Iâve had my dog Lulu in my life for 6 years and she has taught me quite a bit about myself and life in general. Before adopting Lulu, I had fish and rabbits as pets. I had never imagined the joy of having a dog! Donât get me wrong, it hasnât been all kisses and tummy rubs, but even in her naughty moments, Lulu continues to be one of the most effective teachers I have ever had.
Lesson #1: Patience
I considered myself a pretty patient person before having a dog in my life. Iâm not the kind of person who gets angry or frustrated very easily, but when the dog annihilated the fairly new leather loveseat? I felt qualified for sainthood for remaining (relatively) calm. The coffee table corners and dining chair legs also served as chew toys. Soon after, I embraced the joy of crate training!
Lesson #2: Itâs Fun to be Friendly
Lulu is a social butterfly, me â not so much. She just loves to meet people as well as other dogs. Before Lulu, I barely knew the security guard and my closest neighbours in my condo. Lulu has allowed me to meet fellow dog owners in the building as well as the neighbourhood, not to mention local dog lovers and kids! Going for walks isnât a chore, itâs an opportunity to socialize!
Lesson #3: Get Over It!
On the rare occasion that Lulu has a negative encounter with another dog or anyone on small wheels (rollerblades and skateboards make her crazy!); Lulu doesnât let it ruin her walk, never mind her day. A few moments after the encounter, she pauses, gives herself a good shake, and sheâs off on her merry way! No lingering bad feelings, no barking 20 minutes after the episode, just shake it off and go back to figuring out who peed where.
Lesson #4: Itâs Never Too Late to Try Something New/Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway
I adopted Lulu when she was 4 months old. It didnât take long to figure out that she was deathly afraid of water. It didnât matter what form it came in; rain, sprinklers, bath time â it was all the same to herâ¦ NOT FUN! For years I have tried to coax her into going in the water; lakes, creeks, it didnât matter, she wanted nothing to do with it. A few weeks ago, on a trip to the lake, Lulu decided to see if the water was drinkable, a first for her. During the long weekend a few weeks ago, she not only tasted the water, she decided she was ready to walk right in! It was pretty amazing to watch! Last weekend, we were back at the lake and she went in even deeper than before, getting entirely soaked! Iâm wondering if sheâll show off her swimming skills on the next visit.
Lesson #5: Unconditional Love is Easy!
Like most dogs, Lulu is a very empathetic creature. Sheâs there to lick your tears away when youâve been crying (and wonât stop until you start laughing at her persistence!), and knows when you need someone to cuddle with. Whether youâre in a bad mood or down with the flu, sheâs there with her tail waggling and a goofy look on her face that canât help but make you smile. She doesnât take your bad moods personally; she actually seems to make it her goal to âturn your frown upside downâ. Even when youâre late coming home and have completely gone off schedule for a bathroom break and dinner, she doesnât hold it against you (she took it out on the pillow!).
Luluâs been a joy to have in my life. There is never a dull moment and her endless energy is (often) contagious. Sheâs one of the most entertaining, yet effective teacherâs Iâve ever had and I look forward to seeing what else she has in her lesson book!
Sandra Dawes is a certified Life Coach with her own practice - Embrace Your Destiny. The passing of her father inspired a journey of spiritual growth and enlightenment, with many lessons learned that she wants to share with others who have found themselves facing similar challenges. A student of A Course in Miracles, she is also inspired by the teachings of Deepak Chopra, Dr. Wayne Dyer and Louise Hay, to name a few! Visit www.embraceurdestiny.com for more information.