When I got a puppy just over two months ago, I had no idea what I was in store for. The amount of work, and love, has been more than I expected. And he’s also taught me a lesson or two, or three, about mindfulness.
Everything in Life is Worth Sniffing
Figuratively of course. Dude will sniff or bite or lick anything at least once. Old horse poop, lets check it out. A little tree, better taste it. He is wide-eyed and observant to his surroundings. We can all do a better job of stopping to check things out, noticing our surroundings and taking in the beauty that is life. Next time you notice something interesting, go ahead and sniff it.
Eye Contact is Awesome
To keep him safe in our mountain environment, it’s important that he learns to check in and make eye contact with us. We need it from him, we expect it from him, but it seems like less of a priority in personal conversations. Maybe he can help us get better with that.
On a similar note, it’s important to give our full attention. If he wants to snuggle and I’m working but attempt to give him something, it’s not enough. He wants full attention…don’t we all.
Emotions are Hard to Manage
Everything isn’t rosy with the little Dude-face. He makes us angry. He is naughty sometimes. He pees on the floor randomly (luckily less now) and jumps on the couch ump-teen times a day (and is met with “off” every single time). Sometimes we get frustrated. We get upset. We get angry. When he was younger and would bite, I would nearly cry at times from pain and frustration. What was clear to see early on is that it’s a skill to learn to manage emotions even when others make it difficult. But it can be done.
Maybe I’ll do a follow-up as he gets older, but the point may be that if we take the time to look around, give our full and undivided attention to those around us, there are a lot of lessons right in front of our eyes.
Topic for discussion:
What has your pet taught you about mindfulness or living in the present moment?