I don’t drink out of the toilet or slobber on guests, but my dog, Lucy, has taught me other things that are more important. She may not have intentionally, but dogs in general are great teachers.
Lesson one: When loved ones come home always run to greet them.
Whenever I get home from school, my dog Lucy is always there to greet me. The way her tail starts to wag so much her whole body shakes always puts a smile on my face. Even though she is technically not allowed to jump up, she does anyway and that just shows how happy she is to see me. Everyone should experience being greeted and acknowledged with so much excitement and happiness.
Lesson two: Be creative.
With everyone in my family being so busy sometimes, Lucy gets the short end of the stick. No pun intended. So what she does is play fetch with herself. She will nudge her tennis ball down the stairs and go retrieve it, or she will throw it in the air to catch. She inspires me to use my creativity to do what I otherwise would have someone do for me.
Lesson three: Take naps and stretch before rising.
I believe that too many people are tired because they just keep going. But I know for a fact that whenever my dog Lucy is tired she finds a sunny spot in our house and takes a good, long, nap. Maybe if more people took naps then more people wouldn’t be as grumpy and tired. And I’m not sure how she accomplishes this, but Lucy can stretch with her hind legs standing up, the rest of her laying down, and then flop onto her side from this position. I’m not saying you should try to do this, but a good long stretch before starting the day is a great way to wake up and get some blood flowing through you.
Lesson four: Loyalty.
Dogs are probably the best animal to turn to when it comes to loyalty. When I want someone to talk to, but don’t want them to judge me I turn to Lucy. Sometimes she gets distracted but maybe that just means my problems aren’t the end of the world and that I should move on.
Lesson five: Enjoy long walks.
Whenever I have extra time I take Lucy on a walk around the park. She absolutely loves walks. Whenever she realizes that I’m going to take her for one I just can’t get her leash on her fast enough. It is fun watching her explore everything, like she’s a little kid who has never been outside before. Going on walks is relaxing and enjoyable, but it is also exercise which is always something to get a lot of.
Lesson six: Play and run around every day.
Whenever I’m in a bad mood going out and getting fresh air always puts me in a better mood. No wonder dogs are always so happy. I find that too many people loose their inner kid as they go on in life, but no matter how old a dog gets, it will always be up to playing and running around with you.
Lesson seven: Don’t bite when a growl will suffice.
I haven’t heard of any dog that will bite without growling first. People should be considerate enough to give some kind of warning before they snap but a lot of times they don’t and a dog would never do that.
Sometimes my family questions Lucy’s intelligence, and I do too, but nonetheless, she is a good teacher. Dogs never get too old to play, and they are very loyal animals. Lucy constantly reminds me of the joys of life, and for that I’ll always be thankful.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.