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What Pets Teach Us About Love, Parenting and Relationships

Our dog, Duke, has been so depressed this week! He’s a loveable yellow lab who is always willing to run with the kids, chase a ball, or go for a long walk by the river. Not this week. He lays on the couch (not by my choice), mopes to his bowl for his breakfast, and then returns to the couch. Why is this week different? School has started and he is missing our daughter. He misses her so much that he sleeps in her room every night (not something he normally does) and he jumps in the car with her every morning to take her to school.

As a clinical social worker, I often think clinically about children and families. Duke has allowed me to see the world through his eyes this week. He is just flat sad that part of his family is leaving every day for a huge chunk of time. He is feeling his feelings! As the school year gets started, many parents are thankful for the reprieve and break from hanging with their children all day. I decided we can learn a lot from animals.  Here are just a few of the things I have learned: