My dogs have taught me:

  • work/life balance.
  • it is possible to have a job and care for him/her very well at the same time – I thought this would be harder than it actually is before I adopted my first dog.
  • you don’t need a yard to adequately take care of even high-energy work dogs. It’s better to take them on walks/jogs and do business farther away from the house than out in a yard.
  • it is absolutely insane that older, black dogs are sometimes the last to be adopted because they are so terrific and stupendous companions.
  • how highly-adoptable, terrific, calm and stable, cute, wonderful dogs do get killed in “shelters”. Adopt dogs, because you don’t need to buy them at 10-20x the cost.
  • what a “heart dog” or “soul dog” is.
  • what keep calm and carry on means… however, life stress can go beyond stress reduction capabilities of a dog.
  • every dog is really individual, but the fundamentals are all quite similar.
  • life isn’t about money.
  • it’s more fun to do things with a dog.
  • cats can mix with dogs just fine. And the cat is in charge.
  • you can never tell another dog person what to do, or something about their dog, unless they ask.
  • what family is (and it includes dog).
  • I don’t handle crisis situations (my dog getting hit by a car, struck by a swift terminal illness) well.
  • after losing a soul dog, you can love another dog again – and adopt soon after the loss.
  • it is a pretty great day to get outside, have some fun, then lounge on the couch or bed. Then go outside again.
  • what unconditional, no-strings-attached, bi-directional, stress-free love really is. Because you can’t find this with humans.
  • And when one of my dogs died, I learned this.

I originally posted this on Quora. You can follow my answers here.

About Author

Jen deHaan is graphic designer, small business owner, and dog person living in Bay Area, California. Jen enjoys learning about dog training and behavior, and has taken several courses and seminars since 2010. She also contributes articles to leading websites, such as Victoria Stilwell's Positively . It all started with a great dog called Mikey (aka "dude"), loved and lost but remembered forever. Jen also runs a freelance business focusing on graphic, web, and UI design at FoundPixel, and a small business creating hand crafted dog products at Stylish Canine.