Pets are loving beings that are with us all the time in our lives, especially now that we’re home during this quarantine. Has your pet taught you any life lessons?

A saluki paused in thought. Mine has taught me quite a bit about stopping to smell the flowers.
A saluki paused in thought. Mine has taught me quite a bit about stopping to smell the flowers.
Photo by Artem Sapegin on Unsplash

I have three dogs. A greyhound, a saluki, and a golden retriever mix. All three are magnificent dogs and have their quirks just like any living being, and all three have their own ways of loving and habits that we find awesome and sometimes goofy.

My greyhound is an old guy, as is my golden mix. Being 12 and 14 respectively both he and she are calm in the day-to-day, mostly spending their golden years relaxing on the porch with me while I write and sometimes sitting with me while I’m doing another project in the house. Some days they just sleep the day away, and others they’re spry and want to play, which is good to see at their age.

My saluki is another story, he’s five and is a gentle soul. He’s taught me a lot since having rescued him at the tender age of 11 months. He’s taught me that loving everything from paper bags to tough guys is okay and worth being excited about. He’s taught me that being forgiving in every circumstance no matter the wrong, is an outstanding thing and leads to a happier life.

I feel he has taught me many things in the past four years of being with us, many of which include that sleeping is a great thing to do with gusto, snoring loudly is okay, being goofy is the best thing ever and going on walks with friends is the best activity in the universe. He’s taught me that meeting unknown friends is something we should embrace with an absolute joy no matter what, and he’s made friends with some rough characters that I would have normally avoided.

I don’t recommend a saluki for everyone, he’s taught me they are not easily trained and they have a will of their own. The girls are hell on wheels as I’ve experienced through fostering them, but they have their own loving side, awesome to behold. They’ve taught me that patience, time and understanding are a wonderful thing when dealing with everyone around me.

Greyhound lounging on a couch. They're called 100mph couch potatoes for a reason and have taught me that relaxing is a key to long life and happiness.
Greyhound lounging on a couch. They’re called 100mph couch potatoes for a reason and have taught me that relaxing is a key to long life and happiness.
Photo by Derek Story on Unsplash

I’m sure there is a pet in your life that has taught you lessons meaningful to you both, or just as an aha moment as you realize that this being has just as much a mind of its own as you do and you need to respect that. Whether they’ve taught you to be patient, more affectionate, better at being friendlier, etc., there are lessons learned from them we can take into account for our own well-being.

My biggest takeaway with Liam is that he’s taught me forgiveness of any transgression. Not to let something ruin your entire day and not to hold grudges. Holding grudges just sets you up for failure in both your own life and those around you with negativity, and failing to find forgiveness sets you up for being miserable.

Learn to forgive, not only yourself but others. I’ve said it before, you’ll thank yourself every day if you’re not fighting yourself every step of the way. See what they’ve taught you and apply that to your everyday life.