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Lessons Learned from My Dog

It’s graduation time and commencement speakers will soon share words of wisdom with new grads. Some lessons shared will be profound, and others quite simple.

What would I share, if invited? Things I learned in graduate school, principles proven in my consulting career, or tidbits picked up from my own mistakes? No, I think I’d share lessons I’ve learned from my dog.

Here are a few:

1. Play the hand you’re dealt. Some of us are born into the lap of luxury; others are not. Some of us come programmed for joy, and others less so. Some of us are nurtured magnificently, and others are nearly ignored. Rocky was given up before he was two. You might think he’d be sullen, unable to trust, or stuck with a bit of a chip on his canine shoulder. Not so. He’s a happy little guy who seems to demonstrate that it’s not what you’ve been given that counts-it’s who you become and what you do with what you’ve got!

2. Be Your Self. When we adopted Rocky, I almost forgot to ask his name. The clerk rolled her eyes and said, “It’s Rocky, but I’d change it to Pierre, if I were you.” We soon learned that this miniature black poodle was anything but a Pierre. He’s athletic, funny, social, and uninhibited. Possibly, he’s not even a purebred poodle. The name Rocky suits him well and he sports an all-over curly cut rather than a traditional poodle clipping. No matter what others think you should be like, it’s always best, to be your true self.

3. Master the basics. Eat, sleep, exercise, and connect with your pack. Rocky is never too busy to eat, too distracted to sleep, or too tired for a walk. Nor does he ever turn down an opportunity to connect. His wagging-tail greetings, sloppy kisses, and ability to land smack in the middle of the nearest lap are all-powerful statements of just how basic the need to connect really is. And yet, in today’s 24/7 world, it is often easy to forget that family and friends are actually nourishment and a major contributor to a sense of well-being.

4. Explore, explore, explore. Ever curious, and smart as a whip, Rocky always seems ready to explore new territory. He’ll happily learn a new “trick,” check out new critters, climb new hills, or try new toys. In life, the choice is yours: play it safe and embrace the status quo, or face the unknown and continue to grow. Rocky would say, “Stretch.”

5. Make each day great. Spontaneously, Rocky will tear through the house, barreling at a breakneck speed. Or, he might unexpectedly drop his rubber football at my feet, signalling it’s time for a game of fetch. When he comes in from a walk, he sits patiently, “asking” for his treat.

Do what you love, ask for what you want, and seize opportunities as they appear. Don’t wait for joy to come to you; instead, seek it out every day.

By Suzanne Zoglio

Meditation: Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. – Psalm 37:4

You will succeed because Jesus loves You!

Also read:

Rich or Poor?
Uses of the Scripture
How to be Free, Manifest and Succeed (1)

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