1. I really liked this. I’m trying to practice it too! Just this afternoon I got tired of working and got my son’s peg board out and made a picture. I actually told him I was going downstairs to play. He said ‘That’s good’ and didn’t even come to join me!

  2. Currently, our geriatric Corgi is teaching us about getting old. Duke is around 18 years old (he was a rescue so we’re not exactly sure) and his sight and hearing is diminishing. He doesn’t get around like he used to so we’re learning patience that is helping us deal with other older people around us. We know his days are numbered but we’re enjoying the time he has left.

    • Laurie Stone

      Shelley, Wow. 18 years is a long life for a dog. Sounds like Duke is teaching you a lot about patience and dealing with the elderly. It also sounds like you gave him a good life.

  3. Watching my rescue dog go from a neurotic mess to a loved puppy has taught me a lot. No matter how “unloveable” we may act or look, we are always loveable to the right heart. And amen to all the lessons you put above! Wonderful reminders in a chaotic time.

  4. It has happily surprised me the way staying present calms me down. I guess I might have thought I don’t want to notice what’s happening in the present. I think living mindfully is my saving grace

  5. I think pets are all about simple, unconditional love. They are so easy to please, and they’re satisfied with us showing them some affection in return. We’ve progressed from dog people being cat people now, they’re less “needy” but you can’t beat the love of a dog can you?

    • Laurie Stone

      Leanne, I’ve had a cat and a dog at any time, all my life. I’ve tried to go without either species and find it hard. I need the energy of a dog, but love the sensual cuddliness of a feline.

  6. My girls gave me my little fur baby just before the youngest moved out to go to college. He is the sweetest little thing – a 10 lb Yorkie-Poo named, Tucker and he is the love of my life. I’ve learned many things from my sweet pup. One of the things he reminds me is to get excited to see people when they come over. Put everything else aside and enjoy visiting with them. I don’t jump up and down and lick them, but I do make them feel wanted, loved, and appreciated. Just like my little pup makes me feel. 🙂 Sweet post!

    • Laurie Stone

      Pam, Laughing. Yes, jumping up and licking your guests might be much. Libby is part Yorkie and part Pappilon. I love these small dogs so much!

  7. My dog smiles. He smiles all the time, except when he’s protecting us from squirrels or the Fed Ex man.. People want to be with him because he just smiles at them, genuinely. What has he taught me besides your list… it’s to like people. That doesn’t mean get taken advantage of, but for the most part, except for squirrels and the Fed Ex man, beings are worthy of smiles.

    • Laurie Stone

      Beth, Good point. When Libby likes someone, she jumps on their lap and kisses them! Although I won’t go that far, she’s taught me to take a more positive view of the human race.

    • Laurie Stone

      Haralee, I love felines. I couldn’t live without my cat, Rocky. They teach as much as dogs, but much different lessons.

  8. Pets teach us the most valuable lessons! My cats have taught me so many lessons, including the art of mindfulness, the importance of play and of asking for what you need. Lovely post!

    • Laurie Stone

      Thank you! Yes, my cat Rocky has taught me how to take it slow and keep away from stress. No wonder he’s about to turn 15! I’m glad your cats teach you as well.

  9. From my cat, Gus, I’ve learned to keep my act together or behave like I do. From my dog, Abby, I’ve learned that pushing a few boundaries and being discouraged is better than not trying.

    I’m amazed that I came up with that, but it’s true.

  10. Love, love, love. We lost our sweet rescue dog a few weeks ago. Miss her so much! I wrote a post last fell about the things she taught me.

    • Laurie Stone

      Leah, So sorry for your loss. Our pets teach us so much. I love the way my Libby is so chill. She accepts everything as it comes. Wish I could be like her, but I’m trying.

    • Laurie Stone

      Laurie, That’s a good word for dogs — committed. They do nothing half-way and that’s what makes them inspiring.

  11. We can learn so much from our pets (who are also our best friends). My Shih Tzu Isabel is pretty chill most to the time. But, she HATES thunderstorms and gets very frightened of them. That’s when I try to calm her down (usually to no avail).

    • Laurie Stone

      Mimi, My dog Simon used to hate thunderstorms. He’d freak out, sometimes half an hour before they got there. He could feel them coming. Sounds like Isabel is the same way. We got Simon a thunder shirt, which helped a little.

  12. This is actually a really great way of describing actual steps we can take to calm ourselves down and live for now more than yesterday or tomorrow. Thanks! Having fun has always been my favorite, but “do what feels right” is hilarious. Dogs do what dogs want. A stubborn dog, though very well trained, will just sit down when he/she wants a rest. It doesn’t matter that you’ve got work to go to, doggo wants to sit so doggo sits. XD

    • Laurie Stone

      Tom, Yes, canines definitely have a stubborn streak. They take their pleasure (sometimes, ahem, indiscreetly) where they find it. Thanks for reading!

  13. I’m sitting here watching the news from the Las Vegas shooting and it’s hard to capture that feeling of calm. I need a Libby in my life!

  14. You make some great points about how we can increase happiness by letting our dogs lead the way. I need to hang out with our dog, Bolt, a little more and let him be my zen master. Thank you for taking the time to write this up!

    • Laurie Stone

      Karen, I think dogs are the ultimate zen masters. They live totally in the present and don’t sweat the small stuff… which to them is everything.

    • Laurie Stone

      Rebecca, I also love the innocence of animals. They have no idea who’s President or which political party we belong to. There’s something about that which puts everything in perspective.

  15. Dogs are our best teachers!
    I just saw a post asking if anyone had some puppies they would share for a little ‘puppy therapy’. The idea is to lay face-down on the floor and let a pile of puppies crawl all over you. Best. Therapy. Ever!!!

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