In 2010, on my birthday, my roommate woke me up and said “there is a puppy on the deck”.
Bewildered, I arose and we investigated.
This fool, aka Major Tom, was TINY, up on the deck, and scared to come down the steps.
We brought him down and played with him some. He had a collar so we figured he had an owner that would be looking for him.
As we had plans for a party this same day, we let him hang in the hopes that his owner would come looking.
Never happened, he stuck around for a few weeks as we put up some flyers and hit up the local vets. Eventually, after he was quickly house trained and learned a bunch of tricks, I decided to keep him around.
While he can be crazy as hell sometimes, and definitely requires regular attention, he’s actually helped me in many ways.
Time To Wake Up
The first thing that he helps me with in my business life is waking up on time to actually get anything done during the day. LOTS to do so need to maximize the hours I am awake.
Given the opportunity, I would like to lay in bed and catch up on rest just about every morning. My alarm is set for ‘early’, but my body does not always agree and my hand tends to hit the ‘snooze’ button real fast.
Major Tom does not agree. When the sun is up, it’s time to go potty. When my hand hangs just a little bit over the side of the bed, I’ll occasionally feel a gross dog tongue on my hand.
More often than not though, Major Tom will start batting at my hand with his paw. He’ll do a high squeaky yawn, and sometimes if I take TOO long, he’ll start to bark.
This is pretty much how and why I’ve woken up every day for the past two years that Major Tom has been around.
Regular Routine and Scheduling
As a entrepreneur, it is important that I keep a routine and be sure to schedule out my time to make the most of it.
Major Tom is a responsibility I have chosen to take on and to be sure he is taken care of, I’ve got to schedule in time for him as well.
Keeping this regular routine helps stay focused and actually get things done.
The routine, at least as far as Tom is concerned, usually looks like this.
- Wake up
- Go outside for potty
- Throw a stick or ball to take the edge off before the walk
- Come inside, he runs to the leash and harness, and we get set up to walk
- We walk
- Upon returning he gets a treat and fresh water
- Bret eats breakfast and gets to work
- After lunch, potty break, Tom gets fed
This is just one aspect of my day that is in a regular routine. By setting this routine up and sticking to it, I have honed it into a process that is now very efficient time wise.
I apply this same idea to much of the regular work that I must take care of.
Exercise In The AM
Like most, when I awake I feel groggy. My eyes are heavy, puffy, and full of crust. My nose is stopped up and needs to be voided.
I generally feel like falling back into the bed and sleeping till I no longer feel this way…that is, until I get my blood flowing.
While most people turn to coffee in the morning, I can’t do that. If I have coffee in the morning, I crash by lunch, and spend the rest of the day being a miserable irritable person…no one wants that.
Instead, the morning walk with my dog gets my body moving, blood flowing, metabolism kick started, and brain activated.
Match this up with a nice breakfast and I am just about unstoppable.
Even if you do not have a dog, I recommend a 10-20 minute walk or run when you wake up. Just make yourself do it, your body will follow your lead.
Believe it or not, Major Tom has been the source of new jobs for me in the past.
Here is an example of how having a dog, and using social media, has landed me work.
You might have seen I like to randomly post pictures of things that are going on to this blog. Sometimes that might be Major Tom.
There was an instance where Tom was LAID OUT on his pillow next to my office desk. I snapped a quick photo and posted it to the site with a title of “My New Office Assistant”.
The link shot to facebook and twitter automatically, driving traffic back to my site.
Shortly after I received a message to this effect…
Saw your super cute dog on your blog. I see you build websites, my boss really needs a new site for the business maybe you can help?
See what happened there? I posted a picture of my dog to my blog, completely unrelated to web development, and because I make it clear that I build websites, someone in my network saw it and contacted me about a job.
Who would have thought? This has happened on several occasions for similar things….(note: post more pictures of Tom)
Should You Get One Too?
Dogs are cute, they are fun, they bring the laughs, warmth, and a bunch of other good things.
They can also be a huge pain in the ass when not trained properly.
Over the two plus years I’ve been taking care of Major Tom, we’ve spent many hours in training. Both at home and going to dog school…and he’s STILL crazy.
I do not recommend everyone get an animal because I know many people are just not cut out for it.
With that said, if you have a big heart and are responsible enough to take care of another living creature, owning a dog or any pet for that matter can bring you much joy and help keep you on track.
Hit me up on Facebook or Twitter and tell me about your pets.