I loved Liz Guthridge’s recent post about Tomas, her darling dog who recently died of cancer. It made me think of the funny things our dog Guthrie has learned over time without so much as a word from us. That’s right – zero verbal communication to get these behaviors.

Guthrie – our Kerry Blue Terrier

Guthrie – our Kerry Blue Terrier

When my husband gets the barbecue lighter from the kitchen drawer, Guthrie is right at the back door because he knows he gets to go outside with the boss man to light the grill.

When Guthrie hears the “click” of the tv turning off at the end of the evening, he jumps up (sometimes so fast we fear he will pull a muscle)  and heads for the door. It’s his last chance to go out before bed time.

If Guthrie stands behind me and stares at me, he knows I am the only one in the entire family who will not only sense his presence, but know that he wants to go out.

Why is it that I have spoken to my children thousands of times about not leaving their coats on the floor at the bottom of the stairs, but their behavior never changes? Why is it that I can counsel a client on better writing techniques over and over again, but find I still correct the same mistakes?

Like Tomas was for Liz, Guthrie is a great teacher for me. I gain two important lessons from him nearly daily:

  1. Be patient
  2. Have faith that people will listen, learn and evolve