I think many of us agree that when we have pets, they become a big part of our lives. Recently, I have lost my dog, and life sure has changed without her in it. If you’ve ever loved a dog, you understand that the bond you build with them is something truly incredible. We may not always understand how much dogs teach us about ourselves, about others around us, and things about life. Here are some lessons my dog, Niki taught me.
1. Don’t be afraid to talk to people.
Niki always drew people to us when we would walk her. She was always looking for someone to give her a pet or treat. I had some of the most remarkable conversations and gained some wonderful friendships that I wouldn’t have experienced otherwise. She was always looking for a chance to meet someone new.
2. Family keeps us going through hard times.
Niki was always there to greet us with a wagging tail and kiss whenever we had a bad day. Whenever things weren’t going well, she was there to remind us what unconditional love means. She always knew how to let us know that she was there for us, no matter what.
3. It’s okay to be silly.
Niki was never afraid to live in the moment. Whenever I cleaned the house, she was always there to dance and run around with me while listening to music. She also used to chase us while we would run outside and play ball with her. She taught me to own being silly and not worry about what others think.
4. Some of the best days are spent together at home.
Niki loved a good car ride, going camping, getting ice cream, and taking trips to the lake. But she was just as happy being at home, whether it was snuggling on the couch, sunbathing in the yard, or sharing snacks. It taught me to enjoy the relaxing days at home and that you don’t always have to be on the go.
5. Don’t sweat the small things.
Niki sure didn’t know how to wipe her paws, would have an occasional accident, or leave crumbs on the floor. But despite all of that, Niki taught me to find joy in life. After all, everything could be cleaned up and okay. There is no need to stress about it because, at the end of the day, it’s an insignificant thing. Seeing those muddy paw prints or crumbs on the kitchen floor isn’t a big problem. There are worse things than a tiny mess.
6. Life works out how it’s supposed to.
I met Niki six years ago. She was my boyfriend’s dog. Little did I know she would become my best friend. She quickly made her way into my heart, and I fell in love with her. After almost a year of dating, my boyfriend, Niki, and I set out on our first big adventure and moved to Florida. Niki was there through it all — the good and the bad. She helped us realize we are exactly where we’re meant to be.
7. There will never be enough time.
Niki was 17 years old, and I only knew her for 6 of those beautiful years. But with each passing year, I grew sadder, knowing our time was limited. It was so hard to imagine our life without her. You never want to think of their last birthday or last holiday, knowing one day all those moments will be gone. I don’t think losing her will ever get easier. I miss those big brown eyes looking at me more than anything.
No matter how long a pet may live, there will never be enough time with them, enough memories, or enough photos. I’m so thankful for all that Niki has taught me. Over time, your pets will become an actual part of the family, your best friend, and most all, a reminder of what life is all about. Cherish each moment with your fur babies because one day, memories will be all that’s left.