Why Every Girl (and Boy and Adult) Needs a Dog: Love, Boundaries, and More by da-AL

Anyone who thinks my doggies are my substitute children is missing the point. Humans are great. Thank goodness, though, dogs are yet another species with whom we can exchange care, joy, love, and wisdom.

Close up of dog nose and teeth
This picture by Sofia Oratowski of her dog always makes me smile.

This charming photo was taken by a dear 16-year-old friend. It’s of her amazingly sweet-tempered rescue dog. The adoption facility said the dog had problems with other dogs. Several years later, the dog has yet to display an ounce of anti-social behavior.

How I wish I’d learned or at least had begun to learn from dogs when I was as young as my friend is now.

Why? What’s good for my dogs is equally good for me. We teach people how to treat us. The wisdom that comes from training a dog applies as directly to happiness as to any type of relationship.

Training my dogs showed me about boundaries:

  1. What they are.
  2. What I need for a happy home.
  3. What dogs are capable of. What’s reasonable to expect as far as trusting them to learn, remember, and honor my needs.
  4. That boundaries are best communicated clearly and nonjudgmentally. If my requests are misunderstood, I’m must find a better way to convey them.
  5. Patience and consistency are essential.

Keeping them physically and emotionally healthy is great for both of us:

  • Walking them daily means I walk too.
  • Together, we meet our neighbors.
  • I used to think I was too busy to have a dog. Now I see that when I don’t have time for my pets, I’m overextending myself. When I wasn’t eager to come home, I wasn’t investing enough effort in ensuring that my home life, personal life, and social life were reliable havens.
  • Angels exist, and they’re not just the dogs. Strangers, neighbors, and friends often help when my dogs and I most need them. For all of my striving for independence, I need to be reminded that everyone and everything in the world are interdependent.
  • Compatibility: Cesar Milan, a.k.a., The Dog Whisperer, often talks about the importance of selecting pets that match our energy levels. Sometimes two good individuals are simply mismatched. Appreciating our differences shows us the need for bridges.
  • Trust needed time to grow. Some types of trust are harder to rebuild once they’re broken.

Few things can match how, when I leave my home for only a short while, my dogs’ eyes shine with pure joy when I return. Everyone needs love.

Have your pets made you a better human?

40 thoughts on “Why Every Girl (and Boy and Adult) Needs a Dog: Love, Boundaries, and More by da-AL

  1. My beautiful husky passed away last year. He made me a better person for sure. Treasure your precious doggies. They love you like no other. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Your dogs are adorable! I think it’s great for children to grow up with pets in general, a dog will be their best friend for life x

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Absolutely. Because of my first own owned dog, I decided to become an animal therapist. I read and learned everything about dogs what is ‘out there’ and the most important lessons I’ve gained: I am capable of more then I ever thought, dogs should be treated like dogs ( they need structure, good housing, the best food a carnivore can get – raw natural food – fresh water and a packleader, not a parent), only pet-animals are able to give you love without expectations in return.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. This post touched a real nerve for me, I am currently dog free and it is the first time in my life and you don’t realise how much you miss and need them in your lives. I have a feeling I will be on the hunt for a rescue dog… I’ll keep you posted

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This is such a good post. I am such a proponent of kids learning great things like love, respect, responsibility, even mourning and sadness. I appreciate the listing in this post. Good job.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love this post. I have love dogs, but was bitten 20 years ago (long story) and was afraid of a Great Dane that was often loose on our street when I was 5 years old. My parents would not allow a dog until my Mum got one for my Birthday when I was 15… She picked it (I had no idea), and brought it home. It was really for her… I did walk him (a little Yorkie) but he became her lap cushion and she indulged him terribly. He was a menace with anyone else and would bite (except for me… because I would take him for walks in the park and throw balls for him).

    Nowadays, my lifestyle doesn’t allow for a dog (I travel abroad a great deal), but I do pet sit many dogs and fall in love with every one of them. It is so hard to leave them when I’m no longer required 💔

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I don’t have a dog, I think dogs are too dependent, when I go to visit family or friends, their dogs jump all over us and leak us and follow us everywhere. Your article almost convinced me but I’m too busy and I’m not home very often and don’t have a garden so the dogs would not be very happy with me 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • maybe later, when you have time? I believe that dogs must be trained – as with children, pets need to be socialized, which takes time & patience. they demand of us, yet they give back 200 times more 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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