Tag Archives: Dogs

Life Lessons from a Chocolate Lab

Rolo is my two-year-old American chocolate lab, and he’s thoroughly convinced I am the most impressive person in the world.

Now, despite the fact that he may indeed be right about that, it’s beside the point.

Like many of you who own dogs will know, when you come in the door, you get a reception like you’ve just come in from saving the world, or at the very least having just pulled a dozen orphans from a burning building.

It’s a great way to come home, and you get that reception every single time. No exceptions. And the dog’s willingness to be as excited roas possible about your arrival is only matched by his willingness to let it all shine through for anyone to see. He’s not concerned with how that will make him look, whether it’s cool or not to be seen gushing over something that obviously makes him happy. No. He just has an emotion, and lets it all hang out.

But as people, so many of us refuse to be moved by things. We may secretly find something or someone amazing, but we’ll often minimize our reactions, saying things like yeah, I’ve seen that before, or, hmm not bad. Sometimes it’s just a shoulder shrug. But inside we’re thinking, wow! That is freeking amazing! But we often make very sure no one sees us heaping approval. What if people thought I’d never seen that before? What if they’ve seen it and I haven’t?

Oh, the horror.

Now if we were chocolate labs, and someone did something as impressive as, say, walking into a room, we’d almost wet ourselves with appreciation and let everyone know it. And when I look at that chocolate lab, folding himself in half with every gigantic wag of his tail just because I came through the door, I realize that the act of expressing how happy he is makes him even happier. Hmm. There may be something in that.

So here’s the little life lesson that I’m going to try to take away from my observations of Rolo the chocolate lab: Next time I’m impressed by something or someone, I’m going to let them know. And I’m going to gush. And to hell with the consequences.

I think it may just add something – provided I can remember not to jump up at them and try to lick their faces.


The Doubting Writer

A blog by Dan Newman

Literary Carrie

A blog by Dan Newman