Hooper is my dog. He is a 9 month old chocolate Labradoodle. Before him I had never had a real pet. I know many people often look through the eyes of a child to see the playful and exciting world, I happen to look through Hooper’s.

There is not a day that I come home that he isn’t ecstatic to see me and there isn’t a moment he won’t play tug-a-war or sniff something out because it smells good.

Here are the few things I have learned from him.

1. Greet your significant other with love and affection, not questions and concerns.

I try to keep in mind to greet my husband like my dog greets me everyday: happily and loving and like I have missed him all day long (which I normally do). Every time I have been away for more then a few minutes and then see Hooper again he is so happy and excited to see me. He circles me and sniffs me and follows me and says a good “hello” for a minute or two. From this I have learned to do the same to my husband (minus the circling and sniffing).

2. Play.

Running around the couch or stealing toilet paper just to drag it down the hallway is just as fun as it looks.

3. Stretch and move your body.

Dogs naturally stretch and move their bodies. You can always find Hooper doing a full body head to paw stretch right after he gets up. It comes natural for a dog, but for us we often forget that our bodies need some attention too. Stretching and moving around is a main ingredient to a healthy life.

4. Appreciate and take note of nature.

The first thing Hooper does when he goes outside is sniffs the grass and dirt and plants. He is directed to plants that he especially likes and he can’t pee until the ground smells just right. From his “appreciation” of the places he sniffs I have taken notice of the beautiful and interesting¬† plants and trees around me. Being outside more because of walking, beach trips or even gardening is revitalizing.

5. Be friendly.

Hooper loves people and dogs. He will gladly greet any dog and would love to play with anyone who offers. From this I have learned that being friendly is important to playing with and being around people.

6. Learn patience, selflessness and forgiveness.

Having a puppy means: putting up with an occasional pee on the carpet, taking care of a creature who just wants to play and eat (especially when I just sat down to something I wanted to do), trying to be patient when he doesn’t always listen, keeping calm when he grabs things he is not suppose to, and dealing with a pup who doesn’t understand that stealing and chewing on a random child’s ball in the park is not socially acceptable.

From this I have learned to be patient especially for those around me,¬† even people don’t understand what they do sometimes.

Be selfless, giving your time and energy to help or accompany others is a necessary part of being human.

Lastly, I have learned to forgive easily. Sometimes what people do can equate to a puppies naivety of chewing up something that was really important to you, but after the damage is done you can replace things not the people or your favorite puppies.

Puppies are always in the moment and think only about the now. They don’t think about tomorrow or what they should do next week and they do not hold grudges about what happened a year ago. I am happy to let my puppy teach me some beautiful life lessons even though he has absolutely no idea he does it.

 


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