Last week we lost a member of our family.
I did a live radio show, only hours after we said good-bye to our 15-year-old pup, Ellie. The host of the show knew about my loss that day, and the conversation eventually led to him asking me what life lessons I learned from my dog.
I couldn’t answer without smiling.
I mean, what lessons doesn’t our dog teach us?
- Don’t take no for an answer. Without being a pest, be persistent and go after whatever it is that your heart desires most.
- Be patient. Dogs do a lot of waiting in their lifetime. Trust that patience is a virtue.
- Play whenever possible. It burns calories, puts you in a good mood, AND you deserve to have fun.
- Give lots of kisses. Well, for me, it’s hugs. Everyone deserves to feel welcomed and loved. Kisses and hugs speak louder than words.
- Take naps. We drink way too much caffeine. Sometimes a good nap is all you really need.
- Stretch. Did you ever notice that when your dog has been sitting or sleeping, the first thing they do when they get moving is stretch? Maybe we wouldn’t need physical therapy or visits to the chiropractor as often if we stretched like our dogs!
- Soak up the sunshine. Not only is vitamin D good for us, but laying in the sun is just one more good reason to relax.
- Don’t hold grudges. I think dogs don’t hold grudges because their life is way too short for such nonsense. I’m not sure if dogs forget, but they are quick to forgive. Take their lead, forgive, and move along quickly.
- Don’t compare yourself to others. Dogs don’t give a darn if they’re cute or homely or overweight or they need a haircut. They just go about being their unique dog self. Maybe that’s why they’re always happy!
- Show up. This is the BIG one. Ellie showed up to greet me enthusiastically, whether I was gone for an hour or a week.
She showed up to play when a ball appeared.
She showed up to snuggle, even if she had been lounging all day.
She showed up for dinner and licked her plate clean.
She showed up with kisses when she knew something was off.
She showed up every day with a positive attitude.
By definition, showing up means sacrificing something to make someone else happy.
So, next time you are stuck in a situation and want to be the best human on the planet, ask yourself this.
“What would my dog do?”