I’m sure some of you read the title of today’s post and thought, ” 6 life lessons that I’ve learned from my dog?! There goes another crazy dog mom!” Well, indulge me a little bit because I’m feeling sappy and nostalgic.
Saturday marks four years since we brought our sweet fur-baby Finley (Finn) home from the rescue. FOUR YEARS! Sometimes it seems like just yesterday that I was snuggling him in the backseat on the drive home, and other days it feels like he has been with us for a decade longer. Ryan and I adopted Finn only nine months after we got married, so he’s been with us pretty much from the beginning as we started to navigate our adult life. Anyone with a dog or pet I think can understand that we learn just as much from them as they learn from us. Finn has taught me some valuable things throughout these last few years both about life and myself!
Check the bad attitude at the door.
Let’s face it – animals really don’t care if we’re having a bad day or not. They’re always happy to see us and just want our love and attention. I’m not saying I walk around in a constant state of bliss over here, but it really is difficult to stay in a bad mood with Finn around. He’s a living billboard of the idea that happiness/having a good day is a choice.
Patience really is a virtue.
Finn enjoys doing things on his own schedule. Whether it’s coming downstairs in the morning or going potty outside, he doesn’t really want to be bothered with what I want him to do (or rather, often NEED him to do) on my time. Don’t get me wrong, he’s well trained; however, if I tell him to sit and he doesn’t feel like sitting he’ll just give me side eye and walk away. As someone who thrives on planning and having a set schedule this can be a challenge, but Finn often reminds me that life happens while I’m busy making plans.
There’s no excuse for being bored.
I read somewhere once that people with dogs/pets are more active than those without. Whether it’s time to play, walk, eat, etc., Finn keeps me on my toes most of the day. Therefore there’s not a lot of reason to be bored! If that thought even crosses my mind it’s easy to take Finn outside for a little bit, or if I want him to just chill I’ll grab a book. Dog or no dog, there’s pretty much always something to be done. It’s our decision whether or not to seize those opportunities!
It’s okay to sit and snuggle.
Aka it’s okay to take a break now and then! I’m really hard on myself and rarely allow myself downtime during the day. Finn seems to pick up on this, so I hardly ever ignore his requests for attention. Especially during the workday. Yes, I give up more than half my office chair so he can lay and snuggle right behind me, but it’s worth it so I can type with one hand and pet him with the other.
Getting mad about something trivial is a waste of time.
I think that we have a tendency – well, okay I do – to get worked up about the silliest things. And then I dwell on said small, silly thing for hours on end. It’s not worth it! With Finn around, I’ve mostly figured out what is and isn’t worth losing my temper over. He certainly knows how to push my buttons, but toy stuffing everywhere or constantly pawing at the back door to go outside aren’t worth getting annoyed about. With most things, he doesn’t know any better anyway! There’s bigger things going on that I/we should focus our energy on. The small things really aren’t a big deal.
Unconditional love is the greatest gift.
Can you even imagine the type of world we’d have if we loved one another the way that most love animals? We smother Finn with love every hour of every day. I don’t care that he’s spoiled rotten. It’s the least that we can give him when he gives us unconditional love no matter the circumstances. Life’s short, theirs is even shorter. Give love and live life for all it’s worth.
The 6 life lessons that I’ve learned from my dog have helped change my perspective and attitude toward specific things in life. I’m optimistic that I’ll be able to carry over these lessons whenever my time comes to be a mom to a human! And, if our sweet Finley could read this (he’s snuggled up behind me in the office chair, just like I said!), I’d just like him to know that he’s brought an infinite amount of love, happiness and laughter to our life. Thank you for being the best animal friend!