My Life Changed by Having a Dog

How Getting A Dog Changed My life

Dear Reader,

No one in my family would have described me as a thoughtful person growing up. I thought I was pretty smart and often wondered “why can’t everyone just be like me?”

I seriously thought the world would be a better place if everyone was like me. Such hubris and self-centeredness the world had never known! 🙂

That is until I started working with dogs. Suddenly I had to convince another being that what I wanted them to do was the best way. Problem was, they didn’t care about logic or arguments or what I wanted.

And it’s a good thing because they taught me empathy like no amount of time spent in a church, arguments with my significant other, arguments with my siblings, therapy, or reading self help books could ever accomplish.

Here’s a mini list of things dogs have taught me:

  • What the dog wants matters way more than what I want. Influencing their opinion or actions is impossible unless they feel I truly get them. 

  • If being around me leads to their favorite things suddenly my opinions matter, and my requests make a lot of sense to them.

  • Get out of the past, stay out of the future, and get into the present.

  • Holy sh*t life is good. Did you smell that? 

  • Did you see that leaf blow in the wind? Did you know this pine tree was so cool? Did you know I can hop over this bush? 

  • Did you know that all your goals and aspirations are kind of a minor detail? The most important detail is doing simple things with the beings you love! It’s hard to forget that with dogs around all the time.

  • Did you know every morning is the best morning? Seriously, every single one is awesome.

  • Choose your boundaries wisely. Stand by the most important ones but be flexible with the rest or you will be miserable. Don’t believe me? Try convincing your dog that sniffing butts is unacceptable. Or that your walking speed is the only acceptable speed and see how much fun you have with that. 

  • The world needs the best version of you. Your dog is constantly trying to pull it out of you by forcing you into this moment.

  • Exercise everyday or you’ll be stressed.

  • Do something you love everyday or you’ll go crazy (your dog will go crazy too if they skip too many days in a row). Even if you only have 10 minutes to devote to a hobby you enjoy, you have to do it!

Now replace the word “dog” above with “person” and read it again.

Maybe I’m a little crazy…. But I think your dog can teach you how to live a better life with your fellow humans too, especially through dog boarding and training in Salt Lake City, including the best dog boot camp in Utah. Embrace the journey and let your dog inspire positive qualities in your interactions with others. 

Your friend with the treat-filled pockets,

Ryan Gwilliam

P.S. When you’re ready to take the next step, all you need to do it:

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