Everything I Know About Money Management I Learned From My Dogs

The life lessons our pets can teach us.

Woman and her dog, who taught her how to manage money Wade Austin Ellis | Unsplash, Karolina Grabowska | Canva

Being an avid animal lover and having a small menagerie of pets —  currently known as two dogs, Samson and Sparkie, two cats, Chloe and Lil Lily, and a turtle, Jeepee —  I spend plenty of time being entertained and learning lessons from each of them. Their love is unconditional and their joy infectious, the lessons they have taught me about happiness, and continue to teach are profound. Sparkie is an amazing Pit mix and Samson is a Havanese blueblood who thinks he is the “big dog!” 


I have observed them living their lives full-out; they never hesitate, they embrace each experience. Not once have I seen them stop and ponder how to make their next move. They don’t struggle with concepts of "deserving" or question if they are worthy, they simply believe that whatever they need will show up, and it does. They don’t worry about where their next meal is coming from, they don’t contemplate whether or not they should play ball or go swimming —  when the opportunity presents itself, they jump on in. Imagine what life would be like if you lived the same way. The number one reason people don’t do what they truly desire is that they can’t figure out if it will work or not.


They are afraid to spend the money because they believe that if they don’t know the outcome (as well as their next twelve steps) they will lose. Can you relate? Sorry, but as much as I dislike telling you this, it’s impossible to know the outcome of the next three steps you're going to take ... never mind the next twelve! Fear of struggle prevents the full enjoyment of life. And even more so, it affects the dollars and cents in your bank account! Trying to determine what could go wrong will take up too much of your inspiration, your energy, and your time because there are an infinite amount of things that can go wrong. However, we should remember that there is a counterpoint to this: There are an infinite amount of things that can go right, too! Who knows this? Dogs. At least my dogs do! I don’t mean to brag but, they are pretty exceptional. Here's what they taught me.

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Here is everything I know about money that I learned from my dogs:

1. You have to ask for it

Sparkie came off the streets, literally. Picked up at four pounds and three ounces, he was torn up, filled with fleas and tics, barely 8 weeks old, dehydrated, and literally on his last hours but still, he had a light in his eyes, hence his name. He had nothing, but that didn’t stop him from asking. He kept asking, which for him was in the form of whimpering and barking, until someone —  the right one —  heard him and helped him. When it comes to getting cash flow into your business or your life, you have to ask and keep asking or it will not appear.

2. Don't expect money to be there — work for it

Samson came through a friend who, after breeding her thoroughbred female for the first time, discovered there were steps to take that she was unaware of, and a series of misadventures landed him in my home. Sparkie was seven months old when he arrived. He was a privileged dog, and could even have been a show dog, but he was completely prepared to mess it up, play full-out, and show up for whatever. He is a third of the size of Sparkie but you’d never know it! No matter your pedigree, education, size, or circumstances, success comes to those who are willing to show up, get messy, play full-out, and keep on keeping on, even if you are dealing with a situation bigger than you are.

@rorydouglasofficial You can't expect to achieve success without putting in the effort. Consistency, skills and patience will help you pay the bills. There is never any losses– just lessons that help you become even better. Nothing worth having comes easy, so push yourself to keep going – remember your future depends on it! #motivation #paythebills #skillsmatter ♬ original sound - The Financial Gentleman

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3. Spend time enjoying life

My boys enjoy fun, but they don’t care if it’s the highbrow kind of mucking it in the mud. Because sometimes, my friends, it’s a lot of fun to muck around! They are content with where they are when they are there. How many of you are content, I mean truly content, with where you are right now? Did you know that your discontent puts you in a place of lacking and that, all on its own, can limit your money flow?  

4. Don't spend too much time saving for a rainy day

Rainy days are not a lot of fun, even with raincoats, so I’ve learned that saving for one is a ridiculous concept. Why would I want to ensure a rainy day? The possibility-filled spontaneous car rides, adventures at the lake, or strolling in a strange neighborhood are the ultimate experience for Sparkie and Sam, so I save for possibilities and experiences instead —  it’s a heck of a lot more fun.  


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5. Look toward the future instead of lingering on your past

Although Samson would be considered high-brow and Sparkie not so much, they don’t see each other that way at all. As far as they are concerned they are brothers, best friends, and snoozing buddies. It doesn’t matter where you come from, only where you are going! When it comes to your financial relationship, it doesn’t matter if you have a lot right now or a little, what matters is where you are headed. Focus forward!

6. And finally, live without negativity

My boys don’t judge. They aren’t mean or nasty, and they don’t hold grudges. They are always happy to see me and to see each other. Their bond is unbreakable, their belief in one another unfailing, and their love unending. It takes love, forgiveness, acceptance, and gratitude to truly get ahead in this life. It is that energy, devoid of criticism, nastiness, doubt, and/or angst, that moves you ahead, it's loving without exception and believing without question.  

@melrobbins You CAN stop the negative self talk that runs on repeat in your head. Want to hear more? Listen to the full episode of the #melrobbinspodcast 👇 🎧 “Take Control of Your Mindset: Master Your Mental Habits for a Happier Life” 🔗 in bio #melrobbins #changeyourlife #mindset #createabetterlife #takecontrol #motivation #negativethoughts #negativemindset #changeyourmindset #habits #happierlife #podcast ♬ original sound - Mel Robbins

Being in the flow of love, courage, belief in self, and mission puts you into a space of abundance. When you exist in this space, money flows from expected and unexpected sources —​ and it comes with far less effort. So take a deep breath. Just ask my dogs, they don’t worry about the how —  they just live in the now and receive. Take a page from their book and you'll see some of that money stress just fade away. Oh, they wanted me to tell you “If you are stressing, worried, and struggling you are simply barking up the wrong tree”! I told you they were exceptional.


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Reverand Deborah Bishop is a performer, speaker, and energy practitioner.