Life Lessons with My Fun-Loving Dog

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brown and tan dog wearing party hat with colorful balloons and looking at camera

We adopted our dog, Lila, 10 years ago when she was one year old. She had been rescued from a New York City animal shelter and was being fostered until we adopted her. She’s somehow both beautiful and quirky looking at the same time. We don’t know her background, but that’s part of what makes Lila, well, Lila. She’s an independent, strong-willed dog that loves her family deeply and lives life to the fullest. We love her and can’t imagine the past 10 years without her larger-than-life presence in our family. Her approach to life is much differernt than my own and I’ve come to appreciate her outlook. I’ve learned many important life lessons from my fun-loving dog that I treasure.

If you’ve ever met my Lila, you know that she’s the life of the party every day. Her energy has always been exhausting boundless. She’s such a smart dog and the only limitation on what she can learn is me and what I’m able to teach her. She’s learned many tricks on her own. Because we move so often, we’ve crate trained her because that gives her comfort staying in hotels and moving into yet another new home. When I tell my family, “Okay, let’s start getting ready,” Lila runs to her crate, uses her chin to open the door and runs inside. If only my kids got ready that quickly! If you met her now, you’d think Lila was 2 or 3 years old because she’s still energetic and smart, but over the past year or so, we’ve noticed that Lila just isn’t as Lila as she used to be.  She’s now 11 years old and starting to feel her age, but she continues to challenge me to look at life through her eyes and teach me her valuable Lila life lessons.

brown and tan dog laying on floor with brown curtain over its head

Life is fun. Life can be boring, discouraging or even sad or you can be the dog with the curtain on your head at the party. Lila chooses to be the fun one at every party and in every situation. Having fun doesn’t mean that she’s irresponsible. She  is can be very well-behaved and she protects her family diligently, but when it’s appropriate Lila is a fun-loving girl. Her enthusiasm is infectious and she makes friends everywhere she goes.

close up of brown and tan dog's head next to chewed up red rubber bone

Thoroughly enjoy everything you do. Lila’s philosophy is, “if you’re going to do it, do it all out 100%.” If you’re going to bother chewing on an indestructible bone, you might as well chew on it really well.

brown and tan dog sniffing box and also wearing black cameral harness

Life is an adventure. Lila treats everything as a grand adventure. Even boring, mundane tasks are fun if you look at them as an adventure and not as a chore. Strange, possibly scary, new experiences can be an adventure if you look at them that way. Lila was fortunate to have the adventure of wearing a harness with a camera attached as part of this opportunity. She was a bit hesitant at first but quickly regained her excitement for experiencing new adventures. There’s no reason to let a harness and camera on your back keep you from enjoying a new adventure.

Lila’s bold attitude made it possible for us to film her adventures from her point of view.  Check out a slice of life from Lila’s view.

brown and tan dog balancing dog treat on nose and looking at camera

Learning is fun and exciting. Lila has always been very bright. The only limit on what she can learn has been me and what I can teach her. Despite my limitations she’s learned many tricks; sit, lay, stay, sit pretty, dance, wave, circle, roll over, play dead, jump through a hula hoop, balance a dog treat on her nose and catch a treat in the air. Lila is always excited to learn something new and never gets bored with trying. She’s even willing to learn to sit with a treat on her nose until I give her the signal “Okay” and she drops the treat and gobbles it up.

brown and tan dog curled up in white dog bed and looking at camera

Wake up with a smile.   Since Lila sees every day as a grand adventure, she wakes up with a smile and an “up and at ’em” attitude. She’s never had a grumpy or drag-around-the-house morning.

Stop to smell the roses and everything else worthwhile along the way. Lila can be extremely focused on her job when she needs to be, but she always stops to explore new things along her path when she’s able. 

brown and tan dog sitting in front passenger seat of car and looking at camera in the back seat

Watch over your family.   Lila’s background and ancestry is a mystery (and I like that about her), but I do know for certain that she has some type of herding dog in her background. She is always watching out over all of us (and bossing us around). Sometimes I feel a bit insulted, as though she thinks we can’t take care of ourselves without her guidance, but truly I feel very loved and cared for.

Because Lila has been so diligent about watching over our family for so many years, it’s time for us to take extra special care of her in her golden years. According to experts at Purina Pro Plan, around age seven, the glucose metabolism in a dog’s brain begins to change. This change can effect memory, learning, awareness and decision making. Purina Pro Plan discovered a way to promote alertness and mental sharpness in dogs over seven years of age through nutrition and BRIGHT MIND Adult 7+ formulas dog food.

My attention was caught when I read that when added to the daily diet of dogs seven years old and older, the Purina Pro Plan BRIGHT MIND formulas that contain enhanced botanical oils promoted memory, attention and trainability.  In the past the only limit on what Lila could learn was me and what I could teach her. Now that she’s older, I want to do everything I can to help her continue on her learning path. We took a trip, which Lila saw as an adventure, to PetSmart to pick up a bag of Purina Pro Plan BRIGHT MIND. We found it in the dog food section with the other Purina dog foods. 

brown and tan dog with birthday hat looking at camera

Enjoy your food. Lila relishes every meal and every treat. Food is another reason to celebrate for Lila. That makes it easy for me to transition her from her old dog food to Purina Pro Plan BRIGHT MIND. I’m looking forward to seeing how it helps Lila be more …Lila. I’m so thankful for the life lessons I’ve learned with my fun-loving dog. I feel that she still has many more lessons to teach us and I’m Lila-excited about learning them with her. What life lessons have you learned from your dog? I’ve just discovered that I’m growing old(er) together with Lila.

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  1. Lila is too cute! My Bella is a rescue and i feel the same way. She is always happy, has boundless energy and is the life of the party. I couldn’t imagine being without her.

  2. Hi Susan – I am already in love with Lila! What a sweet, fun dog. We have never had a dog of our own, but fostered one for 48 hours and even though it was years ago, we still have such fond memories. Awesome life lessons to think about! Hugs, Holly

  3. What a fun post! Lila seems like an awesome dog, and she is ready to share all of her lessons! That picture of her with the indestructible bone is worth 1,000 words! We have two older pups in our house, so I’ll have to check out that food! #client

    1. Thanks, David. A few of the thousand words for the indestructible bone were choice ones that came out of my mouth. :/ Lucky for Lila we love her like crazy.

  4. As a dog lover I could not agree with you more. We have some much to learn about unconditional love, joy and just enjoying the simple things in life (like a this walk around the neighborhood) from our canines. That’s why they’re REALLY man’s and woman’s best friend.

  5. You puppy is so cute and happy. She has taught you a lot of lessons hasn’t she? I think it is wonderful that you rescued her and she certainly is a big part of your family.

    1. Thanks, Cynthia, we thinks she’s adorable. Lila’s definitely a big part of our family as I know your dog is in your family.

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