The Dogged TeacherAuthor: Byron Pulsifer, © 2017
There are a lot of lessons to be learned from a dog - yes, I said a dog. You may think this is a little strange but wait until I explain about these lessons.
Learn Things Like
- Always come running to you to greet you when you come home. There is never anyone else who can get in their way and they are always excited to see you.
What a great lesson. It says a lot to people in general that there is something special about someone rushing to the door to give you a warm greeting no matter the time of day. A warm greeting means that they are glad to see you; that they are delighted that you are now home where they also can receive attention. Oh, did I say that you have to or should give something in return? You bet you should. It's not all about you by the way. It's more about you in relation to someone else; a relationship that is co-dependent.
- They will gladly leap for joy when offered to go on a joyride with their head stuck out the window and the wind blowing through their hair.
Isn't it fantastic when you offer to take someone for a drive just to get away for a little while and they accept wholeheartedly and without hesitation? What kind of person is this who is shown such loyalty? It is a person who has demonstrated that kindness and caring is not simply an aberration only appearing once and awhile. It shows that this is a person who not only extends joy but is a joy to be around. It highlights a person that gives warmth, love and caring despite issues or problems or concerns.
- Will practice obedience when they know you are serious.
What is obedience? I believe there is a big difference between obedience in humans than that compared to having fun and kidding around. Obedience in human relations means more about conforming to one's expectations than it does about blind obedience as if everything you are told to do you do without hesitation. Even a dog knows that there are fun times when goofing around is acceptable but when it comes to obeying to stay out of danger it's something to pay attention to.
- Let others know that they have invaded your territory and will cease only when asked by you.
This attribute is akin to a parent protecting their household from harm. When someone enters your home you do not recognize, it is normal to challenge them as to their intentions or the reason they are there. As usual, when another member of the household knows the individual and has invited them in, it is time to refrain from a protective mode to a welcoming mode.
- Love to take naps and have a great stretch when they awake.
Who doesn't love to have a little nap? Well, not many I would say. And, taking a big stretch after a little nap is only the way to limber up, wake up and get going again.
- Have fun everyday by running and playing.
All too often, adults have forgotten how to play. There is a lot to be said for playing and exercising on a regular basis and part of this is to snatch a little time to recharge and relax.
- When it's hot, drink lots of water and find a shady spot under which to lie.
Oh, if only I could be a dog and grab a cold drink and stretch out under a shade tree on a hot summer's day. Well, why can't I take time? Who's going to stop me? Well, maybe I can't do this at work, or maybe I can. Instead of sitting at your desk eating your lunch, get up and go outside, grab a cold bottle of water and take a few minutes sitting in the shade even if it's not under a tree. A little fresh air, a little relaxing break does the spirit good.
Here are a few more things that a dog can teach you. You fill in the rest as it applies to what you can learn.
- You love attention and will lie still when anyone wants to pet you.
- You won't bite anyone if a big growl will do.
- When you are happy, you will wag your tail vigorously and run around like a fool.
- Even if you are scolded, you will never harbor a grudge or start to pout but instead will come back and expect a good petting.
- You delight in the simple things in life like going for a walk, or lying at the feet of your owner during a football game never expecting any more.
- Love to eat your food with delight.
- Always loyal, always there. Never doubting you are loved and valued.
- When your owner is having a very bad day, you will lay silently close by, and only nuzzle them when them seem to need a little cuddling.
A Great Friend
Yes, a dog is a great friend. But, there is something that they need from you. And, that you also treat them as a friend and not as something to put outside all alone for hours or through terrible storms. How would you like it if someone put you outside to sit out a storm all alone maybe wet and miserable?
You will care for them when they need medical attention; you will never abuse them or let anyone else physically harm them (does this tell you something about caring for your family and friends?); you will not punish them for your own mistakes (sounds like great advice for both parents and supervisors); you will not treat them any differently than you would treat yourself (this is a biggie, would you not agree?).
A Great Teacher
Now, on the other hand, a dog is a great teacher when it comes to learning about friendship as well. You have just read what a dog can teach you but did you realize that dogs could also give you a lot of pointers about friendship as well?
Do Not Ignore
Dogs do not like to be ignored and either do friends. You do not ignore a friend when they need you so a dog certainly tells you all about this fine point. Even if a good friend ticks you off and you engage in an argument, it is not the end of a friendship just like scolding a dog does not mean that you no longer love and value your special pet. Just like a dog, a true friend is always there for you and never doubts your own friendship and loyalty. And, just like a dog, if you are having a bad day, you can turn to your friend and talk to them about what is happening or what went wrong.
A dog can teach you a lot about being a loyal friend so pay attention. Offer friendship to them as they give it freely to you. Give and take; to one is as good as to another, and always be gentle and kind hearted for it will come back to you in spades. Remember, it is a two way street at all times.
Inspirational Quotes for Reflection:
"Home is where you feel loved, appreciated, and safe." Tracey Taylor
"Let us practice random kindness and acts of senseless beauty to all we meet." Paul Keller
"Friends are the most important part of your life. Treasure the tears, treasure the laughter, but most importantly, treasure the memories." Dave Brenner
"I cannot build a mountain or catch a rainbow fair but let me be what I know best - A friend who's always there." Sandra Lewis Pringle
Life's lessons take a lifetime to learn, that's just how it is in life's classroom. But as we learn, we teach others. We are all teachers in the school of life." Olive Steele
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