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. Carol // Aussie Mum Blogger July 22, 2017 / 8:52 pm

    Oh I love dogs! I’ve always grown up with animals and I plan to do the same with my daughter. We rescued a Cat the other week and we will be rescuing a dog soon. It teaches you responsibilities from a young age! Plus they are so cute!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. adventure4evs July 19, 2017 / 1:38 am

    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

    • da-AL July 19, 2017 / 9:18 pm

      would love that! good luck 🙂

      Like

  3. Patty July 17, 2017 / 2:52 am

    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. J | Beauty's Expert Amateur July 16, 2017 / 2:22 am

    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

    • da-AL July 16, 2017 / 10:26 pm

      So true. And they’ll protect them. 😀

      Like

  5. superwifeandmummy July 15, 2017 / 2:34 pm

    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

  6. usathroughoureyes July 15, 2017 / 6:00 am

    Without a doubt our chocolate lab has made us better humans. There is something wonderful about dogs that, if you let them, bring out softness, patience and love that then pours out upon others of the two legged kind.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Sharon Bonin-Pratt July 14, 2017 / 11:39 pm

    I love dogs, and your article explains why, though as a young child, I was absolutely petrified of them.

    Liked by 2 people

    • da-AL July 14, 2017 / 11:40 pm

      smart children approach strange dogs with caution 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

        • da-AL July 14, 2017 / 11:50 pm

          sorry – but hopefully you didn’t get bit! I got bit when I was about 5 yrs old, but loved animals so much that still never became scared of dogs – maybe I should have haha

          Liked by 1 person

          • Sharon Bonin-Pratt July 15, 2017 / 9:40 am

            A very mild attack but by a big dog – was already scared of him and that bite sent me into terror for the next 10 years. I’ve never recovered quickly from anything that frightens me. Still, I love dogs now and most animals.

            Liked by 1 person

            • da-AL July 15, 2017 / 1:38 pm

              I admire that you sought to overcome your fear – bravo, Sharon 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

              • Sharon Bonin-Pratt July 15, 2017 / 1:56 pm

                I didn’t actually. My parents finally agreed to let my sibs get a dog, a wonderful reddish sheltie mix, but eventually he was really mine more than theirs. He slept with me, I walked him and fed him, and he showed me how loving and loyal a dog could be. My parents had him until he was nearly 18 years old and both my sons got to meet him. He loved everyone who was family and protected all of us from “strangers.” No biting, but a fierce growl.

                Liked by 1 person

                • da-AL July 15, 2017 / 2:14 pm

                  ah – the usual way of dogs – to worm their ways into the most apprehensive of hearts – they should run the U.N. 🙂

                  Liked by 1 person

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