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Important Life Lessons From a Dog

Adrienne is a certified dog trainer and former veterinarian assistant who partners with some of the best veterinarians worldwide.

Thinking like dogs can be therapeutic!

Thinking like dogs can be therapeutic!

What We Can Learn From Dogs

What does it feel like to think like a dog? I am sure it would feel pretty good! I am also sure that if people adopted a dog's philosophy of life, there would be less depression, unhappiness, mental anguish, and even fewer suicides. Sometimes, I look at my dogs and try to put myself in their minds. While I may never understand exactly what it feels like to be a dog, the vibes I get are all positive.

The benefits of thinking like a dog are so strikingly evident that even looking at your dog can help you feel better. A study conducted by M. Nagasawa et al. found that levels of oxytocin rise when a dog gazes at its owners. For those not aware of what oxytocin is, it is a "feel-good" hormone associated with social bonding.

Owners whose dogs looked at them longer or more frequently had significantly higher levels of oxytocin compared to owners whose dogs gazed for shorter periods of time. Quite an interesting study that demonstrates another interesting facet of how dog ownership benefits humans!

Three happy faces enjoying life.

Three happy faces enjoying life.

Important Life Lessons From a Dog

So, what does it feel like to be a dog? What life lessons can dogs give to humans? While dogs cannot read, do not lecture, and are incapable of obtaining a college degree, there are many principles dogs know much better than humans.

These principles do not apply to frivolous topics such as getting richer, obtaining success, or winning a lottery. These principles apply to life and feeling good about it. Let's hear them directly from a dog's mouth.

Live in the Present:

Take life as it comes, enjoy the moment, seize the day. Life is in the present, not in the future or the past. If you look at me, I do not worry about those bills piling up, that upcoming meeting, or the Wall Street predicaments. Don't call me irresponsible; I am just a dog appreciating the moment, as the moment is now and not yesterday nor tomorrow.

Enjoy the Little Things in Life:

Just look at me; it is very likely I am either enjoying the feeling of grass on my feet, the warmth of a crackling fire, or the comfort of your hand caressing my head. Life is good! There are so many things in life that make me happy! If you follow my lead, you will see things as if you're wearing a pair of pink sunglasses! Every day as the sun rises, loads of things happen that make me happy! Just your presence, the comfort of food, romping in the grass, and enjoying the sun are enough to make my day!

Embrace Each Day as It Unveils:

Have you ever seen me wake up grumpy? Unless I am sick, it's very likely you will see me wagging my tail, doing my happy dance, and embracing each day with much enthusiasm. Because I live in the present and enjoy all the little things in life, I look forward to starting each day in celebration of life.

Be an Opportunist:

As a dog, it is in my nature to see opportunities everywhere. Did you see how fast I got a hold of that slice of bread that fell from the counter? See how I quickly jolt out the door that leads to the yard? You hardly see me second-guessing anything! As dogs, we do what is reinforcing to us being good or bad. You should also learn how to reap the rewards of life as fast as you can. Remember that the moment is gone if you do not take opportunities as they appear before your eyes!

Forgive and Live On:

As much as we love life and humans, there are some people that get upset with us and attempt to hurt us. Despite this, we forgive and live on. Despite being scared and intimidated, we wait for that special look or specific sign that the worst is over to greet our masters and start everything all over. We can really be friends again and will not hold resentment!

These are just a few principles dogs offer us each day. The positive attitudes of dogs are also what makes them ideal for making people feel better. This is why many dogs are used as a form of therapy in many clinics and children's hospitals. Just a glance at these dogs is all it takes to brighten your day and make everything feel better. So take off that grumpy face and celebrate life as dogs do every day!

Life is great. Enjoy!

Life is great. Enjoy!


FurMinded on April 11, 2016:

Love this article! There are so many benefits to sharing your life with a pet. Learning to be more "dog like" is definitely one of them.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on March 08, 2012:

Thank you for stopping by. Among my pack of cats and dogs the cats rule the house! Genuine, is a great word for depicting dogs!

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on March 08, 2012:

thank you, my dogs have taught me so much!

Tom Radford from Singapore on March 08, 2012:

I've got cats ... they lead such secretive lives, as if they tolerate me so long as I feed them, and If I stop they'll put a syringe in my neck and sell my organs to pay for catnip and a new scratching post. When I was a kid we had dogs, dogs are so open, they almost seem stupid, but they're not ... they're just genuine. Great hub, you're so right, much can be learned from dogs ... except personal hygiene of course!

Dr Pandula from Norway on March 08, 2012:

Wow...didn't think the life of a dog could give us so much lessons. Its a wonderful hub and a joy to read. thanks. up++

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on March 08, 2012:

Well we will not pee on lamp posts but we sure love exchanging messages on social networks which is almost the same thing;)

Angie Jardine from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ... on March 08, 2012:

Clever hub, Alexadry ... I'm not a dog person in that I own one (cats, sorry) but I do like dogs and what you say about them and their loving natures is spot on! So, we all need to be more live dogs ... except for the peeing up lamp posts etc. bit.

Debbie Roberts from Greece on March 08, 2012:

I really love your hub and I think all dog owners will agree with what you have written.

I'm sat here with one of our dogs watching me type, patiently waiting for that pat or tummy rub. If only we could learn to live our lives like them. They perk us up when we feel down and keep us going when we may feel we want to give up and most importantly they love unconditionally.

A positive hub and socially shared.

PS - Love the pictures!!

bilghi from Samsun, Turkey on March 08, 2012:


CreateHubpages on March 08, 2012:

I really like dogs.

rainnie526 from China on March 07, 2012:

I agree with you! Dogs enjoy their happy lives everyday, and they love humans. I hope people who don't like dogs read your hub and begin to love them.

Lyn.Stewart from Auckland, New Zealand on March 07, 2012:

voted up and awesome ... I hope heaps of people find and read this hub.

Shasta Matova from USA on March 07, 2012:

These are great lessons - I agree with all of them. My dog certainly does all that. Voted up.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on March 07, 2012:

Lol, Peggy! Thank you for stopping by and for asking such a valuable question that inspired me to write this hub!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on March 07, 2012:

What a great hub! I agree with you in that we can learn many valuable lessons from our loving canines. If I had a tail it would be wagging. In place of up, useful, awesome and beautiful and will share!

Pete Fanning from Virginia on March 07, 2012:

Great lessons we can all use! voted up and awesome