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Teachers' Day 2022: 9 things your pets can teach you

Updated on Sep 05, 2022 07:29 AM IST

Observing your pet's behaviour closely and incorporating some of their traits into your personality can make you a better or even more successful person. This teachers' day, here are 10 things you can learn from your pet.

This teachers' day, here are 10 things you can learn from your pet.(Shutterstock)

Some of the greatest life lessons can be learnt from pets. Their ability to love unconditionally, live in the present moment, forget and forgive, enjoy their own company, giving their pet parent undivided attention are some of the qualities that we all would like to imbibe to lead a more meaningful, happy and satisfied life. Observing your pet's behaviour closely and incorporating some of their traits into your personality can make you a better or even more successful person. This teachers' day, here are 10 things you can learn from your pet. (Also read: Pet care tips: 5 essential life skills to teach your dogs)

1. Don't worry about what others think of you: Have you noticed a cat trying to fit into a box 3x their size? They never care how others perceive him - they don't even care if they like him. They have confidence in their own abilities that is not diminished by other cats or people they may interact with. "People would have a much easier life if their self-esteem and self-confidence came from within and were not shaped by the opinions of others," says Karan Gupta- Founder of Goofy Tails- Nutrition Focussed Pet Products Company.

2. Love with all your might: Being able to love somebody deeply and unconditionally can be cathartic and this is something which we can learn from our furry friends. "Everyone knows that dogs love unconditionally; but, more than that it is the passion with which they love that matters. Go for a walk, and see how your dog reacts to you when you come back home. Do it 10 times, and you will still find your dog waiting for you at the door, with the same zeal and excitement that they were when they met you the first time. It is amazing how special a dog can make your feel. Now imagine if you could do the same for someone else," says Vidhi Malla, a pet parent.

3. Live in the moment: We are either dwelling on the past or worrying about the future, while missing out all the beautiful moments that the present has to offer. Our pets on the other hand make most of the present moment while trusting their owners to take care of their worries.

"Animals practiced mindfulness long before it became popular among us humans. While they certainly feel fear and anxiety at times, any anxiety is based on the circumstances of the moment. They rarely think or worry about the future. Pets tend to trust that their needs will be met on an ongoing basis. Although not preparing for the future is not that practical for people, living in the present is a useful practice. Fear of the future is not productive and undermines the present moment," says Gupta.

"This is something I have learned from personal experience. I have had dogs all my life, and the thing that I appreciate about my dogs most is how they enjoy every moment of their being. Of course, one cannot really compare because unlike humans, dogs do not have to go to office or earn a living, but still it is worth noting. A treat, a new ball, or even a pat on the head, a dog enjoys everything. Dogs love simple things, a run on the beach, sleeping in the sun, a good meal, a surprise treat!" says Vidhi.

4. Learning to let go: Vidhi says one of the most fascinating things about dogs is their ability to form bonds and trust and no matter how much suffering a dog has gone through, they can be rehabilitated with a little bit of care and affection. "Abused dogs might be bitter and angry, but most of the times they leave behind the past and their abusive situation, provided they find people they can trust," says the pet parent.

5. Listen more: "It's easy to talk to a dog or cat. They usually look you in the eye and rarely interrupt – and they never look down at their phone mid-conversation. While it can be so tempting to jump into opinions or think about what to say next, active listening is more effective. The next time you're in a conversation with a friend or family member, imagine your beloved dog and imitate his listening habits. Pay attention to what your neighbor is saying, but also watch their body language to see how they feel about the topic. Dogs are keenly aware of subtle changes in the way we speak. And dogs don't judge, offer unsolicited advice, or interrupt. They simply listen as long as the person wants to talk," says Gupta.

6. In everything together: "If you have more than one dog at home, or if you are someone who is friendly with your street dogs, you would realise that dogs venture out in groups. It is interesting to see that even dogs understand that a team is bigger than a single person, and that as an individual one is at a higher risk from predators," says Vidhi.

7. Take a break: While we work so hard, we don't really prioritise rest. Our pets listen to their bodies and that's something we can learn from them. "Cats unapologetically sleep 12 to 16 hours a day. It might be a bit much for most people, but when cats are awake, they are alert and fully present. There is simple yet profound wisdom in getting the right amount of sleep to be at your best during the day. Cats and dogs listen to their bodies and get the rest they need when they need it. However, people tend to make sleep a low priority as they rely on coffee or sodas to get them through the day. Unfortunately, such behaviour is not productive and can even be dangerous," says Gupta.

8. Try new things: "Get a dog off a leash, and see him run. While we humans might hesitate to do things, animals do not. Of course some dogs are scared of new things, or might have a past trauma associated with certain things, but even then, they would eventually try and learn to overcome them," says Vidhi.

9. Be forgiving: Animals engage in reconciliation and peace-making after incidents of mutual aggression and even after being abused or mistreated. "Pet owners can attest that animals can endure a lot and will continue to show love and loyalty to their "people". Their inclination to forgive is probably not a pursuit of virtue, but an instinct that life is better when humans and animals get along," says Gupta.

"Every aspect of a dog’s behaviour is a lesson in life. Something as simple as stretching before your start a work out or an exercise regime. Have you ever noticed what a dog does when they wake up in the morning? They stretch, they shake their heads and get their blood flowing in their limbs. A simple observation that can help humans keep their muscles flexible, strong and healthy," concludes Vidhi.

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