I have learned quite a bit from playing doggie mom to my two, rat terriers, Lexie and Tate. In addition to making me laugh every day and providing unconditional love, they have taught me a lot about running effective business operations. Who knew!

Here are my three favorite lessons…

1) What does a 21 year-old clerk know? Ends up, a lot.

My eight year old terrier, Lexie, began to suffer from skin allergies when she was about one year old. I spent literally thousands of dollars for doggie Lexie & Tate, Terriers and Teachersdermatologist appointments, shampoos, pills and shots over a period of three years. Eventually, her skin was better, but her fur never filled in.

A few months ago, our 21 year-old neighbor who works at a local pet store saw Lexie and told us to change her food to an all natural, grain free blend. She was certain this would improve her fur. I initially ignored her advice, thinking what does this 21 year old chick know, but then decided to make a change.

After just two months, I am amazed at the significant change in Lexie’s fur. She looks like a puppy again. The 21 year old chick did know what she was talking about.  Operations learning.. listen to advice from unlikely sources. It could be game changing!

2) Sit, stay, heel… then do whatever you want, does not work

Last winter, my husband and I took both terriers to doggie obedience sessions to learn the basics; sit, stay, heel and come. The phrase I remember most from the class instructor was “consistency is key”. Specifically, we must consistently coach the dogs on the right behaviors, if we want to change behaviors.

You can probably guess what happened next.. we were not consistent.  On some walks, we would practice heel and on other walks, we would let the dogs pull us around. On some days we would insist that the dogs practiced sit and stay, before getting a treat. On other days, we would give them treats just because they are cute. Operations learning…. Consistency is key if we want to change behaviors.

3) 4 A.M. walks suck… but the rest doesn’t

Lexie & Tate- Driving Operational ExcellenceI love my dogs like they are my children, but they can be very annoying. I do not enjoy waking up at 4 A.M. to let them out for a bio break.  I do not enjoy picking up piles of poop from my lawn.  I do not enjoy when they wait to bark, until I am on a work conference call.

But, I enjoy what they do 90% of the time, so I have grown tolerant of the annoying 10%. Dogs will be dogs and I will not sweat the small stuff

Operations learnings….  Pick your battles at work. Focus on the more positive big picture. Take a step back and if you like 90% of what you see, don’t sweat the annoying 10%.

What have you learned from your pets? Please add your comments.

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© 2011 – 2012, Marci Reynolds. All rights reserved.

1 Comment

  1. Hi Marci, like your post

    A thought about the 21 year old clerk

    Whilst you say “listen to advice from unlikely sources. It could be game changing!” and I totally agree, in this instance it is her job, she does it every day, she should know.

    Maybe your point should say “listen to advice from likely sources. It could be game changing!”

    I think half the time we don’t have the sense to see what is standing infront of us.


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