Top 10 Life Lessons from across the Rainbow Bridge
The last 12 months have been bitter sweet for team Loyal.D, as the three of us have experienced what all animal lovers dread ... the time when we have to say goodbye to our furry family members. Their lives may be shorter than ours but what they teach us in that brief time are lessons to treasure. To celebrate World Animal Day today, we decided to share the unique lessons each of our Loyal.D dogs have given us.
Nero, the Sheriff (2004 - 2016)
1) You can handle any change: Change is a constant in life, not always easy, it takes some effort and adjustment but from change you can thrive! Dogs, like children, can adapt fast, as long as they have you by their side. Nero lived in five different countries throughout his 12 years of life and flourished wherever he settled as the new Sheriff in town!
2) Don't hold grudges: Nero never held back his displeasure if anyone (dog or human) did not agree with him and it's a great lesson on not bottling things up. Growl when you need to, then forget about it and move on ... don't hold grudges!
3) Nurture trumps nature: Found as a stray puppy near a dumpster in Malaysia, Nero lived a long and happy life, proving a dog's breed doesn't always determine his/her nature but the training and love provided by the human companion matters more.
Belle, the Strong-willed Dame (2003 - 2017)
4) Enjoy the journey: Belle also moved countries with her humans, adjusting to vastly different climates, even if it was not easy at first. From joining long drive holidays in Europe to sitting down in a cycle carriage for a balmy outing along the Marina Barrage in Singapore, Belle treated each journey with enthusiasm and curiosity. As long as you have a home to return to, enjoy the journey with plenty of sniffing stops along the way.
5) Know what you want and don't follow the crowd: Belle could be stubborn, strong-willed at times but all for good reason. She knew which situations she liked and which stressed her out. A frolic with one friend at the beach was more her style than a party in the park with many. Perhaps this helped her to live such a long life - keep away from situations that stress you out!
6) Sit and listen: This is something Belle and a lot of our dogs do so well ... sometimes, you don't need advice, you don't need information, you don't need a lecture. All you need is someone who will sit by your side and listen - and understand that communication doesn't always need words.
Zorro, the Forever Pup (2004 - 2017)
7) It's always a good time to play: From stealing people's slippers (to motivate them to play!), trying to catch a water spout to chasing a ball, a butterfly, a squirrel or a peacock, Zorro held onto his puppy playfulness way beyond his puppy years. He proved if you see the play in what life throws your way, even the toughest task becomes fun!
8) Enjoy food! We've rarely come across a Labrador that turns their nose up at food, and Zorro was no different. Most dogs are food motivated and this works wonders in training them through positive reinforcement but it also taught us to appreciate and enjoy our food ... stop guzzling ... take a moment to relax and enjoy your nourishment.
9) Climb stairs everyday: Even in his ripe old age, Zorro would go up a long flight of stairs multiple times, sometimes for a treat, sometimes to bark at the peacock on the roof and often to snooze in his favourite spot. Like us dogs need exercise daily so find out what motivates you and your dog too, and keep moving every day!
10) Jump with joy: Far too many of us go through life holding back emotions, but holding back was not in Zorro's (or any dog's) dictionary! From joyful jumps to bum-shaking tail wags, dogs find joy in every small thing in life. Relish the small things.
Zorro, Belle and Nero were no different from all the wonderful animals who share and fill our homes with love. And best we remember as Snoopy says: "The best part of life's journey is who you get to share it with."