Five years ago, we adopted a dog from a farming family in Wisconsin. Seamus is a beautifully trained show dog turned stud dog. He was winding down his career and needed a new home.
When I arrived to pick up Seamus, he was nowhere to be found, but I was content to pet the other dogs until he decided to show up. After a few minutes, we heard some shuffling and a crash from the kitchen and my now dog appeared, racing toward the front door with an enormous beef tenderloin in his mouth and the breeder joyfully laughing, saying “There goes your dog! Did I mention he likes to bury his treasures in the front yard?”
It’s been five years now and I've learned a lot from Seamus.
1) Be uncompromising about on-time delivery of a quality product. If Seamus is not fed at 6pm all hell breaks loose. 6:01 is not an option.
2) Be clear about your target market. Seamus is very firm and clear on who his pack is. He’s very gracious if you’re not his cup of tea, but if you’re a jerk, he can spot you a mile away and will simply walk in the other direction. In a group, he quietly observes and then responds. He likes to command his audience with dignity. He’s not aloof at the dog park, he’s just more interested in figuring out if there’s buried treasure.
3) Be quality driven. Like the tenderloin, this Wisconsin dog appreciates cheese and butter. Neither survives unattended for long. If it's a high quality opportunity, he's all over it!
4) Be proud of your accomplishments. Seamus is VERY proud of his terrier capabilities and expects to be recognized for his talent.
5) Always be respectful, and resourceful. On very few rare occasions have I come home to find Seamus lounging on the furniture. Other days, Seamus takes care of himself, dragging the dog food off the shelf, eating, and then taking a nap, confident of a job well done.
6) Non verbal communication says it all. Seamus makes us laugh every day. It's in those laughing moments that the best learning occurs...but make no mistake... He's VERY clear...
By the way, Seamus's nickname is THE BEAST - and that's a compliment!