Pyni is a 14-year-old English Springer Spaniel. She has been a huge part of my life and one might say I'm slightly obsessed with her... Regardless of how biased my opinion might be - Pyni is the best dog ever. Trust me. She is not only the cutest and all that but she is also somehow so wise. I've recently realized how much this doggo has truly taught me and decided to share a few of these enlightening life lessons from Pyni.
1. Ask for what you want! Or sometimes take whatever you want...
Pyni is great at this. She knows what she wants and she is never afraid to ask for it. She is vocal and clear whenever she wants food, attention, to go out or whatever lil doggos ever happen to want. This might not be the most preferably characteristic for a pet, but I think we humans should practice asking for whatever we want or need. It seems that we often forgot to ask for what we want, or expect others to just know what we need without telling them.
There is never anything wrong with asking, but of course, one needs to accept "no" for an answer. Pyni is still working on that part... Sometimes when you tell her no she can't have whatever she wants at the moment, she gets all sulky and resentful, or sometimes she just seizes an opportunity and takes whatever she wants. Getting mad because someone tells you "no" is not helpful but I'm all in for seizing the opportunity in order to get whatever you want as long as you don't hurt anybody in the process hahah.
2. Know your worth
This and the asking for what you want are probably closely linked. At least the better I feel about myself, the better I dare to vocalize my needs too. Maybe something to do with feeling worthy of the things you want versus just feeling needy and demanding... Anyways, Pyni never questions her worth. She knows it. She is the queen every day and every moment. It's funny how for example she might come for cuddles and the moment I pick up a phone or get distracted, Pyni gets up and leaves. She knows her worth and she ain't never a second option. Maybe a bit of a drama queen hahaha... But still knowing your worth is a beautiful skill which at least I am working on.
3. Don't try to please everybody
Pyni can be pretty cold towards other doggos or random people. Like she is courteous yeah, giving a polite sniff or lazy wag of a tail. But she doesn't try to please everybody which is a quite uncommon trait for a spaniel. And it can be fairly awkward for the owner whenever a group of kids comes to pet the cute doggo and Pyni just stares absentmindedly to the distance, not really caring who happens to be petting her. Pyni was similarly coldish with my sister Jonna even when we all lived together for two years. Whenever Pyni heard someone is coming home and she saw that it was only Jonna, she would just turn around halfway and go back to sleep without even pretending to be happy that Jonna is back hahah. But there was never any beef between Jonna or Pyni, but not much love either, so they focused on polite co-existence.
Even though Pyni knows there's no need nor a chance to please everybody, she also knows which people to befriend. A talented networker I'd say. She always finds the right people who love giving treats to doggos. She is especially good at networking with older ladies. And I would not call it manipulating, usually these older ladies are pretty happy to give treats to Pyni and Pyni is very happy to receive treats and give cuddles to them. A mutually beneficial relationship.
5. Love deeply but don't depend
Pyni is a master in this. She loves her people deeply and is super affectionate towards her gang. She also remembers super well her friends even if she does not see them for years. Always a happy reunion with her loved ones, but yet again Pyni does not really depend on anybody. Yeah, with old age she has gotten clingier, but still, if I go somewhere and she needs to stay with my mom or with my friends, she continues to thrive regardless. And trust me, I know dogs who are absolutely paralyzed when "their person" goes away. Some people call it loyalty, but dunno, somehow for me it's more that's more of a paralyzing dependency... But Pyni loves deeply, but her happiness does not depend on any particular person. This is something I think we humans can learn from too. Putting your own happiness into someone else's hands is maybe not the best way to go.
6. Cherish each moment
Every dog teaches us to truly enjoy life and show love. In addition, especially living with an old dog has helped me to cherish every moment. With an old dog, Pyni is now 14, you realize better just how limited our time is and how often we forget to cherish every day in a way whenever we are running towards some goal. Every moment with Pyni is precious, every day with her counts. Living with an old dog has really brought me to this moment, enjoying every day I have with her. There is no need to worry about the future nor plan much ahead, nothing is guaranteed... Let's enjoy this moment together. Like Ralph Waldo Emerson says: "Life is a journey, not a destination."