Dogs teach us many things. I’ve learnt some of life’s biggest lessons from my dog. Besides love and loyalty, which are synonymous with dogs, I’ve also learnt to be patient and responsible. Even a lifetime is not enough to learn life lessons from our dogs. And the beauty is they teach us these life lessons without any fuss. That’s why in homes where dogs and kids grow up together, they share a strong bond of love, loyalty and many lessons learnt along the way. Bring a dog and a child together and that’s the start of a bond for a lifetime. Imagine every day filled with love, care, responsibility and play! In today’s article I’ll share 3 life lessons that dogs teach kids, and so effortlessly.
Also read: 5 things to do before bringing a dog home
Be an empath
You can’t expect a baby to learn things like empathy as soon as they are born. But if you’ve a dog at home, you’ll notice that a child will start learning how to be empathetic from an early age. It starts with simple things. With a little bit of guidance from elders, a child will learn to gently pet a dog, not pull their ears or tail. Yes, a child might still try to hug a dog or play with them even if the dog isn’t interested. But soon they will develop an understanding not based on aggression or fear but based on love and empathy. They will develop their own bond of loyalty and even being silly together.
Appreciate small joys
Have you ever seen a dog with a squeaky toy? Or a dog sniffing the fire hydrant for the 67th time during a walk? In the dog world, it’s called appreciating the small joys of life. These are things that the dog sees every day, yet the sense of joy and wonderment is boundless. And somewhere in a completely uncomplicated way, dogs pass on these life lessons to kids. My heart wells up when I see our four-year old niece squeal with joy when she gives food to our dog. She obviously doesn’t prepare the food. But carrying the food bowl from the kitchen to the spot where Popo eats his meals, which is less than five steps away, gives her so much joy. She even ditches Blippi to do this. Now, she waits for Popo to finish his meals so she can give him a “good boy” treat.
Here’s another thing that a dog teaches us like no one else does. They teach us the art of responsibility. No matter how tired you are, you still must walk the dog. Be it sunny, stormy, rainy the dog must go out. They must be fed in time. They are a creature of routine, and you can’t, and shouldn’t, change their routine. And I’ve seen that children often take a leaf from this. We’ve friends whose daughter is growing up with two beautiful dogs. They have created a morning routine that goes like this. Every morning the kid gets ready to take the dogs for a walk, of course along with an elder member of the family. This makes her feel responsible for walking her partners in crime. Then they have a hearty breakfast together and enjoy their play time.
If anything, I feel as if there’s no teacher like dogs who teach the true essence of being a friend for a lifetime and beyond.