This is my dog Guy. He’s a big bright-eyed brindle mutt. I don’t know his breed or pedigree but I know he loves me with all of his heart- no matter what. I’ve invested the last 3 years in nurturing him and helping him grow strong and healthy. Teaching him new tricks, and trying to get him over his fear of thunderstorms. All the while I thought I was teaching him, he’s been teaching me. Not just about happiness and unconditional love, but (surprisingly) about business.

Fear of making a fool of myself

Guy is a social dog. He loves all the dogs. He is more at home at the dog park than well, at home. Every time we go to the park, he does a lap around the lake, making sure to introduce himself to everyone. When he’s finished the formal introductions of mutual butt sniffing,  he wags his tail, looks into his new best friend’s eyes with a flirtatious mischief that translates perfectly into english as”I bet you can’t catch me!”

And he takes off running. He keeps running with no fear that the other dog won’t follow him. He has no fear of being vulnerable- he just does him. He’s got no fear of being himself because he doesn’t realize that he can be anything else. When I look at him, so happy and confident in his own skin, I can’t help but think of the difference between us.

I’m not a social animal. I love my alone time and solitude. In social situations, I give too much thought about how I should act, what I should say, and what I shouldn’t say. What parts of myself I should hold back. Guy has helped me learn to let loose, meet new people without fear, and embrace new connections. If they don’t want to follow me? There are plenty of dogs at the lake.

Living In The Moment

It’s not that bad things don’t happen to Guy. They happen, and he knows how to get over it. Or rather, he doesn’t know how to not get over it. Our human ability to project our consciousness into the past or future makes living in the moment very difficult. Our superior intelligence can hinder us to move forward. I fail at something everyday. Most days, I’m thinking about what I failed at yesterday, or what I’m going to fail at tomorrow. Guy’s not thinking about those things. He’s living right now, and that’s all he knows. I look at Guy and I’m reminded that right now is all that matters. I look at him and I see that yesterday doesn’t really affect his today. And then I give him a kiss, push those failures out of my head, and get my ass back to work.

Giving It All I’ve Got

Guy puts all of himself into everything that he does. When he’s happy to see me, he doesn’t just give me casual nod. He doesn’t worry about playing it cool at all. He wags is tail, prances up to me, and lays sloppy kisses on my face. He shows me exactly what he’s feeling- all of it. When he’s chasing a squirrel, he doesn’t just run at half speed, he runs full force even though he knows that the squirrel will get to the other side of the fence before him. He gives everything 100% all the time.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t give everything I’ve got every day. Some days I run half speed. Instead of showing an abundance of love and affection I play it cool. I play my cards close to the chest for fear of being hurt or embarrassed. I see my dog giving all of himself to whatever the moment calls for, and I’m a little jealous. If I could put that kind of effort into my business every single day, I’d be a millionaire by now.

We can learn a lot from observing our pets. How to love better, give more, and care less about what others think. We can learn to just be ourselves, and be unapologetically passionate.

Tell me in the comments below, Have you ever learned life lessons from your pet? What has your pet taught you?


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