After sitting through countless classes in elementary school, high school, and college, I've come to realize that some of the greatest lessons I've learned have come from the canines in my life. Those slobbery, ball-chasing goofballs have a lot to teach if you pay attention.
1. Get excited when your loved one comes home
Dogs aren't too busy scrolling through their Instagram feed to look up when you get home. Typically, even if you've been gone for 5 minutes, they greet you like you've been gone for 5 days. Imagine if we greeted our loved ones with this same level of excitement when they came through the door.
2. Take the time to feel it out with new people
Let's face it: dogs are probably the best judges of character out there. They make the effort to sniff, check things out, and decide if they like you based on who you are, not your job title, rank, or social status.
3. Be part of a pack
Everybody needs a support system, whether you've got 4 legs or 2.
4. your Friends don’t need to look like you
Black, white, spotted, curly-haired, 3-legged, Great Dane, or Chihuahua. To dogs, it doesn't matter as long as you're a good playmate.
5. Don't take yourself too seriously
Do you think dogs care what people think of their haircut, or the sound of their bark, or the way they walk? They take complete pleasure in being themselves.
6. You don't need to talk to show someone you love them
Dogs give real meaning to the adage that actions speak louder than words. They have no other option than to make their tail wags, licks, and cuddles portray what they need to get across. We underestimate the power of silence.
7. Find joy in simple things
Dogs are not impressed by extravagent things. They focus on the experience, not material possessions. A ratty old tennis ball is more than enough.
8. Live in the moment
A dog is not concerned about what happened yesterday, or what's to come tomorrow. They are always truly present in the moment; something we should all try to aspire to.
9. When you know what you want, run towards it
If you throw a stick into the woods, a dog will not hesitate to chase it. He's not worried about getting lost, or if another dog will get to the stick first. He's not weighing risks or concerned that he's never visited this place before. The only thing on his mind is reaching his goal. If only we could all chase the sticks in our lives with such gusto.
10. You can make a big difference in someone's life in a short amount of time
In the span of our lives, our dogs are with us for merely a glimpse. Despite our limited time with them, they make a tremendous impact. They are our confidants, our friends, and our teachers. We should all strive to make such a difference in the lives of those around us.
How has your dog impacted your life, and what lessons have they taught you? Share them with us in the comments below!