Having a dog is a wonderful thing, and there are some lessons you can learn from your dog.
When we lost our beloved yellow labrador, Trooper, we were all devastated. Although he was sick and well over 15 years old, which for a big dog it is ancient, it is never easy to say goodbye to a loved one.
Now that he is gone, I marvel at all of the life lessons he taught us.
Here are the top 5 lessons you can learn from your dog.
Trooper put 100% into everything he did. When he ran, he was unstoppable. When he swam, he was unbeatable. When he thought he could steal food off the counter, he was fierce. He loved everything he did, and did it with his entire being. Living life just like that is one of the easiest lessons you can learn from your dog.
Whether it was catching the Frisbee in the air, or getting his paws on the ice cream cone in my 4-year old's hand, Trooper's commitment and determination always got him what he wanted. He never let fences or gates get in the way of his mission to get out of the yard, or in the way of his commitment to dig a hole to the center of the earth.
When we first brought our now 14-year old son home from the hospital, Trooper immediately saw himself as the baby's loyal protector. He stood guard as our newborn was sleeping, walked close to him as our toddler took his first steps and waited for him at the door to get home from school every day.
Trooper had complete confidence in himself. When he jumped in an almost icy pond, he was confident he could swim out. When he ran uphill in the deep snow, he had no doubt he would get to the top. His confidence inspired us all. "Trooper will get it," the kids would say with no hesitation as Trooper looked for a stick the kids had thrown in an over-grown field. Trooper never questioned his ability to do anything and you shouldn't either.
Trooper never held a grudge. He always forgave us for leaving him at home during the day when we went to work, and never failed to greet us with love, licks and jumps when we returned home at night.
Since Trooper has been gone, I have vowed to be more like him. I vowed to approach life with more passion, loyalty, confidence, commitment, and forgiveness, traits that defined him and made him such a great companion.
If only we could all be more like Trooper, our world would be a better place. It is not easy, but that does not mean we cannot try.