5 Lessons from Orejas

Natalie Choi - Ecuador


January 11, 2018

This blog is dedicated to an amazing friend, Orejas, who has always been by my side.

Orejas is this cute little dog who follows me everywhere I go: cafes, restaurants, markets, shops… Sometimes it can be troublesome if I want to go to a place where dogs can’t enter; nevertheless, whenever I’m with him I always feel happy and protected, as if he’s my guardian angel.


Here’s a little bit about this friendly soul.

Name: Orejas (‘Ears’ in Spanish)
Owner: My neighbor, although it is arguable that he is a free soul as he comes and goes at his own will
Characteristics: Outgoing, adventurous, cheerful
Hobbies: following people (me) around, going to new places, meeting new people and trying new food

Lessons from Orejas

1)  Be adventurous and be free.

Orejas lives on the front yard of a gated house, but does that stop him from going on adventures? Absolutely not. For Orejas, challenges merely exist to be overcame and to make him a better person. He simply (not-so-gracefully) jumps up to the rails of the gate, and uses his arm strength to pull himself up and over the gate towards freedom.
Nothing can stand in the way of Orejas’ adventures.

2)  Be attentive and grasp opportunities.

Orejas always keeps his eyes open, so he can make use of every possible opportunity. No matter how quiet or inconspicuous (with my cap, scarf, sunglasses etc.) I try to be, he would always spots/ smell/ hear me and come running after me. To be completely honest, at times I am a bit creeped out by how constantly observant he is – sometimes I feel like a mouse being caught by a cat. Nevertheless, it is important to remain attentive to the surrounding environment so you can make use of your resources and grasp the opportunities when they appear.

3)  Be everyone’s friend

Orejas is very popular and everyone, no matter human or dog, loves him. We would be walking on the streets or waiting for the bus and he will be playing with the street dogs; even the crazy dog in the neighborhood, which periodically goes around and bites everything that moves, likes him and plays with him. In fact, Orejas probably has more friends than I do. Sometimes when he sees a human-friend while walking with me, he would run towards them and follow them instead. Not going to lie, at those times I feel like I am being cheated on – anyhow, it is admirable how Orejas manages to be everyone’s friend.


The crazy dog that bites everyone

4)  Go with the flow

Orejas does not always know where he’s going. In fact, he never knows where he’s going… But that’s okay, because the beauty of life lies in its mysteries. You won’t always end up where you think you’d be. Sometimes Orejas is left at the bus terminal as I get on the bus, sometimes he is chased out of the restaurant by the waiters, sometimes he gets lost. But to Orejas, the destination doesn’t matter – it’s the process that counts. He goes with the flow, and will always end up home.

5)  Smile

When I think of Orejas, the first image that pops into my head is him with his wide, beaming smile, tongue sticking out, tail wagging, and paws clicking as he catches up with me. He is always so happy and up for doing things, which puts me in a good mood. That’s the thing about happiness, it’s contagious. Always keep a positive mind and pass on your good energy to people around you. You’ll never know what a smile can do!

Natalie Choi