How My Dog Makes Me A Better Entrepreneur
Ahhh working from home - it's the ultimate in dog-friendly workplaces!
And at my dog-friendly workplace, we have HIRO.
(He's also known as Fluffernutter, because he's fluffy and he's nuts :D)
Hiro was my husband's police K9 partner for 8 years. He had an impressively bad-ass career, and retired just before he turned 9.
He'll be turning 11 soon, and just celebrated 2 years of retirement.
So, Hiro enjoys the life of leisure at home with me while my husband leaves for work each day with his successor, Ando.
EXCEPT FOR THE LEISURE PART. There isn't much of that.
Hiro is a very high-drive working line Belgian Malinois. Just a little research into the breed will show you tidbits like "This breed is not a good fit for your typical pet home" and "Malinois are just like German Shepherds....on crack!" It is not an easy breed to own, and can be challenging even for experienced handlers.
At nearly 11, having 'slowed down' a bit, he's still more active than most 3 year old dogs.
Don't get me wrong - he's AWESOME and I adore him. It's just that working dogs are way way way more work than the average dog - that's why they're not recommended for most people. I've had 10+ years to learn with, train, and be schooled by this energetic, tenacious, intelligent animal.
And I really believe that having Hiro be my 'co-worker' has made me a more productive entrepreneur.
1 - I take a walk every morning.
Oh yes I do. Usually about 2 miles through our neighborhood. Often there are sprints involved. (He's way faster than me.)
Without his morning exercise, Hiro will be a panting, pacing, pain in my butt all day. It's not worth skipping it. He needs to get some energy out.
BENEFITS: I walk a couple miles before I sit down to work - huge bonus for us desk-workers who tend to be too sedentary. I breathe a half hour of fresh air and listen to birds sing as I start my day. There is no downside to this.
2 - I take regular breaks.
The morning walk relieves the relentless Malinois energy for a little while, but he'll be at my elbow, nosing me for attention by late morning. Time to take a break, go outside and play tug / throw the ball for a few minutes.
BENEFITS: I tend to hyperfocus, and without any interruptions I've been known to work 8+ hours without even getting up to pee. I use timers and alarms as well, but a wet nose shoving my hands away from the keyboard is harder to ignore.
3 - I get to pet a dog! (and that's stress relief)
Pets are well known stress relievers. Unconditional love and soft fluffy fur goes a long way towards calming nerves and lifting spirits.
BENEFITS: I'm working alone, and I have hermit tendencies. I'm running a business and a household and like many people, I'm often overwhelmed by the to-do list. Pets make you step back and just be in the moment. Warm fuzzies are always a good thing.
Your dog, cat, ferret, squirrel, chicken, mouse or other pet might be less high-maintenance than Hiro, but I'm betting they are one of the best parts of your work-at-home life too :)
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WHO WANTS MORE PICS OF HIRO? :D Here are a few more.....