Lessons My Dog Taught Me

 

Piper runs in her sleep, drools when it’s dinner time, and fetches like a fiend. She’s my registered service dog and has helped me face anxiety, depression, trauma and grief. Every day, she teaches me something new about living in the present and enjoying life, even when it's messy.

piper's life lessons

1. Folding laundry is over rated

Living with a dog means the outdoors come indoors, everything stinks, and I can never vacuum enough. But, even when things are a mess, Piper makes herself comfortable. Instead of constantly stressing about the disaster my house can become, she reminds me to take a time out from chores and enjoy our home as it is.

Piper Laundry

2. The ocean is always worth a visit

It's all too easy to spend an entire life indoors. It's safe and comfortable and contains everything I need. But every chance she gets, Piper rejoices in open space. Watching her on the beach reminds me to really take in the sights, smells, and feels and to appreciate how small I am in this wild world of wonders.

IMG_1595_1024.jpg

3. Patience is a virtue, but it takes practice

She doesn't get many treats, so it's really hard for her not to swallow someone's entire hand when the biscuits come out. But, Piper waited 10 months on the street to get rescued and then weeks in the shelter to be adopted. And despite the drool and excitement a treat may bring, Piper knows the best things are worth waiting for. 

Piper Treats

4. sleeping outside is the best (midday naps are great too)

Piper's motto: If you're tired, take a nap. She never worries about offending someone with her snoring and she's not afraid of waking up covered in bugs. Piper sleeps when and where she wants and reminds me to take care of my own needs rather than subjecting those around me to my tired, grumpy mood.

Piper Nap

5. Keeping an open mind can change your life.

The pit bulls in the shelter made me nervous at first. They were bulky and loud and had big, wide mouths. But, as I got to know them, I realized they were just dogs. Adorable, whippy tailed, loving dogs.

Having preconceived ideas or snap judgements about anything can cause you to miss out on experiences, new friends, and life altering opportunities. Whether it’s adopting a dog, going on a first date, or applying for a new job, looking past the surface and identifying your own truth - not the “truth” fed to you by external factors - can open the door to big things. Fear can often be the facilitator of closed mindedness. And if you're living in fear, then you're not really living at all.

If I had held onto my initial fears, I wouldn't have one of the greatest pieces of my life by my side (snoring) right now.

Pit Bull Smile