Lessons Learned from My Canine Companions

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Lessons Learned from My Canine Companions

By Lisette Mariner, CAE

As a professional in today’s fast-paced world, it can be easy to get caught up in the demands and pressures of work. However, sometimes the most valuable lessons come from the most unexpected sources. In my case, it’s my dogs who taught me some of the most important lessons about life and leadership. Each has their distinct personality, but they encompass the lessons I will share and how they can be applied to our professional lives. So, whether you’re a dog lover or simply looking for some new insights, keep reading to discover the valuable lessons I learned from my furry friends.

The importance of companionship

One important lesson I learned from my dogs is the value of companionship. Dogs are known to be loyal and constant companions, always ready to provide love and support. In our professional lives, it’s easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle forgetting the importance of human connection. Remote work has made these connections challenging at times. But just like dogs thrive on companionship, we too need the support and camaraderie of others.

Having a strong network of colleagues, mentors, and friends can make all the difference in our careers. These relationships provide us with encouragement, guidance, and a sense of belonging. They remind us that we are not alone in our journey and that we have others who understand and believe in us.

So, let’s take a page from the book of our furry friends and prioritize building and nurturing meaningful relationships. By doing so, we can create a support system that will help us succeed both personally and professionally.

The power of loyalty and trust

A second valuable lesson my dogs have taught me is the power of loyalty and trust. Dogs are known for their unwavering loyalty to their owners and they trust us implicitly to take care of them. In our professional lives, loyalty and trust are essential qualities that can greatly impact our success.

Building trust with colleagues, clients, and business partners can lead to stronger relationships and open new opportunities. When people trust us, they are more likely to collaborate with us, refer us to others, and support our endeavors. It also creates a positive work environment where everyone feels secure and valued.

Likewise, being loyal to our team and company shows commitment and dedication. It fosters a sense of unity and inspires others to be loyal in return. By embodying these qualities, we can create a work culture that thrives on trust, loyalty, and mutual support.

So, let’s learn from our faithful companions and strive to be trustworthy and loyal in our professional lives. These qualities can have a profound impact on our relationships and pave the way for long-term success.

Embracing simplicity and living in the moment

My dogs have a remarkable ability to embrace the simple things and live in the moment. While we often overcomplicate things and worry about the past or the future, dogs have an innate ability to find joy in the present moment.

It’s a lesson that can greatly benefit us in our professional lives. In a world filled with constant distractions and never-ending to-do lists, it’s easy to lose sight of what truly matters. By embracing simplicity, we can focus on our priorities and avoid getting overwhelmed.

Living in the moment also allows us to fully appreciate the small victories and everyday joys that often go unnoticed. It’s about finding happiness in the tasks at hand and taking pleasure in the progress we make.

So, let’s take a cue from our furry friends and make a conscious effort to simplify our lives and be fully present in each moment. By doing so, we can find greater fulfillment and happiness in both our personal and professional endeavors. Now take a deep breath and read on.

Finding joy in the little things

Dogs have an uncanny ability to find joy in the simplest of things. Whether it’s a wagging tail, a game of fetch, or a belly rub, they take pleasure in the littlest things. It’s a lesson we can apply to our professional lives.

In our fast-paced and competitive work environments, it’s easy to get caught up in the pursuit of big achievements and milestones. However, by focusing solely on those, we often overlook the small wins and everyday joys that can bring us immense satisfaction.

Take a moment to appreciate the progress you’ve made, no matter how small. Celebrate completing a task, accomplishing a goal, or delivering a successful presentation. By finding joy in these little things, you’ll not only feel more fulfilled but also cultivate a positive mindset and boost your overall well-being.

Remember, happiness is not solely derived from big accomplishments but also from finding joy in the journey and the small victories along the way. So, let’s follow our furry friends’ lead and revel in the little things that bring us happiness and fulfillment.

Unconditional love and forgiveness

As humans, we often hold grudges or find it difficult to forgive others for their mistakes. However, my dogs have taught me the power of unconditional love and forgiveness. No matter how many times I may accidentally step on a paw or a tail or even forget to fill the water bowls, they never hold a grudge. Instead, they greet me each day with a wagging tail/butt (my rescue Rottweiler Zelda doesn’t have a tail) and kisses.

Applying this lesson in the workplace can be transformative. Instead of harboring resentment or holding onto past mistakes, we can choose to forgive and move forward. By cultivating a culture of forgiveness and understanding, we can create a more harmonious and productive work environment. This can strengthen relationships and build a sense of trust. By accepting and embracing each other’s flaws and imperfections, we can work towards common goals with empathy and understanding.

The lesson of unconditional love and forgiveness from my dog is an invaluable one. By applying this lesson in our professional lives, we can foster positive relationships, create a supportive work environment, and ultimately find greater satisfaction and happiness.

Conclusion: Applying these lessons to our own lives

In conclusion, the lessons learned from my dogs have had a profound impact on the way I approach life. From being present in the moment and finding joy in the simple things to the power of loyalty and unconditional love, my dogs have truly been teachers.

While our furry friends may not be able to teach us about business strategies or networking skills, their lessons in compassion, forgiveness, and resilience can be applied to all aspects of our lives. Whether it’s in our relationships, our interactions with our team, or even our self-care, we can learn so much from the wisdom of our canine companions.

So, let’s take a page out of our dog’s book and strive to be more forgiving, more present, and more compassionate. Because in doing so, we not only improve our own lives but also create a ripple effect of positivity and fulfillment that extends far beyond ourselves.

It’s time to unleash the lessons learned from our canine companions and become the best versions of ourselves.


Lisette Mariner, CAE- Lisette has over twenty years’ experience in association management with an emphasis on large statewide trade and professional organizations. She holds the Certified Association Executive designation.  Lisette serves on the board of the Capital Area Healthy Start Coalition and the Companion Animal Rescue Endeavor.  Fun Fact(s):  When she’s not volunteering she enjoys watching movies with her family which includes 3 dogs and a cat, playing tennis, and participating in a Zumba class.


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