Our greatest influencers in life can take on many forms. Perhaps it’s the teacher or coach who made an impact on you at a young age or a close friend who helped you find the right path when it was so much easier to take the wrong. Those are the expected, but as is often the case, sometimes it’s the unexpected that can have the most profound effect on who we are as individuals. Observe your four-legged friend long enough and you can learn many of life’s important lessons.
- Be fiercely loyal – Perhaps the strongest of all traits, our canine companions show us the value in providing unwavering support and dedication to those we care for most.
- Love unconditionally – Along the same lines, if we only demonstrated a percentage of the admiration and affection our dogs display toward us, our love would deepen and our relationships would strengthen.
- Protect what you love – My Wheaten Terrier is only 32 pounds but anytime a bigger, tougher breed (Pit Bulls, Dobermans, you name it we’ve been there) comes near, he’ll do all he can to defend me. That’s the approach we need to take with all we hold dear; honor what/who you love and do whatever you must to always keep that person or thing safe.
- Forgive and forget – We’ve all been there with our pups. They do something wrong, run away and cower, only to greet you two minutes later as if the discrepancy never happened. Just like our dogs, people make mistakes and we must find it in ourselves to let the negative feelings go.
- Enjoy the simple things in life – To my dog, taking a walk is akin to waking up on Christmas morning. It’s amazing how something so simple can mean so much and it’s a lesson we should take to heart. Take time to notice the small things that make you smile and work them into your day whenever you get the chance.