Saturday, June 15Hampton Roads Weekly

The Life Lessons You Can Learn from Your Dog

By Dr. Keppie Meyer 

(Beagle Extraordinaire, PhD)

Over half of America has a fur-baby as part of their family; however, most people do not realize that their furry best friend can actually teach you valuable life lessons.  I am going to go over some key life lessons your dog is actually trying to teach you.

First let’s look at being more persistent.  In life, if you want something, you must be willing to work for it.  When I go for a walk and I want to eat my favorite treat, “frog ala roadkill”, I will take my dad off our path and immediately bolt towards my tasty treat.  Once my dad realizes what I am up to, he will pull my leash and divert me back on the path.  In life, one must never give up!  I will strategize and walk away and then do a circle back towards the direction of the delicious (to me) dead frog.  Next, I will throw a curve ball and zig-zag towards the frog, hoping to confuse my dad as to my true intentions.  Finally, when he least expects it, I lunge for my tasty treat!  Unfortunately, my dad will fuss me and make me drop my treat.  That said, my mission was successful.  I did not give up, I strategized a work around and then implemented my plan to a successful outcome (even if it was just for a minute or two).  In life, you must have a plan, work the plan and never give up!

My next lesson is about love.  Love should be unconditional.  My parents love me and I love that they give me lots of treats (kibbles, not frogs) and they make me the center of their life.  They think all I care about is food, I am a beagle after all, but that is not true (I just make them think that way).  One day, I was in the middle of eating my delicious breakfast that my dad had just prepared for me and I heard my mom scream out.  In mid-bite, I immediately ran upstairs to see if she was ok.  I jumped up and down around her until I saw she was fine.  She had inadvertently dropped her curling iron and it burned her.  As soon as I knew she was ok, I went back downstairs to finish my delicious breakfast.  I know my dad was very surprised since he’d never seen me leave a meal for any reason.  I love my parents and they love me.  Love should not be hard and it must be a two-way street.

Always have a strong work ethic.  Just because I do my share of eating, cuddling and lounging, it does not mean I do not work hard.  I have a full-time job of protecting my parents.  If someone comes to the door, I will immediately notify my parents.  If we are on a walk and I do not like another dog or person that I deem a threat, I will get in front of my parents and bark loudly until the threat passes.  When I am back home, I will constantly be on watch for any critter that might trespass on our property, especially squirrels, my nemeses.  They are always up to something.  They are always hanging around in the trees and the rooftops taunting me.  I do not let my guard down and to this date, we have never had a squirrel incursion.  The bottom line is, your dog does work hard protecting you and your property so please give them generous amounts of treats!  Work hard and be rewarded greatly.

I hope you enjoyed these three life lessons that dogs can provide.  I will have more lessons for you in future articles. Stay tuned and keep those delicious treats coming!