In Cesar Millan’s new show Leader of the Pack, dogs that are considered “unadoptable” are matched with the right people to help them adapt, thrive and become wonderful companions. This means finding the right human for the job. After all, you can’t help who you fall in love with; there has to be chemistry and a match. Once you match-make, the work begins.
Helping a dog become the right companion also means understanding that dogs are not people. Dogs interact differently with their world than people do. Neither the dog’s way nor the person’s way of seeing the world is better, it’s just different. Perhaps that is one of the reasons people and dogs get along so famously. We have so much to learn from one another. In fact, there are many things that people can learn from their dogs about being a better human. Here are just three of them:
1) Live in the Present
Dogs embrace the moment in a way people often forget to do. We get wrapped up in the minutia of work, chores and errands. Sometimes we are so deep in our head that the things we enjoy the most pass us right by. We are too busy thinking about the things that must be done tomorrow and should have been done yesterday. Dogs live in the moment. This means that even an “unadoptable” dog can overcome trauma and embrace a new life. A pat on the head, a kind word or a new toy is a wonderful thing. The sudden appearance of a squirrel is rarely overlooked. The possibility of a snack is always a reason to a pause and hope. What are you missing by not focusing on the present?
2) Pay Close Attention to Others
Dogs watch us closely, monitoring our body language and our expressions. They gauge the tone of our voice. Sometimes our dogs know we are upset before we know it ourselves. Suddenly you find a paw on your knee and you know you’ve got a friend. Being completely present in the relationships of those you love means paying attention. How often do we miss that our spouse has had a bad day? Or that our best friend is more upset than she is letting on? Are you watching your loved ones closely so you can give them a kind word and a hug when they need it?
3) Put Your Faith in Actions
We often believe people will do things or change just because they say they will. Or perhaps we trust no one, cutting ourselves out of possible friendships because others have wronged us. We believe that people will be exactly who we want or believe them to be. A well-adjusted dog doesn’t focus on what’s in your head, he simply believes in your actions. A dog’s friendships are based on the trust that is built in every day interactions. If you are trustworthy in your actions a dog, even a dog with a rough history, will eventually trust you. And once you have that trust, you have a loyalty like no other. How much stronger would our relationships be if we focused on our own actions and the actions of others?
There are so many things that dogs can teach us about living a better life. Dogs in rescue situations have so much to share as well! In this week’s episode of Leader of the Pack: A Friend for Amigo, viewers meet Amigo, a greyhound that is looking for a home where he can become well-adjusted and be loved. Tune in Saturday February 9 at 10 PM to watch Amigo’s journey to find his dream home. What do you think your dogs have taught you about being a better person?