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Life Lessons From Duke

Interested in “Life Lessons?” Or did I get your attention with the word “Duke?”

Well, I’m not talking about the duke, as in a monarch ruling over a duchy or a member of the nobilityNor am I referring to Duke, as in Duke University a private research university located in Durham, North Carolina, United States.

I’m speaking about Life Lessons From Duke…my Duke!

Introducing Duke! He is my nearly-nine-year-old dog. He is a Puggle. He is half-Pug and half-Beagle. His brindle coloring makes him unique and absolutely gorgeous. We have been best friends for nearly seven years. He has taught me many important life skills and frequently reinforces others.

Unconditional Love

No matter what I say or what do, no matter my mood, no matter how I look in the morning, no matter how I live or the activities I choose – my dog loves me unconditionally. There aren’t any requirements, expectations, rules or guidelines. He offers his love to me without regard and with no hesitation. If only everyone in the world could learn this simple concept from a dog. This would be a huge step towards conflict resolution and worldwide peace.

Benefits & Importance of Hugs/Kisses/Affection

I’ve never been a very affectionate type of person. However, I have one of, if not the most affectionate dogs I have ever owned or met. He comes to me for hugs and attention. He paws at my hand when he wants to be loved. At the same time, he is always willing to come to my side whenever I ask so I can receive “Lovin’s” myself. He has opened my eyes regarding the importance of affection in one’s life. Yes, we ALL really need it.

Simple Pleasures

When I ask Duke if he wants to go for a walk, WOW! He gets so excited. He spins himself around, wagging his tail with anticipation while I get his leash. One would think he had just won the lottery. Well, that’s how I would react. My dog has taught me how to enjoy and revel in the simple pleasures of life. I don’t need to spend money, take a big vacation or seek out some big thrill type of activity. Just like Duke, a simple walk in the park can be sufficient.

Forgive & Forget

What a concept and something we all struggle with in our lives at some point or another. For a dog, this is rather simple. Dogs don’t hold grudges. They don’t get mad. Dogs don’t seek revenge or retribution. Dogs simply forgive and forget. Yes, to us humans it seems a dog’s life is so less complicated than ours. Maybe and maybe not. Maybe dogs inherently live life in that manner. I think so. Something for all of us to consider.


Dogs, like people, are not born with an automatic reaction or inkling to hate. Dogs, like people, are taught to react differently in different situations. And just like dogs, we can all receive our own training to learn how to be kind to one another. Dogs react and respond to our training and to our example. Well, people are no different. My dog likes nothing more than to be treated well by others. Yes, he loves the attention. But, don’t we all like to be treated with kindness?


Duke and I travel to the local dog park as often as possible. He enjoys the time to socialize with other dogs and to run around. He, in turn, has unconsciously encouraged me to socialize more. I find myself admiring and loving the other dogs and then a conversation ensues with another dog parent. Duke reminds me that it’s not only important to socialize with others, but there are hidden personal rewards and benefits as well, like friendship.

Random Acts & Gifts

Upon going shopping, I will spontaneously purchase a bone for my dog. Oh, how he loves to sink his teeth into a nice meaty bone. When I ask him if he wants a treat, well, he has learned something good is coming his way. He gets so excited and can barely hold his bum still long enough to sit as he is expected. The act of giving through actions or gifts is so rewarding. I try to do this with people in my life as well, whether I know them or not. There’s something to be said for “making someone’s day.”

In no way is this a comprehensive list of the life lessons I’ve learned from Duke. However, it does cover some of the most important. If you’re a dog lover and/or owner, then chances are you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Feel free to leave a comment and copy and paste a picture of your dog! What other life lessons have you learned from your dog?

©Julie Corbett




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