Life Lessons I’ve Learned from My Dog

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I want to start off by saying that I have the best dog in the world. I know every obsessed dog owner says that and I know that I am biased, but I truly believe my dog is absolutely perfect beyond compare. I’ve had my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Wrigley for about 6 years now, and I love her to death (clearly). I know a dog is just a pet for some people, but for me and a lot of other dog owners, our dogs can act as our best friends. I got her right before I entered high school, so she has been there for me through a lot. Through the ups and downs of life, she has surprisingly taught me a lot about myself than I would not have expected. Here are five lessons my dog has taught me about life.

1. Life is too short to be stubborn

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I have been called stubborn too many times to count and I tend to hold in anger and resentment for way too long. I would consider it my fatal flaw. However, when Wrigley doesn’t get what she wants (for example, an extra treat), she will beg for a minute or two, then move on and forget about it. I strive to be more like that. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes being stubborn is a good thing. But sometimes, it can better to pick and choose your battles.

2. Things don't always have to be so serious

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I feel like I place a lot of pressure on myself to maintain a certain set of standards, which I take pride in. But it is important to have fun every once in a while instead of being so uptight about everything being perfect. My dog is always in such a happy mood and she’s there to cheer everybody up, which is much appreciated. Life is so much more fulfilling when you learn to stop abiding by certain rules you set for yourself, and you start letting loose and having fun.

3. Make deeper connections with the people around you

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Dogs are known for being our best friends and all of us who have pets know the strong connection we make with them. Making those strong connections with other people in your life creates a sense of stability for yourself, and it allows us to become more social instead of living in isolation. It is nice to always have someone that you can go to with a problem and who you can trust wholeheartedly, a lot like our dogs.

4. Start every day with a positive attitude

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A positive attitude in the morning sets the tone for the rest of the day. If you had a bad day the day before, it doesn’t matter anymore. A new day means a clean slate for positive things to come your way. Every morning, Wrigley wakes up wagging her tail with a smile on her face (yes, she actually smiles). Even though the daily stresses of life can make mornings a bit hectic, if you just slow down and take things one step at a time, you’ll probably have a better and less-stressful time for the rest of the day.

5. Use your voice!

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Wrigley will always let us know when she wants something. Whether it’s running to the backdoor and barking when she needs to use the bathroom or begging for us to give her some food from our plates, she isn’t afraid to tell us. In order to be successful and get what you want, it is important to be vocal about your needs and assert yourself appropriately. You’ll never succeed if you remain quiet.

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