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Tricks My Dog Taught Me


From Phil: Some snicker at the thought of a dog teaching us anything worthwhile. One confessed, “My dog barks at everything, but did nothing when a burglar showed up. I think he helped him carry stuff out. What can I learn from that? Kindness?”

Many of a dog’s characteristics should not be emulated. Dogs are incorrigible liars. “Let me outside!” they beg with a grin. “I won’t touch the garbage!” But they do touch the garbage. “Take me with you!” they say with their tails. “I won’t be a problem!” But they will be a problem.

Yet, as I observed what happened when we allowed a 9-pound hound to weasel its way into our home and hearts, I realized I was being apprenticed in ways I never imagined. This is a humbling story to tell. After all, it’s hard to admit that a Maltese shih tsu saved your marriage, taught you how to age, replaced your psychiatrist and pointed you to God. I hope you’ll laugh and learn as I have about companionship, forgiveness, and an other-centred life. I hope you’ll learn how to turn around three times and lie down at the feet of your master.

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