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  • Writer's pictureElana

life lessons from a dog

I love our dog Mitzi.

I recently went on a one-day photography tour where we went to Skagit county to visit the tulip and daffodil fields, Rosario Beach, Deception Pass and Le Conner to get some really great shots. (I'll include a sample of them at the bottom of this post)

It reminded me that around the same time last year, we drove up to the same area to meet Mitzi for the first time. She has only been in our lives for a year but she has already taught me so much.

Here are the top 10 lessons I've learned from our dog:

1. Celebrate the small things: whenever Mitzi gets a really good treat, or if she's just plain really excited about something, she dances.

2. Never be afraid to spend time doing something you love. Even roll around in it if you want to. Get the scent of what you love all over you.

3. Pause and smell the flowers. They smell really nice and if you're going by too fast, you'll miss them.

4. Don't forget to take breaks and rest.

5. Have fun. Play until you just can't play anymore.

6. Share your emotions. Being aloof and playing it cool are overrated. If you're excited, show it. If you care about someone, show them.

7. It's good to be curious but its also important to trust your instincts. Don't be afraid to speak up (aka bark) when things don't feel right.

8. Be persistent. Be resourceful. If you want your toy and someone throws it, go get it. If you want someone to throw it again, you better bring it back. If chewing or rolling your treat-dispensing toy isn't doing the trick, throw it down the stairs until treats fall out. If you want to bring a stick home, carry it in your mouth for 45 minutes.

9. If something bothers you, shake it off and move on.

10. With the right coaching and positive encouragement, if you take things one step at a time you can accomplish anything. Mitzi has gone from a dog who was so scared of stairs that she would pee, and who would flinch, run away and hide from anything that moved... to a dog who has learned all kind of amazing tricks. She can even play patty cake!

And as a bonus, here are some of the pictures I got on my photography tour:

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