3 Life Lessons Learned from a Dog (in under 24 hours)

It’s taken 23 years.

[twenty three years… just breathe that in a bit]

It’s taken me 23 years to ‘get’ a dog. I’ve wanted one since I can remember. In fact, every single birthday wish I remember making in my childhood went like this:

“I wish for a dog.” / “I want a puppy.” / “I hope I get a dog.” / “Dog.” / “Puppy!” /Etc…

[I am not joking.] So fast-forward TWENTY THREE (23!) years and I finally had the pleasure of dog sitting a lovely one year old named Pablo for 3 days.

Like a boss.

Like a boss.

Truth be told, he taught me a lot. I scribbled down a crazy amount of things I learned from him in the first 24 hours (I like to write stuff down), and continued to learn during the next 38 hours we spent together (yes, I counted).

I wanted to share some of these with you because:

a) these are life lessons and I’m a big believer in everyone, however big or small, human or otherwise, being able to teach us something we don’t know.

b) if you’re anything like me, you may have spent 23 years wishing for a puppy even though you haven’t made the leap and gotten one yet (dog sit first – seriously).

So here goes…

1. Do it now, or forget it.

Find a way to test whether you actually want something or not and then DO IT (23 years of yearning vs. 24 hours and then you know!). Reading, learning, studying, saying you will but won’t, or hearing others talk about something will not compare. Not only will you immediately see what it actually takes to do something (the WHOLE shebang – or most of it, lucky for us there were no bodily fluids in the apartment!), but you may even discover some stuff you’re ridiculously good at and never even knew about.

2. Don’t sweat the small – or the big – stuff.

Sure you can get dropped off at a stranger’s house; your owner leaves without any kind of indication as to when or if he’ll ever return (he told you in a language you don’t speak) but once you’re out and about, no point sulking. Sniff, run, pee, poop, play, and enjoy every moment – like a boss. I can even admit it: I was a bit jealous of how easily Pablo was able to live in the moment – but damn, it was inspiring!

3. Forget first impressions, consistency is key.

We put so much time and thought into first impressions but no one really cares (or if they do, then you’re the one who shouldn’t care about them). It’s never actually too late to start being consistent, and you’d only think otherwise because consistency is underrated. Forget the odd mistake or fumble, it’s the actions you repeat over and over again which speak to your values and what it is you’re trying to get done.


I lied – here’s a fourth lesson for good measure!


4. Shit happens – sometimes twice in one walk.

Not having enough doggy bags is uncomfortable – there’s a sheer sense of panic when he squats and you try to pull him along but he just squats again. It wasn’t intentional, but it happened. You can always try texting your friend to go hunting for it in her yard. But if she can’t find it, it can’t be the end of the world. Right?

Next time you step into or spy a pile in the park, be compassionate instead of cursing the negligent owner. They’ll remember next time; you just walk it off.

Thanks for the inspirational and excitement-filled weekend, Pablo!



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  • Bianca

    I really think that those lessons are important. It takes a dog to make you realize what you should do or what you shouldn’t be doing.

    • Irina

      I’m so happy you liked them Bianca! Sometimes dogs just have it figured out 😉

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