I pass along life lessons from my dog Franny, in no particular order. What she taught me about herself, living with animals in general, people, relationships, and living life your own way.
top 10 tips –
- Dogs judge. They have a fairly amazing and innate bullshit meter, some more than others. Don’t think you can treat a dog or any living being with disregard and them be OK with it. All living beings deserve respect, and living beings need to be seen for who they are, not what you want them to be. From an honest place.
- Dogs are living sentient beings. They have emotions, ideas, thoughts, and dreams. They reason and solve concepts, most better than humans. While sit and down are fine and fun to teach, keep in mind, dogs do them by themselves all of the time. You haven’t even tapped the genius within. Most dogs are waiting to work, waiting to be challenged mentally, waiting to be included. Start the revolution in your own home.
- Dogs do not need pain, fear, or discomfort to learn. No animal needs this.
- When someone tells you that you need to harm a living being in order for them to obey you, they are not a friend, not a professional, and most certainly someone not worth listening to. Step away, breathe and listen to your heart. Sometimes the best advice doesn’t come from another human, it comes from within your heart. Listen clearly.
- Be a human worth trusting. Be honest, and thoughtful, and intentional in your actions. Slow down if you need to, stop and take a deep breath, be a good human.
- Control is merely an illusion. No living being can truly be controlled, that is something that comes from massaging and stroking ones ego. A true relationship is based on coming to the middle ground together and working on the relationship together. There is no such thing as a perfect human, so don’t expect this from your dog.
- Never let anyone tell you that you need to be someone that you are not. Learn about who you are, be that person, and let that feel right. It is only then that all living beings will really see ‘you’. Trying to change a living being into something more palatable for you is futile, and truthfully cruel and untrustworthy.
- Keep life simple. Climb a mountain, run on a beach, look out over a valley, or lay down in a meadow. Take the time to be out in ‘life’. Allow the simple pleasures to overwhelm you. It’s good for the soul, the mind, the body, and relationships. Free time away from it all.
- Dogs that live outside of neutral, and challenge us on a daily basis, and press all of our buttons, and fry just about every nerve, are in fact the best teachers we will ever have. Teachers in life and love, beauty and ugliness. These teachers require us to learn about ourselves, mistakes and all. They teach us what it truly means to be human, and have humiliation, and true understanding. They teach us about our own emotions, good, bad, and indifferent. What works and what doesn’t. They teach us how to be learners, how to observe with objective eyes, how to truly listen without filters, and how to say what we mean. They teach us about the world around us. They teach us about a true and real relationship.
- Raw honesty, everyday, all day, forever. It might be the best way to live, and frankly the world would be much better for it. Life isn’t about making shit up or changing the definitions of words to suit your own needs. It isn’t about fabricating grand stories to fill ones ego. It isn’t about being being the loudest just to get attention. It’s about being honest, being true, and feeling comfortable in your own skin. This is the hardest lesson of all really. Raw honesty.
Franny accepted love if she felt someone was worthy, and she in turn loved deeply if she felt you could handle it. She had likes and dislikes and they were all raw, honest, and true, and she never apologized for this. She lived outside of neutral until the end, and never gave up. She was powerful, brave and proud and so very fair. Franny allowed us into her life, on her terms, and taught us how to learn and live a life so much more real.
… Dear Franny, my children loved you since forever, they dreamed of you and then there you were. They saw you for you, they accepted you with open and unquestioning hearts, and never once thought about you needing to be different. You were their perfect in every sense of the word.
My Gran Dame …