5 (+1) Life Lessons I’ve Learnt from Dogs

In a previous post I discussed some of the things that having a dog implies. In it, I concluded that dogs can be a lot of work and can require a lot of expense, especially if they get ill. However, they can also be a sorce of valuable life lessons. In today’s post, I will enumerate some of the lessons I’ve learnt from them.

Be happy about the little things in life. The smallest thing in life can make a dog incredibly happy and exited: a walk in the park, a treat, a ride in the car, giving them affection, playing fetch; the list goes on.

Nix asking for affection
It might not be the best picture in the world, but look at Nix’s satisfaction look on her face. Priceless.

Love unconditionally. Dogs accept people as they are, no questions asked. It doesn’t matter if you’ve had a rough day and look awful or you are handicapped in any way. You’ll be treated just the same.

Love and affection trump everything else. This is closely related to the previous one. Loving and giving affection to a dog is more important than any expensive toy that you can ever get them. Proof of this is that it doesn’t matter how many fancy toys a dog has: when he gets to the park, he will still enjoy playing with the pine cones or the wooden sticks that he finds around. Couple that with affection and love, and you get the happiest dog in the world.

Nix at the park with a stick
Nix going after Manel, with a stick in her mouth. The usual.

Live the moment. Do not worry about the future, do not think about the past. Enjoy your present moment. Be aware of and feel grateful for it. That what’s dogs do: they live in the present and enjoy it as much as they can.

Be grateful for what you have, instead of being sorry for what you haven’t got.  This is, in my opinion, the most valuable lesson I learnt from them and the one that I think has had the most impact on me. I learnt this the hard way, when Syd (the dog I had before Nix, and who lived at my parents’) got unexpectedly diagnosed with leishmaniosis. Leishmaniosis is a disease for which there is no cure and which can be fatal. At that point Syd was just four years old, so it felt she still had her whole life ahead of her and that she was too young to die. At one point I realised that instead of feeling sorry or sad, the best I could do was feel greateful for what I had and any extra days she managed to live. In the end, and after many ups and downs, she lived until she was 10 and even underwent surgery at 9. And it was cancer that killed her, not leishmaniosis.

And one extra lesson…

Look cute, and you might get away with almost anything. Because who can resist the cute, innocent-looking face of a dog?

Nix and Puc looking crazy
Puc and Nix looking crazy. Crazy-dog faces are the best.

 

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