I truly believe I can learn something from just about anyone. From novice to master, each person knows at least one thing that I don’t know. I think, though, that there are some teachers out there that we often overlook: dogs. Yes, dogs. There are so many useful things I have learned about life from my dogs.
The first thing I’ve learned from dogs is to start the day with a good breakfast. I’m sure you’ve heard many times that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It’s not wrong. So, like the first item on Beans’ agenda, get the breakfast in you. However, not like Beans, you may prefer to actually chew your food before swallowing, instead of just Hoovering it all down. Either way, though. If you’re going to do Beans-style, make sure you snort and oink a few times, and finish by putting at least one hand or foot in your breakfast dish, and then licking the dish until it shines.
The next thing you should do, if you’re taking lessons from a dog, is go to the bathroom. Now, what you do in there is your business. But, I’ve heard from more than one nutrition expert that we should be going after every major meal. At any rate, you’ll feel much better if things are coming out as they should. Is this an indelicate discussion for a typical blog? Perhaps. But, if business is smooth, you will also feel like dancing around when you’re done. You know what I’m talking about. I know you know.
The third thing I’ve learned from my dogs is to play more. Play is an important part of a healthy life. I know that I often get caught up in allofthethings that I believe I need to do, and then forsake doing things I’d like to do. That might not matter in the short run, but in the long run, it matters . It matters a lot. So do what the dogs do, and make sure to fit in some play every day, several times a day, if possible. I have a colleague who actually schedules fun in her day planner. She says if you aren’t deliberate about leisure, it’s not going to happen. She’s right.
The next thing that I’m going to share that I’ve learned from my dogs is the importance of a good nap. After breakfast, after his morning constitutional, and after play time, Beans is, without fail, ready to curl up — preferably on a nice lap — and have a nap. Now, adult dogs sleep an average of 12-14 hours a day. I am in no way suggesting that the average person needs to sleep 12-14 hours per day. But, if you’re not getting in your seven to eight hours a night, or, if not, not taking a good nap during the day, eventually, it’s going to take its toll. So if the right opportunity (or right lap) presents itself, go ahead and curl up for a nap.
The last piece of canine wisdom I’m going to share is to try your best to always approach new situations and people like your dog would: with a healthy sense of curiosity, an air of exuberance, and your nose on high alert. Ok, so maybe that last one isn’t applicable to all new situations and people. We know, we know, that nine times out of ten, people react to us based on how we react to them. If we show our genuine, friendly interest, chances are, they will respond in kind.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learned from a pet?
What’s your favorite life lesson? I’d love to read about it.