Working Like A Dog…or At Least I Hope So

Posted by on Jan 12, 2012 in The Go-Giver | 28 comments

Working Like A Dog…or At Least I Hope So

The phrase working like a dog to most means working super hard, getting dirty, putting your nose to the ground and getting the job done.  It’s even in the song Hard Days Night by the Beatles, you know, “It’s a hard day’s night and I’ve been workin’ like a dog”.   After a discussion on a Facebook post I am starting to realize it is so much more than that.  I think the qualities I often associate with my canine are qualities I want to mirror.

I posted a photo of my dog Dallas watching over my yard.  You can see his ears are perked, he is fully aware of what’s around him, and he is ready to go at a moment’s notice.  I never asked him to do that.  It is what comes naturally to him, like so many other wonderful qualities he has.

What got me started thinking about this is a comment Jim Dangelo made on the Facebook post:  “People have a habit of feeling the need to make a comment when all you want is a caring ear. I have noticed that my dogs know when to be quiet & listen, then lean in & nudge my hand, as if to say without words, ‘Pet me. You’ll feel better for it.’  And I do”

I was fortunate enough to connect with Pam Gaber, author of Gabriel’s Angels and CEO and Founder of Gabriel’s Angels, a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to helping at risk children through the healing power of pet therapy.  When I asked what she finds powerful about dogs qualities she stated “it is amazing to watch a therapy dog intuitively go to the child who has the most angst.  In our work with at-risk children we have witnessed dogs doing what dogs do best, lend a listening ear and a unconditional caring heart”.

The amazingly wonderful things that make a dog the top pet are all the things I want to emulate:

  1. Caring for others without judging them: A dog doesn’t care what I look like, if I am in my sweats, what color, age, religion, sexual orientation, weight, hair color or height I am.  At networking events how do I choose who I connect with?  Am I judging people on how they look, what they wear, the way they do their hair?  Am I going up to the person who seems to be unsure and nervous and helping them at least find one person to connect with in the group and then introducing them to others?
  2. Honesty: Have you ever come home, opened the door and saw that complete look of utter shame on your dog’s face.  You are just waiting to find what he chewed or destroyed.  Am I owning up to my mistakes as readily and showing up and asking for forgiveness?
  3. Good Listener: Just like Jim said, dogs just sit and watch you with those big soulful eyes, not making a sound, but letting you know they are there for you.   When clients are sharing their concerns or issues they don’t always want me to have the answer.  Are they really just looking to sort it all out for themselves and they just need to talk it through?  Am I being careful about when I am offering my opinion and when I should just let my clients speak?
  4. Greeting people with an unbridled enthusiasm:  I personally love it when I come home, or I meet a new dog, and the tails are wagging and they just look so happy you are there with them. When I make new contacts, meet new prospects, am I showing them how happy I am to get to know them or am I acting like it is their privilege to know me?  When I am out at places am I greeting people with a smile as I pass them, saying hello, offering a kind gesture by holding open a door?
  5. Protecting those who are important to me:  By the picture above you can see how Dallas takes his job seriously.  He is watching and waiting to see if he needs to take action.  He is very prepared to act. Am I offering my clients the protection they need during every transaction?  Am I up to date on all the current material, laws, advancements, etc on what I am selling to be sure my client is getting the best deal possible?  Am I keeping up with my education, seminars, reading to be sure I am top of my game?
  6. Faith that those I serve will come back: When I leave my house and say goodbye to Dallas, he knows I will be coming back to him.  I have shown him time and time again that I always come back to take care of him.  Am I doing every thing I can to keep my clients happy?  Am I putting their interests first and do I have faith they will come back to me?
  7. Authentic: Have you ever seen a dog be anything other than what he was made to be?  I haven’t.  Am I always being who I am and not someone I am not?

I want to answer yes to every one of these questions so I can truly be working like a dog.  Are you working like a dog?

Addition added 2.29.2012 – Here is another great post by my friend Linda Ryan who is a dog lover



  1. A beautiful, terrific article on SO many levels! Thank you, Christie, for sharing such great wisdom. And, a big shoutout to Pam Gaber for all she is doing. And…please tell Dallas that Uncle Bob says hi and to keep up the great work! :-)

    • My pleasure and it was so wonderful to be able to have Pam share in this. She is an inspiration to me and so many others. Dallas said “woof”, I hope you know dog :)

      • Absolutely, I know “dog.” Admittedly, their language is fairly simple and easy to learn. In fact, most of the sounds are similar; it’s mainly understanding the emotion behind the sounds. :-) (I love dogs!) #DidIJustStateTheObvious) LOL

        • LOL!!!! Much easier than Spanish for me :)

  2. Very nice. Thanks for the new lens.

    This brought back the memory of the scene in the movie “Up!” where the dog says “I just met you but I LOVE you.”

    So true.

    • Thank you so much Gill! LOL…yes it does!!!

  3. Christie, “Lindisimo articulo”, very valuable as you bring the attention to things that really matter in life.
    This is a great opportunity to say that I am grateful for you and all the help and support you are granting me, and most important grateful for your friendship.
    Congrats amiga, feel so honored (y feliz) to be your friend!

    • Gracias Pili!!!! I am grateful for all you are teaching me as well :) in beso!!

  4. I like this so much! Thanks Christie for helping us articulate why dogs are great.

    Another great thing about working like a dog is that when they are done, they are DONE! A sacked-out on the sofa dog is clearly not “what if-ing” or second guessing or worrying about tomorrow. They are 100% resting with the knowledge that they worked hard today and will again tomorrow…

    I try to emulate my dog as much as possible on that one.

    • Thank you Beth! That is such a great point. We have a lot to learn from them :)

  5. Wow Christie~ this is not only YOUR best post ever; it might very well be THE post ever by anyone! Such great insight and analogies and lessons. Yes, I intend to work like a dog this year! Thanks for such a beautiful and profound inspiration this morning.

    • Linda I am honored by your words!!! I am glad to have helped you this morning :)

  6. What an insightful recognition of the best canine qualities – truly THEY understand that “the greatest gift they have to offer is themselves.” (hmmm I’ll bet you could write another fantastic post on how Dallas does all Five Laws of Stratospheric Success.) And the corollaries you offer are right on target – good lessons for each of us to remember.

    • So funny because I was going to end it with …maybe my dog is a Go-Giver :). I am sure Dragon Dog is a fine example of all these things!!!

  7. This post was wonderful Christie. You touched on so many important things! I am making it a point this year to use what I hear or learn in a way that will keep it a part of me and not just consume content for the sake of it. I am going to take action on the notion of ‘protect those who are important to me’ With that I am going to reach out to 5 people today and share how much I care and thank them for being such strong and positive forces in my life!!

    Again, great post Christie!! Thank you!

    • Helen, I am so glad you were able to gain something from this post. I will follow your lead and tell 5 people as well!

  8. Thank you for sharing this wonderful post to Facebook, Bob. Christie, this is a wonderful reminder of how being authentic and true to your heart & passions can bring business to your door. ‘Old sales’ techniques no longer work on us or our customers. Its the relationship and the customer care. Happy Friday.

    • Thank YOU and it has been my pleasure :) I agree. This way brings us back the relationship part we often forget about. I really appreciate your comments!!!

  9. Christie,

    This is one of the best articles, I have ever read. This is way to good for the word, “blog”.

    What a great way to look at our furry companions, and for us to want to be more like them. Dallas is one lucky furry baby to have a “mommy” who sees he how “hard he works.”


    • Thank you so kindly Jean!! I think he does appreciate it. I love on him, feed him and try to make him happy by taking care of his interests :) He’s simple that way…maybe that’s another lesson we can learn. He’s sitting next to me right now chewing on his ball…and he is perfectly happy :)

  10. I absolutely love this POST ,Christie. My daughter has been after me to add a dog to our family for a few years now. After reading this post she might just get her wish. What a great reminder in our daily lives on the characteristics that are important!

    • HAHAHA! If you do get the dog tell her she owes me one :) We just got Dallas in September and I can’t imagine life without him. He really has taught me so much in this short time and I am so grateful for that.

  11. Thank you for such a wonderful post. Point 4 – Greeting people with an unbridled enthusiasm – is really a good one. How important it is to have the Enthusiasm to welcome people. A “Hello” with a “smile” does not hurt when it transmits happiness at the end.

    • Thank you so much for your comment! I think so often people are self conscious about extending a smile. They think the nice gesture could be misconstrued. I agree in the end it does transmit happiness :)

  12. thank you Christie for writing this, it really resonated with me. The reason it’s so pertinent is that on Thursday evening I had to say my final goodbyes to my loyal and trusted companion of 15 years. Goldie had a great life, and I was so blessed to have had the pleasure of her joyous loving company for so long.

    She taught me how to accept her love (REALLY accept her love) and how to love her more and more. I owe her a great deal of gratitude for helping me grow into a more loving person.

    so.. working like a dog? Yes please!!! I strive to become as loving as Goldie was- she brought joy to many many people, just reading the comments on the blog post I wrote in her memory shows that. She was amazing.

    A friend said to me “May the best of her live on in you”- WOW such a powerful wish. If only 1% of the best of her lived on in me I would be a much better person.

    Dogs are great, aren’t they?


    • I am so sorry for your loss CLaire, but very happy that you had such a wonderful partner for so long. I love what your friend said and I am sure Goldie’s best attributes will live on in you forever. Thank you so much for sharing on here and yes dogs are great!

  13. Beautiful capture of the gifts the dogs are in our lives and the role models they are if we open our hearts.

    • Thank you so much Andrea! I I’m so glad you enjoyed this :)


  1. The Power is love. Hang with a dog so you can harness The Power!Mind Over Matter - [...] a great article about dogs, by my friend, Christie Ellis.  I love how she identifies the character traits of …

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