I sound like a fool saying that we can learn from dogs, but there are a few valuable lessons on love that humans can’t seem to teach.
Have you ever thought of why dogs are considered our best friend? Unlike humans, they will never betray us. They stay loyal by our side no matter what happens. More often than not, we are the one abandoning them.
Some of us are only interested in dogs for a short period, and I admit I’m one of those people who get tired of their dogs quickly. Dogs are so loyal, but we often take them for granted. Not many of us give them our attention when they ask.
Take me as an example: when I first got my dog, it was a dream come true. I was super interested and would play with him multiple times a day and bring him out for walks. Three years have passed, and now I seldom bring him out for walks, I leave that to my parents. I seem to be always finding excuses that I’m busy to take him out. I don’t play with him as much as I did three years ago. Do I love my dog still? Yes, I do. Am I still interested? I have to say I may have lost interest in him.
I’m guilty of neglecting my dog, and I admit it. I’ve come to realise no matter what I do, even if I ignore my dog entirely, he would still treat me as his owner and follow me wherever I go. Dogs can’t speak our language; the only way to express their thoughts and feelings is to bark at you when they’re upset or happy.
“Dogs are only part of our lives, but to them, we are their entire life.”
As cliche as it sounds, but it’s true. We are all they’ve got in their entire life. Most of the puppies leave their mother at two months old, and to be put on sale. I don’t think many of us can leave our mother’s side and be fully independent until we are in our 20s.
Love is patient
Be patient with you dogs like how they would be when you teach them new tricks. Dogs are smart creatures, and they want to impress you. Think about it, when you’re teaching a dog new tricks, does he show no interest at all or are they eager to learn? I’m sure in most cases it’s the latter. Because dogs love us, they are patient with us.
While it’s not possible to be patient all the time, we should control our tempers. Patience takes time to master. When you do give others the chance to express themselves, you’ll discover how much you didn’t know about them.
Love is acceptance
Dogs can’t choose their owner, but they can choose who to accept and stay with for the rest of their life. Most of the times, dogs adapt to their owner’s lifestyle and choose to listen to us. They choose to stick with us for the rest of their life.
Unlike humans, dogs don’t judge. Dogs see the world through their sense of smell, and they recognize us from our scent. Accepting others for who they are can be tough to master, but it’s possible. Inevitably, we judge others. There always seem to be assumptions on how a person is like even before we meet them. It’s easy for us to try to impose our beliefs onto others, thinking that everyone should turn out the way we want them to.
Why not learn from our dogs? No matter what shape and size we are, our dogs love us for being us. They fall in love with our personalities and simply accept the bad habits we may have.
Love is selfless
A dog’s love for us is comparable to a mother’s love. It’s selfless. They are willing to sacrifice to protect us from danger. They love us enough to stay up late with you burning the midnight oil even when their eyes are almost closing. They comfort us with their presence.
Think about it. When was the last time someone loves you unconditionally, other than your family? Not many of us are willing to sacrifice for others without getting any return.
Dogs are selfless creatures. Dogs love pleasing us because they want to show us they care about us. They love us even if we don’t love them as much. True love is selfless; it should never be an obligation. When we love, we experience a responsibility arising out of it, with no sense of duty, no sense of burden, but sheer joy.
Love is not self-seeking; it does not boast; it does not envy.
We can get a sense of how true love should be and feels like from our dogs. Even if you are not a pet owner, you can feel true love from your family members. Patience, acceptance and selflessness are what makes true love.
Thanks for reading!
Previously published on “Hello, Love”, a Medium publication.
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