Scout is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. He teaches three great lessons:
Be glad to see everybody. Scout breaks out into massive and enthusiastic tail wagging no matter who comes around. Certainly with any of the family he’s goofy with joy to see us. But it extends to our friends and even total strangers. Scout is always willing to give anybody the benefit of the doubt and expect the best from them unless proven otherwise.
Accept the love. People are sometimes uncomfortable accepting compliments, good deeds, positive attention, or expressions and demonstrations of love. Scout has no problem with any of that. He lives his life as if it is utterly, totally normal for everybody to absolutely adore him. When he gets gooey attention and affection from everyone, his attitude seems to be that everything in the universe is in perfect order. All is as it should be.
Tend to people when they need it. Scout has an uncanny sense of when one of us doesn’t feel well or is upset about something. If Cate, for example, has been crying, Scout will go straight to her, rest his chin on her leg, and just sit with her until she feels better. Now that’s a lesson.
Joe Calloway helps great companies get even better. www.JoeCalloway.com
We own two Toy Fox Terriers. They are little mutts that weigh about 5 pounds each. Grace and Bella are beloved family members and they continually remind me of three very important things:
Happiness in the moment. When I get up to feed them in the morning they couldn’t be any more happy or excited even though someone feeds them every single morning. Seeing them zip around and jump up and down in anticipation brings a smile to my face even when I’m tired and grumpy.
Laser-like focus. Obviously, these mutts love to eat. They eat with ferocious abandon. They lick their bowls until I think they’re going to wear a hole in the metal. Then they search thoroughly to make sure they haven’t missed anything I might have dropped. I’d like to always bring that kind of focus to the important things I do.
Reciprocal love and affection. We love our dogs because they love us. Even when we fail or are unpleasant, they still love us. How many other people or creatures can we say that about? Their reciprocity is proof that to have more love in your life, be more loving.
Mark Sanborn is president of Sanborn & Associates, Inc., an idea studio for leadership development. He is an award-winning speaker bestselling author of books including, The Fred Factor. For more information and free resources, visit www.marksanborn.com.
Ironically, I had just started to write this, when I looked and saw that our 7-monthold puppy, Lucy, had her eyes half-shut, and was about to topple over.
As she is usually non-stop energy, Tammy and I tried to awaken her and see if we could figure out what was wrong – to no avail. Scooping her up in my arms, I ran to the car to make the quick trip to our nearby pet hospital. I thought she might have been bitten by a snake, or somehow found a pill accidently dropped.
By our arrival, Lucy was coming around a little. After an examination by the veterinarian, we’re still at a loss as to what happened. Perhaps a seizure – maybe a circulation problem? We hope to know more soon.
What I’ve learned – reinforced just today– is the depth of caring we have for our dogs. Immanuel Kant wrote, “We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.”
It’s not a coincidence that my friends here all have similar attitudes about their dogs that I do concerning mine. The caring they have – as I have for Bonzo and Lucy – hopefully reflects how we feel about the world.
Scott McKain teaches how organizations and individual professionals can create distinction in their marketplace, and deliver the “Ultimate Customer Experience ®.” For more information, visit www.ScottMcKain.com.
Jackson is a Parti Poodle. Regular Poodles are one color. Parti’s are bred to be black and white. Every dog has a unique personality, and Jackson is no different. Here are three lessons he teaches:
Keep your eyes on what’s important. Jackson’s favorite toy is a ball. And, he always knows the location of at least one of them. If it is important, keep your eyes on it.
Stay close to those you love. Jackson has loved my wife since the day we picked him up. He lives in our home, but he is definitely her dog first. He spends 98 percent of his day on my wife’s desk, curled up in a box under her desk, or on the sofa across the room so that he can keep an eye on her.
Sometimes you have to say “Screw it. I’m going for it.” Jackson is a bolter. He knows that he’s not supposed to run loose in the neighborhood, but there are times when he can’t help himself. He pauses for a moment like he knows he will be in trouble and then goes for it. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.
Randy Pennington helps leaders deliver positive results in a world of accelerating change. He is an award-winning author, speaker, and consultant. To find out more, go to: www.penningtongroup.com.
Ralphie is an Engligh Bulldog. Gus is a French Bulldog. I am a Pitbull. All of these bulldogs love each other unconditionally. My boys have taught me much about life and relationships. If you have a dog, you will recognize these lessons.
- Eat when you’re hungry and quit when you’re full.
- Naps are good.
- When someone wants to pet you, slow down and enjoy it.
- Be nice: there might be a treat in it for you.
- Going for a walk makes life better.
- There is plenty to be excited about; especially, the doorbell.
- Don’t hold grudges.
- When someone is mad and screaming, it’s not always about you. Stay out of it.
- A ball is more fun than TV.
- I don’t care who you are, what you do for a living, how much money you have or what you’re wearing; if you are nice, I’ll like you.
- Always be ready for anything: if you aren’t, you might miss something.
- Snuggling on a rainy day is a hard thing to beat.
Look! There’s a bird!!!!!
Larry Winget, the Pitbull of Personal Development©, is a six-time NYT/WSJ bestselling author, social commentator and appears regularly on many national television news shows. To find out more, go to www.LarryWinget.com.