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What Can You Learn from a Dog?

picture of Paisley under a chair

Our family seems to be growing lately by going to the dogs! In a comment I added to one of my recent blog posts called great cat quotations I mentioned that even though our kids grew up with cats, all three of them are dog people now. They don't dislike cats, but they've chosen to own dogs instead. The puppy in the picture on the right is our latest "grand-pup" - Paisley. Our daughter Nora bought her when she moved into her own apartment last week. Paisley is a Weimaraner that's about 7 weeks old. That makes our fourth grand-pup. Megan and Jim have a dog who's a mix of terrier and sneaky neighborhood dog, and Mark and Katie have two dogs, both of mixed heritage, that they got from the Greenville Humane Society.

I'm so used to cats now after so many years of having cats that I have a hard time understanding what dogs are trying to communicate to me. Here's a Far Side® cartoon I can really relate to…

comic of dog decoder

If you too wonder what dogs are trying to tell us…

Things we can learn from a dog

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

Practice obedience.

Let others know when they've invaded your territory.

Take naps, and then stretch before rising.

Run, romp, and play daily.

Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.

Be loyal.

Never pretend to be something you're not.

If what you want is buried, dig until you find it.

When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.

Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

On warm days, stop to lie on your back in the grass.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

When you're happy, prance around and wag your entire body.

No matter how often you're scolded, don't buy into the guilt thing and pout. Instead run right back and make friends.

If you stare at someone long enough, eventually you'll get what you want.

Leave room in your schedule for a good nap.

When you do something wrong, always take responsibility (as soon as you're dragged shamefully out from under the bed).

Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.


Have you dog owners learned any lessons from your dog?

Here's a parting shot of Paisley in her crate…

picture of Paisley in her crate


"Dogs feel very strongly that they should always go with you in the car, in case the need should arise for them to bark violently at nothing right in your ear." - Dave Barry

=^..^= =^..^=

So if it's a dog's life you're leading or if you're working like a dog, learn some of the lessons above – take a moment, take a breath, and just enjoy being alive. SMILE! (without sticking your tongue out, of course!) 😛

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9 Comments on “What Can You Learn from a Dog?”

  1. #1 Carol
    on Aug 28th, 2008 at 10:28 pm

    What an interesting colour for this dog! Can’t say I’ve seen that one before-cute for sure!

  2. #2 Rob
    on Aug 29th, 2008 at 6:56 am

    They are an interesting color, Carol. I think I remember Nora saying that within the litter Paisley came from, there were several slightly different shades of color.

    Hope you had a nice birthday!

  3. #3 Rhonda
    on Aug 29th, 2008 at 8:47 am

    If dogs would stay as cute as they are as puppies, I would like them as well as I do my kitties. It’s the poop in the yard that I have a hard time dealing with–oh, and dog breath, too. Ick! Now don’t get me wrong, my childhood pet was a dog that I loved dearly. But now that I’m old enough to know better, I prefer my cats. The lessons you’ve offered from the doggies do bear noting! 🙂

  4. #4 Rob
    on Aug 29th, 2008 at 9:26 am

    Rhonda, you have named the two main reasons I have a hard time getting into dogs – the little minefield that my yard becomes and the smells. I grew up with a dog, but she was an outside dog on a chain. I knew where not to walk and she didn’t stink up our house. Our cats’ litter boxes are filled with shredded newspaper – no odors!

  5. #5 Margie (Klein) Cline
    on Aug 29th, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    Dutchy, a sweet black & tan mini doxie, was our first “little girl”. We had her for about 10 yrs. Now we have Dolly, a terrier (emphasis on the terror 8-)) and she is a “daddy’s girl” for sure! But I love her too. I just wish she understood the terms weekends and holidays when she insists on waking me up at the usual time!

  6. #6 Michael
    on Aug 29th, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    Just wanted you to know that even thought I’m not a pet person that if I ever had to own a pet, I would own a dog. It would probably be a black lab and it would be an outdoor pet. And, I agree with Rhonda that dogs would be so much better if they would stay as puppies. I guess a lot of creatures would fall into that category. And, if you don’t want minefields in your backyard, why would you ever own a horse? or a cow?

  7. #7 Rob
    on Aug 30th, 2008 at 8:45 am

    Margie, our cats have the same lack of comprehension of the terms weekend and holiday. We try to make ourselves feel better about it by saying they just crave our company, when we know that it’s really because they want their bowl topped off, etc. Little tyrants!

    Michael, we saw a special on TV one time about baby animals and the fact that baby just-about-anythings are irresistibly cute to humans. I wonder if their moms experience the same feeling when they look at their litters.

  8. #8 Matt
    on Sep 1st, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    Ah see, you need to hang out with my dog. There’s almost no stink and the yard isn’t a minefield. Mine’s a miniature poodle. At 17 lbs, he’s cleaner than a cat and causes less stink in the house. Having been a carpet cleaner for a while, I’ll never own a cat or a large oily dog. (Famous last words, I know.)

    Actually, the two best dog breeds I’m familiar with are poodles (miniature and toy) and Scotty. Both tend to be clean pleasant critters. On the other hand a Weimeraner could squish both breeds under a single paw….

  9. #9 Jami
    on Sep 15th, 2008 at 8:23 pm

    dogs make me smile.