I am in Denver enjoying the cooler weather during Indian Summer, and have been spending time with my family and friends. After being in Phoenix the past six months, I kind of forgot about the absolute joy of seeing familiar faces and hugging them tightly. I am a social animal to the max, and love talking with people…all people, even strangers in bookstores or restaurants and puppy dogs. But the best kind of talking is with your own family and friends…it’s like slipping on a comfortable pair of old sandals versus putting on those new adorable shoes you got on sale that just hurt like everything.
I was once a quiet person that worked in the back offices of businesses, helping owners of companies develop strategic plans and focus on their vision of growing their businesses, setting goals and reaching them every time. I worked diligently with their lenders to convince them that this was an opportunity of epic proportions…and this was satisfying to me most of the time. I really loved working with the businesses that had a heart, or purpose in their mission. The small print shop in St. Louis, owned by two women who cared so much about their customers and their satisfaction of their framed products.
But the truly most blessed project was the non-profit school in Southern Illinois, Brehm Preparatory School that, after 10 years, met every objective, every year of building dorms, classrooms, a multi-purpose gymnasium, an outdoor lab and many other lofty goals. The truly amazing thing was that they did this by leveraging the true assets of this business, the underlying purpose and mission of serving young adults with learning disabilities who had failed in their own community school settings. Over 90% of these rejected yet brilliant students ended up successfully completing college degrees and enriching their lives and their careers after completing their education at this private college preparatory boarding school in the small town that I grew up in.
To this day, 22 years later from when I met the stubborn, but passionate director of this school, I am still friends with him and many others that I met along the way. Going through a focused, mission driven project like this can form bonds that you cannot ever break, no matter how many miles you move away. I still have friendships with high school friends, people I met through my jobs, and even with clients I haven’t worked with in years. They are all special to me and I am so blessed to have them supporting me along the way.
True friendship grows deeper over the years, able to survive long absences while we each take care of our families, devote ourselves to our jobs and ultimately move a thousand miles away. A true friend is always there, always supporting your crazy hair-brained ideas, like when I wanted to move to a small town in Indiana that had no opportunities for my friend and husband, being dragged along with no choice. That choice of mine resulted in the most painful two years of our son’s life, making it the same for both my husband and me. When your child is hurting, you just can’t hardly stand it, so we moved back to a familiar place in St. Louis and he resumed his high school education there. I gained a lot as a professional, but my son and husband dearly paid the price.
So when my husband wanted to open a Doggy Daycare about 12 years later, I was happy to go along with the idea, promising to help he and our son get the business up and running, similar to all of my consulting clients over the years. The trials and tribulations of a new small business are so numerous, that you can’t even begin to believe. Our local, state and US governments makes it impossibly hard to be one of the businesses that account for over 80% of the US Economy.
After 7 years of standing side-by-side with my husband, we sold The Pooch and said good-by to all of the amazing friendships we had developed over the years….and went into the deepest depression you can possibly imagine. We have struggled to find our true selves once again, build back a relationship that is based on a husband and wife partnership, not a business partnership. And guess what we discovered along the way? We miss our friends and family so much, that we want to work once again together by telling them how much we love them, and how much we have missed them since “we left”.
We have a lifetime of funny stories to share with our friends about our very successful but unbelievably hard business called Playful Pooch. Join as at The Pooch Tales (click the bold text) to share a few laughs and shed a few tears along the way. You will learn about everything you always wanted to know about Doggy Daycares but were afraid to ask! Learn about the joy of family and friends that you develop through your life, both human and canine.