I am reminded that even in the absence of dog, Dog is Good all the time! I was on travel all last week and you know what that means….serious “puppy withdrawal”. I am definitely addicted to morning full body wags, doggie smiles, and the sound of 2 dogs racing through a home or office playing. After 48 hours without this type of interaction, I was seeking out opportunity to connect with any dog. When out and about, I am drawn to others with dogs and have no problem stopping them to ask “May I pet your dog?”. This is an instant “door opener” to connect with dogs AND their people. Since we definitely have at least one thing in common, I get to meet a lot of interesting people. To summarize my thoughts on traveling without my dogs, the only benefit in being away is getting a good night’s sleep.
Back to topic at hand…
Dogs don’t hold back. They see something they want and go after it. No matter what obstacles get it in the way, the sheer act of chasing becomes the reward in and of itself. In the many years I have worked with dogs, I have observed how they go after what they want. There is no hesitation at all. They do not stop to analyze the situation or contemplate the pros and cons. They try different strategies and maintain persistence in the face of challenges. They have a target and they just go after it, almost always elated in the process of the chase.
BOLO almost never slows down, so it is rare to see her dreaming, but when she does it seems apparent she is intent on getting whatever it is she is chasing. It is possible that she is chasing her favorite ball, but it’s more likely she is chasing playful birds at a particular park we frequent. Watching this in action is unbelievably comical. The birds work as a team, diving down in her direction, flying low enough and just in front of her to keep her engaged in this entertaining game.
One of the things I love most about watching BOLO chase after these birds is the look illuminating from her expressive eyes. Her eyebrows are raised and her mouth is pulled back in what appears to be a huge doggie smile. Her tail is at full tilt and wagging intensely. She stops only briefly and with her tongue hanging out seems to want to shout my way, “do you see what I am doing? Do you see how close I am getting to the birds? Do you see how much fun I am having?” Her tenacity is unbelievable and it draws the attention of several people in the park who think I have hired these birds to wear her out. It is fascinating to see how she will continue the chase for as long as we are there. With unwavering enthusiasm, she continues to bound and race after them as they swoop down before her. BOLO does take a few moments to rest and regroup, but then goes after those birds again and again and again. In fact, despite NEVER catching one of the birds, she continues to go after them with such exuberance that her determination is quite eye opening. When BOLO is going after something, she pursues it with vigor, excitement, and joy.
I’m going to ask two questions: Are you chasing after what you want in a way that brings you true joy? If not, what’s stopping you?
One thing I have realized is that sometimes you lose yourself in the “chase”. Most people never stop to think about how they want to feel once they reach the milestones we define as success. In the course of the “chase”, a tunnel vision obsession to realize your dreams often results in missing out on the opportunity to live and experience the true joy of the successes earned along the way. Rather than feeling exhilarated, like BOLO chasing birds or her ball, you wind up exhausted, stressed, angry, and unhappy. This strategy to realizing your dreams does not serve you or others around you well. In order to experience that “tongue out- full body tail wag” happiness like a dog, it is important to think through how you want to feel once you achieve your dreams and then determine if your approach to the journey will yield those results.
My purpose for travelling to the east coast was to participate in a business retreat. I was surrounded by 7 other women and led by a strategic coach with expertise in branding and strategic business development. During the retreat, I took a deep dive look into the Dog is Good brand so I could design a modified approach for business growth that would allow me to better serve others while sharing our message worldwide. I was intrigued to discover the common thread among this diverse group of women was that each of us were incredibly passionate about pursuing our dreams, we all wanted to be impactful and make a difference in the world around us, and we all sought to accomplish our goals in full alignment with our core values. By the end of the retreat, each of us was prepared to be “let off leash” so we could race forward to chase our dreams.
As you pursue your dreams, consider the following:
- Take time for self-care. If you are stressed, exhausted, and not “feeling the love”- take a break, get a massage, meditate, go for a quiet walk with your dogs, commit to better sleep…just do something to get rejuvenated.
- Be very clear on the outcome you desire for yourself. If how you are doing things takes you further away from how you want to feel…then STOP! Step back and identify new strategies that will help you achieve your dreams in a way that serves you and others best.
- You deserve to live the life you want…get off the agenda of others and get on your own…this way, you truly can be “the person your dog believes you are”