While we spend our time teaching our dogs new tricks, we often forget how much our dog is actually teaching us. Whether they are showing us new ways to enjoy the small things in life or building up our confidence as owners, our dogs are some of the best teachers out there. This is especially true when it comes to giving lessons on how to live our life to the fullest.
1.Stop and smell the roses
Did you know that dogs can smell up to 1,000,000 times better than a human and that dogs communicate to others via the scents they leave behind? No wonder they spend most of their days with noses to the ground! While dogs take so much time sniffing, us humans are busy ignoring the signs nature leave behind for us to enjoy. Instead of rushing through your day, follow the dog’s way by using your senses (sight, taste, touch, hearing, and, yes, smell) to find new and exciting ways to enjoy our environment. Whether it be the smell of a spring rain or the sound of a child laughing, these are all moments we should take in with the openness and curiosity like our dogs.
2.Protect the ones you love
All dogs have are born with a sense of “packness,” as in they pride themselves at being a productive member of their own family. That bond is nearly unbreakable, no matter what may happen. Humans also have this instinct bred into them, but it can often be hard to remember that our family is our family regardless of the circumstances. If a dog could talk, they would never let their human companion be bullied or torn down. They know that it is important that we put the people we love first above all others.
3.Make every day an adventure
Every day life can be such a bore. Whether it is picking up the kids from school or heading to work for another long day in the office, people rarely see the adventure there is in life. For dogs, those little activities like a walk down the block or a drive to the park can be a vacation in itself. Canines understand that every day is to be enjoyed and that each experience comes with an opportunity to explore, interact, and discover—even if it is just a neat looking rock or a new patchy grass of land.
4.Do what you love as much as possible
While an adventure now and again can be appealing, dogs also know that the best way to find everlasting happiness is to find the one thing that they love and do it over and over and over again. For many dogs, that may be playing with their favorite toy, lounging in the sun on a comfy carpet, or chasing the squirrels in the backyard. For humans, doing what you love takes a leap of faith. It’s not easy to pursue passions. But if we lived like our dogs and spent the days pursuing the things that make us happy, our lives could feel so much more complete.
5.Enjoy the simple pleasures in life
A dog’s favorite day? Spending it with you! Your favorite day? Most likely spending time with a gadget or on an elaborate trip. There are so many little things in our lives that we take for granted because we favor the latest and greatest upgrade. But as a dog can tell you, an old sock can easily replace a fancy, shiny toy.
6.Play in the rain
Not every day is full of sunshine, green grass, or easy breezes. For humans and dogs alike, a little literal or figurative rain can dampen even the best moods. However, instead of moping about the lemons life has dealt, dogs tend to try to find the little joys in the darkest moments. From jumping in a giant mud puddle to sleeping by a warm fire, dogs know that silver linings are found in every situation.
7.Exercise, exercise, exercise
A healthy body is a happy body for both humans and dogs. And while dogs can sleep and nap up to 18 hours a day depending on the breed, dogs still make time to get a little exercise and stretch in. And unlike humans, they do not need an exercise video or an expensive gym membership. Instead, they do what makes them happy, such as a game of fetch or chasing down a frisbee. Even the smallest dogs enjoy the occasional sprint back to the front door! Don’t forget to stretch too! Mimic your dog’s poses as there is a reason why so many yoga and pilates poses are mimicked after natural dog stretches.
8.Find your pack
It’s a sad fact of life that not every dog gets to enjoy the love of a human. For so many, life in a cage or at a shelter is the only thing that they know. But for many of those still waiting on a family to come along, they find solace in those willing to stand by them and provide them with the proper love and care they need. Both dogs and human require the love and warmth of a consistent family bond whether it be through a genetic tie or through the process of adoption and/or rescue.
9.Affection is the best remedy
Dog owners have likely seen a dog’s nurturing side in action. When their human is hurting emotionally or physically, they spring into action with nuzzles, kisses, and a protectful watch. That is because dogs communicate through touch and body warmth. When they feel that one of their own is vulnerable or in need of attention, they are there to provide them with affectionate love. Humans too have this nurturing ability to give to others and to their dogs alike. It just takes a pet, a hug, a kiss, or a hand hold.
In many cultures, dogs are believed to be spirit animals or gurus, providing their masters with messages about their own life journey. While most dog owners see the wisdom in their pets, it can be easy to dismiss them as just a dog. However, when humans open themselves to the life lessons dogs can teach us, their lives may be more of a walk in the park.