image of Labradoodle and Jack Russell Terrier dogs

Enlightened Leadership Blog | Write a New Chapter | November 2022

Life lessons are learned many ways. Sometimes through loss, wins, or the windy roads and uphill climbs in between. In this case, more enlightenment was discovered by remaining open to new beginnings.

Remain Open 

About a year ago, the page turned from the loss of Roxy. Little Roxy taught us big lessons. 

However, time doesn’t stand still. We don’t get anywhere by staying in place. 

Long story short, an Australian Labradoodle puppy (Rockie) “found” our family. Then, six weeks later, an Irish Jack Russell Terrier (Penny) “found” our family, quickly becoming Rockie’s best dog friend. We connected because we were open to new adventures. 

Embrace Different 

Just like humans, dogs have different personalities. Penny is the fearless, independent, determined one. Since Penny was born two days before resilient, 18-year-old Roxy passed, this makes complete sense.

Rockie is the playful, fluffy teddy bear. Filled with energy, he wants to walk for miles daily like a typical lab. 

However, Penny and Rockie complement each other. Both share many traits including their daily happy to be here vibe. They serve as a reminder that embracing differences can lead to amazing outcomes. 

Run Forward

Simply observing dogs reveals insights about life. 

For example, watching a dog chase after what they want is quite something. They are in the moment, running forward, with a focused look in their eyes.

Today, we witnessed this as Penny caught a glimpse of a herd of deer. Before I hooked her onto the backyard tie out, she bolted like a free huntress into the woods.

Penny didn’t look back. I called her name, saying “Penny come”, “treats”, etc. Rockie eyed this with an expression as if to say, “Why doesn’t she want treats?” Rockie will do most anything for food. 

Find Home 

While Penny was enjoying her freedom without a leash, we assigned Rockie a task. He likes to help. I said, “Rockie, you have a job!”. He tilted his head (he knows the word “job”). I looked him in the eye while saying, “You wait here for Penny. I’ll be right back.” He sat at attention and watched me run.

Apparently, Penny used her incredible smelling powers to track familiar scents. About 15 minutes later, she arrived in our backyard. Relaxed tails wagging, Rockie looked like a proud leader.

She found her way.

Sense Things

Like humans, dogs use five senses. We use them differently though.

Besides the scientific senses, some dogs know things. 

Rockie senses when it’s time for a break. He observes when I’m working too long at a computer or on calls. He will come over to me and give the nose nudge on my arm. I keep typing. He gives me three attempts. Then, he escalates efforts to tugging at my clothing. If that doesn’t work, he starts barking. 

In such moments, it’s apparent the correctable behavior issue isn’t his – it’s mine.

His message is time to move. Let’s go for a walk. Then, lets play. 

Happy, healthy dogs make for happy, healthy humans.

Learn Lessons

Different life experiences bring new teachings. During the past year, Rockie and Penny emphasized what’s important which I share with you:

  1. Be happy
  2. Enjoy nature
  3. Observe surroundings
  4. Stand up
  5. Walk more
  6. Savor play time
  7. Stress less
  8. Take deep breaths
  9. Get good sleep
  10. Drink water
  11. Make connections
  12. Love unconditionally
  13. Enjoy moments (Rockie, Penny, and Roxy agree on this one)

Enjoy Moments

Dogs savor the present whether its tail wags, licks, walks, play, food, naps, or car rides. It’s a dog thing. Truly enjoying moments is a human thing too if we focus on the present. Celebrate your now.

by Jennifer L. Musser