Have you ever wondered what you could learn from your dog? If you have a cat or other pet, have you ever thought about what they might teach you? I have wondered about that and have also wondered about what our children teach us. I know I have learned much from my children.
A couple things have piqued my interest about what we can learn from animals. One is that I have noticed Cesar Milan, the dog psychologist, works as much or more with the dogs’ owners as with the dogs. The other thing is my own seemingly natural “way” with animals. Most of us will agree that a dog can sense the true nature of a person (this is true of horses and dogs, especially). Most all animals, wild or domesticated, can sense whether or not a person is afraid or anxious or projecting negative energy in some way. So, what does this have to do with what you can learn from your dog? Think about how animals sense energy and intention, and think about what your dog does when you come home from a long day at work.
I recently met a very special dog, Angel. It was most important that Angel like me, which could have made me especially nervous. Even though I don’t have a pet, I love and respect animals. From the moment Angel and I said, “Hello,” we were friends, and during the next few days I spent with her, she touched me in many ways, reminding me that we can learn important lessons from dogs when we are open and pay attention.
One lesson that we can learn from dogs is to live in the moment, to be present in the “now.” Consider this by Alice Morse Earle, “Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.” We humans tend to live either in the past or the future. We often relive the upsets of yesterday or are anxious about the unknowns of tomorrow. Neither of those strategies is effective for living your happiest life. When you come home after a long day at work, is your dog worried about your leaving again the next morning or angry that you were gone all day? No, and more importantly, your dog loves you no matter how long you were away. Yes, unconditional love is the most important lesson of all.
Might it be worthwhile, even joyful and empowering, to take a note from your dog and to realize that you can put a smile on your face, wag your tail, and be happy in the moment, this very moment? How cool is that?