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10 Life Lessons from a Dog Named Rocco

From a handsome boy with a lot of wisdom.

Angeli Sivaraman
Angeli Sivaraman
5 min read
10 Life Lessons from a Dog Named Rocco
Photo Cred: Angeli Sivaraman (myself)

Table of Contents

There’s a lot of turmoil in the world right now. If you are feeling scared about the Ukraine and Russia situation, I feel ya. I feel for the families and the scariness of it all. I wish there was a way to solve problems that didn’t result in war…

When times are hard, let’s turn to our animals for comfort and guidance.

I love Rocco. He’s the cutest-patootiest best friend a girl can ask for <3 Animals teach us so much. They are so divine in their status (they train us, really at the end of the day), their presence, their love, and their insightfulness. Today we will talk about 10 things I have learned from my dog named Rocco.

1) Love unconditionally: in Rocco’s words - “I love every person and dog that I meet”. Rocco doesn’t find fault with anyone, make them feel bad about themselves, judge them, or anything that humans do to each other. As soon as he meets someone he says “I love you” with his eyes. He wants to hug you and be your friend for life.

2) Trust: Rocco trusts me unconditionally. He thinks I’m the real deal. I open the proverbial and literal doors for all things awesome for him (treats, walks, parks, and cars). Rocco teaches me to have this undeniable trust that things will work out the way they are supposed to. The way he trusts me is a sure sign that I should trust myself. And why not?  Because I’m awesome and so are you. I’ll also extend that to trusting my intuition, and the universe as well :) Trust leaves little room for anxiety and over-thinking.

3) Ask for what you need, unapologetically: Rocco wants his walk, he asks. Rocco wants a belly rub, you will find him belly up. Rocco wants to cuddle, his head is in my lap. He wants me to finish work already, he will pull out one of his nonsensical behaviors for some goddamn attention! <3 He wants to heal his bellyache with some grass, he’s at the back door waiting to be let outside (though it’s probably because he ate trash in the street, and yes I do make fun of him for it). He never feels badly about his needs. They are his needs. We have needs too. Some of them are small, some of them are big. It’s on us to make them known so the people around us can meet us where we are at. Many of us try not to ask for things, but if we discount our feelings, other people will too. This is a hard lesson that I’m learning. So state your feelings and what you need!! Ask for help because you’re human and you are not meant to go it alone. You are really important!!

4) Be present: Rocco hears everything. He knows what’s happening always. He doesn’t tune out at all. He actually gets mad at me for being on my phone during our afternoons together. “Not cool mom, pay attention to me!” - he’s not wrong! His presence is a gift, and so is yours.

5) Feel your feelings when they arise: if Rocco is frustrated, he huffs once, then he’s over it. It’s already out of his system. Many of us (myself included) may have been taught to suppress our feelings as children, but sooner or later they come up and we have to deal with them and air them out. Rocco whines, he huffs, he lets me know what’s on his mind. Then he’s over it. He feels, but doesn’t emote. Then he’s back to being present. Look at him transmuting his feelings.

6) Be curious: it’s no surprise that when I come into the house Rocco his nose goes straight into my shopping bags wondering if there is something for him. He doesn’t resist his curiosity, he embraces it. Rocco learns the world through his nose. We could all learn to be curious about the world, our feelings, our triggers, and other people! Curiosity move us away from judgement and towards new dialogues. We might want to resist these things, but being curious leads us to address and heal our wounds and thereby live more freely! And meet and bridge the gap between us and other awesome humans who want to know our stories :)

7) Be open to learning: you CAN teach an old dogs new tricks, actually. Rocco knows what’s up. He just needed a chance, and he shone when given it. When we are open to learning, we are open to growing. We never really stay in one place throughout life. We are always shape shifting, gradually. The beauty is there’s no destination. Just being open to the changes can bring a sense of ease and awe at who we’ve become. What a beautiful way to be in the world.

8) Apologize when you need to: yes when Rocco is naughty or out of control, and I say “Rocco!” in my surprised yet stern voice, he’s comes over and starts licking me and getting close. He knows when he’s made a mistake. He owns it and I acknowledge him. We understand it’s over and then we move on.

9) Play!: we are never too old for this. In his medium to old age (it’s nebulous), Rocco plays every day. He teaches puppies how to play! He just wants to make friends and have fun. We are never too old to make friends and have fun! Play could be big part of life, if we let it be. Sure, we’re busy, but we can still do the things from time to time that make us feel like a kid again. Which reminds me, I need to paint more!

10) Be your bright, bold, beautiful self: Rocco has got a really bright personality. He entertains me every day. He’s so loving and kind. And he doesn’t need to be anyone else but himself. The world only has room enough for us to be ourselves. Our unique vibration is what the world needs. So let’s celebrate our inherent divinity and uniqueness. It’s really cool! Hehehe

Lastly, how our animals feel about us is how we ought to feel about ourselves! That we matter, our feelings matter, our wounds matter, and our awesomeness is divine!! Because it’s all true. We are inherently worthy of everything we want in life. We don’t have to prove anything, we don’t have to earn it, we just have to believe it! (And heal our conscious and subconscious limiting beliefs that say otherwise - easier said than done, but can be done).

I hope you enjoyed Rocco's life lessons! He’s a handsome boy with a lot of wisdom. He wishes you a good week ahead, except he can’t think a week ahead. So, instead, he shows you his belly because he trusts you!!


Quote: “Not a single creature on earth has more or less right to be here” - Anthony Douglas Williams

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Angeli Sivaraman is a spiritualist, meditator, nature junkie, and dog mom. She is the creator of Sage Elephant, a blog about spirituality and wellness. She can be reached by email!