Tag Archives: dogs

Odin On…Traits of Success

As anyone who knew Odin will attest, he was intense.  Intense in absolutely everything he did, but especially when it came to play.  There is a term that is used in assessing dogs called “play factor”.  Odin did not have a high play factor, he had an insanely high play factor.  Off the charts to use a cliché.  He was all play, all the time.  He loved to play; he had to play.  And we always joked, if only we could teach people to have his level of intensity, focus and passion, business would boom.

What we realized over time is that Odin’s ability to focus, to have such a relentless intensity on play was just him being him.  Play was his passion.  He loved everything about it.  Frisbee, footballs, sticks, twigs, pine needles, bark chips, other dogs, and of course the classics of running, jumping, chasing, and just plain old “doing dog things” was what he was all about all the time, and he was relentless in his pursuit of it.

Being told “no”, to “go lay down”, or an occassional “Odin damn it” was crushing to him; he hated to be told no.  But that emotional loss and defeat was very short-lived.  He would quite literally shake it off and be back in the pursuit of play within minutes.  A “no” was nothing more than a temporary roadblock, a brief bump on the journey to the ultimate goal.  He never lost sight of that goal to play – ever.

But above all else, Odin loved to play with others.  Yes, I think maybe he liked me best, but truth be told he loved everyone with an opposable thumb who could throw things.   Then of course other dogs were without question great to share time with, as were cats, rabbits, and really anything else with a pulse.  He was a social boy who loved the company of others.

What was a joke to use early on became a great lesson on what truly makes a successful person.  It was all about his particular passion – passion to play, to pursue play, to be with others, and an ability to allow the passion to trump the “no’s”.  He was intensely focused on play because he loved it and all that it entailed.  Truly successful people are absolutely passionate about what they do and whom they do it with.  They never lose focus and they never let the “no” keep them down for too long.

Not a bad lesson from a dog.  Doubt the CPA will let us take all our dog expenses as a write off, but we will share the lessons for business anyway.  Who knows, maybe it will become an entire series, “Odin On…”, but for now it was one great case study on the traits of successful people.

The one downside of such focus – he could stare a hole into a wall

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So How Was Your Day

Said it before, it is all about perspective. Good day, bad day.  Happy, sad.  Partly sunny, partly cloudy.  It is all about how you see things and from where you see them.  This afternoon I found a “gift” in my shoe.   On a relative scale, things could have been much worse…

So it is not exactly what any of us hope to find, but then again, it was not as bad as it could have been.  Really, think about what might have been…in form, substance, placement; even the shoe that caught the pass could have been worse.  Oh, as a dog owner I can assure things can be much worse.  And suddenly, what seemed to be such a downer day on the work front was suddenly not quite so bad. And frankly, if that present in my shoe was as bad as it gets today, then things are not quite as bad as it might seem.

Seriously, it made me laugh, and for that I am grateful.  Actually, I am grateful my nose lead me to the discovery before I put the shoe on…now that would have been an entirely different perspective.

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Thanks to a Three-Legged Dog

Yes, I am a dog person; the disclaimer is on the table.  The fact of the matter remains, I have learned a lot from a “tripod” or two over the years. I was a kennel boy through high school and college – worked with and learned a lot of lessons from a lot of different dogs.  It might not be quite so PC anymore to use the phrase “tripod”, but it is one fitting and accurately descriptive term for a dog that is short a leg.

The other night we ran into Heidi, a dog we had not seen for a few months.  She had lost a leg as a result of a freak infection.  It was horrible to hear, and sad to see, yet there she was back out walking, happy as ever and full of life.  It was one hell of a reminder.

Now it is not just a lesson that is only taught by a three-legged, or even four-legged dog. In reality it is one of the greatest lessons from pets, or from the greater animal kingdom in general. So what is that lesson? Simple really – play the hand you are dealt.  Play it with grace, poise and yes even happiness. Never fret over what was, embrace what is and be grateful that there is a today and possibly a tomorrow.

Seriously, think about a time you have ever seen a dog wallowing in self-pity, worried about what others might think, or just not living in the moment? The other great visual is the “cone of shame”:

Humans would be mortified to wear that thing out in public. But to a dog, while it might be an annoyance and hindrance, it is not something that stops them from living life to the fullest. They never refuse to go for a walk because of how they look. They lose a leg, they figure it out and move on, happy to just be in the game. It is a hell of a lesson.

Granted, trauma is not a laughing matter, for anyone or any animal.  Be it physical, emotional, fiscal or whatever, the fact remains how we respond to hardship is the key.  There will be challenges in any journey, but the question is will we respond like the three-legged dog?  Thanks for the reminder Heidi.

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