by Ian Doescher
Yesterday, for the first time, I brought my dog, Bella, to the Pivot office, so I have dogs on the mind. Bella is not the first dog we’ve had in the office, not by a long shot. Several Pivoteers have brought their dogs to work, and we’ve even watched a couple of them grow from puppies into full-sized pets. (We’ve also had baby goats and bunnies in the office; Pivot is an animal-friendly place.) I would argue Bella was the cutest dog we’ve seen at Pivot so far, but I’d probably get in trouble.
I was a reluctant dog owner. My spouse, Jennifer, and our kids had to talk me into getting a dog. Even then, it took me years to really love Bella. I was stubborn, but she worked her way inside my mean ol’ heart and won me over.
You may not be a dog person, so forgive me for this post. Imagine cats or goldfish or ferrets or whatever your pet of choice may be, as I talk about how we might cultivate a more doglike attitude:
- Dogs make us smile: their earnest faces, their quizzical looks, their frisky playfulness—it all adds up to one awesome package. When my family needs a laugh, my children put a dab of peanut butter on Bella’s nose and then sit back and watch her lick it off. It’s better than TV. How can I make my clients and coworkers smile as much as a dog does?
- Dogs are unfailingly loyal. Yes, I get mad at Bella sometimes, as I suspect we all get mad at our dogs. Bella is very well behaved, but even she can’t resist getting into the trash when there’s a good enough reason. And I get mad at her, and say those two words, the worst two words ever heard by canine ears: “Bad dog!” Still, her loyalty and love do not waver. How can I show my coworkers and clients a similar loyalty, no matter the circumstances?
Dogs are in awe of us. Jennifer and I joke when we take Bella to the groomers that she thinks we have left her forever, and probably thinks it was her fault, too! Bella is so excited when we come back, because she looks on us with a kind of reverence I don’t get from any other living creature. (Hence the bumper sticker: “Help me be the person my dog thinks I am.”) How can I show my clients and coworkers—if not awe—at least the respect and collegiality they deserve?
I hope you have a little more dogitude in your life this holiday season.