Things My Dog Taught Me About The World

Compassion

There have been many times I find myself in a position where I feel alone, scared, uncomfortable. The little buddy always seems to know and he’d just sit by my side. When I have a bad dream, he’d use his nose to nudge me to wake me up and comfort me. When I was vomiting throughout my first trimester, he’d sit with me beside the toilet bowl.

When I’m out in the living room watching TV with my cousin and hubby is alone in the room, he’d go and lie beside hubby on the bed.

Compassion is slowly lost in our society. How many times have I seen people rudely shooing animals away. There’s no doubt the world will be that much better if all of us just learned a little compassion.

 

Trust

Dogs trusts us infinitely. At least I think furkid does. He trusts that the food we are giving him is safe, that we will come home to him at the end of everyday. He trusts that when we train him to do a certain thing, it is for the best. And the moment I lose trust in myself when I train him, he senses my lack of confidence and thus the training fails.

He taught me to trust myself, and have more confidence in myself. Because he will only follow if you lead him right. And over time, I had to learn – and I am still learning – that I can provide the best home to furkid. And that takes a lot of work. Very slowly but surely, I see myself becoming slightly more confident in myself. And in return, when furkid sees the trust we have in him to be able to do the things we teach him, he learns.

Of course dogs will be dogs and I belive in ‘leashing the one you love’ when it comes to pets. But this isn’t an issue of trust. Animals have instincts. And this instinct may lead them to do certain things that may or may not be harmful to others and to themselves.

What if he hears a sound and decides to run across the road towards it, not knowing the dangers of moving vehicles? Or licks something off the ground that may be poisonous to him? The world is filled with a lot of human things that animals do not understand, and a lot of animal things human do not understand. We shouldn’t make the mistake of thinking we know all and therefore are ahead of the rest. We should respect all living creatures.

Respect

Respect. Like not to pull his fur (Aurora still can’t quite control her muscles). Like not to disturb him when he’s asleep.Like not to snatch his chew toy away from him. Although he has been such a gentle soul towards her and doesn’t get upset when she does all that, that’s not to say Aurora can continue to do those things to him.

The simplest respect we can give each other shouldn’t be too much to ask for. You wouldn’t – or shouldn’t – behave in anyway towards creatures in a demeaning manner. From the most majestic of creatures, to the littlest, hardworking, humble, quiet ones. They all deserve to be respected for who and what they are. And this respect can only be learned through compassion.

We are all after all just trying to make it in this world.

Discipline

We all need a little structure in life. A foundation or principle in which we live by. They don’t need to be sophisticated ones. They can be simple rules we live by.

I truly believe that furkid is a happier dog because he has that in his life. There’s a proper place and time for him to poop and pee. A proper place for him to sleep at night. A bowl where he can eat from. Simple rules like no biting, and understanding simple commands.

This doesn’t only benefit us as a family, but also him and us individually. He doesn’t bite Aurora even when she sometimes put her hand into his mouth. He doesn’t accidentally eat human food that are potentially poisonous to him.

Discipline teaches us a lot of things – from respecting others, to respecting yourself. To be able to have discipline in your life, you need to respect yourself enough to instil discipline, just like the students and children listens to their teachers or parents because they respect them; just like a dog listens to their humans and vice versa out of mutual respect for each other.

Patience And Understanding

It took me a while before I understood what furkid is trying to tell me. It takes me a while to train him to do certain things too, for him to understand my language. And it doesn’t help if I were to lose my temper and just scream and shout at him every time he does something wrong. I think some parents will agree with me on that point.

Learning to understand each other is not easy. It is difficult enough between humans when we speak the same language. But it is well worth the effort.S~A1hears Aurora’s muffled cries, to the barks he make in the middle of the night when he hears a stranger outside. Learning to read his body language and the different sounds he makes has taught me to try to listen to people differently too.

I starting thinking that maybe I should listen to Aurora too, let her tell me what she wants or needs. I think this is something missing in a lot in our upbringing. Parents traditionally make the decisions for us, from the food we eat to the subjects we study. But when I started to try to listen to Aurora, I learned a lot of things. I started to try to read signs from her, that maybe she is ready to try to walk. That maybe she is thirsty. That maybe she prefers toys of a certain colour. Or that she doesn’t like long sleeved clothes.

We like to think that babies can’t make decisions for themselves. But what I’ve seen says otherwise. Perhaps if we have a little bit more patience to try and understand others, see them differently from our point of view, we’d learn something new.

Enjoying The Simple Things In LIfe

A warm hug, a long belly rub, a quick run in the park, a blueberry treat every now and then. It is so simple to make the little guy happy and to put a smile on his face.

Sure it is important to have discipline in life. But it is also important to have some fun and celebrate life. Even the furkid gets a birthday cake. I don’t think he understands the concept of birthdays. But I’m pretty sure he enjoyed that sweet treat. 🙂

Often times we dwell too much on what bothers us that we forget to appreciate all the good stuff life has given us. I know I am guilty of this.

Let Things Go

Ever time we get mad at the little furkid for going through the bin, or nibbling on our lunch when we are unaware, he never holds a grudge. Sure he’d be giving us the puppy dog eyes and maybe tear a little when he’s being quarantined to a corner of the house. But the second his punishment is over, you will see that smile on his face, as though nothing happened.

When he’s out having his walks and some people run away from him, frightened. Or when other dogs come at him. The furkid just walks away and let it go. He never fights back, or feel hurt for too long.

In fact, the amazing thing is he doesn’t let anything change his friendly and cheerful demeanour, even when people have been mean to him, or treated him unkind.

If there is only one thing Aurora can learn from the furkid, I’d want it to be this. But I have a feeling she’s learning so much more from him. 🙂

 Second Chances

I remember watching an episode of Cesar Milan and he mentioned that amongst the dogs he keep are some that have bitten people.

I understand that not anyone has what it takes to look after dogs, especially those that may seem more difficult (I can’t think of a better word here and for that I apologize). But I’d like to think that we are a society that gives second chances. We are after all living in such close proximity that we rely on the kindness we show to each other to survive. Often we are quick to judge and condemn certain persons (I use this term philosophically) and their actions, and we forget that upon closer inspection, the ones we punish aren’t always the only ones at fault.

Could we have done more? Or more appropriately, what can we do now and in the future? Are we really that harsh that we simply eliminate things in our society that we do not like? I think experience has shown that that will only backfire in time. Have we asked ourselves that by doing so, what are we then teaching our children?

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