Researchers have documented multiple benefits humans receive from pets. We can learn valuable life lessons from our pets as well and I learned a lot about authenticity from Ed the Pug. Ed was a dog and he did not apologize for being a dog. He enjoyed long walks and even longer naps. If it was sunny and warm, he played outside. If it got hot, rainy, or cold, he came indoors. (So very common sense!) Ed loved food and he didn’t care who knew that he loved food. One Facebook post recounted an imaginary conversation between Ed and me:
Ed: Let’s eat.
Ed: Food is good.
Me: Too much food will make us fat.
Ed: Too much food?
Ed: There is no such thing as too much food.
Simple things like calories and carbs didn’t bother Ed very much. He just knew that he loved food.
Ed, like many pets, offered unconditional love. Somehow he knew what time I was expected home every day even though Ed, being a dog, did not own a watch. He sat by the window at the appointed time and was thrilled to welcome me at the end of the day. He reminded me of the importance of transitioning between work and home.
Ed may be the happiest creature I ever met. When he was full of joy, which was all the time, his tail would curl up in a tight bun, leaving his behind for all see. Ed did not apologize for being full of joy or feel embarrassed because his behind was showing. He was a dog so he acted like one.
Ed showed me that humans create stress in their everyday lives by worrying needlessly, trying to be someone they are not, and denying themselves joy. Ed the Pug was an example for my family of how to accept yourself and be truly happy. I imagine he is in heaven, enjoying sunny days, long naps, and good meals; full of joy at being a dog.
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