11 Life Lessons Dogs Teach Us About What Matters The Most

11 Life Lessons Dogs Teach Us About What Matters The Most

Important woofs of wisdom to learn from your furry friend.
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A little over a year ago, my puppy walked into my life and changed everything. I had always wanted a dog--I begged and pleaded for years for a puppy of my own, and my wishes were finally granted. I knew that I would love my puppy with all my heart. I knew that he would become my best friend. I knew he would be faithful and love me unconditionally. I knew this, because I thought I knew all about dogs. However, I never realized how much I would learn from my little 15 pound puppy.

There are so many lessons we can learn from our dogs. The best lessons in life truly can come from the most unexpected places. Here are 11 life lessons brought to you from my dog:

1. Be Loyal

For someone who deals with commitment issues, seeing my dog's fierce loyalty to my family and I has been inexplicably valuable. He does not stray from our sides until he is sure we are safe, and still refuses to let us out of his sight. Dogs are pack animals, and their owners are their pack. My dog's unwavering loyalty has taught me to remain constant and dependable to my human pack.

2. Protect The Ones You Love

Dogs will always stand up for the ones they love, even if the situations are frightening for them. My little 15 pound puppy will stand up to anything that he deems a threat--even if it's a dog 5 times his size, or a menacing human. To him, nothing is more important than keeping me safe. Essentially, dogs teach us to remain courageous and strong in the face of threats to our loved ones. We need to always stand up for those we love.

3. There's Always Time To Play

No matter how tired he is, how long of a day he's had, or what he's doing in that moment, my dog will always come over to play with me when I get home. Dogs are such happy creatures--always jumping, running, and chasing. No matter how old they get, they'll always come over to play a game of fetch. They're good reminders to find the happy moments in life, and to rekindle those moments of joy we discovered in playtime as younger children. You never get too old to play, and your dog gives you an excuse to bring out the little kid that's still inside of you.

4. Live In The Moment, Enjoy The Little Things

It's so easy to make my puppy happy. A new toy doesn't need to be a $20 bone from the store--an old washcloth makes him just as happy to play tug of war with. Car rides may as well be a vacation in paradise. They'll stick their heads out the window, tongue hanging out and tails wagging, not caring about the destination. They live for the journey. Similarly, we need to recognize that while the goal is important, it's often the journey that means the most. Life is meant to be lived in the moment, yet this is one of the most overlooked lessons in our society.

5. FORGIVE others

We don't deserve dogs. Even after leaving them alone all day because we had to stay a few extra hours at work, or waking them up after coming home late after a night out, they forgive us. Instantly. Seeing our faces seems to erase any sort of qualms they may have had with our actions. Dogs never hold grudges, nor do they seek revenge. They are such pure, sweet creatures that forgive anything and everything as long as it is replaced with love. This may be one of the most important lessons I have learned from my puppy. Holding grudges is unhealthy for my body, and anger is bad for my soul. We must forgive others to achieve peace and happiness in our own lives.

6. Accept Yourself, Love Who You Are

I'm going to make an assumption here, since I can't read my dog's mind, but I'm pretty sure Rafiki isn't walking around wishing he was a Havanese instead of a Maltese or wishing his fur was jet black instead of snow white. Rather than becoming envious around other dogs, he simply wishes to play with them and make new friends. Humans, on the other hand, constantly seek to achieve an idealistic level of perfection that is just as unattainable as it is unreasonable. Instead, we need to accept who we are and love the individuals we are as God made us.

7. Never Be Afraid To Express Yourself

Humans often walk on eggshells when it comes to expressing our emotions in front of others. Dogs are simple. They love you? They'll give you kisses all over, whether in public or at home. If they're scared, they cry. Mad? They'll bark at you. Dogs are expressive with their emotions, rather than living in the fear of what others will think.

8. Be Understanding And Listen

Even though he probably doesn't understand what I say 80% of the time, my dog patiently sits and listens to me when I'm talking, venting or crying. His patience calms me down and makes me feel as though I'm not alone, that someone understands what I'm going through, and that someone cares. We need to make sure to do the same for those in our lives. Anyone can be a friend through the good, but very few people can stick around through the bad and ugly. By channeling a similar level of patience, compassion, and understanding as that exhibited by dogs, we can be better friends to those in our lives, and better humans in our world.

9. Accept Compliments

Many cultures call for turning down compliments or acting shy when praised by others. Dogs simply smile and soak up the constant praise they receive. They live for the love, praise and recognition, and allow it to positively influence their self worth. It's important to remain humble in the face of compliments and praise, but it's ok to accept it and be gracious. We all deserve to feel good about ourselves.

10. Stop And Smell The Roses

My dog stops to sniff almost every flower when we go on walks. It gets slightly annoying at times because it interrupts the walk, but I can never stay mad when I see how enthusiastically he seeks to explore all the beauty in life. Put away the technology once in a while and just explore everything around you. Be curious about the world you live in. Smell the roses.

11. Love Unconditionally

I don't think I will ever find someone who loves me the way my dog does. No matter what I do, he's there to greet me with a smile and countless kisses. He doesn't care if I'm dressed up or down, whether or not I have a ton of money, or if I passed or failed my exam. Loving unconditionally is one of the most difficult tasks in the world, but also the most rewarding. It's an act that is difficult, but one that would change the world if only we each tried a little bit harder to make it our reality.


There is so much that we have to learn from our dogs. They appreciate us, motivate us, inspire us and love us. In fact, your dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than themselves. And with that, the most important thing you can do is try to be that amazing person your dog thinks you are.

Cover Image Credit: petsworld.in

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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Home Invader Suspected of Cleaning Up

In May 2019, a Massachusetts man is shocked to discover someone had broken into his house. But instead of stealing anything, they tidied up for him.

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Imagine coming home after a longs days work to discover your door unlocked. This alone doesn't cause for immediate panic because often it's hard to remember if you even locked it that morning. As you warily enter the house, you are relieved to see your TV is still on the wall, and the computer is still sitting on your desk. When you take another step in, however, you start to feel this uneasy feeling, like someone had been in your house while you were gone.

You notice a smell of cleaning products in the air that you don't remember being there that morning, and to your shock, you see the bedroom door you always leave open, closed. Now is the time to panic. You search the house, calling out for the perpetrator to show themselves. Your children's rooms are immaculate: vacuumed, with clothes folded and beds made, and toilets scrubbed.

Someone has definitely been in your home for hours, pillaging through your intimate belongings, only they hadn't taken anything. The only thing they leave behind is eerie toilet paper origami roses, a staple of the US prison system.

Nate Roman's Facebook

Although this sounds like a funny sketch from a comedy show, this actually happened to Massachusetts man Nate Roman this May. Roman says in an interview with New York Post: "Growing up in the age we do, my first thought was a serial killer. My next thought was wondering if my son was safe, worrying if someone was still in the house."

Despite the ridiculousness of the crime, it is still a crime. The act of intruding upon someones home not to steal, but to acquaint oneself with the environment is almost creepier than a robbery. Just the thought of someone possibly getting off by touching your objects and lounging in your furniture is extremely off-putting.

The motive of this cleaning criminal is still unknown and he or she is at large. It's speculated it may have been a mistaken house tidied by a cleaning crew--but that seems less likely than a creep having a go in a home with an unlocked door.

Don't forget to lock your doors at night and when you leave in the morning and watch out for toilet paper roses.

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