I am not one to over-romanticize dogs or think of them as supernatural sages trapped in furry bodies. They are dogs. They are just another Earth-grounded species. But they have a lot to teach us about ourselves. Lately, I’ve been thinking about all of the ways that dogs make us less self-absorbed humans.
Why spending time with dogs makes us more humble and bearable people:
- Dogs make us exercise servant leadership. We have to stoop down and pick up their poop with our hands. We pull ticks out of their fur. We clean up their vomit on the carpet. We are reminded that we are not so very important.
- Dogs make us realize how poor our communication skills really are. There is nothing more humbling than trying to train a dog something new and realizing that we are not coming across very clearly.
- Dogs remind us that they forgive more swiftly and more completely than we do.
- Dogs have more trust in us than we have in ourselves.
- Dogs make us realize that all the things we get stressed out about might not actually be life-and-death situations. What is really important right now? In a dog’s eyes: You need to throw that ball for me another 1,500 times. That’s all that really needs to happen today. Just relax.
How does your dog humble you?