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The Dog Star: Hierarchy of Needs

The Dog Star: Hierarchy of Needs

(The Dog Star is a symbol of power, will, and steadfastness of purpose, and exemplifies the One who has succeeded in bridging the lower and higher consciousness. – Astrological Definition)

Arriving home this morning from my workout and coffee run, the dogs joined me as I headed for the shower so that they could mooch a treat from the “dog drawer” in the master bathroom. I tried to violate Koufax’s food hierarchy by pushing a sirloin tip at him, but he stubbornly held his mouth closed. (Try to force open that mouth and the immediate items you encounter are 1.5 inch fangs, bared, not a chore or view for the feint of heart.)

The Koufaxian hierarchy, from the top down, is: chicken jerky, puparoni, bacon slices, and sirloin tips. Since we’ve stopped stocking the jerky (despite their size and strength, Shepherds have remarkably sensitive digestion, whereas Buddy Beagle can eat anything and The Great Dog Trotsky simply worried about whether he could get his mouth around something, which he usually could), and we were out of puparoni. But the bacon was there, so the sirloin tip was not acceptable.

This is a progression that Koufax follows rigorously, even with his toys. He’d rather have something that squeaks or makes noise, and will always grab that before just a passive chew toy.

Seems to me that we could all use that kind of clarity. I’m tired of people saying, “Why did I settle,” or “They talked me out of that,” or “I need to be stronger.” Simply understand your hierarchy of needs (with apologies to Abraham Maslow) and stick with it. Take a look at what’s in the drawer before you just grab something, grateful merely to be there.

Of course, when people try to force something on you, it doesn’t hurt to bare your teeth.

© Alan Weiss 2008. All rights reserved.

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Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

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