There are life lessons I’ll always remember and some of the most important ones have come from my teachers with four legs. Yes, I’m talking about my dogs. As much as people have tried to prescribe their ways and ideas to my life, my dogs have been the ultimate role models for living.
Listen to this week’s letter here!
They can say a lot without saying anything at all. I’m reminded every time I come back to Colorado during van life and I get to spend a week with them. It’s harder to notice when they’re around all the time, but when I’m just visiting it makes their superpowers more clear: the way they nurture me without trying. How they recognize my mood without me saying anything at all.
There are a million things my dogs are much better at than I am, or most humans for that matter, and a few life lessons I will take with me long after they are gone. Lessons that will make me a better human, not just a dog parent.
Here are a few I was thinking about on our long walk this week.
Routines help. As much as I reject the world that says everyday has to start before sunrise and you have to follow an exact formula for happiness, there’s a lot of value in learning what works for you. Learning what gets you excited in the morning. There are few things that bring me as much joy as seeing my dog so excited for the routine – her breakfast and the walk we take first thing every morning.
Every day enthusiasm. It doesn’t have to be a million treats, new toys, or an adventure. It’s doing spins when your person is coming home. A happy dance for your favorite treat. A car ride you’re looking forward to. Don’t be ashamed to share your excitement for the every day parts of life.
Take naps. Dogs weren’t made to go 24/7 and neither were people. It’s okay to take a break. Get comfortable. Snore. Rest when you need to.
Be persistent about what you need. You can’t deny what you need. Dogs won’t adapt or edit what they need just because you give them a look or they think something is up. They will focus on that thing until it happens – food, water, to be let outside. Be that persistent for yourself. Ignore the looks.
Have favorites. I’ve accepted there are certain people my dogs just don’t like. Treats Lyric won’t eat (Ruby will eat everything). Accept that you’re the same way. You like what you like – people, treats, activities, spots on the couch. You don’t have to like everything or everyone.
Quiet love. Loving quietly is one of the most significant gestures of love, and dogs have mastered it. When someone is not at their best, when they’re struggling – dogs know that the most powerful way you can love is simply by being there. A quiet look. Snuggling in closer.
What have your dogs taught you?
Kat Kibben [they/them] is a keynote speaker, writing expert, and LGBTQIA+ advocate who teaches hiring teams how to write inclusive job postings that will get the right person to apply faster.
Before founding Three Ears Media, Katrina was a CMO, Technical Copywriter, and Managing Editor for leading companies like Monster, Care.com, and Randstad Worldwide. With 15+ years of recruitment marketing and training experience, Katrina knows how to turn talented recruiting teams into talented writers who write for people, not about work.
Today, Katrina is frequently featured as an HR and recruiting expert in publications like The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Forbes. They’ve been named to numerous lists, including LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Job Search & Careers. When not speaking, writing, or training, you’ll find Katrina traveling the country in their van or spending some much needed downtime with the dogs that inspired the name Three Ears Media.