“A dog doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor, educated or illiterate, clever or dull. Give him your heart and he will give you his.”Marley & Me
As a lifelong dog owner, I’ve learned a lot from our furry friends and companions over the years.
Hands down, the most important is how to love, and treat every single day with a new perspective and an attitude of joy. And, day in and day out, our dogs help teach us the meaning of true love.
Here are the lessons I’ve learned, and how we can apply the love from our dogs to our own families and loved ones.
Read more about how to increase your happiness and love.
7 Things I Learned About Love I Learned From My Dog
- Forgiveness is Absolute. The first lesson is also the most powerful. It’s easy to overlook, but a dog is always quick to forgive. They can be mad at you one moment, and putting a toy in your lap the next. When they forgive you, they forgive absolutely. There’s never a hint of resentment or dissatisfaction in their eyes.
- Always Look for Joy. AKA: Anything can be a toy. You don’t need anything special to have fun. Whether it’s an old tennis ball or a stick, there’s always something you can use to help you play. Finding joy is just a matter of looking for it, and assuming that whatever you find will bring you the satisfaction you want. Read this post for easy happiness habits and small daily actions to be happy.
- Growl Briefly, but Wag Often. Dogs don’t hesitate to tell you what they want. Anyone with a close relationship with a dog knows how they’ll give you little growls or whines to express an opinion and distaste, but they NEVER let their anger get the better of them, and they show their gratitude and affection 100 times more than any frustration or upset.
- Don’t Be Afraid To Ask for Affection. I’ve never known a dog to shy away from affection. Whether it’s sticking their nose in your lap while you’re on the couch, or coming up to you and rolling over for a big belly rub, they know the importance of getting a few cuddles from their favorite person. We can apply this to our own lives as well, whether giving more hugs, offering a compassionate hand on someone’s shoulder, or just holding hands from time to time.
- Sometimes A Walk Is All You Need. I think my favorite thing about having a dog is that it forces you to get outside and walk. Every day. Even in the rain, snow, and freezing cold, your dog loves to be outside, and going out together helps to improve your appreciation of nature, recenter your energy, and come back to your day with a renewed sense of excitement and vigor.
- Always Greet Your Love At The Door. Better yet, greet them with a big, slobbery kiss. Whether it’s been a few hours or two weeks, your dog is always excited to see you. Why do we not follow the same example when it comes to our own families? Find excitement in the little things every day, being able to welcome your partner home, and appreciate their day.
- Love Breeds More Love. Lastly, remember how a dog is the true definition of unconditional love, practicing loving-kindness all day, every day. They don’t care how your day has been, what you’ve accomplished, or what you’re guilty of. They just want to be with you. They just want to share their love with you. They don’t even (really) ask for it in return. They just know that as they give you love, you will love them in return.
If only we humans could live that way.
You might also like: How to Lead a Spiritual Life. 10 Practices for Daily Growth.