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5 Lessons My Pets Have Taught Me

Be a good member of the herd


Shortly after our sweet cow Rosalie (who has since gone to pasture) gave birth, I noticed the other mama cows began to gather around her. While she regained her strength and her new calf struggled to rise and take its first steps, the cows stood guard, protecting Rosalie and her new calf while they were at their most vulnerable. Last fall, my husband had a terrible accident resulting in a head injury, which he has thankfully since recovered from. As I worried for him and tried to gather courage for my family, my friends rallied around me—they brought food, cared for my daughter, and held my hand until I was stronger. I accepted the help and will offer the same should they ever need it. They are my herd, and I am theirs.

By Dr. Tricia Earley, Country Living


2
Treat everyone equally


Hamish, my 4-year-old, 1,800 pound Clydesdale (center) competes in horse-driving competitions at county fairs. During the course of these weeklong events, thousands of people stop at the stalls to say hello. I'll admit, there have been times that I've made quick, unfounded assumptions about some of these visitors, who come from all walks of life. But Hamish doesn't turn up his nose to a single one of them. Instead, he graciously lowers his head and welcomes each person with uniform respect.


3
Always show your love


Every time I walk in the door—whether I've been gone a week or have just stepped out to water the garden—my dogs, especially Owen, make their feelings for me perfectly clear with their wagging tails. Their unwavering excitement warms my heart and has also taught me to embrace my own version of "puppy love." In the rush to get through a hectic day, it's easy to take small moments—and people—for granted. My pups remind me to let my love shine through no matter the occasion.


4. Be a good wingman.

[post_ads]My husband raises honeybees on our Texas farm. Every bee (20,000 in total!) has a job. The role I find most fascinating is what I call the "wingman." When temperatures in the hive rise, these selfless guys gather at the opening of the apiary and flap their tiny wings to cool down the queen. (She's less productive in high heat.) There's nothing in it for them, yet they do it time and again to make someone else's job easier. Just think what an impact it would have if we were all a little more willing to help out on the fly.


5
Don't step on others to get to the top


My English riding horse, Neville, is my beloved jumping companion. He's fine-boned, good-looking, much more elegant than his Clydesdale pasture mates—and completely full of himself. When the horses want a drink of water, he pushes his way to the trough before the others can get to it. When it's time to eat, he runs up the hill to get to the barn first. He allows no shenanigans in his vicinity and intimidates the horses that outweigh him by 500 pounds. But at playtime, when the others frolic around and pull each other's halters (their favorite game!), Neville is left out. What does getting to the water trough first really get us?​

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Lifestyle Magazine: 5 Lessons My Pets Have Taught Me
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