Category Archives: The Dog Star

The Dog Star: The Three Tests

(The Dog Star is a symbol of power, will, and steadfastness of purpose, and exemplifies the One who has succeeded in bridging the lower and higher consciousness. – Astrological Definition)

When my dogs encounter something new for the first time, they immediately check to see if it’s edible. You should be checking with new people as to whether they represent potential business.

If the object is non-edible, which is quickly determined with a few sniffs, they investigate whether they can play with it and move it around. This would be moving non-buyers to help you find buyers.

If the non-edible object can’t be moved and is of no other interest, the dogs will urinate on it to leave their scent and then move on to  more interesting endeavors. This would be you abandoning people who can’t help you and whom you can’t help.

These are metaphors, of course. Usually.

© Alan Weiss 2014

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The Dog Star: Going First

(The Dog Star is a symbol of power, will, and steadfastness of purpose, and exemplifies the One who has succeeded in bridging the lower and higher consciousness. – Astrological Definition)

I’ve made it a habit on the stairs to simply move to the side to allow the dogs to race ahead of me. Sometimes they wait on the landing to see which way I’ll go, and sometimes they’ll proceed down another flight having divined my route through some canine gnostic wisdom.

They do the same entering and leaving vehicles, going into the yard, and so forth. They want to be leading the pack.

Nathan Bedford Forrest, the Confederate Civil War General, explained his considerable battle successes by stating, “I git there firstest with the mostest.” Whether true or apocryphal, the strategy is good sense.

A great many clients seek instant gratification. (I know I usually do.) They sometimes don’t see sufficient differentiation, and simply choose the first alternative, assuming all succeeding ones will be of about the same quality. They often have a real sense of urgency and don’t have the luxury of examining further options. (“The absolute best heart surgeon is three days away. We think you have about 24 hours.” “Okay, let’s go with the doc who’s here!”)

Don’t be tentative or afraid. Get in there first. When you’re 80% ready, move. You can always make mid-course corrections. Too many people are 100% prepared but no one needs them any more.

Possession may be nine-tenths of the law, but being in front of a buyer or opportunity first is ten-tenths of the business.

© Alan Weiss 2014

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The Dog Star: The Morning News

(The Dog Star is a symbol of power, will, and steadfastness of purpose, and exemplifies the One who has succeeded in bridging the lower and higher consciousness. – Astrological Definition)

I was watching the boys this morning when I let them out before we went for coffee. Buddy  sniffs everywhere, and Bentley does some sniffing and some watching. I’ve read that dogs can tell what animals passed through a yard the night prior, their gender, and approximate age; and they can also sense and find new growth, tunneling animals and insects, and other changing developments.

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In other words, while they’re doing their business they’re also reading their edition of the morning newspaper.

It’s always struck me that many people begin and continue their day ignorant of recent events. I remember one guy saying to me, astonished, the following afternoon of the event, “Elvis died?!” Some people don’t know as I write this that an entire Malaysia Airlines 777 is missing at sea and presumed down, cause unknown.

I’ve never had much connection with people who proudly claim they never listen to or read the news. Twitter isn’t going to keep you informed. If we’re to help our clients and support our families, it’s a responsibility to understand what’s happening in the world around us. That knowledge makes us not just more competent, but better people, able to help and support others more effectively.

Buddy and Bentley do this by habit, and they’re quite efficacious. That’s why I don’t allow them to use the Internet. If they did may just be talking to another dog, too lazy to do his own sniffing.

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© Alan Weiss 2014

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The Dog Star: Beagles and BMWs

Beagles are miracles of engineering. Bentley, my German Shepherd, can smell about six million times better than a human I’d guess, but Buddy Beagle can smell six millions times better than Bentley. Beagles are built to hunt vermin, so they are low to the ground, from whence they can easily pick up scents (Bentley’s legs are long for running and sight). Beagles have some horrific teeth for their size and can easily dispatch vermin. Of course, if Buddy successfully tracked a mouse, he’d call the exterminator before he touched it.

BMW makes cars, and obviously without the intelligence that designed dogs. My 2013 X5 truck has the most confusing computer/electronic controls I’ve ever seen, nothing at all intuitive, far inferior to my Bentleys and Corvette. Yet this is supposed to be a daily vehicle, easy to use, not an exotic car.

I’ve mastered what I need to drive it, but Buddy has mastered much more than that. It seems that BMW’s controls on the console and doors are easily accessible to small paws. Bentley can’t affect them, but Buddy regularly does. He has his own playlist on the radio. I went in for coffee this  morning playing Sinatra, and I came out to the Nylons. I let the tracks keep playing, and Buddy had an outstanding list going.

From the coffee shop, I have to make sure Buddy doesn’t open the passenger front window, which can’t be locked out, due to BMW’s poor engineering. When he opens it, Bentley leans out and if he sees another dog, he’s going to rocket after it. I can’t take the dogs all over like a once did in the Mercedes and simply lock the truck, because BMW doesn’t allow you to disable the alarm’s motion sensor. So once I lock the doors, the dogs trigger the alarm in about 30 seconds.

I recently had the BMW in for service. I asked them for the second time to ensure that ALL doors unlock when the driver’s door is unlocked. They assured me they would. That still doesn’t work. I’m now going to persuade Buddy to show me how with some choice bacon strips.

Whether you believe in evolution or intelligent design or a combination thereof, we can agree that it has worked well with Beagles but not BMW.

 

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© Alan Weiss 2015

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The Dog Star: Chasing Squirrels

(The Dog Star is a symbol of power, will, and steadfastness of purpose, and exemplifies the One who has succeeded in bridging the lower and higher consciousness. – Astrological Definition)

Sometimes Bentley doesn’t chase the right squirrel. He’ll see one nearby, standing under a tree, and take off after it, even through the squirrel can immediately escape up the tree. Meanwhile, another squirrel, isolated in the middle of the yard, escapes because Bentley didn’t realize he had a better chance of running it down even though it was farther away.

We seem to often do the same, lunging at what appears near instead of what is more likely: taking meetings with non-buyers who can’t help us instead of putting more thought into finding the real buyer; settling for what a client wants, and merely providing a commodity solution, instead of determining what’s really needed and providing a far more valuable improvement; taking quick cash instead of pursuing a long-term relationship.

We need to think more deeply and apply more rationale to what we pursue. If Bentley is at all like his predecessor, Koufax, he’ll learn this by about two years of age, and start running between the squirrels and the trees. If he can learn that, I’d imagine you can, too.

Of course, Bentley does this for sport, and his food, shelter, and livelihood are not dependent on pursuing the right squirrel.

© Alan Weiss 2014

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The Dog Star: Easing Into the Turns

When the dogs and I go for coffee in the mornings, the two of them race out of the bedroom and down the hall. They come to a 90-degree left turn to another hall in order to reach the stairs leading to the next level. The floors are wood and the dogs’ claws grow quite rapidly, undermining traction, despite paw pads.

Buddy learned years ago to ease into the turn. Bentley, seeking to be alpha dog and lead the way, used his only speed—flat out—and caused a wreck in the turn that would have brought the crash trucks out at Indy. After several of these collisions, he now eases into the turn. He reduces speed and, with his higher center-of-gravity than Buddy’s, leans into it.

Slowing down and adjusting your position can often accelerate your progress. I’m a believer in speed, but more so in success. Once you know the turn, you can adjust in advance. If you are unfamiliar with the turn, you have to be more agile and circumspect as you enter it.

I suggest that you continually test the road—see buyers, submit proposals, make speeches, try new methodologies—so that there are few surprises. After all, I’ve never encountered a road that goes straight up or forms a wall. After a while, if you drive often enough, you can accurately judge what’s coming. Therefore, no objection should throw you, no environment should threaten you, no buyer should intimidate you.

Of course, some of you may be on an eternal straightaway, avoiding all risky turns, and headed to nowhere. Perhaps now is a good time for a pit stop.

© Alan Weiss 2013

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The Dog Star: Anticipation

(The Dog Star is a symbol of power, will, and steadfastness of purpose, and exemplifies the One who has succeeded in bridging the lower and higher consciousness. – Astrological Definition)

Bentley looks over his shoulder at turns in the hall or choices outside to see which way I’m heading, and adjusts his path accordingly. When we play fetch with one of his lacrosse balls, he runs immediately in the only direction I can throw it from my position, and expects to pick it up visually on the run. However, when we play frisbee, he’s learned to watch it depart from my hand, since it never sails in a true line.

We shouldn’t over anticipate (e.g., try to guess what a buyer is going to say next) but we should allow for visual and auditory cues that can help establish our speed and direction. For example, when the buyer’s eye contact keeps wandering, we need to create more interest and value quickly. If someone incorrectly uses your bread plate, simply don’t take any bread, rather than incorrectly seize your neighbor’s or embarrass the person who’s in error.

At the waterfront restaurant where we take our granddaughters often, a family of swans is always at the same place to try to mooch some food, and the same, lone duck is always with them to mooch the food the swans miss, because it knows what always happens. A swan’s brain must be the size of a walnut, at best, but these birds know exactly where to go and when (dinner time to the closest tables to the water), and the duck knows to stay just outside the reach of the adult swans.

Watch your buyers and listen to your buyers. Run in the direction they intend to use. Catch the opportunities before they fall to the ground.

© Alan Weiss 2013

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Bentley Catches His First Frisbee

Our house sitters have created the first frisbee-catching dog in the family. Bentley is almost 11 months old.

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The Dog Star: Breed Specific

(The Dog Star is a symbol of power, will, and steadfastness of purpose, and exemplifies the One who has succeeded in bridging the lower and higher consciousness. – Astrological Definition)

I’ve now had the profound pleasure of living with two wonderful white German Shepherd dogs. Koufax and Bentley share many breed-specific traits: great with children; defend you with their lives; incredibly smart; return when called; immediately house trained; exercised in the yard according to certain routines; and so forth.

But, they are two different personalities. Koufax was aloof, would accept a pet from a visitor, but then go about his own business. He didn’t like to be touched except on the head, rarely wagged his tail, would chew on toys but never fetch, would grab my food when he could. Bentley is a fetching machine, wags his tail all the time, wants to interact continually with visitors, and is happy learning tricks and commands; eating is pleasant but not a priority—Buddy Beagle regularly steals some of his food if we’re not careful.

Same breed, two personalities.

Consultants require certain breed-specific, common traits: self-esteem, command of language, critical thinking skills, sense of urgency, speed, value-based fees, and so on. But within the ranks of successful consultants, other traits may vary: ease of writing, comfort in speaking publicly, preferable types of clients and/or content, involvement in delivery, staying local or going global, and so forth.

Within the common parameters of success, there are a lot of good ways to do things. Both Koufax and Bentley have been incredible with my grandchildren, absorbing knocks, pets, leaning, and other assaults. But Bentley tolerates other dogs while Koufax didn’t look kindly on labs for some reason. Not his “buyer.” Koufax would sit calmly without bothering you while Bentley would rather be involved in the transaction at hand, assertively so. (This is not adult vs. puppy at this point.)

If you’re true to the best aspects of the breed, you can set your own preferences and even idiosyncrasies. Buddy Beagle, after all, is a highly successful Beagle who has had to fight two full-grown Shepherds. That’s not part of his breed, but has been individually required for his own success. You may have to bite the bullet and pick up the phone to call people, because hiding behind email won’t be successful.

If you don’t have the best traits of the breed, however, your individual preferences probably won’t be enough to elevate you to the highest levels of success.

© Alan Weiss 2013

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The Dog Star

(The Dog Star is a symbol of power, will, and steadfastness of purpose, and exemplifies the One who has succeeded in bridging the lower and higher consciousness. – Astrological Definition)

I’ve been watching Bentley roaming around the pool exploring. When he finds something, he sees if it will move if he pokes it. If it doesn’t, he tests to see if it’s edible. If it’s not, he tries to play with it. If he can’t, he pees on it and walks away.

Not a bad set of approaches to a prospect!

© Alan Weiss 2013

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