. . . from working with our critters at the shelter.
Patience - they are just as grateful for breakfast if you feed them first or last. Our Ms. Annie somehow always is at the end of the line, be it for food or to get out into the yard. She waits very patiently and quietly and when her turn comes, she is just as excited and happy as if she had been first.
Tolerance - I have watched some of our bigger and older dogs tolerate the most rambunctious puppies. To watch Bella get down on Calamity’s level and let her romp all over her is worth the watching. If she does get a little rough with the pup, one yelp and she stops. Calamity is a busy little girl and I don’t see how Bella keeps from being annoyed, but she tolerates.
Trust - I have learned to trust their instinct when it comes to people. (No, I have not learned to trust people.) These guys can quickly tell more about a person than I can. If our dogs indicate that they don’t like someone who may be looking to adopt, they won’t adopt. On occasion even the most even tempered of our kids have let me know in no uncertain terms their opinion of someone. I have learned to tell the difference between ‘my space-don’t invade’ or ‘you are a stranger and I don’t quite trust you’ and ‘oh hell no, I ain’t going home with you!!!’
I have learned that people who are compassionate toward animals are also compassionate toward other people --- and definitely that those who mistreat animals will mistreat another person in a heartbeat.
Perseverance - a dog or cat will keep on keeping on now matter the hand life deals. They will make the best of whatever circumstance without complaint for as long as they can. DeeJay (and Spirit) did the best they could with what there was. They didn’t give up, didn’t get mad, didn’t complain. I am learning.
We should strive to be like them. Accept things because ‘it is what it is.’ Skip the drama, be honest, be thankful, be loyal and live in the moment.