Life Lessons From Our Dogs

The Positive Dog is a book written by Jon Gordon which tells a story about two dogs, one positive and one negative and he dives into the importance of channeling our inner positive dog to be happy and successful. This is a great, fun and inspiring read especially if you're a dog lover. After reading and reflecting, Jon inspired me to write a few things down that I have learned from my dogs and I am sure some of you can relate!

Chipper, Hank, Alpha

Be grateful

What dog isn't happy? Happiness directly comes from being grateful for what you have. They are always grateful for a walk, a meal, a treat, a cuddle session, and maybe some cereal for breakfast if you are on vacation. Whatever you do for them or with them, they are always grateful to have you. Imagine if we were all as grateful as dogs.

Eliminate the negativity

Dogs never hear about the bad stuff. They don't watch the news, they don't hear all the complaining, they don't watch presidential debates, and they don't hear about all of the crime throughout the country. Maybe that's why they are so grateful, they just ignore the negativity. 

Wag your tail (smile)

In people terms, smile. Dogs smile a lot and it has a huge effect on us. Sometimes they wag their tail on the floor so hard your can hear it from a different floor in the house. Smiling can do the same. A quick smile to a passerby can go a long way. 

Surround yourself with great friends

If you have ever been to a dog park you can almost immediately identify whose friends with who. They find a four legged pal who has similar interest as they do. Maybe it's the crew who plays fetch, rolls in the mud, or maybe they hang out with the crew who eats grass. Whatever it is, they find the friends who have very similar interest, and when they find those friends, they are loyal and always looking out for them. We should do the same - surround yourself with friends who have similar interest, common beliefs and values and always look out for your buddy. 

Be a mentor

I've had the pleasure of growing up with a total of four dogs. Two have passed and two are still running around at my parents. But one of the coolest things that I've learned from my dogs is that they have served as mentors for each other. They older one would always teach the young one. Maybe it would be who to bark at or when to bark, or what furniture is okay to sit on. Or maybe its "this is how to climb the kitchen counter to eat the dinner mom just made". Either way, one of them always had a mentor to guide them through life. We should always be on the look out for someone to mentor in life and work. 

Live in the moment

Dogs are always in the moment. If they are on a walk, or at a Christmas party, they are always loving it up. They aren't worried about tomorrow and they aren't crabby about yesterday. They are exactly where their paws are at. We should do the same. Be where you feet are, enjoy the moment, and take advantage of wherever you are at. 

Enjoy what's given to you

Dogs are pretty easy going. Whatever is given to them, they will enjoy it. It might be a raw hide, a really annoying squeaky toy, or the same meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The thing is, they understand that someone went out of their way to get those things for them. They enjoy it, and are extremely grateful toward their owners. Maybe we should enjoy the fresh water we drink every morning just a little more or even the dinner our mom made us. 

Ask questions and be persistent

It's okay to know what you want. Get out there and go ask for it. Some may call it begging, but I know if Hank wasn't persistent he would of never tasted ribs. It's important to be persistent. Get out and ask questions. Be a respectful "begger". You don't need to cry, pant, or even rub your chin on someone's lap, but a good firm handshake (or paw) will go a long way. 

Be loyal

Dogs our extremely loyal to their loved ones. They will bark if they feel there is potential for danger, they will comfort you if they know you are down in the dumps, and they do a job of putting your happiness first. They don't ask for much, maybe a treat and a walk regularly, but after that everything else they do is about serving their loved ones with comfort, joy and laughter.


Top row of photos left to right:

Kellogg, Irish, Alpha, Hank & Chipper, Buster, Rocky.