Everything I Know, I Learn From My Dog

Everything I Know, I Learn From My Dog
photo: Renee Rendler-Kaplan

Anyone that knows me, knows that my 13 year old mutt, Desi, and I are abnormally close. I think part of it is that I believe I got him when he was much younger than 8 weeks old, the recommended age for pups to be taken away from their mother.

We’ve been through a lot together, Desi and I. There have been many changes, too many flights to count and a cross country move. The one constant is that no matter what, he has always been by my side. When we lived in Los Angeles, I had him certified as a therapy dog, and while many people might see that as odd considering his size and occasional temper, he truly is my biggest supporter and number one mood booster.

I’ve been lucky that since getting him, I have mainly worked from home, and when I did work in an office, it was dog friendly. (at one point, since it was a startup, there were more dogs in the office than employees!) We go for walks every couple of hours, which provides for a great break from work and keeps me from working way too many hours. Hazards of having your own company!

Desi is incredibly smart. I often tell him that he’s too smart for his own good, and might have less anxiety if he didn’t know so much, like that when I go to my makeup bag, more than likely that means I have to leave him. Or that when I bring out my suitcase, that means he’s headed to his grandparents house without me. I’m not sure who teaches who more. Without a doubt, I have learned a lot from Desi.

Things like:

  • Living in the moment – as dogs have no sense of time or time memory, he makes the most out of every moment. That’s so easy for me to forget, and I easily can stress about things that haven’t happened yet (and isn’t it true that the more you stress about something in the future, the less likely it is to even happen?)
  • His gratitude – each walk is the best thing to happen to him and every time I come home it’s a celebration in his eyes. The more gratitude I can find in the simplest of things, the better my life is. jss
  • Empathy – he knows every single mood of mine and knows just when I need puppy kisses to cheer me up, or need him to take ME outside to get out of myself and focus on something else.


Do you have a dog? What are some things your pup has taught YOU?

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