Today, my message for you: get a dog. I have chosen to write this post today not only to convince you, dear reader, to get a dog, but also to convince myself of why I have a dog. (He ate my sunglasses AGAIN last night.)
One of my closest mentors has a talk that he gives to every new class of Leonard Leadership Scholars. One of those pieces of wisdom is to always own a dog. I completely agree.
They are a pain. They eat your shoes and sunglasses and carpet and clothing. But only if you leave them where the dog can reach them. They go the bathroom in the house repeatedly, but only as babies… and only then if you wait too long to take them out. They wake up at 6 in the morning and nudge your bed to wake you up. But who doesn’t need a more effective alarm clock. Occasionally they sprint out the front door after a squirrel or cat or another dog. But they almost always come back.
More importantly, and the point that my mentor makes is this: when no one else in the world likes you; when every person you know is mad at you; when you’re having an absolutely terrible day… Your dog still loves you. Your dog forgets being put in timeout for eating the carpet. He forgets the fact that he’s been at home alone for hours on end. He forgets it all in an instant when you walk through the door and you reach down to give him a pat on the head and a scratch on the back.
Dogs have been called man’s best friend for an extremely long time – and for very good reason. They can lift your spirits with a wagging tail, make you feel loved with a sloppy lick on the face, are happy to exercise as often as you like, and just as happy to lay their head on your lap when you’re ready to relax.
There are far too many dogs in this world without owners. And far to many humans without a reliable pick-me-up at the end of a long day. If you can responsibly own one, get a dog. The good times and the love they exude will far outweigh the broken glasses or the missing strand of carpet.