9 lessons we can learn from the family dog

Studies have shown a range of health benefits that come with owning a dog, but beyond the stress reduction and increased fitness levels, we can learn much about life from our canine friends:

Value loyalty
Is there any creature on earth more loyal than the family dog? And all they ask in return is to hang out with you.

Make time for play
We burn the candle at both ends, but in a dog’s mind, there’s always time to play. Whether measured in dog or human years, life is too short to miss out on some daily fun.

Be willing to learn
My neighbor’s new dog has a long list of tricks that he happily demonstrates. He jumps, crawls, and rolls over, all with a wagging tail. My neighbor says he loves to learn new things.

Chill out
Dogs know the value of sleep, so as we read reports late at night, they’re counting sheep in front of the fireplace.

Exercise more
Sometimes dogs just want to run. Doubtful that they’ve read the health benefits of exercise, but regardless, dogs prefer to be active.

Be friendly
While people have to earn our trust, dogs generally give a new person the benefit of the doubt.

Show enthusiasm
I think when their owners are away, dogs rehearse how they’ll greet us for maximum impact.

Be sincere
What you see is what you get. No faking, no mixed messages. And if you catch Fido stealing a hamburger off the kitchen counter, you won’t hear excuses.

Think of others
Dogs are natural born greeters. For us humans, a figurative wag of the tail goes a long way. Say hello to coworkers in the hall, smile to strangers on the street, or help an elderly woman who can’t reach an item on the top shelf at the store.

Your turn. What have you learned from a dog?

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