Lessons learned from my dog

Aug. 2, 2017, 1:00 a.m.
Lessons learned from my dog
(KAYLEE GEORGE/The Stanford Daily)

We teach our dogs a lot—from where to eat to how to do basic tricks. But as owners, we have also learned a lot from these best friends of ours. Here are just a few lessons that I have personally learned from the past six years with my dog, one of the most cherished presences in my life.

One of the best parts of my day is opening my door to see a fluffy bundle of joy running towards me while a mind-of-its-own tail excitedly dances in the background. This is one of the joys of dogs—they are excited to see whomever walks through the door and they happily greet everyone with a toothy grin. From experiencing this, I’ve learned that we need to cherish the time that we get to spend with our loved ones. When I come home to a crazily-wagging dog, it reminds me how easy it is to take encounters with our loved ones for granted and how much we should strive to value relationships. We should try to welcome everyone with a smile, aiming to have no preconceived judgments. Although this might seem hard, dogs manage to treat everyone with the same amount of unconditional love and affection, no matter their sex, age or race.

As humans, we are really busy with our own lives. We have to go through school, find work, make money and maintain social lives. However, on top of all this, it is essential for us to sometimes pause and take a break from our overwhelming lives. When I take my dog to a grassy field or park, it’s not hard to see that he is living in the moment—simply playing. He isn’t worrying about that squirrel he failed to chase down the other day or what he’ll look like if he rolls through the muddy grass. Dogs find time to let loose without having doubts or regrets. It can be easy to forget to have fun and let loose given the busy nature of all of our lives and the constant distractions from the world of technology. However, it’s essential for us to find those moments of happiness, where we can play and run around at the park, not worrying about the past or the future.

When I’m taking a walk with my dog, nothing stops him from barking at another dog three times his size across the street. When there are deer roaming around, he bravely sprints up to them and begins to aggressively growl as the grazing animals simply look down at him, confused as to why a small fluffball is trying to challenge or scare them. The main takeaway here is to be confident. Sometimes, we get caught up in the size or intimidations of the challenges in our daily lives. However, we need to be able to be confident in our own abilities and take a few risks once in awhile.

Finally, learn to embrace your quirks. Each dog has their own eccentricities that make them unique and contributes to their adorableness. For example, my dog loves bread, but he refuses to eat bread that doesn’t have a layer of butter smeared on the surface. His love for gourmet food has caused our family friends to coin him the “gourmet dog.” We as humans have so many unique characteristics that add to our personality, and we should embrace and cherish these attributes.

If we delve a little deeper into our dogs’ daily lives, we can learn quite a lot. So I urge you to reflect back on what your dog has taught you, because they have so much to offer us, all while providing an unlimited amount of kisses and love.


Contact Kaylee George at kay.r.george ‘at’ gmail.com.

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