Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at freedigitalphotos.net/ Animals can teach us a lot about life - here are some lessons from dogs and cats they want you to know
Pets can teach us so much – they are actually better at helping us learn life’s lessons than reading self-help books, or attending seminars. Life is quite simple really – it’s about giving and receiving love. Unconditional love. If you disregard all the other so called important life lessons, and just focus on this one, everything else really does fall into place. What dogs can teach us:
1. The “I’m happy to see you lesson” – being a cat lover, it takes a lot to admit this, but dogs trump the effective teaching of this lesson. How many people do you know are that happy to see you when you haven’t done anything that spectacular? You’ve just come home? If we could treat people the same way, how loved and special would they feel?
2. The “going for a walk is great” lesson. There’s so much to see. The world is one big wonderland – if we see it through a puppy’s eyes. Or even grown-up doggies. They never seem to lose their sense of wonder. I’ve never had a dog. However, I’ve been lucky to be attendant to their walks, and even walked one or two myself. The tail and tongue wagging, the joyful trot. If only we could forget our thoughts and notice the world like they do, we could learn a lot about happiness – it’s really just simple joy at being alive.
3. The “puppy dog” eyes lesson. If you look at someone with enough meaning, it helps them respond. Okay, in humans this is manipulative. In animals it’s just plain cute. But it teaches us about our soft spots!
4. The “loyalty lesson”. No matter what, you know your dog will stand up for you. They will want to be wherever you are. Unlike cats, they will sorely miss your absence. No matter what, they are there. Again, if we could make people feel that important, that we miss them when they are not there, and we are there for them, the world would be a better place. I’m not advocating following people around – it may be seen as stalking. I think you get the big picture.
Okay, cats can teach us lessons too.
1. “I’m willing to share” lesson. Whenever your kitty brings you a lizard, mouse or something more unspeakable, it’s an act of love. It’s like saying “I am fully willing to share half my lizard with you. Try to appear grateful. Whatever it is in life, we can learn to share from cats.
2. The “I respect your space” lesson. Cats will not smother you. Well I have yet to find one that does. It shows you it cares in its own way, but they know you need a little space. We can learn that others need space and we need space, but yet find more independent ways of showing we care.
3. The “I really do deserve the best” lesson. Cats have high self-esteem. If they don’t like what is served before them, believe me, they let you know. They may go right for it, ignore it, or come back to it later. Cats teach us not to appear too desperate or try too hard.
4. The “don’t forget to wash your hands” lesson. Cats are the cleanest animals I know. After every meal, watch them. They are fascinating. I watch my cat lick her paws and then clean herself all over.
5. The “importance of sleep and rest” lesson. Cats have this down pat. Their self esteem doesn’t let them feel guilty about it easy. They listen to their bodies and love to snooze. It’s not laziness. It’s high self-esteem and contentment. Important lesson for us competitive type C personalities.
I am sure fish and birds have lessons for us too. However, having only ever owned a Siamese fighter fish I learned the lesson of appreciating life while it’s there because he only lived a year. Siamese fighter fish generally only do. They also teach us the “stand up for yourself” lesson – they are best left in a single tank, because they will kill another Siamese fighter fish of the same sex.