When you have dogs, you walk every day…or at least you should be walking every day. The other morning, during a walk with Henry and BOLO, I reminisced about walks with all my dogs and started to think about the real meaning of Never Walking Alone.
With the many places the Navy took us over the years, came opportunity to create memories on walks in a number of beautiful places. The most memorable walk of all took place while we were stationed in the Northwest. During our time there we had just two dogs- Zoe, my dalmatian/lab mix and Sasha- the hound/pointer mix (today would likely be referred to as a “Hointer”).
Everyday, after dropping Abby off at school, I would take the dogs and I would head for the hills. Miles and miles of trails awaited us. The area was well known for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and of course- dog walking. I loved this time alone with the dogs. They loved the freedom of running off-leash, taking off to chase rabbits or the occasional deer and then returning by my side in complete bliss. I loved the solitude and the opportunity to let my mind relax. These walks were probably the only walks I have taken where I was truly mindful of my surroundings and how peaceful that made me feel. It was on these trails that I would experience something amazing and surreal. The day was a gloriously sunny day, unusual for the Northwest at that time of year. After about an hour of hiking, I was at the top of a major trailhead. The sky was crystal clear and the brightest blue I had ever seen. The air was fresh and temperate at about 55 degrees. I stood there taking in the beauty around me. The dogs stopped too as if they realized I was “onto something” – or maybe they just sensed that they needed to stay still so as not to disrupt this perfect moment. Miles away I could see Mt. Baker, snow capped and glistening in full view. Also a great distance away was Mt. Rainier, the most majestic mountain I have ever seen. I alternated between the two sites in complete awe of nature. I felt the moment could not get any better until right before my eyes a huge bald eagle flew into sight and settled down on a dead tree trunk. My first thought was ,”great, Sasha is going to go after our national bird and ruin the entire moment”- but miraculously she did not. Maybe it was because the eagle was enormous and unlike any bird she had never seen. Both dogs stood there with me quietly. At that moment I remember thinking how grateful I was to be alive, to be with my dogs, and to be standing in that very place at that very moment to witness the quiet beauty that had unfolded in front of me. I felt a keen sense of happiness.
“Surround yourself with people who make you happy. People who make you laugh, who help you when you’re in need. People who genuinely care. They are the ones worth keeping in your life. Everyone else is just passing through.” Karl Marx
“Never walk alone, it’s not where you walk…it’s who walks with you”. The people you choose to walk by your side can have a profound effect on which paths you take and the experiences you have during the journey called life. When you travel alone on this path, it too will affect who you become and the success you achieve. Inviting the right people into my life has helped put me on a trajectory to achieve and possibly exceed my wildest dreams and discover true happiness along the way. Lifes journey is not meant to be taken alone but who you choose to walk with you can make the difference between success or mediocrity, happiness or regret.
As a parent, we monitor who our children hang out with. Why? Because we don’t want them hanging out with people who will have a bad influence on them. Adulthood is no different. To achieve success in life, you need to walk with positive, supportive people, goal oriented, people. Conversely, you need to steer clear from poisonous people who will drain you with their complaints, gossip, excuses, and overall negativity towards life.
I am grateful everyday to have wonderful people walking by my side. At work there are brilliant people, who work magic in their areas of expertise. Their commitment to the growth of Dog is Good and support of our vision there has made Dog is Good the reality it is today.
I am also blessed with the most amazing friends one could ever ask for. They truly are the most inspiring, caring, giving, thoughtful, empathetic, non-judgmental, women I have ever known. I strive to emulate the amazing qualities I find in each of them and, whether they live near or far, I am always uplifted from conversations or time spent together. I am fortunate to have a wonderful husband who shares similar dreams and choses to continue walking with me as we grow Dog is Good, even on days when I am not fun to be around (yes, every once in a while those occur).
Lastly, I am fortunate to constantly meet successful, like minded entrepreneurs. These men and women are great teachers, offer inspiration, and help solidify my belief that anything is possible.
Just as we take time out to walk with our dogs, it is critical to invite the right people to walk by your side throughout life. As you pursue the best that life has to offer, remember- It’s not where you walk, it’s who walks with you along the way.
Develop a mindset that attracts successful, uplifting, goal oriented, focused, supportive, and positive people. Remember that these people do not want to surround themselves with others who drain their energy with negative attitudes. Begin thinking and behaving like the people you want in your circle of influence.
Expand your associations through organizations and networking groups. As you meet like minded individuals, foster new relationships by focusing on how you can bring value to them. Follow up and maintain contact with those you want to emulate.
Invite only people of character to “walk with you”. Surround yourself with individuals who treat everyone with respect. You can learn much from observing anyone who make disparaging remarks or becomes agitated and rude towards strangers. Gossip is poison. Stay clear of those who constantly gossip about others behind their backs.