5 Things My Dogs Taught Me About Life

I’ve been around dogs ever since I can remember and always loved having these furry creatures as a part of my family. Before my husband and I got married and started looking for a place to live, I had one request that was non-negotiable: it had to be dog-friendly.


Every dog that has been a part of my life and still is, taught me some of the greatest life lessons. Animals have the beautiful ability to remind us of what humanity really means.


As a proud pet owner, here are the top five things my dogs have taught me about life.



Living with anxiety can be a kick in the face and self-esteem. As an independent person, it’s embarrassing how scared the future can make me. It takes hard work to focus on the now, but this is where my dogs take the lead.

ultimutt love _ ilka steyn

Although dogs remember exactly where their treats are kept, or what street takes them home, they only focus on it when they need to – in the moment. Whether they are getting their well-deserved belly rub or exploring the garden, they enjoy and live in that moment. And as difficult as it is, my dogs are a daily reminder to try and live in the now.



Dogs give everybody a chance. They don’t care if you’re rich or poor – or desperately trying to get to the bathroom.


Dogs don’t judge you by your appearance and if you put yourself out there like dogs (but not exactly like they do), you never know who you might meet, or whose day you will brighten up.


Dogs are pack animals. They play with their pack, defend their pack, and stick with their pack; a great reminder for us human beings of what commitment looks like.

ultimutt love _ ilka steyn

Showing respect is about treating people how you want to be treated. Be a loyal and dependable friend, spouse, parent or sibling. Life is already tough on people, you don’t also have to be.



There are plenty of things I do that my dogs don’t like. Some of them I have to do (like work), some will depend on how I’m feeling (like having the flu and not wanting to go on walkies), and other things I have to do (like stopping them from eating something weird).


No matter what I do, they will forgive and cuddle me like I’m the best person in the world. They don’t hold it against me that I took away their chance of eating a foreign object. They forgive and move on.


Holding a grudge weighs you down and sucks out all your energy. Being willing to forgive and move on just makes life a little easier.



Dogs never fail to display their love for you. The moment I’m ill or crying, my dogs are right next to me; ready to smother me with love and cuddles. Even if I scolded them for destroying my shoes, they are still willing to give wet kisses.

Dogs’ loyalty, companionship, and unconditional love can’t be met by any human standards, but sets a great example for us to follow. Loving other people unconditionally is an extremely difficult task, but can you imagine how much better the world would be if we tried?

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Anniemation Floe says:

    I think I need to get a dog now 🙂


    1. Ilka Steyn says:

      You won’t regret it 😉


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.