How dogs humble us

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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?

Pup links!

You've got your Aussie and your Hunters. What more does a girl need? Source: Shirley Bittner

Elli and Forgiveness. A sweet post about how our dogs are often our moral superiors. (Identity: V+E)

Going Home: “The Perfect Day.” Slate published an excerpt this week from Jon Katz’s new book about saying goodbye when dogs die. Prepare to cry! (Slate)

Dealing with Breed Discrimination. Since we’re leaning toward adopting an adult GSD, breed discrimination is something that I occasionally worry about, especially with regard to renting and traveling. Amy writes some thoughtful points on how to be conscientious if you’re traveling with a dog whose breed is often discriminated against. Has anyone experienced this with their dog? If so, how do you handle it? (Take Paws)

2012 Calendar from River Dog Prints. I’m a sucker for cute calendars and these are adorable! (Dog Milk)

Halloween Costume Roundup. Will you dress your dog up for Halloween? What’s this year’s costume of choice? (Rescued Insanity)

Playground Police. You can always trust the dog to keep law and order. (Animals Being Di*ks)