Me And You And A Dog Named Lou!

The goal of building a team

Louie needs a pack. He needs other four-legged buddies, and the more the merrier. He loves to play and frolic and just romp around because he truly enjoys being with other dogs. However, when I first adopted him, he displayed signs of fearfulness and timidity and wouldn’t engage in playful behavior with others. But as he has become an emotionally healthy dog, it is clear that he loves being part of a pack, which may consist of me, another dog, and maybe one or two other humans. His relational skills have increased tremendously and he is thoroughly enjoying life, not just surviving.

Why? Because he lets his need for others be known!

We’ve all heard the phrase, “We’re better together.” This is true for canines as well as humans. Here are some of the benefits Louie gets from being part of a pack:

• He’s learned to negotiate when is the right time to take a chew toy from another.
• He watches, listens, and learns from others what level of roughhousing is acceptable to them.
• He learns how to problem solve by pulling a toy from the pile when another dog has his favorite.
• He shares—what’s not to love about the communal water bowl?
• He’s learned to resolve some “differences.” When one of his buddies is done playing, they let him know. He usually pays attention, though sometimes he’s like a bad little brother who finds joy in annoying you!
• He’s committed and cooperates with others, especially on walks. He’ll let his friends know if he’s picked up a particularly interesting scent.
• He encourages others! This could be mistaken as whining, but by other’s reactions as he runs to greet them, I’ve believed this is Louie’s way of singing…Because I’m HAPPY; wag along if you feel like happiness is the truth!
• He acknowledges and appreciates other’s strengths—we’re still working on this one.
• And finally—Louie loves Alpha Girls!

Louie continues to show me what it takes to be a great leader. Teams and relationships are necessary for our growth—we are better together. Appreciating and valuing what others bring to the table regarding ideas, energy, and connectedness is invaluable. Shutting down creative ideas because they are out of our comfort zone or because we didn’t think of them first will stagnate not only the team, but also our personal growth.

Ken Blanchard says, “None of us is as smart as all of us!” We were created to be together and we go further with other people. And who knows? When we are intentional about being part of a team or a collective body of others and are open to their ideas, we may actually learn something

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