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Liz Trocchio Smith

Liz Trocchio Smith
Certified Executive Business Coach
and Trusted Advisor

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Lessons My Dog Has Taught Me

With most everyone out this week for Spring Break, I thought I’d pull out a favorite MMC of most of my readers.  Sadly Abby and Lilly have both passed over the rainbow bridge, but they live on in our hearts.  This is from 2015.
Those of you that know me, know that I have a love for animals. I am particularly fond of Labrador Retrievers which I have had most of my adult life. I have had a total of 6 that I have owned, 4 of which have moved on to a better place and 2 that are still with me. It never gets easier to say goodbye to a pet that you have loved and cared for, as they do become a part of your family, especially if, like me, you don’t have children.
Each dog has been special and unique in their own way, and 1 of my 2 current labs, Abby, has quite the personality. My husband and I were fortunate enough to rescue her and her mother, Lily from a puppy mill nearly 7 years ago.
Abby is a 9 year old white/yellow lab that is pretty much set in her ways.  You could say she has my husband and I trained and usually gets her way. She is up early for breakfast, and then my husband and I have coffee and read the paper (we are probably one of the few that still enjoys the actual feel of the newspaper each morning).  About the time I get to the business section, Abby gets antsy; she starts to nudge me and when I try to ignore her, she nudges a bit harder and then takes a quick jump on and off me.  I guess I’m a creature of habit, as that is my cue.  I get up and grab the paper and my coffee and open the back door and turn on the outside light to let her out. She looks at me, and won’t go out until I go out first.  I lead, and she follows. Then she looks at my husband, who mumbles something like “who’s the human and whose the dog here,” as he picks up his coffee and his sports section and follows us out.
We sit, she lays down, and is content.  For a short while.  She’s up and nudges me again. I ignore her and her nose goes under my leg to push it off the chair. I know exactly what she wants. There is no less than 10 frisbees in our yard and she lives to chase one. Only one, and it has to be the one she chooses. I tell her to go get her frisbee and she looks at me and pushes my leg again. Yes, I get up and collect several frisbees until she decides which one will be “the” one today.  We toss and fetch, and toss and fetch and toss and fetch. This continues for some time. Finally she rests. And then she starts to talk to me. Just mumbling, casual conversation, but she talks. Once again she is content.  This is a routine that happens through rain, sleet, snow or shine.  It’s a good thing the back porch is covered.
After a while, she stands and looks at me. She’s done. I get up and collect all my belongings and head toward the door. It’s not quite shut all the way, so I just stand there and she pushes the door open with her nose. She heads down the hall and stops and looks at me. She is ready to go back to bed, her day is off to a good start and now it’s nap time. I walk back to the bedroom, make the bed while she patiently waits, then she jumps up and lays down and I see her over my shoulder closing her eyes as I head to the shower.
Abby makes me laugh out loud and the joy she brings me is enormous. In trying to find balance and less stress in our lives, it amazes me the lessons she teaches me! Here are just a few I have learned from her that I am hopeful will be useful to you.
  • Breakfast is the most important meal of the day
  • The early bird gets the worm
  • Live in the moment
  • Jump for joy when you are happy
  • Run and play daily
  • Sometimes it’s best to just sit close and listen
  • Take time to stop and smell………the grass
  • Variety is the spice of life
  • Enjoy the journey
  • Nap often
  • Love unconditionally
Yes, it’s the simple pleasures in life.   Don’t let them pass you up because your nose is buried in the paper all day!

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