will eat up and appreciate every tiny thing we do for him. He won’t forget what you’ve done for him, and you shouldn’t forget the people in your life who go out of their way for you. I’ve learned to love the little things, like the cards my parents send me while I’m away at college, or a simple “how are you doing?” text message from a friend. Rocco taught me to love and cherish all these small gestures as if I will never receive anything like it in my life again. For example, if it's simply a beautiful day, go outside and soak up the sun (like Rocco does in the picture above). You could be in store for nasty weather tomorrow, so appreciate the sun while you can!

2. Don’t judge a book by its cover.

I can’t count how many times a person has approached me and said my dog was “scary” or “weird” looking. Rocco has been the butt of all ugly jokes, even though Boston Terriers naturally have massive eyes and tend to sneeze more than your average dog. Before judging someone by the way they present themselves, take the time to get to know them. I’ve lived with Rocco for eleven years of my life, and the amount of love he has given me quadruples that time span. He may be “weird” looking, but that’s what makes him a great dog. Rocco’s unique looks taught me not to judge too easily, because the greatest people I’d ever met are just as misunderstood as he is. There are mean people in this world; Rocco showed me how to not be one.

3. The act of forgiving and forgetting.

Picture this: you just came home from a rough day at school. Your friends are all not getting along and you failed that test you studied so hard for. All you are thinking about is relaxing in bed. You walk into your room, and there are pieces of chewed up trash all over the carpet. There is only one culprit who eats out of the garbage, and he’s black, white, and furry. (This picture was taken after he tore up the trash. See how innocent he thought he was?). I don’t understand what is so appealing about the contents in my bedroom trash bin, but he visits it often and always leaves a big mess. As angry as I am to have to clean up his leftovers, it is impossible to stay mad at him for too long. With this scenario, Rocco taught me that it is the same way with people (although problems with people tend to be slightly bigger than cleaning up half-eaten trash). It doesn’t benefit your health by holding a grudge on someone for months on end; it is best to forgive and forget so you can move on to the healing process and continue living your life.

4. Smile.

One of Rocco’s best traits is that he always smiles. Most, if not all, of my pictures of him have him flashing the camera a huge grin. It is scientifically proven that smiling helps you stay healthy, so Rocco must be the healthiest dog out there. By smiling all the time, Rocco set an example for me to smile more often. It would be impossible not to smile after witnessing my goofy dog in action. Smiling spreads positivity, and everyone needs a little positivity in their lives!

5. Love unconditionally.

Everyone has their perks, but they also possess flaws. For example, Rocco snores really loudly at night and he barks so often and loudly, it drives my family nuts. As much as I want to throw everything in my vicinity at him to be quiet, I stop myself and think about the flaws I possess that could possibly bother him. A big one is that I go to a college that is five hours away from home. I’ve been told that when I leave, Rocco looks for me around the house for weeks. I know I miss him terribly when I’m gone, but I never think about whether or not he misses me. And every time I come home, he welcomes me back as if I never left. He loves me even when I choose a college so far away from home, and I love him even when I think he should stop barking for once. That is what unconditional love is, and without Rocco, it would’ve taken me a lot longer to learn what it is.

Anyone who has a dog can understand this, plain and simple: your dog is part of your family too. I pity those who only consider their dogs their “house pets”, because they’ll never have the opportunity take full advantage of the lessons a dog can offer you. I thank Rocco everyday for all the lessons he has taught me. There is no one else I’d rather have as my teacher than my dog.

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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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