Hubbard Life

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Life Lessons From a Dog

By Adam Stevermer, U of M Student


Dog: man’s best friend. For 11 years, I had a best friend. We would do chores together, play games together, and be lazy together. She was a fawn colored boxer, and her name was Tess. On Friday, after living a good life, she died. I never wanted this day to come, but after reflecting on her life, I realized that Tess taught me valuable life lessons that will stick with me through my life.

Boys and Tess Aug 04 (1)

Day 1

Love unconditionally. Love with all your heart. Tess would give us a big, slobbery kiss whenever she could. She wanted to show us how much she cared for us. In a world where there is so much hate, don’t be afraid to spread some love.

Enjoy the ride. Whenever we went for a ride in the truck, we would roll down the window and Tess would stick her head out. She didn’t care where we were going; she was living in the moment. Life is short; enjoy every moment of it.

Forgive. Even though we would scold Tess, she wouldn’t hold that against us. She loved us too much to be mad at us. Don’t hold grudges.

Tess 05 (1)

Don’t judge by appearances.  When people would come to our house, they would ask if Tess would bite. She appeared to be a scary dog, when in reality, she was kind and loving. Don’t judge a book by its cover. There is so much more to a person than their appearance.

Chase chickens. Tess loved to run through a flock of chickens. When she did so, you could almost see her smiling. Do things that make you happy.

Be loyal. The best part about dogs is their steadfast loyalty. No matter what was going on in my life, I knew that Tess would be by my side. Dogs are the perfect example of the type of friend we should be.

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Find joy in small things. Tess had many toys: sticks, bones, and a red, squeaky ball. Those made her happy. Likewise, we don’t need the most expensive gadgets to be happy. Happiness can be found in the little things.

Listen before you speak. Dogs are good at listening. Humans are not. We want to be heard. You can learn so much about someone by listening to them. Try it.

Keep digging. If Tess buried a bone, she wouldn’t stop digging until she found it. Don’t give up on a goal or a dream. Keep digging.


I am thankful that I could have a dog like Tess grow up with me. I now understand why dogs are called “man’s best friend.” They’re loyal. They’re loving. They’re forgiving. We could all learn a little bit more from dogs. 


Posted on 4/14/2016 by Guest Bloggers  |   Category: Dog


Adam, Thank you for putting life into perspective. I am trying to live by the life lessons that you have so eloquently written. I have 12 wonderful, loving, forgiving, thought provoking dogs. My world has been so blessed by just being with them. I am sorry for your loss.

Posted By Anne on 5/16/2016 12:08:55 PM