Richard is part of the Just Right® by Purina® blogger community. All experiences and honest opinions are his own. We asked Richard to talk about the unique relationship he shares with his dog, Truman. The result is a post that celebrates how the life lessons learned from dogs can be the most important lessons of all.

(Most) Everything I Needed to Know I Learned from My Dog

I don’t have children so the adage, “my dog is my child” is literal fact in this house. On March 25 of 2014, my nine year-old Pit Bull mix Truman – after being admitted to the veterinarian for x-rays to determine the severity of what was believed to be arthritis – was diagnosed with osteo carcinoma, or bone cancer.  Like thousands of other large breed dogs with this diagnosis, he was given nine to 14 months to live.

After we cried… and cried, we realized we were projecting our human emotions onto Truman, who was blissfully clueless. He just wanted to play and couldn’t understand the delay. Yet again, once we started paying attention, our dog was teaching us how to approach life.

TheBPlot & Truman | Just Right by Purina


Shortly after the diagnosis, we chose a course of treatment with our veterinarian that included holistic therapies and a switch to premium nutrition. Twenty months later, Truman’s physical signs of the disease progressing are only about 25 percent more pronounced, and he's definitely surpassed the veterinarian’s prognosis! He rests and sleeps more but remains strong, curious and excited about life.

Last week, he returned from his annual fall-time road trip to Cape Cod (Juts Right by Purina personalized grain-free lamb blend in-tow that he loves so much)! This recent trip was a gift we are grateful for beyond words. We thought the 2014 trip would be his last, and we remain hopeful for 2016 thanks to a great support group.

From the day we adopted Truman, he began teaching us about life and ourselves. He took silly-busy people attached to smartphones (were smartphones around in 2007? Was there life before smartphones? Smile.) and led us by example to a more…. err, connected life.

It’s a life connected to what’s organically important in the world. For example, that what’s around the corner may be the most exciting thing ever. That a stranger likely has something interesting to share. How to be present. That challenges pass. That deductive reasoning is a really smart way to address an obstacle. How to pause, sit, and take a deep breath! And for sure, how to see the forest through the trees.

Life Lessons Learned from Dogs | Just Right by Purina


No one knows your dog inside and out like you do. Like Richard, you too can give your dog a premium, more personal feeding experience.

Create Personalized Dog Food | Just Right by Purina



In addition to writing his weekly column in The Coaster Newspapers, Richard Virgilio has also appeared as a regular radio and TV personality for several national programs. Keep up with more of Richard’s thoughts and about his life with Truman on his blog, TheBPlot.