Lessons from My Furry Friend

Pets are more than animals living in our homes; they are family members. We provide for them, spend time with them and love them like the rest of our family.

My family got our dog when I was in the second grade. Sixteen years later, our little miniature poodle with apricot colored fur named Gidget is still an important, lovable part of our lives. Looking back at the past years, Gidget has taught my family and me lifelong lessons, such as the ones below.

  1. Forgive easily — Sometimes forgiving others is easier said than done. However, when you can forgive easily, life will be better. Dogs are quick to forgive their owners for their imperfections and will always provide doggie kisses and an “it’s ok, I still love you” look.
  1. Enjoy the day — There is nothing better than spending the day eating, playing and sleeping. Well, that’s at least how Gidget spends it. So, why shouldn’t we model our days after our pets? Pets live in the moment and make the most of their time. As human beings, our goal should be the same. Make every day worth it, and have fun along the way.
  1. Be loyal and dependable — Since the very beginning, Gidget has always been by my side. She is a loyal and dependable furry friend to everyone. We can always count on her to give love, jump for her food and provide us with goofy moments. Being loyal and dependable is an important trait to have. Everyone needs someone they can count on and know they will be there for them, through thick and thin.
  1. Believe in yourself — Animals don’t care what others think and will do as they please. They are confident in what they do, whether it’s eating or playing with a toy. We should follow our pets’ actions by believing in ourselves and having confidence in our abilities.
  1. Always drink plenty of water — Okay, Gidget might not have many choices when it comes to beverages. However, water is always her to-go choice and should be ours, as well. We all know the proven health benefits of drinking plenty of H2O, so why aren’t we following them? To determine how much you should drink, go with the common 8×8 rule – eight, eight-ounce glasses daily.
  1. Follow your instincts — Every pet owner has probably seen their animals on an intense hunt for food. Trust me, when Gidget smells food, nothing stands in her way to find it. She also follows her instincts when it comes to sniffing out a new stranger in the house, looking for her family members or just finding that perfect napping spot on the sofa. Follow your gut instinct, whether it is about a person or situation. What thought pops into your head first is usually right — don’t second guess yourself.
  1. Always be happy to see your loved ones — From the beginning, Gidget has greeted us with a wagging tail and jumps of joy as we come through the front door. The excitement she has for seeing loved ones, whether they have been gone five minutes or five weeks, should be the excitement humans have; maybe not with the tail wagging but with lots of smiles and hugs.
  1. Love unconditionally — This life advice is my favorite. One of our family nicknames for Gidget is “our little bundle of love” because of all the love and kisses she gives us. Whether it is sitting next to us on the sofa, lying in her bed while we are in the kitchen or cheering us up when things go wrong, Gidget is always there. Loving others unconditionally is easy to do. It doesn’t require large gestures but simply small acts of kindness. Just being there for someone and supporting him or her can mean a difference. Love each other unconditionally, just like Gidget does.