I have a confession. My dog is a better person than I am. Adopting her was the best decision I ever made. She taught me how to be a better person in these eight ways.
Three years ago, I adopted a beagle named Dixie. Here’s a picture of her. Don’t you love her spotted coat? It is the first thing I noticed about her!
Dixie is a very good dog. She stays by my side. She loves to go on walks. She gets really excited when I come home. She comforts me when I am sad. Here are the eight biggest ways my dog made me a better person.
1. She knows how to relax.
My dog doesn’t hurry about anything (unless there is food involved). She naps most of the day. She loves to lay on her back and get a belly rub. If I try to rush her during a walk, she looks at me like I am a crazy person. My dog’s calm and cool attitude has taught me how to relax.
2. She appreciates little things.
My dog doesn’t need material objects to be happy. She is content with food, water, and good company. New toys are exciting for a little while, but they don’t provide joy. Only love and connection can do that. My dog’s ability to focus on what matters has taught me to be a minimal person.
3. She loves me unconditionally.
My dog doesn’t care what kind of car I drive. She doesn’t care about my body-weight or bank account. If I decided to stop bathing, she wouldn’t hold it against me. It’s nice to know my dog will love me at my best and worst. My dog’s unconditional love has taught me to be a more compassionate person.
4. She stays upbeat no matter what.
My dog doesn’t get upset by much. She doesn’t let stress or upset feelings ruin her day. If she’s not smiling, that probably means she’s sleeping or eating. Her upbeat nature rubs off on me. It’s hard to stay in a bad mood after looking at her goofy face. My dog’s warm attitude has taught me to be a positive person.
5. She lives in the present moment.
My dog doesn’t worry about the past and future. She is aware of her sights and surroundings at all times. If she catches a scent, she makes sure to check it out. Impatience still gets the best of me sometimes, but I’m learning to be still. My dog’s enhanced awareness of the present has taught me to be a more mindful person.
6. She likes to meet new people.
My dog doesn’t duck her head when she passes a stranger. She greets them with a big smile and wagging tail. If they don’t stop and say “hi,” she doesn’t let that get her down. She continues to trot along with a happy stride, as if nothing happened. My dog’s willingness to put herself out there has taught me to be more outgoing.
7. She misses me very much.
My dog doesn’t get sick of me, no matter how much time we spend together. It doesn’t matter if I leave for five minutes or five hours. Either way, the reaction is the same. She barks to say “hello,” waits at the door, and gives me kisses as soon as I walk inside. My dog’s ability to express love has taught me to be a more affectionate person.
8. She requires my care and attention.
Owning a pet isn’t for everybody. It’s sad to see a family adopt an animal, only to take it back to the shelter when they realize how much of a responsibility pet ownership can be. Dogs and cats can’t take care of themselves. They require care and attention. Sometimes they get sick and need to see a vet. Sometimes they get scared by a storm and need to be reassured.
I’m not a parent. I don’t know if I ever want to have kids. That said, raising my dog daughter has given me a new found respect for moms and dads. Don’t misread me. I know raising a child has to be a thousand times more difficult than owning a pet. Nonetheless, this experience has taught me how to be a more responsible person. If I ever decide to have children, that lesson could prove valuable.
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