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The Dog Star: Ten Things Consultants Can Learn From Dogs

The Dog Star: Ten Things Consultants Can Learn From Dogs

(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)

1. Learn to catch food on the fly.
If you don’t, it can fall on the floor and another dog may grab it. Be flexible, agile, and fast. If it doesn’t taste good (or it’s not really food) you can always spit it out.

2. Being petted is insufficient.
Demand that you interact playing ball or get in the car and go for a ride (which you would do yourself, if you could). And don’t expect to be petted just for showing up, nor become addicted to the affection.

3. Play nicely with other dogs.
You can learn from them. They know where neat stuff is hidden. There is more than enough to share. And don’t be a bully, because there is ALWAYS a bigger dog than you around somewhere.

4. Never be finicky.
No one has every called a cat “man’s best friend.” Go with the flow. You may not like riding in the back seat or the hatchback, but it’s far better than not going along at all. The chicken for dinner may not be as good as the lamb, but you didn’t have to out hunting and kill something in order to eat.

5. Protect what’s truly valuable.
No one respects Chicken Little, squawking like a nutcase all the time about the sky falling. But when you defend the family—especially the vulnerable ones—your stock goes way up.

6. Learn to bury well.
You shouldn’t eat everything you can today just because it’s there. This is not about the grasshopper and the ant (you’re a carnivore, not an inset), but it is about indigestion. You may need something tomorrow, so bury it well today and remember how to get back to it.

7. Use your judgment.
Some strangers are clearly dog lovers, and some are clearly not. You can usually tell by their demeanor, and they’ll exhibit confidence or fear. Don’t let anyone who doesn’t deserve to get too close to you.

8. Run through the open gate.
Life is about opportunities and they are often transient. Run out of the yard and look around. Be prudent, come back home, but enjoy the freedom.

9. Maintain your discipline and optimism.
Sometimes, not often, but sometimes the squirrel will fall from the branch. And you can catch even the swiftest squirrels if you stop running in pursuit and instead run between the squirrel and the tree, forcing it to come to you.

10. Maintain your dignity.
The occasional game and trick are fine if they are so important to those you trust, but you’re not an employee or indentured servant. You provide value in return for your upkeep. There is never a need to demean yourself. You are superb at being a dog.

© Alan Weiss 2010. All rights reserved.

Written by

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.

Comments: 9

  • J. Scott

    August 10, 2010

    Alan, We moved recently and our new home has a pool and backs up to a small lake. We have a very large Labrador Retriever (Hoss), who has enjoyed the lake, but has been reluctant to get in the pool. Your remark about the “open gate” reminds me of Hoss’s discovery over the weekend that he could walk down the pool stairs and swim at will—now, if we turn our back, he’s in the pool! Exploiting the opportunity!
    Thanks for a very relevant post.
    Cordially, Scott

  • Alan Weiss

    August 10, 2010

    You couldn’t get Koufax in the pool with a gun!

  • Arlen Busenitz

    August 11, 2010

    Great points Alan. Number 11 could be, “Don’t give up easily.” Just the other night I was visiting some friends. The dog had a Frisbee in his mouth and went from person to until someone started playing. Too often we can give up after the first “No.”

  • Alan Weiss

    August 11, 2010

    And notice that dogs can always identify the true buyer….

  • Pat Ferdinandi

    August 11, 2010

    ABSOLUTELY CORRECT!

    Animals (including parrots) know more than humans. LOL

    Good post to retweet.

  • Pat Ferdinandi

    August 11, 2010

    I would also add one I use all the time … Learn to communicate with those not like you. All animals do this. They learn how to give and get information/stuff from humans.

  • Dan Weedin

    August 12, 2010

    As the owner of a Jack Russell terrier, let me add a bonus:

    Jump as high as you can for as long as you can. You will eventually get that dish of butter and life will be even better than it currently is…

  • J. Scott

    August 12, 2010

    There is a mini-education in this post, Alan—all the more relevant to dog lovers!

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