Recently, a white friend of mine expressed his surprise at the fact that brown people own dogs here in Canada. He even stated "you guys are so scared of them." I was confused. Countries like India and Sri Lanka have dogs everywhere and people are usually not fearful of them. So, I thought I'd share some of my experiences with my puppy as a way to let people know that there are brown people out there who do own, and love, dogs.
I was blessed to finally get a Golden Retriever (I named him Bheema) back in January. This fat, fluffy puppy, who was 11 weeks old, came waddling into my life.
Everyone in my life knows about him by now. There's no way they could miss it -- not a day goes by without me talking about him or posting a picture of him on social media. Even now, as I type this article, I'm smiling, thinking of how he was sad that I left for school in Waterloo on Sunday. Sappy stuff aside, here are some real-life lessons that I have learned from my puppy Bheema:
1. Be curious about life and just get out there!
Wherever I go with my puppy, he is always fascinated; be it the tree that is a metre away from the current tree he is sniffing, or even another person who is walking by. He gets so happy and just wants to be happy. With this, he taught me that I should greet everything with a smile and always have an open mind, even when things seem scary.
Bheema used to run away from the vacuum, now he chases it around.
Also, get out there! Meet new people and try new things. Life is all about your experiences and my puppy sure taught me that. He is always up for making new puppy friends. Humans, too.
2. Respect others' boundaries
My puppy does not know what personal space is at all. I could be reading a book, or studying, and he'd come stick his face in mine or lick my cheeks to just say "Hey, what's up."
His behaviour taught me that I should probably respect other people's boundaries. I used to be a person who would hug everyone and be overly affectionate in general. I've backed off, learned to read their body language and have given them space. Some people need more space, some people need less space. Either way, it's important to gauge and respect their boundaries.
3. Follow your gut
Dogs just seem to know who to trust, and who not to trust. Bheema often barks when he feels a stranger come near me who doesn't feel safe, and he gets into a protective mode around me.
The same applies for humans too! Follow your instincts about that guy who took you on a date -- does he seem sketchy? Avoid him! Or maybe it's that troubling multiple choice exam question, usually your gut knows. When in doubt, don't just pick C, trust your instincts.
4. Love life
Show your love to everyone on the daily. My motto: #KeepSmiling. Of course, we all have grumpy days, but that doesn't mean you should rain on someone else's parade! Make sure to smile and show little tokens of appreciation to those around you. I for one sometimes write notes to people around me or send them loving snapchats to make sure they smile.
Bheema doesn't need help in this department. He will use any opportunity he can get to sit on my lap or kiss my face or use me as a pillow.
His love was an excellent healing tool for my parents when my father lost his mother abruptly this past April. I don't know what it was, but Bheema knew that everyone was sad in the house and at times never left our side during those tough months. He has been a blessing for sure.
Dogs just know.
5. Embrace unconditional love
I don't know about you guys, but whenever I come home he's the one that goes buck wild running around kissing my face. He doesn't stop for a good 30 minutes. Does any other human or toddler even do that? Everyone has these moods and grudges when upset and they don't show happiness or love when it's needed. My dog would get in trouble for ripping up a shoe, and five minutes later, he'd be giving me puppy eyes to just be petted.
That love he has shown me has taught me to always treasure those near and dear to me. Treasure them because you never know when they may no longer be in your life. This is something I really learned with the recent passing of my grandma.
This puppy has brought so much joy to my life, and even if a dog is termed a "man's best friend," he is definitely this girl's best friend.
Do you have a pet? Do you agree with the above thoughts I shared? Let me know by commenting below!
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