7 Lessons I Learned from My Dog


I grew up with dogs. When my kids lived at home, they grew up with dogs…which my wife and I usually took care of. Hmmm, funny how that works.  I was actually dead set on not getting another dog. My daughter called one day and asked me to come to her school because her classmate’s dog had puppies and they were giving them away…for FREE. I knew better.

“No! I am not going to your school. We talked about this and we are not getting a dog!” I was very firm about that.

“Wait one second”, she replied. [Long pause]. Then…”They said we could bring one of the puppies home for the night, and if we didn’t like it, we could bring it back the next day.”

I actually fell for that sucker line. She showed up at the door with the cute little puppy in arms with a big smile. It took me a millisecond before we became proud owners of a new puppy. Who could possible say no to a cute puppy or turn your smiling, happy daughter’s face into a frown and tears? Well, obviously not me.

So we had a dog during our last two years in Mexico.

Here are 7 lessons I learned from my dog.

  1. Don’t be judgmental. My dog never cared how great of a leader I was, what my IQ, EQ, or CQ was, how I came out on Myers-Briggs, or my top 5 StengthsFinder talent themes are, or whether I was in a good or bad mood. She just loved me, even when I ignored her.
  2. Grow in goodness. My dog was smarter than she was good. She knew what to do to obey, but did not always do the right thing. I am just like that. I need to grow.
  3. Forgive. She always forgave. When I yelled at her or ignored her, she never held it against me.
  4. Make eye contact. She made great eye contact whenever I entered the room.
  5. Make others feel valued. She was always excited to see me, and I felt like the most important person when I was with my dog.
  6. Engage in the present. She lived in the moment. I accidentally left my brownie on the table when I went to grab my coffee. She saw the opportunity to eat it and did not really think about how bad it was for her, or how much weight she was going to gain.
  7. Make time for play. She played. It’s like she lived for play. She never worried about other things she had to get done that day. She just enjoyed playing with our family or anyone else who showed up, at any time.

In honor of #NationalDogDay, I wanted to share some underwater dog pictures my daughter showed me some time ago. These are hilarious. So have a good laugh or two and enjoy your dog!


All photos by Seth Casteelan award winning, self-taught photographer and dog-lover. Visit his site for more underwater dogs.

Or, buy Seth’s book, Underwater Dogs.

Do you have a dog? What have you learned from your dog?

Other related posts:

None: I normally don’t blog about dogs but if you want to learn more about living, loving and leading, check out my blog.

About Steve Morgan

I work in Global Leadership Development with my wife, Terry. We have been married for 36 years and have 4 grown children. I have a Masters in Global Leadership together through Azusa Pacific University. I generally write about 5 “L’s: Living Well, Loving Deeply, Learning Continuously, Leading Courageously, and Leaving a Legacy. I occasionally write about Laughing Loudly. Subscribe on the right side to receive an email whenever there is a new post. I invite you to leave your comments so we can dialogue on the various topics and learn from each other. If you are new to the site, you might start with looking at some of the top posts or doing a search on the right sidebar for one of the 5 “L’s” that interest you. Or you can view the blog archives for topics. Photo Credit: sarahjoellephotography.com
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1 Response to 7 Lessons I Learned from My Dog

  1. Pingback: 7 Ways Being a Wandering Photographer Helped Shape Me into a Leader, Part One | Leader Impact

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