7 Things My Dog Has Taught Me

· September 19, 2015

Some angels don’t have wings. They have four paws, furry bodies, round noses, alert ears, and unconditional love.

Living with a dog changes your life. Not only is it a huge responsibility, but it’s also an inexhaustible source of education and well-being. Sharing much of my life with animals has made me immensely happy, and has also given me countless benefits. Here are 7 things my dog taught me:

1-To love unconditionally

My dog has taught me the value of commitment and a giving heart. Thanks to my dog, I have learned the value of loyalty and unconditional love, love that says “I love having you always at my side because with you my life is infinitely better.”

2-To be patient and forgive

Actually, every day my dog teaches me not to get angry. Life is not always rose-colored and my dog knows that. However, he’s able to forgive any wrongdoing or outburst on my part and move forward, because there is a much bigger bond that unites us.

He understands me and knows the value of not having ulterior motives. My dog has an absolute goodness and purity about him.


3-To live every moment intensely

He enjoys taking walks, and he treats playtime and mealtime as if it were the first or the last of his life. He too has his anxieties and worries, but everything gives him joy and he seems to feel it all intensely. It’s like a “doggy carpe diem.”

Also, he spends time each day exploring and exercising. He doesn’t go a day without these things, even if it’s just a little bit. When it comes to going for a walk, he doesn’t care where we go, he’s just happy to accompany me and understands the value of these moments. Nothing makes me smile like seeing how happy he gets when we go for a walk.

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4-To embrace chaos

I love his organized chaos. In the midst of the mess of toys and bones all around the house, he always knows where to find what he wants.

There’s no reason to waste time organizing his things or establishing priorities; he’s happy with however much or however little he has, he remembers that he has it, and he knows to enjoy it. If I start to collect his toys to bring them to his bed, he follows me all around the house to make sure he knows where everything is going. And the most amazing thing is that he does. If only I were able to organize my life like that without constantly worrying about being orderly.

5-To enjoy the little pleasures in life

Listening to his peaceful breathing at night gives me indescribable peace. He lies next to me and feels safe and loved, just as I do next to him. I find it equally soothing listening to him as listening to an ocean breeze blowing or birds singing.

6-To pay attention to body language

He may not understand what I’m saying but he knows how I’m feeling or if I’m telling him something through my gestures or the position of my body. We’ve both become very skilled at understanding each other and there’s nothing that gets by us. Animals are the true detectors of emotions.

It’s very common that those who have shared their lives with animals have had the feeling that they really do understand what we tell them. It’s true, they do…I don’t know if it’s what we say or how we say it but our capacity for communication and exchange is amazing. This has really made me aware of what I am able to convey with nonverbal communication.

7-To feel unique and irreplaceable

Dogs teach you hundreds of things, give you what you need, and follow you through life. But the best thing they can teach you is to accept yourself and know that you are deserving of love.

My dog has made me a better person and I know that he will keep doing so every day. He has taught me that I can be loved intensely and unconditionally. But he’s also taught me the value of saying “I love you” every day, and also how to say it without words.

Images courtesy of Annette Shaff and Christin Lola