Best of JN: 9 Lessons From a Barn Dog
There’s a lot we can learn from our animals — those of us who work around horses regularly know this to be true. But in case we need a reminder, here are nine lessons our barn dogs can teach us.
Often found attached to horse men and women are the trusted, loyal, independent farm dogs. My own sidekick, Reba, constantly keeps me on my toes, never failing to bring love, excitement, and adventure to my daily life. She encourages me to live in the moment, appreciate the little things, and helps me practice my patience.
What else can we learn from humans’ best friends?
1. A little dirt never hurt anyone — putting in the effort of a good day at the barn is bound to leave anyone with a little mud on their face or hands. Embrace it as a badge of honor and sign that you’re doing the necessary grunt work.
2. It’s ok to sample the finer things in life (which, according to Reba, include hoof trimmings, manure, hay, and frogs). While we might not share the same taste, don’t wait to celebrate or enjoy what you love most.
3. Share your toys. It’s no fun playing alone, so keeping a team of friends and family around you to share will make every moment (good and bad) better.
4. There’s always time for fun… don’t waste the opportunity to be present and enjoy the day before it slips by.
5. But it’s important to rest and recharge as well. Reba often reminds me to take a moment to slow down, making sure I give her the appropriate amount of snuggles throughout the day, and definitely after work!
6. Lend a helping hand to those in need — work with horses can be difficult and exhausting. Being open and willing to help those around you (and accept help in return!) will make life easier.
7. Keep the adventure alive! We do this for the love of horses, and embrace what comes with the lifestyle – early mornings, unpredictable weather, and new challenges sprinkled throughout the day. Approach each situation with the curiosity and adventurous spirit of a barn dog.
8. Lead with confidence. Clarity in yourself and taking ownership of your ideas and your path will empower you in the work you do, attracting others to join you in achieving goals.
9. And always welcome new friends. Life is more fun with good people around you, making you laugh, keeping you sane, and sharing burdens along the way. Be open to a friendly hello, and make friends out of strangers.
May we all learn to be a bit more like our resilient barn pups! What does yours teach you?