Our canine friends bring so much to our lives. In addition to their loyal companionship, they can also teach us many valuable life lessons. Here are five key things we can learn from dogs:

1. Unconditional love. 
One of the greatest life lessons is how to give (and receive) unconditional love. Dogs are masters at this. Yes, they can become protective and aggressive when warranted; however, behind that bark is a heart of gold, and they’re filled with undying devotion to those they love.

2. Express your true feelings. 
Dogs wear their hearts on their sleeves; you always know exactly what they’re thinking and feeling, even though they haven’t said a word. In a world that can be quite superficial, this transparency is refreshing. The lesson? Growl when you must, but wag your tail often.

3. Embrace “The Now.” 
It’s been said that if a dog kept a diary, he would describe each activity as “My favorite thing!” Indeed, dogs embrace everything with a gusto and enthusiasm that is enviable. From eating to taking walks to sleeping near the family, they are continually in “The Now” and relish each activity to the full. Strive to do this in your life, too.

4. Be inquisitive; never stop learning. 
Whether it’s meeting new dogs or new people, joining the family on vacation or taking a car ride, dogs meet each new experience with vibrant curiosity. Let your nose and senses lead you to your next adventures in life, and stay open to new insights and experiences.

5. Play! 
What dog doesn’t love to play? All dogs make time for some form of joyful recreation each day — and so should you.

We can all take a page from the profound simplicity with which dogs see the world. What life lessons has your dog taught you?