What Dogs Teach Us

Sep 25, 2018

Our President likes to call people “dogs” – meant as an insult, but is really a compliment. I’ll tell you why.

"Humans stay on this earth a long time learning to be good. Dogs stay just a short time as they already are."

The unknown source who penned this was likely a person who not only loved dogs, but also learned from them.

What can dogs teach us? Perhaps most importantly, they are keen observers, not only of animal behavior, but also human behavior. Perhaps a brief history of dogs can help. We know that all breeds of dogs have evolved from wolves -- wolves that were domesticated when they came into the camps of early humans and helped them hunt. When humans shared the bounty with their animal partners, a bond was established. They became essential assets to humans, and in return were praised and cared for. That’s how these wolf-dogs evolved into creatures that were wired to please their caretakers. 

And to be good companions, they needed to become excellent observers of human behavior and emotions. Not only do dogs pick up signals from your body language, research has found that dogs look at your right eye to "read" your emotions, signaling how they should respond.

So friends, a challenge for us humans in learning how to better relate to others in our families, our work colleagues, and with people who have differing beliefs is to be more like a dog -- to listen eagerly, observe keenly, and practice patience always.

I'm Connie Seraphine, and that is my perspective.