If you have been following us, then you know how important animals are to us. We have 2 dogs and a cat in the Tomodotchi pet family and not only do they help our mental health, but they have taught us many important life lessons. Some of these lessons are funny, some are spiritual and some are just awesome. One thing is for sure, as humans we can learn so many valuable life lessons from our dogs, cats and pets. So, without further ado, here are the top 5 lessons we have learned, we hope these give you some food for thought and tools for your own wellness journeys!
1. It's ok to ask for help
This first lesson was learned in a hilarious way, but is still important none the less. Tofu, one of the Tomodotchi dog’s, refuses to squeeze through a door that isn’t fully open. Regardless of whether he sees his sister walk through the door, he has the perception that he is too big to get through. Instead, he lets out his best whine (his whine sounds like Quueee Quueee Quueee, if you can imagine that!) to let us know that he needs help. Like clockwork, someone will always come to open the door for him and then give him a pet afterwards.
There are two lessons we take away from this! The first is that everyone needs help for different things. Just because one person is capable of doing something alone, does not mean that you need to do it alone. It is completely ok and valid for you to ask for help. There are things that you can do that others cannot and vice versa. We are all skilled in different ways and it’s ok to ask for help when you need it!
The second is that you are not a burden when you ask for help! Many times, we are too afraid to ask those around us for help. Many of us are afraid of the stigma associated, we’re afraid of being seen as weak, needy or helpless. This is funny when you think about it, since most of us are willing to give help and think nothing of it. What we recognized from helping our best fur pal is that, regardless of what he needs help with, as his friend and family we are happy to give him help. We don’t hold it against him or think that he owes us one. There are so many ways he enriches our life by just being there, that helping him just makes sense. We need to recognize that asking for help is not bothering a friend or a loved one. They want to help you just like you want to help them. In life, we can’t just give love but we also need to be open to receiving it and allowing others to give it.
2. You can set boundaries and still be loved
This lesson comes courtesy of the Tomodotchi cat Sasuke, and you can probably imagine where this is going. Sasuke unlike many other cats, actually loves to be with people and his brother Tofu. He loves to be pet and sleeps with the family. However, like most cats he has very firm boundaries that he sets. Once you cross his threshold he will squirm and run away. Thank goodness he doesn’t paw at us, but sometimes if he gets startled and runs across your body at night, you will not get away unscathed!
The lesson here is one that we often share at Tomodotchi, and that is that you need to set your own boundaries and thresholds. Whether it be thresholds for what you tolerate in conversations, how long you work, etc. These boundaries are valid so long as they are set thoughtfully by you. Additionally, while some people who don’t understand may initially be hurt or shocked by your boundaries, they come to understand that it is for your overall wellness. Ultimately, we love Sasuke and are thankful whenever he is around. His boundaries don’t make us think any differently of him! If anything, they make us appreciate him all the more. So just know, it is ok to have boundaries and enforce them. Those who love and care for you will always be there!
3. Family isn't just blood deep
This is a lesson that we truly believe in our heart of hearts. Every Tomodotchi pet was adopted from a shelter, and from the moment they arrived at our home they were family. They were showered with love, toys, food and affection. It didn’t matter that we weren’t blood related or even the same species. In the blink of an eye, they became our best fur-ends and our family. From the moment they met us, we knew that this was true for them as well. Magically, they knew us better than we knew ourselves. Somehow they know when you want to celebrate and play or when you just need a shoulder to cry on. They are proof that family isn’t just a blood relation but a bond connection.
This is true for your friends as well. As we got older, our friend group has shrunk but our bonds have grown stronger. We celebrate holidays, birthdays and life’s ups and down together. They have become our most trusted compatriots and are truly our family. This is to say, you don’t need to share blood in order to have familial bonds. Bonds can be created and forged with those you choose and truly care about!
If you are looking for a family, come join our Facebook group family. We support one another as peers, friends and family. It is a place of community to grow, laugh, struggle and overcome together. We would love to have you.
4. Keep playing
This lesson comes courtesy of Tofu and the other Tomodotchi dog Momo! Tofu is 6 and Momo is 4, so in dog years, they are well on their way to becoming seniors. However, they still make time every day to play with their toys. Every day they play tug of war, keep away and fetch with each other. They continue to play the same way that they did when they were just puppies. They have never lost their youthful playfulness and it shows in their energy levels and overall happiness.
Personally, we think this is a critical lesson for us all. So many times, we get caught up with the thought of being an “adult”, that we stop doing the things we love. We don’t play video games, read fiction fantasy, or watch cartoons because that’s not what “adults” do. What does this lead us too? Personally, it led us to a disconnect with our life. Suddenly, we didn’t know who we were anymore or how to have fun. We got our personality from others rather than ourselves and we were left looking at a stranger in the mirror. It took a long time to recognize who we are and how to have fun again. Learn from Tofu and Momo, it doesn’t matter how old you are. Pick up something you love, go play and be happy. This will bring you far greater joy than trying to live up to some perceived ideal.
5. It doesn't matter where you start
This is a lesson we learned from observing the many animals we see at shelters and it’s a very important one. These shelter animals do not have control over where or who they are born too. They can be born into abusive or negligent families. Some are given away because they are a nuisance or too old. Often when they get to the shelter, they are scared, broken and defensive. Some of these traits never leave them and make it harder for them to trust others. However, with enough patience, love and care they can be rehomed and live out an amazing rest of their lives.
This is absolutely true for us as humans as well, as we all come from different backgrounds. We all come with different hurts, advantages and disadvantages. However, where we start or where we currently are doesn’t define where we need to stay forever. If we put in the effort and surround ourselves with caring and loving people, then we all can thrive. Regardless of where you are now, do not lose hope, but realize that things can always change. It’s also important to understand, that other people may have past hurts that stop them from trusting us right away. These past hurts can make them seem more distant or closed off. But we need to see that this is a defense mechanism that allowed them to survive. We have to treat others with compassion, empathy, respect and most importantly patience. This can truly allow us all to thrive.
Barking it all together
While we know the idea of learning life lessons from our pets can seem humorous or trivial, we hope it came across that we can learn some very meaningful lessons from them. Lessons can be learned from anywhere; we just need to have the awareness to recognize what they are trying to teach us. We thank you for reading and we hope this gave you food for thought in your own wellness journeys. Let us know what lessons you have learned from your pets!
Our best fur-ends can teach us many lessons for our overall wellness. The major lesson is that no matter where we start, we can still soar to new heights. We all need to accept the love, kindness and patience of others rather than just give it. Recognize that you can choose your family and to always keep playing and being true to you.
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As an added bonus for our readers, we like to include a game of where are the Tomodotchi Pets. They’ve been hidden in 2 of the pictures within this post. Can you find them all? See below for what they look like!