Saturday Jul 29, 2023
Saturday Jul 29, 2023
When NY times bestselling author, W. Bruce Cameron, was on a road trip with his girlfriend, she shared some sad news: Her first dog had just died. She was crying and inconsolable. Then, W. Bruce was inspired to tell her a story about a dog that reincarnates and eventually ends up in heaven with his owner. The story became a beloved novel and movie (“A Dog’s Purpose, and sequels), and catapulted W. Bruce (wbrucecameron.com) as the dog lover novelist (he also married his passenger). Appearing on our Love University Podcast, W. Bruce shared his insights on the unbreakable love bond between dogs and humans. Here's what we discussed about dogs and the lessons they can teach us:
Dogs and humans are evolutionary programmed to love each other. In ancient times, the human-wolf (later dog) bond developed as wolves helped humans hunt and survive better. Those humans who worked well with wolves tended to survive and pass along their genes, while wolves who worked well with humans were taken care of and were able to reproduce. Now, according to W. Bruce, in modern times, it’s in our respective DNAs to love dogs and dogs to love us.
Dogs give us pure unconditional, forgiving love. People are judgmental, but dog’s aren’t. A human will say to another, “You look terrible with that shirt,” or “You hurt me back in 2020—I can’t forget it.” A dog doesn’t care what you look like; they will still love you if your hair is all messed up. They also don't hold grudges (you put them outside when company came), yet they are still super excited to see you when you come get them. Strive to be the same toward yourself and others—forgiving, accepting, and loving.
A dog enjoys the simple pleasures. We live in a rush-rush society—multitasking, technology overload, trying to cram one more thing into our day. Take a lesson from dogs—they enjoy the simple pleasures of the moment. Even a car ride around the corner is exciting for them. When they take you for a walk, they stop to smell everything and really enjoy it. Follow their example, “Smell the essence of life”—wherever you go, and whatever you do, strive to savor and relish the sights, sounds, tastes, and smells of the experience. Slow down and enjoy the simple pleasures of life.
Dogs fully accept everything. Dogs are masters at going with the flow. W. Bruce talks about a dog that lost the use of their leg and were in a cart. Yet, the dog was happy because it didn’t have pain and it could spend time with its loved ones. What a beautiful way for us to live as humans if we could accept everything that happens to us—as we find the silver lining in even the darkest of clouds.
You have a short life span—enjoy every minute. The average dog has a lifespan of 10 to 13 years. Yet, in that short time period, dogs can pack a great deal of fun, adventure, love, and joy. You can do the same. Realize that your physical time on earth is limited, but the love you create and share is eternal. Like a dog, you can be grateful for every “treat” you experience in life, and approach each moment of existence with joy and anticipation.
- Bruce says the biggest concern of a loving dog is what will happen to their human after the dog is gone. Ultimately, W. Bruce’s dog books are about reunification and returning to the ones we love; otherwise known as eternal love. This uplifted love can be between humans and each other, humans and a Higher Nature (God, spirit, nature), and humans and animals. It’s true that dogs are truly a great gift to our world. They teach us how to be generous, nonjudgmental, and forgiving. They show us how to enjoy the present without worrying about the future or regretting the past. Let’s face it: It’s a dog’s world, and you’re living in it. Enjoy.