Life is a journey. Sometimes the going is smooth, and sometimes we are faced with obstacles that may seem impossible to overcome. Throughout our lives we will encounter joy and tears, celebration and disappointments. For those of us who share our lives with a dog, we will never face the journey alone. In fact, on the road of life, a dog can be the best copilot we could ever imagine.
Your Dog Can Help You Reach Your Dreams
Have you ever watched your dog at play, observed his exuberance and happiness, and wondered, “What’s his secret?” This question occurred to my friend, Gila Kurtz, dog trainer and founder of the Dog is Good lifestyle brand.
Gila had turned her love of dogs into a 7 figure a year business only to find herself feeling stressed out, unfulfilled, and unhappy. In her book, “Fur Covered Wisdom,” Gila writes about an eye-opening thought she had while watching her dog, BOLO, chasing birds. Although BOLO had never caught one of these birds, she never gave up, and she never stopped having the time of her life pursuing them. Her dog’s determination, persistence, and joy gave Gila the inspiration to rediscover her childhood dream and design a life worth barking about.
What about you? You’ve probably taught your dog many things, but don’t make the mistake of assuming that you can’t learn just as much from him. And these life lessons can go a long way towards achieving the life of your dreams.
- Don’t give up. Whether it’s chasing after a bird that just keeps flying away or digging for an elusive treat buried in the yard, dogs keep going. They don’t fear failure — they just give it their best shot.
- Enjoy the ride. Sometimes the journey can be just as much fun as the destination. A dog riding in a car doesn’t think too much about where he’s going. He just delights in the feeling of the wind in his fur. It’s good to set goals, but learn to find the joys along the way. Even if your end goal is a long way off, you’ll have a ball getting there!
- Find joy in the simple things. A long walk, a new bone, or a scratch behind the ear can make your dog’s day. Learn to slow down and take pleasure in the little things. You’ll find a reason to be happy every day.
The Love of a Dog Can Help Heal a Broken Heart
No one is immune to the ups and downs of life’s journey. At times you may hit a bump in the road. The loss of a job, the end of a relationship, the death of a family member, or a serious illness may leave you feeling devastated, heart-broken, and lost. Even in these times, your dog is there to lift your spirits.
How can you find healing in the love of a dog?
- Stick to a routine. There may be times when you feel like staying in bed for a few days (or weeks), but your dog never stops needing you. Keep him on the feeding and exercise schedule that he’s used to. The act of doing something for someone else can give you a sense of purpose. It will also give you something to focus on besides your troubles and heartbreak. Spending time with your dog will allow you to dwell in the moment instead of regretting the past or worrying about the future.
- Cry on your dog’s shoulder. Dogs are great listeners. Your dog will always be there to listen. He’ll never roll his eyes — even if you wake him up in the wee hours of the morning because you’re feeling the need to talk. He’ll probably even contribute a couple of well-timed doggy kisses to help lift your spirits and remind you that he cares.
- Get things off your chest. You can say anything to your dog without fear of judgement or hurt feelings. So go ahead and vent — it may help you to heal. And, no matter what you say or what mistakes you’ve made, your dog loves you for being you. Being on the receiving end of that devotion can help you get beyond any guilt, hurt, or anger you feel and open yourself up to trust or love again.
When life leaves you feeling stressed out, depressed, and overwhelmed, relief may be only a pet away. With your dog by your side you can overcome life’s obstacles and find happiness.
This post is an excerpt from our brand new book – Bonding with your Dog for a healthy mind, spirit, body, and community. Download the entire thing here – free!