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Check out these 8 life lessons from my dog!
If you follow me on any kind of social media, you probably know by now that I’m absolutely obsessed with my dog, Gunther. I’m 100% convinced that he’s the goodest boy, and I love him more than I can even put into words. He brings so much joy into my life, even in the moments when he chooses Kyle over me (which happens more often than you think. Sigh…boys). He’s playful when we both need to run off some energy. He takes naps when I need to be productive. He’s the best cuddler, and sometimes he even opts to be the big spoon (I’m not even joking). This is all completely biased, but I truly believe he’s the best dog, albeit not the best listener.
Beyond just being the cutest and sweetest and best, he’s also super smart. I’m not saying that he can follow commands or knows how to communicate his needs because, honestly, he really doesn’t, but he’s smart in that he teaches me little ways that I can be my best self. He reminds me to play. He makes me laugh all the time. He never hesitates to show me how much he loves me. He’s a Hufflepuff like me, so of course, he knows how to show love to friends and strangers alike. He’s honestly taught me so many things in the few short months that we’ve had him, like…
DON’T BE SCARED TO ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT
I rarely have to set an alarm anymore because Gunther wakes me up with his whines when he wants to go outside. Even though he knows
but doesn’t care that I’m getting in my beauty rest, he wakes me up to take him out, even if it’s 6 in the morning. And guess what? I do it (or Kyle does it). And why? Because he asked us to. Pro tip from Gunther: If you don’t ask for something, you’ll never get it, so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, whether it’s asking for a potty break or a treat (that you obviously deserve). Gunther loves him some treats, but being a shelter dog, we have to make sure that he gets the best of the best when it comes to anything he puts in his body. Being part dachshund, who are notorious for having bad teeth, he had several teeth pulled before he joined our family, so we have to be cognizant of the foods and treats we get for him. On top of that, we also want to make sure we’re feeding him healthy snacks, so even when he’s being spoiled, he’s also getting all of the nutrients he needs. In the past, I’ve given my dogs deer antlers and intricate rawhides to keep them busy while I’m out of the house, but with a good portion of his teeth missing, that’s not really an option for Gunther.
For pet parents who want to treat their pooches with something that’s good for them and also tastes delish, SmartBones is the surprising chew that makes dogs’ mouths water, but also gives them the nutrition that conscious pet owners are looking for. SmartBones makes rawhide alternative products that are healthy substitutes for rawhides. Even with less teeth, Gunther was able to eat and enjoy his SmartBones Peanut Butter Classic Bone Chews, which are made with real peanut butter and real chicken – two of Gunther’s favorite things. All of SmartBones’ products are made from healthy and wholesome ingredients. Not only are they delicious for Gunther, they’re also nutritious and 100% rawhide-free, which makes it the perfect alternative to rawhides for Gunth. So not only are they yummy and good for him, they’re also good for me, too, because I know that Gunther is getting a treat that’s healthier for him and makes him feel happy and loved.
For more information about SmartBones and how they’re the perfect rawhide alternative snack for your dog, click here.
DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY
It was pretty easy for us to figure out what makes Gunther happy. Firstly, naps. He loves a good nap and spends the majority of his day sleeping. Secondly, the sunshine. Gunther loves sunbathing, whether it’s outside or by the window. And of course, Gunther loves him some treats. Any time he hears a bag rustle, he runs up to you and starts wagging in the hopes that you’ve got something good for him. Gunther knows what he likes, and he’s always willing to go the extra mile to get it, whether that be pulling the leash to get to a bird or jumping in the air to get what’s in your hand.
NEVER BE AFRAID TO MAKE A NEW FRIEND
Gunther loveloveloves people. With the exception of one little kid that took one look at him and ran away screaming, everyone who’s met Gunther loves him. He’s so easy to love because he’ll simply wag his tail and walk right up to you to say hello. And by “say hello” I mean he’ll sniff you. He’s never afraid of the rejection that could potentially occur by pursuing a new friendship. Instead, he leans into it, and for the most part, he comes out of it successfully. Similarly, when Gunther sniffs out a potential dog friend, he’s usually all in. Gunther is the least intimidating dog, and he just loves to play. Although he does prefer bigger dog pals to smaller dogs, but of course, he’s open to all friendships.
SPEND TIME OUTSIDE
As much as Gunther loves getting some zzz’s, he would much rather spend all his time outside. Kyle and I are looking forward to the day we have a huge yard for him to run around in. When we first adopted Gunther, it was still winter, so it was deceivingly sunny outside. So even with the freezing temperatures, Gunther enjoyed the sunshine from the rays shining through our sliding glass door. Now that it’s warm, Gunther savors all the time that he gets to spend outside, and we love it too, because it makes us (*ahem* me) be a little more active with longer walks and sometimes jogs. Even with the shortest, cutest legs, Gunther loves to go running. I’m not a runner, but his cuteness and desire to run makes me want to jump in and run with him.
CHASE YOUR DREAMS
I saw this tweet once about a guy who was talking about how every time his dog saw a squirrel, he ran after it. Even though he never caught one, he still never gave up hope. Gunther is the exact same way with squirrels, but even more so with birds. Gunther loves hearing the birds chirp, and when he spots one on the ground, he goes after it. Same with ducks and bunnies. Even though he’ll likely never catch one with his little legs and lack of athleticism, it never stops him from chasing after his dreams and going after what he wants.
FORGIVE AND FORGET
Confession: Gunther has peed in the house. More than once. He actually is house-trained, but his first night with us, he peed on the floor out of spite because he wanted to get on the bed with us and didn’t understand that he should go to sleep in his own bed. He’s had little random bouts of rebellion since that first night, but they’re rare. When he does pee in the house though, he doesn’t get away with it. When we discipline him, he looks so ridiculously sad, and even though he’s mad at us for calling him out on his mistake, he nearly immediately forgives us and just wants to be cuddled. You just gotta learn from your mistakes and move on, ya know?
GET EXCITED ABOUT THE LITTLE THINGS
Gunther gets excited about literally everything. When I get out of bed, he starts jumping around. When I step into the kitchen, his tail is wagging, and he’s right behind me. When a person is walking in his direction, he’s eager to make a new friend. When a squirrel runs by, he loses his mind. And even though Gunther hates car rides, he loves seeing where we’re going when we actually get there. Whether it’s a trip to the dog park or to PetSmart, Gunther is Here. For. It. His excitement is so contagious.
SPEND TIME WITH THE ONES YOU LOVE
Even though Gunther loves treats, sunshine, naps, and smelling all the smells, at the end of the day, what he loves most is Kyle and me. He loves all of the things I just mentioned, but he loves them even more when they’re with us. He loves when we give him treats (obvs). He loves being in the sunshine, even more so when we’re around the enjoy it with him. He loves naps, especially when they include lengthy cuddle sessions, and he loves sniffing everything, particularly us when we get home from a day of work and/or play. Gunther is such a simple reminder of the importance of showing others how much you love them and basking in the time that you get to spend with them.
I stand by my statement that Gunther is a smart dog. He doesn’t know all the tricks. He’s not a good listener. He’s also super stubborn. But he reminds us what’s important in life, like showing all the love, staying healthy, and getting excited about literally everything.
If you’d like to learn more about SmartBones and their rawhide-free pet products, visit their website.
What lessons have you learned from your pets?