8 powerful lessons about love, life, and self-care from a talking dog on TV.

'Downward Dog' is a delightful, must-watch show with a powerful message.

There are lots of life lessons we can learn from our four-legged friends — but ABC's "Downward Dog" takes it to the next level.

"Downward Dog" is a heart-meltingly cute show that premiered earlier this year about a woman named Nan and her dog, Martin. Each episode centers on Martin as he learns a bit about himself and the world around him. Oh, and he can talk — at least in the "breaking the fourth wall" way (meaning he doesn't talk to Nan, but he does talk to the audience in a hilarious, droll voiceover), narrating his journey.

Allison Tolman (who plays Nan) and Ned (who plays Martin). Photo courtesy of ABC.

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These 11 childhood cliches are still totally on point.

If we follow the voice from childhood still ringing in our heads, we might do better at adulting.

Did your parents set boundaries for you when you were a kid? Mine did.

But if you were anything like me as a kid, you questioned all of it. I wondered why I couldn't stay up all night at a sleepover, or why I couldn't eat a bowl of Fruit Loops at bedtime. (My mom always said, “You think you’re hungry, but you’re really just tired. Go to bed.” Thanks, Mom.)

Me and my mom. Photo courtesy of the author, used with permission.

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I'm not a dad — not yet, anyway. But if all goes according to plan, I'll probably become one sooner than later.

My wife assures me that I'm going to be the Objectively Greatest Dad in Dad History; she says it's half the reason she married me. But now that I'm facing down the potential of a fatherly future, it's also a little terrifying.

However, I'm fortunate to have some friends who are in the throes of fatherhood themselves. And as I've watched them all dadding in their unique ways, I've learned a few lessons that I hope to carry with me when I embark on that same journey.

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