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Lessons Learned from Our Pets

on September 30, 2009
Posted in News

In the United States of America there are approximately 74.8 million owned dogs, and approximately 88.3 million owned cats. With all these households that have pets, the idiosyncrasies of the pets most often leaks into the lives of their owners. This can be a good thing, especially if the owner takes notice of how their pets act and behave and then incorporates those lessons into their own lives. Our pets can actually teach us quite a bit about love, relationships and how best to live our lives.

Lesson #1-Loyalty:

Many of us have experienced having an awful day at work and then feeling like we just can’t wait to get home and relax. After a tough day, nothing is better than coming home and being greeted enthusiastically by our pet. Our pets love us unconditionally and could care less if we seem a bit cranky. Either way, they love us just the same! How great would it be if we could learn to be that way with our significant others rather than feeling offended and taking it personally when they come home after a bad day and at first seems a bit distant and moody? If we could instead just greet our partners with a hug and kiss when they first arrive home regardless of what mood they seem to be in, it would most likely make the rest of the evening go much smoother. Our pets set an example for us through being loyal to us no matter what our mood is like or whether or not we took time out to play ball in the yard with them. People should be just as loyal to their friends and family members no matter what they do that might upset us or what kind of mood that they are in.

Lesson #2-The Importance of Time Together:

More often than not, our pets absolutely love it when we take time out of our busy, hectic schedules to spend time with them and play with them. Also, many of us consider it non-negotiable that we take our pets for daily walks, or regularly scheduled training classes. While some may say that doing things like walking the dog is just part of being a good pet owner, and of course there is a lot of truth to that, there is a lesson here that can and should be applied to our romantic love type relationships. One of the biggest relationship killers is not spending enough time together, and with how busy most of us are nowadays that’s unfortunately very easy to do. However, just as with our pets we simply need to make it a priority to spend as much quality time as possible with our partners. Therefore, our pets teach us how to plan ahead and set aside meaningful quality time with our loved ones.

Lesson #3-Forgiving and Forgetting:

Every pet owner at some point or another has ended up yelling at their dog or cat for something that they did like perhaps having an accident on the living room floor or chewing on one of their favorite shoes or perhaps knocking over a pot plant. Even though our pet may initially appear to be a bit hurt by this, they will almost immediately forget and run right back over to us giving us lots of love and affection. They simply just don’t seem to have it in them to stay angry at us. If we were able to be that way with our significant others, it would certainly go a very long way in helping to improve our relationships. Of course, it’s just not human nature to immediately get over something that we find hurtful, but we can try and make a point to forgive our loved ones for wrongdoings rather than holding long term grudges against them. Our pets teach us how to forgive and forget.

Lesson #4-Living Day by Day:

Dogs, cats and other household pets do not think about tomorrow. They do not worry about whether it will rain later in the week, thereby preventing them to go to the dog park. They have no concerns about the future and only have the ability to live their lives on a day by day basis. Most people are constantly worried about their future: whether their bills will get paid on time, whether the weather will co-operate for their outdoor activities that they have planned for the weekend. These constant concerns sometimes end up ruling a person’s life. However, everyone can take a tip from their pets by learning to take each day as it comes and not spend too much time fretting over the future. Enjoy life, along with your pets, on a day by day basis.

Photo Credit: wsilver

Read also: Malicious Viral Rumor Increases Pet Adoptions

Our Expert

Dr. Janice Huntingford
Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for over 30 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan

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