Courage to be

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There is an unfortunate trend that encourages people to ”re-define” themselves. The obvious question is why, and what is wrong with the original you!

We are all born with a purpose and unique gifts, so there is no need to pursue anything else. The ripple effect trap to this trend is to spend too much time comparing ourselves to others.

Enter our heroes!!

Animals never fall into this place regardless of what negative life events take place. After being discarded and placed in a gas chamber, Daniel the Beagle had every reason to start over in his life. How much more worthless can you feel? However, he remained the happy go lucky dog he always was and continues to be.

When Daniel won his category of Hero Dog in 2012, we had the pleasure of meeting Gabe. Gabe was a bomb-sniffing dog who had saved the lives of many people in the military. It would have been easy for Daniel to feel inferior to Gabe, but he didn’t; he interacted with him, proud of who he was, but respecting Gabe for his talents.

As we progress through life there are many situations I call quick sand traps that can slowly pull us down in questioning ourselves. We gain spiritual foundation by appreciating who we are and having the courage to remain that way.

Challenges with Nobility

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When something breaks, our first thought is how to put it back together. How bad is the break, what glue will work to make it strong again?

A new beginning is usually a glue that works. Shelby was broken physically and emotionally after being abused. Thankfully her surgeon fixed the physical part but usually the emotional pain is more difficult.

The glue that Shelby used was to serve others compassionately. Knowing how it felt to be treated so badly during a time when she was very down, her goal was clearly to make sure that others did not have to experience that feeling.

Shelby had another strategy that I believe could easily be extended to other animals including farm animals. Regardless of how badly you might be treated, stay true to yourself and try as best as you can not to lash out at others especially those who are “innocent bystanders”.

Our society celebrates length of life. Many times, we see people being celebrated for living past 100 and even animals are spoken of as living a longer life then what they normally. One way to capture this message is to focus instead on the quality of life, instead of the quantity of life. Some animals and people live only a short time, too short in many situations, however, it is that much more important to treasure each moment and learn from all that they have to offer.

Loving life. SpartyWISE

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Loving life. SpartyWISE.

When Sparty first walked in our home, soon to be known as his house, he took command right away.  He walked in with a purpose, it was obvious in the way he carried himself.

This is something we can have too.

We are often unsure of our self and that can lead to behaviors that are not in line with presence and influence.  The reason is we often drift to negative self-limiting thoughts.

Sparty leads the way in being positive and present.  Spartacus truly defined the “act as if” mindset which is open to each one of us.  Spartacus was comfortable with who he was, had a strong sense of self awareness, and built it all on a foundation of being present and influential.


Influence – Our words and actions

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Several years ago, I did a talk and made a case for never using bad language.

Before I say another word, let me confess that I have and still do say things that are considered inappropriate.  Bad language, even loud and forceful words, only have a short term reaction from others.  The best sustained influence comes from calm but truthful words that come from a place of less emotion and more thoughtfulness.

This was another characteristic of Sparty.  He did bark at times but you could tell it was only to make his point.  And I am convinced that if it came out in the English language then there would be no cursing.

In addition, when he had to make a point in the house to solidify his being the one in charge, he often did it with a subtle but effective look.  I will tell you that, especially with Daniel, it worked every time and you could see it coming too!  Sparty would just walk by him and give a look and Daniel always respected him.  The few times Sparty did bark Daniel would bark back.

Does that sound familiar?  Spartacus’s communication style is really effective and it creates an atmosphere of influence.

For today, examine your levels on influence and notice your tone of communication and body language.

Please try to think of Sparty for inspiration.

Presence / Influence

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Presence is being truly with the individual before you with no distractions at all.

Influence is the impact you have on someone, hopefully in a positive way.

It is hard to imagine that one can influence someone without really being present.  This includes animals in need and will give them the love they deserve.  Consider the best performers and how they truly connect with an audience. Their presence is felt even to thousands of people.

Therefore, they are able to have a positive influence on every single one of them.  My Spartacus who passed away on March 15, 2018, was a real inspiration on being present.  The interesting thing about presence and influence is that it is best accomplished in a quiet and subtle way.  Those who try to push themselves on others usually fall short, or are seemingly effective in the beginning but not long term.

This comes to life in dog training.  A dog will respond better to consistent, positive commands.   I will tell you that I learned a lot from Spartacus over the years and now I am pleased to offer his wisdom to you.  We will take a look at our own presence and influence and how it provides us with more joy and peace in our rescue efforts.

For today, just pick up your awareness on your presence to others. Try and eliminate distractions of any kind when you are with loved ones, 4 legged loved ones too, of course!