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Can you teach an old dog new tricks?

July 16, 2010

I’m starting to think I’m the old dog who is learning new tricks as I jump hoops trying to face today’s challenges both professionally and personally. As I sat in puppy class today with my 4-month-old yellow lab Pacer I was reminded of a simple yet forgotten motto which is “praise the good and ignore the bad”. If only I could do that more! Our adorable fun loving pup who is filled with more energy than I could possibly have even after the 4 cups of coffee I’m now consuming (thanks to the 5 am wake-up calls as she whines in her crate to go outside).

Do you praise yourself for the good and ignore the bad? Businessses are challenged in this economy, jobs are lost and many are faced to make tough decisions. How can you not beat yourself up? Could you have prevented any of this? Believe me, we’ve had more going on this past year than most but we been able to push forward and not allow fear of failure to shove us down.

It’s so funny, but many of the most recent projects I’ve worked on that I’m most proud of I can’t even recall the process of how we got the end result. I know that I tend to trust my gut, listen to my client’s feedback and pull from that all that is positive and good. I suppose in some way, we are ignoring the bad (or what we don’t like) and focusing on aspects feel good about. That is how we get to a point we are truly satisfied…both in what we do and who we are.

By the way, Pacer has finally stopped nipping and leaping onto our 5 year old son Jonah who sadly still has some leg scars to prove the rough few weeks we had in the early stages of puppyhood. We’ve had to replace many of my husband t-shirts as well. But, we are now tackling “go to your place” and “wait/stay”. Simple tasks, lots of rewards (her favorite is the freeze-dried cows tails — yikes!) and Pacer is coming into her own!

I’m starting to think that maybe I need to carry two treat bags around…one filled with the dog treats and maybe the other with candy for the kids?  I can now relate as my mom would frequently get confused calling us our dog’s name and vice versa as we were called into the house for dinner.

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