I have a beautiful corgi and she's 16 years old. Many people say she doesn't look it, and still, some days she doesn't act it either! But other days, as she is very old now, and she sadly has what the vet tells me is the animal version of dementia, she can forget where she is. It's a rollercoaster ride of emotions in a dogs elderly years, our bond is so very close. I often imagine what it must feel like to be her, and I wonder if she knows she gets confused or disorientated, as most of the time, she still seems really happy. I always tell myself, that this is my hope and heart intention, that she always knows how much she matters, that she feels loved, that she has the best life possible for as long as she chooses to, and that she knows in her own way, that we will always do what is best for her.
Bronte dog has been and is, my constant companion, my best friend, my family, and the best therapist, life coach I will ever know! She's taught me and our family so much about the small, yet significant things in life, and always reminds me of what truly matters. I thought I'd share a few of her life lessons here, and perhaps you have some of your own, if you have a dog, or maybe this will remind you to stop and reflect for a minute, on just how wise they are in the lessons and truth of life!
Here are 12 things I've come up with to share!
Always be friendly, warm and affectionate. It's a lovely thing to feel welcomed. It's a beautiful thing to feel loved. It's important to know that you matter to someone or to people and that you belong. (and also - it's wise to trust your instincts, and your intuition! Be friendly and warm, but if you feel something isn't quite right, then trust yourself and what feels right)
Daily routines help us to feel well, to stay uplifted and motivated. Going to bed and getting up at the same time. Going out for regular walks. Eating healthy food (and not over-indulging on things that don't make us feel good). Drinking lots of water.
Rest and sleep whenever you can, and whenever you need. Rest is a priority. Doing less, or even doing nothing, is a beautiful thing, and we should embrace slowing down, more often. A simple life is the best life of all.
Persistence pays off. If you see something you like or you want - go for it. Don't give up easily. There is no such thing as failing, just keep on going. Sometimes it will work out in your favour, and other times it may not. But you don't know unless you try, and it's always worth being persistent and believing in yourself (Just imagine a dog with a bone, they never give it up).
Forgive easily. We may not forget everything, but we can forgive. Life is too short to hold a grudge or bad feelings. Let go, move on, and forgive for a far more ease-filled and peaceful life.
Love is all we need. Dogs teach us unconditional love, in every way. We can learn so much from the love our dogs have for us, without any expectation in return.
Delight in all the small things. Stop and take in, as many things as you need (or stop and smell everything if you're like Bronte dog). There's never a reason to get bored, there's always something to look at, to smell, to see, to find. Even if we follow the same routine day in and day out, and walk the same street up and down, there's always something new to take in and to find. Nothing is dull, and everything is delightful. Find and seek the small things that light you up and bring you joy.
Take each moment and day as it comes. Just enjoy this present moment, and what's happening, right now. Don't linger too long on the past, don't worry about the future, just enjoy this moment and this day. (Life's about the journey, not the destination).
Smile at strangers. Stop and say hello to neighbours and people you pass on the street. When we show kindness to others, we are open to receiving kindness too. It's a win-win, for us all.
Accept yourself just as you are. Don't question if you're good enough, or you should be different or better in some way. Just accept yourself, for all that you are, don't worry about what others think of you, and trust that your people will always love you, and be there for you. Be yourself in every single way.
Patience is such a lesson in this life. My beautiful dog teaches me this, as she ages, in every way. There is no need to rush, there's no timeframe, there's no pressure or expectation. When we learn to be patient, we are far more accepting of what is, we allow things and life to unfold and we are present with what truly matters, now.
You can never have enough play or fun! Don't let limitations or old age stop your enthusiasm for life. Life is for living and make each day count. Don't take things so seriously all the time. Life doesn't have to be all about improving or changing ourselves, or being or doing more. Happiness is far easier to attain and feel, when we stop striving for it, or worrying about things so much. Stop taking everything so seriously and expecting things to be hard, and start just enjoying life for all that it is.
What do you think of all these life lessons? Do you agree with some of these, if you have a beloved dog, or pet?
What are a couple of your own, that you'd add to this list? I'd love for you to comment and let me know. And perhaps this might get you thinking or just reminding you of all the beautiful and precious moments you have with your dog, and how much joy they bring to your heart and life. A reminder of how grateful and blessed we are to have them with us, through this life.
I know that these days, even more, I don't take a day of my life with Bronte dog for granted. I savour each day with her, and make sure that she always knows just how much she is loved.
She sends a very warm and friendly wag of her tail through the screen, as she sits beside me now, waiting to go out for little walk.
We both send you love,
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Katie Jane is a Holistic Therapist, Life Coach, Health Coach, Nutritionist, Naturopath, Meditation teacher, writer and author. Katie has been working in the wellness industry for over 15 years, in private practice and online, and brings all of these qualifications and skills, along with her own lived experiences through challenges, changes and transitions. Her approach to life and wellbeing is truly holistic and unique for each individual. She supports and coaches clients to make powerful changes, to feel calm through uncertainty and change, to embrace self care as a way of being, and to thrive through life transitions.