Dogs teach us a lot. Unconditional love and loyalty are at the top of the list. But not too far down, is determination. They become fearless in the face of adversity.
It’s a lesson we can all learn from, especially as the end of the year approaches.
Tighter budgets, smaller staff, and more wallet conscience constituencies, can make your knees buckle on the walk up to the office door every morning these last few months. What makes you twist the knob and step inside to tackle your last big campaign push?
A few weekends ago, my boyfriend decided to take our dog Yobe on her first kayaking adventure. We figured that a nice morning on the river would be a cake-walk.
Because I am a believer in safety first, we bought her a life jacket and to our amazement she loved having her jacket on and didn’t try to chew at the straps. Honestly, the life vest gave me more sigh-of-relief than anything.
While some dogs are born to roll in the waves, ours has taken small steps to becoming a water dog. She has stood in the ocean, waded out into a lake, and one glorious day, doggy- paddled in a creek. We noticed she was becoming more comfortable with the water, but still not a strong swimmer. So we deemed kayaking a next logical goal.
Once he got her on the boat she held her legs straight out to brace herself on the uneven surface. She was unsure about where she was. After awhile, she sat down and took in her new surroundings. All was mellow on the high seas until around a bend, she noticed a buoy. Because she had never seen one before she started barking at it and went to the tip of the kayak to get closer to her new enemy.
The excitement made her feet dance like an Irish clogger; she became unsteady and with the misplacement of a single paw, toppled off the kayak and into the water. As her orange jacket floated her to the surface, she started swimming back towards the boat. When she got close enough, my boyfriend reached over, grabbed the handle and put her back in the co-captain spot.
After dowsing him with a fierce shake of saltwater, it was back to smooth kayaking. For the rest of the excursion she was relaxed and beamed with pride for overcoming her hurdle.
She proceeded to fall in only one more time before they were done. Her confidence in the water improved with each plunge.
Thinking about my sweet dog paddling her way back to the kayak, makes my heart melt with pride too.
Yobe sets a fine example to overcoming a challenge, and we should take note. Her adventure in the water shows us how as nonprofit marketers and fundraisers we can shift our attitudes and strategies to finish this year with a big ole’ splash!
Prep. Take small steps. Set a goal. Leap. And repeat.
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