August 30, 2013

Dogs As Simple Living Monks

"The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog."
- Mark Twain

Are dogs the simple living monks of the animal world? It certainly seems that way.

In some native cultures dog represents teacher and in others, dogs are associated with spirituality. They certainly model qualities and skills from which humans would be wise to learn.

  • Dogs don't "own" anything but the fur on their backs. Not even an orange sarong, or a begging bowl, or sandals. They don't seem to mind the lack of clutter in their lives.
  • Dogs practice unconditional love. Your dog will love you regardless of how much money you make, or the amount of stuff you have, or whether you are "successful" or not.
  • Dogs are forgiving. You can scold your dog and it will forgive you immediately, lick your face, and carry on with life. No unhealthy grudges held here.
  • Dogs are non-judgemental. To a dog, life is what it is. You will be as peaceful as dog by accepting people and situations for what they are.
  • Dogs are masters at living in the moment. Although we can't tell for sure, dogs don't seem to think about the past with regrets, or look to the future with dread and fear. It is all about the moment.
  • Dogs are compassionate. They can tell when people are feeling down, and know what to do to help them heal - be there loyally, listen carefully, snuggle up and give lick kisses.
  • Dogs have very basic and simple needs. They may look nifty in that knitted sweater, but they don't really need it. Food, water, love, walks in nature, and a place to lay down for a good long nap, is about all they require.

Studies have shown that people with a pet recover faster from illnesses. They have also found that elderly pet owners live longer, healthier lives non-pet owners. 

We can all benefit from learning the ways of dog. 


  1. We actually wrote a chapter about this in my book. Pets definitely do help our psyche and in turn our physical health.
    Man...I really need to remember this and be more "zen" when I want to strangle my dog for leaving a lake on my freshly waxes floors

    1. Savvy Sister, Maybe your dog is trying to tell you something. Don't wax the floors?

  2. We lived with four dogs ( Sookie, Tera, Ava and Jazzy) and each one of them is a like a furry therapy beast. I so get this post!


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