What I Learned From My Dog

After 13 years, I had to say goodbye to my dog. It was awful. Seeing him hurt and not being able to help, makes you feel powerless. You can only think of ways to end his suffering and that also hurts 🙁

my dog

Finally, we took the decision to put him down.What followed that decision is very hard to describe: from the look that (you imagine) begs you not to do it, but still knowing it’s the best option, to digging a hole and finally burying him. Only someone who experienced such loss can truly understand.

Where there’s a lot of love, there’s also a lot of pain.

Even if the pain goes away gently there is still the feeling of missing like crazy that you learn to live with. Everything in the house, either connected to the dog or not, will remind you of him.

After 13 years of living with us, the “family member” cliché seems too flat to describe the feelings we shared.

What I have learned from him can also be applied to work, but mostly works for personal life:

  • Live the moment to the fullest. It really doesn’t matter what happened yesterday and what chores you have for today;
  • Try everything. There is not a single thing he didn’t try: from toys to splash into the water, to any kind of food. The same goes for you in a relationship with the other teams;
  • You enjoy it the way you educated it. Regardless of who we are talking about if it is about subordinates, colleagues or managers. What matters greatly it’s what you offer in order to receive;
  • Have as much fun as you can. No matter what you do, you cannot convince me that you can’t work whilst being joyful, as if everything it’s simply playtime. Very serious things can be achieved playing and the result is most of the times spectacular;
  • Enjoy your work along the way, not only at the end, if possible. If you don’t like what you do, better yet stop than doing it loathing what you do;
  • Reduce the things that you don’t like. If my dog found something he disliked, there was no way to get him to do that thing. And no, don’t mention punishment. Not at home, not at the office;
  • Forgive others and start over. It doesn’t help to hold grudge on that 3rd-floor colleague;
  • Accept yourself for who you are. Part of his life he spent being paralyzed on half of his body. We made him a wheelchair that made him independent and he was joyfully running as if it was the high of his day. Appreciate what you have, not what’s missing;
  • Run as if there is no tomorrow. A dog will never give up on his walk, although it can get very hard. This is also about joy. Instead of being lethargic and dragging your feet through the hallways, better alive;
  • Take initiative every time. When there is something to do, don’t wait around for others to start it. No one forbids you to do something (extra) at home or at the office;
  • Accept compliments with ease. When you do something good and get a compliment, enjoy it again. Don’t get defensive and “oh, it’s not my best work”, “could’ve, should’ve”, etc.;
  • Be loyal. No matter the line of work, the level of seniority. Loyalty is one of the best qualities you can have. Not only at work;
  • Love unconditionally. No need to ask for something in return before offering, and if you don’t receive anything back… so be it, the other person’s loss;
  • Adapt while things unfold. A missing leg or even two, dogs adapt amazingly quick and don’t complain no matter how hard it’s their current situation. Either it’s a new manager, a new procedure or an acquisition, you must adapt;
  • Get plenty of rest. You cannot be agile unless you are well rested;
  • Be vocal when you have something to say. I am not saying to start shouting, but also not to keep quiet all the time and be humble;
  • Appreciate those you love. Not necessarily to be applied at the office, but show admiration to those performing well. They don’t have to be your subordinates;
  • If you feel something is hidden (buried) and this bothers you, dig for it;
  • Don’t bite when a single bark can solve the problem. You may risk miscalculating the size of the opponent and the bite turns fatal and also brings a lot of suffering;
  • Put your personal imprint on what you do, so people can remember you long after you are gone. It’s up to you to make it a good or a bad memory;
  • Wake up feeling happy. I don’t know any dog who wakes up upset on the idiot who pissed him off in the traffic;
  • Lick your wounds until they’ve healed. Other than the miraculous effects of saliva, the mental state is also extremely important. Without uselessly postponing it. Well, retain yourself from licking at the office. Behave yourselves;
  • Life is short, whether is about dog or human years. In the end, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do, not those you did.

Where there’s a lot of love, in the end, there’s a lot of suffering. I know I said it already, but it f*cking hurts.

Life goes on, stay close!