Share a lesson you wish you had learned earlier in life.

Growing up as a lockdown puppy during the Covid era, my life started in the care of a loving refugee family. I was Bruno, the puppy with so much potential but little guidance. The walls of our home were my world; the family was my universe. There were no other dogs or humans for me to play with, learn from, or socialize with. The world outside seemed vast and uncharted, yet it was an alien realm I yearned to explore.

But life wasn’t easy. My first family, though they loved me deeply, couldn’t financially care for me or provide me with the training and social skills I needed. My spirited nature and lack of early socialization turned into behavioral issues. Eventually, I found myself being handed over to another family. But my troubles didn’t end there. In a house filled with love, laughter, and play, I made some mistakes. I acted out and, unfortunately, hurt those I cared about.

The road to redemption was steep. My new family, on the brink of sending me to an animal shelter – a place where my past actions would have surely led me to an untimely end – decided to give me another chance. And it was the innocent pleas of the children that melted their hearts. They believed in me, even when I doubted myself.

My human mum became my pillar of strength. She sought guidance, investing time and effort to understand my behavior and the reasons behind it. We embarked on a journey of trust, discipline, and love. The balance training she introduced was our lifeline. It taught me about boundaries, about right and wrong. The rewards for good behavior were bountiful, while the consequences for bad actions were clear. A missed treat, no time on the sofa – these punishments were a small price to pay for a life filled with love and understanding.

I’ll never forget the day when our bond truly solidified. A simple walk, which I had turned chaotic in the past with my barks and tugs, became a turning point. That day, a stern look and firm voice from mum changed everything. I realized that to enjoy life’s pleasures, like our amazing camping trip or visits to fancy restaurants, I had to respect and understand others.

Today, I am grateful. Grateful for the second chances, for the love showered upon me, and for every treat I receive. If I could speak the human language, I’d say, “Thank you for believing in me. I wish I had learnt earlier, but I promise to be the best version of me now.”

This tale of Bruno, like many others, reminds us of the importance of understanding, patience, and the transformative power of love.

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