Lessons I learned from my dogs

I’m obsessed with dogs. Everything about them makes me laugh, smile, or feel all cozy inside. If you’ve encountered a dog and had an unpleasant experience, don’t give up on dogs, give up on their owners (because dogs are only a product of their environment, don’t @ me). Listen, I was bit by my dog at two years old and you’d never know it by how much I love dogs now. So again, give doggos a chance, because they’re just looking for someone to love… (aren’t we all *sigh*)

Growing up with dogs taught me a lot. As a kid, I never realized some people didn’t have a dog and how they grew up was completely different than me (I was so pure and naïve). Through those years, I learned a lot from having a dog, besides the obvious lesson of responsibility, etc., etc. I mean, how else did people bribe their parents into letting them have a dog? (flashback to a PowerPoint presentation my sister and I made when we wanted another puppy – “it’ll teach us to be SO responsible mom and dad!” – years later, it was mom and dad always caring for the pup.)

Anywho, I wanted to share the lessons I learned from having a dog with all of you, in hopes you can use this as “research” for your PowerPoint presentation to your S.O., parents, roommates, etc.

My dogs taught me to be silly

Dogs are hands down the funniest animals. Maybe I find dogs funnier than most people, but I think a dog will do whatever it takes to be silly and make their human smile. I’ve found myself taking on that characteristic and doing whatever I can when a friend is down to make them crack a smile or laugh. No matter where I am, if someone needs a good laugh, I’ll do what I can to make it happen, all because a dog taught me so.

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My dogs taught me to enjoy the little things

My dog is happiest when everyone in the family is home. He’s second happiest when he’s sniffing around outside after sitting inside for an hour. He’s third happiest when he’s cuddling on the couch after a long night’s rest. He’s fourth happiest when he’s chowing down on his breakfast, lunch dentastick, or dinner. He loves every moment of his life (except going to the vet, but honestly who likes the doctor or dentist?) And he loves every moment because we’re a part of it. And I can honestly say I love my life significantly more when he’s involved (that sounds like a wedding vow or something, so that should show how much I love my dog).

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My dogs taught me to be patient

Learning to communicate with a creature who doesn’t speak your language is a skill. Dogs are so patient when trying to learn how they can make you happy, it taught me to be patient right back when they weren’t grasping what I was trying to teach. I’m not known as a patient person, until you get me in the same room as a dog, then I’ll sit there for hours until they’re comfortable enough to let me pet them or snuggle them.

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My dogs taught me to be kind

It’s easy to judge a book by its cover, or a person by their clothes, or a dog by it’s breed. Yet, having dogs and seeing how welcoming they are and excited they are to meet new people (except my current dog, we didn’t socialize him too well…that’s our bad), makes me work to be excited, more welcoming, and kinder to people I meet.

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My dogs taught me how to love unconditionally

This is the most important lesson and the one that encompasses everything that came before it. A dog’s love for you is so rare and pure. One of my favorite quotes is: “to the world, you are one person, but to a dog you are the world.” No one will ever greet you excitedly at the door every single day like a dog does. Whenever you’re crying, your dog will get nervous and try to console you in the best way they know how (typically by ramming their head into yours or your chest or putting their paw on your arm). No matter if you lose your job, are going through a breakup, or messed up with a friend, your dog will always be there for you. The love they have for you is 100% unconditional.

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I’m so proud to have been a dog owner my entire life. I’m thankful I have a dog (at my parent’s house) to go to when my apartment doesn’t allow them. My heart would be so empty without dogs. Even the Grinch, who had a very small heart mind you, still had a dog who he loved very much. There is no love greater than a dog’s love. I can’t wait to see what else I learn from my future pups.

What have your dogs taught you? If you don’t have your own dog, what has your friends dog taught you? What kind of dog do you have? How old? What’s his or her name? I love them already.

-Cas

P.S. Remember, when you meet a dog, ask the owner if you can pet them, then always ask the owner the questions listed above. Don’t assume every dog will be comfortable with a stranger approaching them. You never know their story and how they’ll react. Again, don’t blame the dog for your bad experiences, be patient, kind, gentle, and most importantly loving to every dog you meet.

P.P.S. It took me forever to get this post up because Mungo just wanted to snuggle & I couldn’t say no.

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Twenty something looking for inspiration, travel opportunities, and all of the dogs to cuddle.

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