Here and now, are three things you can learn from your pet. You know you shouldn’t bark, slobber or bite people – but there are some other, socially acceptable actions that’ll improve your relationships with humans.

  • Celebrate everything! That's what Julie Klam, author of “You Had Me At Woof,” says dogs do all of the time. When you come home, your dog welcomes you like you’ve been away at war, even if you just went to 7-11. Every meal is the best thing they’ve ever tasted. Each walk is the most exciting experience of the day. The lesson to learn: Find pleasure in the smaller moments of life. You don’t need to wait for a special occasion; there are moments to celebrate every day.
  • Just being present is enough. Susan Logan is the editor of Cat Fancy magazine and she says she experienced the two greatest losses of her life in one year. Her sister died and her marriage ended. One night when she was at the worst of her grief, her two cats silently snuggled up to her in bed, so close it felt like a hug. That was a powerful lesson in what it means to comfort someone. If you don’t know what to say to a friend who’s grieving or has a terrible illness, just be close. What matters is being there, not what you say.
  • Y**ou can get along with anybody and everybody.** You know the expression “fighting like cats and dogs?” Laura Wyatt is the curator of the Everglades Wildlife Sanctuary and she says animals of all different species can get along perfectly fine. Her dog raised baby flamingoes with her. You’ve probably seen YouTube videos of dogs and elephants as best friends. Or cats nursing baby squirrels. She says humans would do well to emulate the generous spirit of animals and not judge others just because they’re different from us.