Clinic Stories

What I learned from dogs

People have a bond with animals and the strongest human-animal bond is with dogs, who earn their title as man's best friend. They serve as companions, entertainers, guardians, athletes, shepherds, hunters and sometimes as eyes and ears. They can also be teachers. Here are some of the things I have learned from dogs.

  • 1. Savor the moment – Dogs can find happiness with anyone or anything at anytime. They get excited about everything and can find joy in the mundane. Glitz and style are lost on them; having a good time is what counts.
  • 2. Relationships are important - Dogs appreciate everything but nothing more so than people. They greet everyone cheerfully and make you feel that you are loved and important.
  • 3. Don't discriminate – Dogs accept everyone for what they are. Rich, poor, young, old, educated or illiterate is all the same to them. They are as content in a shack as in a mansion.
  • 4. Nap often – The value of enough sleep is not lost on dogs. They can sleep for 20 hours a day and be ready to go full tilt the other four. And when it is time to sleep, who needs a bed when the floor is right there?
  • 5. Don't fear pain - Dogs can have conditions that are disablingly painful in people yet show little discomfort. Even when in pain they often are not in distress. They aren't anxious that something might hurt which is the greater part of pain in people. They don't fear consequences and move on no matter what.
  • 6. Attitude is everything – In the book “Man's Search for Meaning” Victor Frankel observes that the greatest choice someone has is the attitude he brings to a situation. Dogs knew this all along. They have an amazing ability to make the best of anything. As the saying goes, lock your wife and your dog in the trunk for an hour and find out who is glad to see you.
  • 7. Nothing expresses feelings like a tail – People may have speech but a dog can carry on a conversation with just his tail. Up, down, wagging, between the legs all say something different. This alone should be reason enough not to dock tails in puppies.
  • 8. Listening is a vital part of friendship – There are no better listeners than dogs and none more trustworthy with a secret. They take discretion to a new level. All in all, it is easy to understand why dogs mean so much to people.
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