A good friend and I recently swapped some advice and writing services, including reviewing one another’s bios for a new project. I was pleasantly surprised when she picked up on something I’ve been doing for fun: over on Instagram, I’ve been including lots of dog pictures and have introduced the hashtag #AdviceFromAlex something you may have also seen on my Facebook Author Page.
You can follow me in either of those places if you like. I love seeing friends in multiple locations around the internet. By the way, if you’re confused by hashtags and looking for some advice to sort it out, please start with this post called Social Media with FLAIR.
Alex Has Lots of Advice
But back to our star. Alex is a deaf dog who came to us about five years ago. And, while he’s taught me a lot that has made me a better dog handler, I really enjoy the rest of his lessons. I hope you do, too.
1. Always be as open as possible. Look around. Be curious. How can people know you if you’re shut down, secretive or seem sneaky? Openness is a form of honesty — what you see is what you get. Besides, sometimes when you’re open, the humans get confused and think you’re asking for a cookie! That often works out well.
2. Help out around the house you live in — laundry is a good place to start. And sometimes you get to try on clothes that belong to other people. (Oh wait. You probably think I’m not a people. We debate about that around here sometimes.) When helping with laundry I recommend sticking with the air dry stuff already on hangers: the humans can get kinda grumpy when I help dry their black clothes or use the folded stuff as a pillow.
Excited About Everything
3. Don’t miss the details. Not hearing means I use my eyes a lot, noticing things others don’t necessarily see. I was excited to meet my furever family: they noticed my heart-shaped nose right away. Of course, if you ask their ‘bedience teacher, I apparently get excited about everything. What’s wrong with enthusiasm? And isn’t it like cookies? More is better, right?
4. Paying attention can lead to lots of great photo-bombing opportunities. And helping your friends. On this day, our friend Nigel was helping Mom by taking a new author photo for her last book. She is kind of shy so I thought a picture of both of us would be better. They didn’t use it but I still like the picture.
He Likes to Help
5. And, being naturally photogenic can lead to modeling opportunities. Here’s An ad I did for one of Mom’s books. I wanted to make sure people whose brains are kicking their butts know that she had made something to help them. She likes helping people.
Are you tired of your brain kicking your butt? Letting it talk you into being afraid instead of doing what you want to do? It might be time to take some advice from Alex and get yourself a copy of The Inner Critic Advantage: Making Peace With the Noise in Your Head. Ask for it at your library or grab a copy on Amazon. After all, who doesn’t prefer peaceful self-talk?
Have you ever learned anything from a dog? Do you like Alex’s advice? Which one is your favorite? Let me know in the comments — someone here will read them to him.