My husband and I have very different work routines. And it can get lonely real fast if there isn't another warm body around to talk to and care for; hence the reason we acquired a bunny.

And then another bunny. And just last year, a puppy. And they aren't pets to us — they're family. Pets become family additions almost immediately, taking part in life's momentous events, and waiting for us with wiggling tails when we arrive home.

And not only do our furbabies bring joy to our lives; if we watch them closely, we can glean some amazing life lessons from the way they live and behave.

1. They teach us excitement

I'm often in awe at how my puppy gets so curious and excited about the smallest things. If I open a drawer, he gets excited to see what's inside. If we take him for a walk, he gets excited over every pinecone, every flower, every elderly man working in his garden. He is full of awe and wonder. So many times in life we get too blinded, too hardened, to the amazing things around us. It's time to start taking joy in the little things and counting all the miracles around us — even the flowers on our afternoon walks.

2. They teach us to pay attention to others

I recently took my puppy on a trip to visit where I grew up. We had a layover, which meant we got to see three different airports total, and that couldn't have been better news to my pup. To my embarrassment at times, he approached everyone with eagerness, played with a group of kids who had grown bored waiting for their delayed flight, and even slept on the lap of an elderly man who told me his little dog had just passed away and that it was nice to hold one again. Our furry friends haven't been taught social boundaries, and they show us that at the core of our being, we all crave to be talked to, played with, shown interest in and loved. He wasn't embarrassed for a second to show someone that.

3. They teach us forgiveness

If you have a pet, then you know how quickly they forgive — almost immediately. Whether you scold them or grow impatient with them or accidentally trip over their little feet in the kitchen, they will forgive you and feel more concerned about how you're feeling. It's time to be more like that with those around us and get rid of the grudges that don't help us in any way.

4. They teach us to take breaks

How many times does your energetic dog, cat or other furry friend curl up for a few minutes to rest or just take a break? Our bodies are no different. We need to give ourselves time throughout the day to listen to our bodies and take a moment to breathe, shut our eyes, drink some water or just BE.

5. They teach us to laugh

My husband and I crack up over our three little guys all the time. They are complete goofballs, and love to make us laugh. They've taught me to be less serious, to play like a kid sometimes and to just be goofy now and then. Being an adult can be anything but fun — and sometimes all we want to do is resort to childhood. Am I right? But take a lesson from old Fido over there and do something fun. Laugh. Love your life. Enjoy.

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