The Golden Rules: First Things First

  1. Start with a plan. It will feel vastly better than limbo.

Copper, ready and waiting...

I love having a good plan. I love flexibility, don’t get me wrong. I’m so accustomed to things NOT going according to plan that when they do, I wonder, “What am I missing?”

Without a plan, the day can descend into unwanted things like chaos. Or complete inertia. We can spend all our time getting ready to do something without knowing for sure what it is we’re getting ready to do. We can end the day accomplishing little or nothing.

Copper knows the value of a good plan. Each morning, he smiles hugely when he sees me so much as flicker an eyelash. Because from that moment on, he is working his plan. First, a walk. Raining? Who cares? He’s a water dog! If I (heaven help us!) forget or get distracted, he gently reminds me it’s walk time by going to the laundry room, glancing at his leash and harness hanging inside the door, and then glancing at me. He does this until he is sure I’ve noticed him.

He prefers water be absolutely as fresh as possible, and if I don’t accommodate by turning on a trickle in the bathtub, he finds other less socially acceptable water dishes. He knows when it’s time for doggy ice cream, and he knows where it’s kept. He knows where all of his treats are at all times. He knows where his favorite toys are. He knows what time his evening walk takes place. And he knows when it’s time to brush his teeth and head for bed.

Plans can and often do change, but Copper knows the value of planning his work and working his plan. A deeply satisfied Golden Retriever is a delightful companion.

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