5 Life Lessons Dogs Teach Us

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As a pet owner, this Thanksgiving, once again I am thankful to have happy and healthy pets. I can’t imagine my life without furry companions in it.

When I sit back and think about the quirks of each of my pets, it’s really interesting to compare my cats to my dog. Captain is my old man cat and is cranky, lazy and finicky, albeit a cuddle bug at night. Little Girl is young at heart, rambunctious, a little crazy and always into something.

And then there’s Brick. He often sports his sad, gentle eyes during downtime, but mostly he is a happy dog.

Lessons Dogs Teach Us
Anything for an ear scratch! (Photo credit: Nichole Seitz Photography)

Dogs have it right, don’t they? Everything they do is their favorite thing.

With this in mind, I wanted to list the 5 life lessons we all can learn from dogs.

1. Make every moment count.

Wherever dogs are, they are all in that moment. Whether it’s a walk or an outing to PetSmart, a night in with the humans watching a movie, they really commit and savor every second. We humans can get distracted by technology or trying to multi-task that we sometimes lose focus on the moment, and isn’t life more enjoyable when we’re all in?

5 Life Lessons Dogs Teach Us
Brick prepping for his next adventure with his feline buddy, Captain.

2. Be happy and grateful for every experience.

Not everything works out as planned, but if we can stay positive, move on and try again, it’s a little more enjoyable. Don’t focus on the bad or the past – keep your nose up and power on!

3. Love fiercely.

To dogs, their owner and family is the most important thing in their life, and are always so excited to see us. Sometimes when I find myself getting frustrated at the dog begging for attention, I remind myself that I’m his world, and it puts it in perspective. I’d rather focus my time and energy on the ones I love most too! Likewise, dogs forgive really easily, and sometimes it’s easy for humans to hold on to resentment.

5 Life Lessons Dogs Teach Us
Brick shares the love with Captain

4. Don’t take things too seriously.

Dogs are simple creatures; humans are not. Regardless, when we simplify things, it’s a little easier to get through life. Keep your eye on the prize (or the treat), but have fun along the way too, or else you might miss something really amazing.

5 Life Lessons Dogs Teach Us
Nothing like the good old head tilt!

5. Treats are awesome.

Dogs will do anything for a treat, won’t they? I’ve started to apply the same logic for myself. In order to motivate myself to finish a project, I literally will put a treat in front of me as a prize that I only allow myself to eat once I’ve finished. It works really well. We all need to indulge now and then.

5 Life Lessons Dogs Teach Us
Brick is not one to turn down a PB treat 🙂

What lessons have dogs taught you? Share in the comments below. 

About Amanda Huggett Hofland

Amanda Huggett Hofland works as a writer in Fargo, N.D., and volunteers at a local dog rescue. She and her husband own two cats named Captain and Little Girl and a goofy Boxer-mix dog named Brick. ... Add Amanda to your Google+ circles at . You can also find her on Twitter @AmandaHofland.

  1. What a great blog.Truly dogs were man’s best friend. But sometimes its sad seeing some stray dogs on the neighborhood. Some pet owners were not responsible. I read some incredible stories of lost and found pets and it breaks my heart. I have pet and i make it sure they are wearing a collar with an up-to-date Pet ID tags for identification purpose in case my pets got lost.

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