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  • Elisse Gabriel

Things My Dog Could Teach the President


Right now, we need true leadership. We need someone who can project common decency, humanity, kindness, and compassion. Tragically, our so-called President possesses none of these basic traits.


On a walk yesterday, I realized that my dog, Izzie,—and likely yours, too—would be a far more uplifting presence occupying the Oval Office right now than the one currently staking claim.


That said, here are 10 things my dog could teach the POTUS 45:


1. Play with Everyone

Izzie knows the universal symbol of play—butt up, tail wagging—and that gives her the green light to romp, run, and roll around. She couldn’t care less whether her playmates are tan or red, black, spotted, or striped.


2. Strive for Peace

A sniff, a wag, a friendly greeting is the typical routine, but when it’s not, that's okay. Izzie will choose to nonchalantly walk around an aggressive dog and not engage. After all, the only thing it leads to is a fight and two sad, hurt pups. She’s a pooch for peace.


3. Live in the Present

The past and the future hold no interest. The present is where it’s at. Dogs find joy, wonder, and delight in the now and in simple everyday pleasures. Mindfulness comes naturally.


4. Forgive

Accidentally stepped on her paw? Left her with a friend while you were away? No worries. She won’t hold it against you. Dogs let bygones be bygones especially if you say you’re sorry and offer an extra snuggle.


5. Be Compassionate

When you’re hurt or just feel sad, dogs want to help ease your pain. They’ll sit with you as long as you need them to. No words needed. Their kind, calming presence works like magic.


6. Value Who You Are, Not What You Have

My dog has met and played with pups from all walks of life, and isn’t fazed by how fancy their collars are, how coiffed their coats, or what kind of car their humans drive. As long as she has attention, exercise, food, and affection, she’s a happy camper.


7. Welcome Visitors with a Wagging Tail

Yes, she might be protective of her territory, but as soon as she knows you are friendly, she pipes down and welcomes you with a smile and maybe even her favorite toy. Everyone is welcome, including the mailman.


8. Practice Loyalty

Dogs are pack animals, loyal to their families for life, and their friends, too. A dog wouldn’t dream of dismissing those who care for her, feed her, and keep her sheltered. She knows we look out for her and she does the same for us. Always, without question, and without fail.


9. Greet Strangers Equally and Openly

Our dog greets humans from all races, ethnicities, countries, socioeconomic strata in the same way. With a smile and a tail wag. To her, a human is a human.


10. Love Unconditionally

Dogs love us even if we’re in a foul mood, if our world is imploding, if we have a huge zit on our nose and haven’t showered for a week. Dogs simply love us because we are theirs.


I imagine that if Trump had a dog, it would love even him (he’s the first President in more than a century not to have one). He might wonder why, and so would we, but that’s just what dogs do. They know how to love, sometimes despite who we are, as long as we’re with them. Perhaps then he’d discover that when he calls someone a “dog,” it’s actually quite a compliment.




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