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Come On, Let’s Get Excited! Twenty Life Lessons We Learned From Our Labrador

Dogs are amazing, and it is no wonder that they are considered to be man’s best friend. And, in addition to them being loving, playful, loyal, and helpful, there is a lot we can learn from them. Here are twenty (a few of many!) things our incredible support dog, generously provided by the Israel Guide Dog Center for the Blind, has taught us:

  1. Get excited about everything you do! A good mood and a bit of excitement can turn every little outing into an adventure. Think about how much more fun your day would be if you would tackle everything with unbounded enthusiasm! So, go for it!
  2. Be warm and fuzzy whenever it is appropriate. Spreading love and affection to those you care for is simply heartwarming.
  3. In contrast to this, don’t hesitate to show your teeth and stand up for yourself when necessary! Don’t let anyone bully you, take advantage of you, or harm you in any manner.
  4. Be very patient. Sometimes it takes a while for people to react to you or to understand what you are trying to communicate to them. Sometimes they have a hard time doing what you expect them to do, and it takes much longer than you want. Patience helps make all of these things more palatable.
  5. Accept everyone as they are. Things like their appearance, social standing, or whether or not they are able-bodied are irrelevant. What is important is how they interact with those around them, and if they are caring, gentle, sensitive, and respectful.
  6. Enjoy the little things in life! Savor every bite of food you take, every flower you smell, and every bit of love sent in your direction!
  7. Appreciate everything that others do for you! Thank them when they help you out or do something nice for you.
  8. Take care of those around you. Make sure that they are always feeling okay, and stay next to them if they need something.
  9. Make sure that nobody with you gets left behind. And, if someone is taking a long time to catch up, circle back and walk beside them. Imagine what a great place school could be if all of the educators and policy-makers understood this!
  10. Always greet those you love, and let them know that you will miss them when they are about to leave.
  11. Saying good morning to others, and in particular, to the elderly people who you pass by in the park simply makes their day! Also, it doesn’t matter what language they speak- a smile and “wag of the tail” are understandable in all languages.
  12. Always be faithful and loyal to those around you. These two things are the building blocks of loving and supportive relationships.
  13. Always protect the people you love. Do your best to keep them out of harm’s way and take action when necessary.
  14. Pay attention to the people around you, and if you feel someone is in need, stop everything you are doing and sit beside them.
  15. In keeping with this, understand that sometimes all a person needs is for someone to attentively sit beside them and wait for them to interact with them.
  16. There is nothing like a pat on the back or a good hug to brighten the day!
  17. Don’t try to befriend someone who doesn’t treat you properly. Simply walk away and find someone kind to interact with.
  18. Be persistent. If you don’t get what you want or need immediately, keep trying. Gently remind others to assist you when necessary.
  19. Revel in nature! Remember to enjoy the fresh scent of the rain, the grass, flowers, listen to the birds, and nothing beats a roll in the grass to scratch your back, it feels great!
  20. Don’t ever forget to let people know that you love them! Love is what makes the world go ’round!

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Jacki Edry

Jacki Edry

Jacki Edry is a graduate of Hampshire College and has an extensive background in education, writing, and marketing. She has been exploring the world of autism and neurodiversity for over thirty-five years. 

4 Responses

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this. We can learn so much from dogs. These are important life lessons that everyone can appreciate. If we all behaved towards each other the way dogs do to us, the world would be a much better place. We would all be happier, healthier, and definitely appreciate the little things we often we often take for granted.

  2. That was wonderful, Jacki! As I sit here, with my little dog near me, I can understand each of these sayings in a special manner. If only more people would be as kind as most dogs are to others, what a nice world it would be! Keep up the Great work!

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