Lessons from my Dog


As many of you know, I had to say goodbye to my beloved dog Merlin last month.  For fourteen years, Merlin was my familiar, my confidant and continues to live deeply in my heart.  As we wrap up our relationship module in the Conscious Leadership Academy, I realized that there are many lessons we can learn about relationships from our fur-babies.

  1. Unconditional Love – Dogs epitomize unconditional love.  When you walk in the door after a long day, they greet you like its Christmas day and you are a giant rawhide.  Whether you come home in a bad mood, or you are under the weather, your dog loves you with the same passion and selflessness, wanting only to express their love with abandon.  Do you do the same for those you love?  Or do you let their demeanor affect how you show up?  Do you withhold love for fear of rejection? Love is the most powerful force in the Universe and has the power to shift any situation.  Share it!
  2. Present Moment – Dogs live in the present.  They don’t worry about the future or ruminate about the past.   They live in the moment and make it count.  They demonstrate unwavering self-care.  If your dog wants to nap, they nap.  It doesn’t matter what is going on around them.  If they want to play, they squeak their favorite toy until you throw it.  They don’t care if you look busy.  During Merlin’s last few months, I spent so much time worrying about him.  Was he getting better or worse?  Should I take him back to the vet?  When was the right time to make the most impossible decision?  Merlin was immune to worry.  He only knew how he felt in the moment and acted accordingly.  How freeing would our lives be if we could do the same, experiencing fully what was happening in the now.
  3. Forgiveness – If your dog begs for part of your dinner and you refuse, does he stay mad at you?  Nope.  Within seconds, they have let it go and are already back to loving you (or begging for more).  If you accidentally step on their tail, do they hold it against you?  Nope.  They react to the presence of pain, but they don’t assign meaning to it.  What about you?  Do you hold a grudge if someone hurts you?  Not forgiving someone is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die.  It only affects you.  Take a lesson from your dog and choose to forgive and see people as their best.  
  4. Intuition – Dogs are connected deeply to their intuition.  They don’t have the human trappings of self-doubt.  They don’t question, their intuition; they follow their hearts.  We called Merlin the “Magical Dog”.  He was in many of my sessions and workshops and knew exactly who needed him by their side.  He radiated the healing energy of oneness and reminded people of who they truly are – love incarnate.   

Merlin will always be in my heart, not only for the memories we shared and the unconditional love he showed me and everyone he met, but for these lessons I will carry with me.  I encourage you to remember Merlin or your own fur-baby next time you get hurt, angry or worried.  Live in the present, follow your heart, forgive everyone and love fiercely.