A dog’s love has no bounds or limitations. And any dog owner knows the love and affection that their furry friend can give. It is for this reason that they can offer true companionship.
I know firsthand the unique bond a dog can provide, and am truly grateful for the love that my grumpy little Chihuahua (Tia) gave me. Looking back at the years I spent with her, I also realize that she taught me some valuable lessons about life. Although she had been a bit grumpy at times, I believe that Tia truly set an example of how to live a life well.
Here are 5 life lessons my little grumpy chihuahua taught me:
1) LOVE UNCONDITIONALLY
There’s no denying that the love that my chihuahua had shown me was unconditional. Dogs have no limits on their love, and she consistently showed her affection through sweet kisses and tail wags. Even on bad days, I always could count on Tia to cheer me up.
Sometimes showing unconditional love can be challenging. It can be easier to be selfish, hold grudges or focus only on our own needs. But with so much hate in the world, we could all benefit from learning to love like our four-legged friends.
2) ENJOY LIFE
Wouldn’t life be so much more rewarding, if we all enjoyed it a bit more? I think dogs are a perfect example of how to enjoy life (play is always one their top priorities!). I often get so caught up with life’s motions that I sometimes forget to just relax and have fun. However, time goes by so quickly that I’ve come to realize that it’s important to take the time and enjoy it!
[Tweet “The world would be a nicer place if everyone had the ability to love unconditionally as a dog – M.K. Clinton”]
3) LIVE IN THE PRESENT
Dogs are present-focus beings. Unlike humans, dogs do not stress or worry about what’s to come because their focus is always on the here and now. Whether they are chasing a squirrel, going for a walk, or simply eating their kibble, dogs are only concerned about the present moment. Dogs can teach us so much about living where life is happening, rather than dwelling on the past or stressing about the future.
4) MAKE YOUR OPINIONS KNOWN
If there is one thing for sure, it’s that my dog always made sure you knew if she didn’t like something. If there was a stranger at the door, she would bark. If you tried to pick her up but she wanted to be kept on the ground, she would growl at you. And if you tried to make her go for a walk when she’d rather stay home, she would lay down and would not budge. She knew her opinion mattered and did not care what you thought of her (even though her loud vocal cords made her a lot of enemies!).
I think too often we keep our opinions silent to please others or to protect ourselves from negative criticism. Our society also tends to view women who voice their opinions as bossy or bitchy. However, in keeping silent, we devalue our own sense of worth. Therefore, it’s important to not be afraid to let your needs/desires be known (even if you are seen as the ‘bitchy’ chihuahua).
5) APPRECIATE EVERY MOMENT
Dogs have such an appreciation for life, that it can almost be infectious. Regardless of how many treats Tia received, or how many walks I took her on, she always seemed grateful. It is this gratitude and appreciation for life, that us humans should learn to emulate.
Like humans, dogs also don’t live forever. And as painful it was when my dog died, I am grateful for the reminder that life is temporary. I know this may seem cheesy but I believe that death can be a tool that reminds us to appreciate each and every moment we have (as we never really know which moment will be our last).