Life Lessons Learned From My Dog - and How To Be a Better Human Being Because of Them

Friday, August 19, 2016

You know the movie "Must Love Dogs"?  Well, I think I fall into that category.  Now, the reason I say I *think* I fall into that category? I've never actually seen the movie. Regardless, my dog?  She's my absolute best friend.  She's also my fluffy, four-legged mentor.  She has taught me so much wisdom in her eight years on this earth.  Mind if I share some of that wisdom with you?

The first and best lesson Cinder has taught me is that of loving your family - whether that family is related to you or not.  We adopted this beautiful little rascal when she was only a couple months old, and she has shown us nothing but true unconditional love ever since the first day.  She's a great reminder that not only is family not always blood, family IS always most important.  She has taught me to value those closest to me above everything else, to love and protect them to the best of my ability.

Don't be afraid to ask for what you want.  Cinder is a PRO at this, especially when there are red peppers or bones involved.  She doesn't demand them or take them herself, but she makes her desire known.  If there is something you want, but you don't ask for it; the answer will always be "no."  Ask respectfully, but by all means, ASK!

Don't be afraid to show fear, even if your fear seems irrational.  You can't overcome it without acknowledging it.  Cinder is terrified of thunderstorms.  I typically know when one is coming before I ever see the first flash of lightning or hear the first clap of thunder.  How?  Cinder begins to whine at the first change in the air.  She has taught me that it's ok to ask for comfort, to request help when faced with a scary situation.  No one is unafraid of everything.  Also, the flipside of that?  I find a sense of purpose by comforting Cinder when she's scared; I've also found that to be true with human relationships.  People like to take care of other people.  It cements relationships.  Now, I'm not always quite as good as Cinder at asking for that help or reassurance, but I have a pretty good role model.

Trying something new is always a risk, but it's always a risk worth taking.  Cinder isn't afraid of trying anything new.  New food to try?  Sign her up!  New dog to meet?  She's all in.  New animal to sniff?  No hesitation.  While that may result in finding a new favorite treat (red peppers) or a skunk's spray, she doesn't care.  She still takes the risk.  Every.  Single.  Time.  Could we not all learn from her there?

Going for a run is never a bad idea.  Oh, my goodness, if you ever want to see something adorable, mention the word "run" in Cinder's presence!  She goes NUTS!  And who could ever say no to her when she gets that excited?  She loves it and will run until she is flat-out exhausted.  Fitness is the same for me, but sometimes I really do forget the high that's in store after a great workout.  I need to learn her excitement for every single workout.

I'm curious; do you have pets?  Have they taught YOU anything new?  Let me know in the comments!

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