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Of course you pay attention to your dog.  You give her the best food you can afford.  You take her for walks.  You teach her the basic commands and you play games with her, sometimes games that she initiates, sometimes games that you begin.  You may even share your bed with her.

But what might you learn if you pay attention not only to your dog but like your dog?

Dogs know they can learn from observing others, particularly their elders.  They know that experience counts.

Dogs don’t multi-task.  They give their full attention to whatever they are doing.

Dogs live in the moment.  You will never find a dog worrying about what he forgot to do last week or fretting over what might happen the day after tomorrow.

Dogs take advantage of every opportunity.  When there’s a chance to play, take a long walk, be with like-minded creatures, have a nice meal, they do so with great enthusiasm.  When opportunity knocks, the dog never says, Wait a sec.  I’m texting.

Dogs are life-long learners.  By observing their world and the creatures in it, by listening carefully, by quietly paying attention with great intensity, by creative experimentation, they keep learning things that will make their lives richer, safer, more enjoyable.

And when there’s nothing to do and not much to see, while they are waiting for things to improve or for the game to be afoot, they know that a little nap can a wonderful way to pass the time, leaving them refreshed and ready for the adventures to come.

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