E-flections of an Educator

Lessons from a Dog

Posted on: April 26, 2009

festooned_abbey2Kate wrote a great post on her blog, Ellis’ Island of Learning, Leading and Teaching, called “Everything I Need to Know I Learned From My Browndog.” (Do yourself a favor and take a moment to read it.) I read this post on the heels of my participation in Robert Hruzek’s “What I learned from…a Sidewalk” groupwrite, so maybe I was even more open to her message, and it really resonated with me. In the blog post comments I added one of my own lessons to the list, and I want to elaborate on that lesson.

I have 3 dogs, all Pomeranians. And as anyone who has dogs knows, they all have their own distinct personalities. Abbey is a pretty happy-go-lucky kind of dog, has been ever since she was a puppy. And it was she who taught me a very important lesson.

My dogs are crated during the day, and everyone gets a treat when they go in. Hayley has what we call “crate hate,” but not Abbey. She jumps in, butt wiggling, muzzle smiling, in eager anticipation of the treat. It was during one of these moments that Abbey taught me a very important lesson, and I remember the moment as clearly as if it were yesterday. It was March of 2003, and Abbey was about 6 months old. Watching Abbey eat her treat, I made a decision to try to be more like her, and make a conscious effort to focus on what is good in any situation.

While I think I have always been a positive person, there was something about that moment of epiphany that gave me a more focused purpose in my outlook on life. It’s not always easy to find the silver lining, but looking for it usually results in outcomes even better than expected.

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3 Responses to "Lessons from a Dog"

What a great post and a very important lesson too! I think that we can all learn a little bit from Abbey!

Aviva

Thanks for sharing your blog post! What a great message! We all need to be more like Abbey!

I, too, am crating Boji when I’m gone. He needs to take advice from Abbey as well. He may be developing “crate hate.”

Kathy

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