Four Lessons I Learned From My Dogs

Some people think I love my dogs more than most people — and in part, that may be true. Don’t get me wrong, I love people as well, but my dogs are my therapy. My two dogs, Peyton and Eli, give me so much joy and help me focus on what is important in life. They teach me so much more than anything I’ve ever learned in a classroom. Here are some helpful things my furry friends have taught me about life. 

French bull dog

Say hello and mean it with enthusiasm. 

My furry friends go nuts when I come home. They’re so happy to see me. They meet me at the door with tails wagging, many barks and whimpers and frequently make four complete circles — all just to say hello! 

Takeaway: Obviously, you don’t need to do exactly this to other humans, but maybe try taking a few minutes out of your day to engage with other people — and mean it.

Love and appreciate life! 

Everything I do for my furry friends results in their love and appreciation. Every bowl of food is gulped down immediately and with excitement. I mention a walk and they start whimpering and smiling — yes, furry friends can smile! If I buy them a new toy, I’m a superstar. I give them a treat and I become parent of the year. 

Takeaway: Take pleasure in the simple things. 

Enjoy the ride! 

Mention R-I-D-E and the biggest outburst of excitement erupts from my dogs. They don’t care how far the ride is or where we’re going. They just want to go, stick their heads out the window and let their ears surf in the wind. 

Takeaway: Peyton and Eli have a point here. Just enjoy the ride and do not worry. Don’t get angry if things don’t go according to plan or if you get a different outcome than expected. Enjoy the journey no matter what!

Take compliments. 

My husband and I frequently compliment our furry friends. We pet them all the time and their tails wag harder when we do. We say, “good boy” and again they smile. We throw the ball and they bring it back and we say “good job.” Each compliment seems to excite them and they repeat the task over and over because they like the praise.

Takeaway: Sometimes we need to take a compliment with no “buts.” I find we often deflect praise and can’t seem to accept a simple “THANK YOU!” Be thankful that someone notices you or your actions. It’s okay to own it.

Denver Health Medical Plan Staff Writer