Never, Ever Let Go of the Rope

Bella and Rope.jpg

Grit. Pluck. Tenacity. Persistence. Resilience. Whatever you want to call it, we dogs have it.

Fortunately for humans we are more than happy to teach you how to stay on track and not let the bumps in the road discourage you. For example, one of my all-time favorite activities is tug-of-war, and my favorite sparring partner is my two-legged dad. However, I usually have to bait him into playing with me. My strategy is to sneak under his desk and wait until he's fully absorbed in his work, or on the phone with an important client (they're all important, he says, and he's right), and then start jamming his leg with a rope toy.

His response is predictable. First, he'll say, "I'm busy right now," and then, "Go bug somebody else." But I know that he has to hang up the phone sometime and if I continue to jam the rope into his leg, he'll eventually give in. Once the game starts, I don't let go for anyone or anything--not even when Dad gives the "drop it" command in his most authoritative voice. (Of course, I realize this admission opens me up to analysis and criticism by dog trainers everywhere, including my own, to which I say, "All's fair in love and tug-of-war." Besides, I'll totally drop the rope toy for Mom. I know who's really in charge.)

The lesson: Embrace the word "no." It's just one step on the path to success. If you give up too soon, you won't succeed--and you'll miss out on a very good game of tug-of-war!

What do your pets teach you about shaking off setbacks and pursuing your goals?

By Bella the Boxer, adapted from her book Secrets of a Working Dog: Unleash Your Potential and Create Success. Visit