Those of us who welcome homeless senior dogs into our homes and hearts understand that we’re making a huge difference in their lives as we help them welcome an opportunity to be happy, healthy dogs. But what about the difference they can make in our lives?
Being human is difficult at best and we often struggle with so many perceptions that get in the way of our abilities to be the best versions of ourselves. Consider the following as some of the factors that sometimes make it hard to be a human being:
1) Living in a body comes with challenges and limitations.
2) We have difficulty with communication because our filter systems, egos, and hidden agendas get in the way.
3) We have problems dealing with our feelings and emotions.
4) We have a tendency to judge.
5) Time becomes a factor because we’re so busy thinking about yesterday and planning for tomorrow that today is often lost.
6) We struggle with aging.
7) Dying is often a fear-based experience.
Here’s how a dog—especially a senior dog—can help us with the above issues if we let them:
1) Dogs understand that living in a body has limitations, but they don’t fight being a dog. They enjoy all things physical and they face each physical challenge with hope and determination. They power through physical issues because they want to be well and enjoy everything that being in a body allows them to experience.
2) You always know where you stand with a dog so their ability to communicate isn’t an issue. Dogs have no hidden agendas, inflated egos, or filter systems. They look at everything from a straight-line intuitive perspective.
3) Dogs have no trouble with feelings and emotions because they don’t try to process and manage them. You know how your dog feels about you and life in general every minute of every day.
4) Dogs don’t judge. Ever. They understand that judging isn’t a productive way to live their lives. Even dogs that come from situations of abuse and neglect are able to move past their fear and sadness with help from the people who love them. They’re willing to trust.
5) Dogs live in the moment and never spend time thinking about yesterday or tomorrow. Today is all that matters and they don’t want to miss a moment of today’s experiences.
6) Unless there are issues that require intervention, dogs age gracefully and they don’t worry about the fact that they can’t move as fast, or see and hear as well as they did when they were younger. They celebrate what they can do and accept the fact that aging is part of being in a body.
7) Dogs understand that death is just change and an end to the physical experience. They don’t fear death because they know that when they leave their bodies they’ll be free to move on to their next expression of spirit.
If we could just let our dogs help us become happy and successful human beings by approaching all things human with the wisdom and understanding that dogs have, we’d have a much more satisfying human experience.
Take your dog’s paw. Let him help you.
Special thanks to Julie Austin for the fabulous photograph that says it all.