By Michelle Porchia
Kita is a 19-month-old Pug/Chihuahua that I rescued in September. Kita came from a no-kill ranch that rescues strays and dogs from shelters, crate trains them, sometimes leash trains, microchips, spays/neuters, deworms, and provides medical care (heart worming, shots, etc.). Some of the dogs live on the farm and some go to foster homes until they are found a forever home. The ranch functions on donations, volunteers, and from the fee you pay for a dog. The procedure is to visit the website, identify dogs you are interested in, and schedule an appointment to visit.
In the month that I have had her, I have learned several business and personal lessons.
1. No matter how much pre-work you do, you don’t always get your first choice but you always get the right answer. I had visited the website several times and identified four dogs. Two ended up being adopted before my appointment. The night before my appointment, I went on the site and identified a few more potential dogs. After visiting with seven of the eight dogs, I was starting to become disillusioned. The person reminded me I had one dog left—Kita. It was love at first sight for both of us.
In business, we can research and prepare to attract certain clients. Yet sometimes our clients are the least expected. I never would have thought I would have done a team-building session for a funeral home staff. I did, and they were a great client.
2. Size doesn’t always matter. I’ve always been a big dog person. My preference would have been to have a Rottweiler. However, since I live in a small apartment and don’t have a yard, it was best to get a smaller dog. Kita is perfect for my space and she has a big dog personality in a small body. Most important for me, she is not the “ankle barker” that I always saw little dogs as.
In business, often we focus on the large corporations when independently owned businesses could use and benefit from our services just as well.
3. Sometimes we have to stand still and stand firm. Kita weighs a whopping 13 pounds. She walks well on the leash. Sometimes, though, she will stop and look around. She will not move when I ask her to heel or come. She stands firm. Then, when she's ready, she comes right along.
No matter who is prompting us to go in a particular direction, sometimes we have to stand still and stand firm before making a move or a decision.
4. Show appreciation. When training a dog in the basic commands, you use treats to reward them when they do something right. You also say, “Good job” or “Good boy/girl."
Friends, family and employees want to feel valued and appreciated. We don’t reward with treats but acknowledging when they are doing something well is key in a relationship, especially with coworkers and/or employees. When people feel appreciated, they want to go above and beyond for you.
5. Find your place in the sun (take time for you and have fun). Of course, I must mention the importance of taking time for you. I love being outside and in the sun. Hurray— so does Kita! She loves walking around outdoors. When we sit outside at Starbucks (where she does very well), and when she’s done people watching (something that is also fun to do when you are taking a break), she lays down in the sun. She has the option of being in the shade but usually chooses the sun.
Sometimes you just need to stretch out and enjoy your time in the sun or wherever it is that makes you feel relaxed.
We can use all these lessons I've learned from Kita as they relate to our personal and professional lives.
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