“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself.”

~ Josh Billings

Do you ever look down at your dog and think to yourself, “Must be nice”…

I can’t speak from experience, but I imagine most dogs live a life many of us can only dream of.

They get to run around all day, sleep whenever they want, play with other dogs, and get their tummies scratched all day by adoring humans.

Maybe excluding the last one, their lives sound like a dream!

Dogs are always positive and excited about life. They love unconditionally, and they know how to truly live in the moment.

They experience the world in such a different way than us, some might even say a better way. But it’s not their laid back and responsibility free daily life that makes them this way.

These are characteristics of a dog no matter what their circumstance is. It’s in their nature.

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As humans, we tend to change our characteristics due to our circumstances.

Painful moments from the past make us bitter or unable to trust. Repetitious lifestyles make us complain and get bored easily.

But what if we learned to stay positive, loyal, and happy despite the good or bad things that are happening around us?

What if we learned to be more like a dog?

Happy, content, forgiving, loyal, and always hungry.

There are many lessons that we can learn from our canine friends, but here are seven to start you off:

1. Their hearts are bigger than the ocean.

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A dog’s love is like no other.

They never judge you, or complain about you to the other dogs in the pack.

They love you harder than you can imagine, and they will always stay loyal to you as long as you do well by their side.

Even if you make a mistake, a dog will always forgive.

They are big fans of forgiveness, a lesson many of us can learn from them.

You can scream and yell at your pup one minute for peeing all over your new carpet, and the next minute they will be jumping all over you with excitement giving you the sloppiest wet kisses.

2. They are good at making new friends and meeting strangers.

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Dogs love meeting new people and pups!

They don’t care what the other dog looks like, who his friends are, or what kind of house he lives in.

They know from the second they meet you if you guys are going to be friends, of it they just don’t like your energy.

How refreshing is that honesty!

When dogs meet, they sniff each other a little, play for a few moments, and then either continue playing for the next 2 hours, or walk away from each other with no feelings hurt.

They also have no problem walking up to a complete stranger, human or dog, and just saying hey!

They never think, “What do I look like right now?” or ” I hope I don’t say something stupid.”

They just prance over and see what happens. SO SIMPLE.

3. “Dirt” is their middle name.

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Dogs don’t care about their hygiene, and they aren’t afraid to get their feet in the mud!

They are never dragged down by the idea of not doing something because they have to shower, do laundry, or put on make up.

They jump head first into a puddle and screw the rest!

Consequences are not on their mind because those come later. Only the moment is important, and in that moment, that puddle was looking really good.

4. Nap time is essential.

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Dogs knows the value of a good nap.

They run around outside, eat some kibble, and nap. Then they get up, run around some more, and nap again.

Unlike humans, dogs understand that in order to have energy for all of the things we want to do, we have to take the time to relax and gather that energy.

We humans walk around this earth like zombies, trying to get through our daily responsibilities.  When we do find extra time for ourselves, we spend it on some good old fashioned fun to blow off the steam from our already exhausting day.

In order to support all of that activity, we have to realize that our bodies need sufficient rest so we are not just going through the movements of our day, but actually living in those moments!

5. Food is the most important thing in the world.

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To a dog, being given food is the best thing they think will ever happen to them.

Dinner time is when the heavens open up and their empty bowls get filled with kibbles of deliciousness.

A dog will eat almost anything you give him, whether it cost $3 or $300.

They don’t care where it came from or if it’s gluten-free. Only that it’s theirs and it’s going to be delicious no matter what it is.

Imagine if we approached every single meal with so much enthusiasm, gratefulness, and satisfaction.

6. They never overthink things.

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Canines don’t get embarrassed or fazed by awkward things that happen to them on a daily basis such as falling off the couch or running head first into a wall.

A dog just shakes it off and moves on!

They live in the moment and don’t care what others think of them.

Maybe if we all tried to be a little more like them, we could find the courage to be ourselves and to go after the things that we are most scared of.

Because even if we fail or if somebody doesn’t like us, we can shake it off and move on.

7. They never give up.

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Dogs are a persistent bunch.

The reasons dogs are so good at learning new tricks is not just because they are extremely smart, but also because they will try and try again until the treats run out.

No matter how old a dog is, you will see him trying to run and play with other dogs because he doesn’t care  how old he is.

He doesn’t see it as an obstacle. He wants to play and he will try his hardest to do so.

When a dog gets it in his head that there are treats under the cabinet door, he will scratch at that door for hours until he gets what he is looking for.

If only we could learn to approach life with such courage and determination. The possibilities for our success would be endless.

Maybe in order to become the top dog, we might have to start acting like one.

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