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Our Morning Hike
Most days I hike with my dog, Sami, in a wonderful woods.  It’s close to 200 acres big with a stout 400 plus foot elevation.  There are myriad of hiking trails crisscrossing one another.  I have my favorites, so does Sami.The other day a gigantic cedar dropped an entire half of itself (yes, half of it split off to the ground).  It took three other really good size trees down with it, blocking one of Sami’s and my favorite trails.
Let’s Give it a Go
Although, I couldn’t see through the fallen trees to the other side, I decided we’d try to make our way through.  It was slow going, climbing my way over and ducking under large tree trunks or pushing my way through branches, but we (I thought) were making headway.


Call for Help
Then, I heard Sami bark his, ‘Mom, this isn’t working’ bark.   Rather than traversing this great tree obstacle course, he tried to go around.  Clever idea.  But he decided that he couldn’t make it around either.  And now he wasn’t budging. 

A Little about Sami
Sami is very long backed with eight inch long legs.  As Dr. Don his vet remarked, ‘He’s cute but terrible confirmation.’  That said, even with this long backed short legged body, Sami’s unwillingness to push through these fallen trees took me by surprise.

My fella is typically quite a daring guy.  He’s agile.  Leaps from ledges, runs up fallen tree trunks jumping from one large mossy covered dead centennial to another.  I hold my breath often.  Often.

I Can’t Get Through
Not today.  He was convinced he couldn’t get through.

And he was right.  He couldn’t.  All he could see was the wall of trees and branches.  He was overwhelmed by the big picture.  Frozen, unwilling (and thus unable) to take the first step and then the next and then the next and then …

 

Confidence Booster
I had a couple of choices, I could carry this 23 pound wonder through this thicket (that was non-starter) or I could convince him he could do it.  I got on my knees and pointed to the first place he need to step to.

I used every hand signal I had in my repertoire encouraging him to take that first step forward.  I got out my best ‘you can do it’ doggie voice. “That’s a good boy.  Clever boy.  Come on. You can do it.” Amid his cries, ‘Coommmee Get me!’

 

Hardhearted
Hardhearted, I unrelentingly, pointed to his first step.  (Totally self-serving. I was committed to not carrying him.)  Every time he stopped dancing around (I can’t, I can’t) but reluctantly lifted one of those stubby little legs, I cheered him on.

Eventually, me championing his every move and encouraging forward motion, Sami jumped over the first limb … and into the thick of the leaves.  Step 1.

 

Momentum in Sight
Sounding a bit like a deranged cheerleader, (Oh, Oh, clever boy.  Brilliant!  Keep coming. Come on.)  I pointed to the next limb, “That’s it Sami, right there, come on.”  Just as I thought I was going to spend the rest of the day inside these fallen trees, Sami, jumped.  Step 2.

 

Proud as a Peacock
He did the next step himself.  Step 3. 

With praise and lots of encouragement (no slipping back now) and his little cocky-self back in evidence … he took the next step and the next until we were reunited!  After hugs and much joyous licking and tail wagging, I put him in front of me and he started to choose the next steps himself.

 

Success
After he got through the fallen trees, he raced up and down the open trail stopping to pirouette in between bursts of speed.  My very proud, six foot, Sami had returned.

Other than this might be a cute story …   Why did I tell it to you?  It has everything to do with your business.  What do you think?  Let me know here or join the conversation on Facebook.

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2 Responses to Why my dog and your recruits just stop

  1. Cheryl Schultz says:

    A great story and very applicable to our business. Perfect timing too! I’ve got a training with some newbies tomorrow. Thanks Jillian!

  2. Jillian says:

    You are really welcome Cheryl. Glad to know it was helpful. Let me know if I can do anything else.

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