Friday, March 18, 2011

A dog day

Three thoughts about dogs kept going through my mind today. Here are two; the third and best will have to wait till tomorrow.

First comes the subject of fat dogs. There’s no other way to say it. These dogs have been overfed – and probably also under-exercised. Unlike fat people, who theoretically have control over what and how much they eat, dogs are dependent on their people. That’s often too bad.

Surely fat dogs’ owners, and hopefully fat dogs’ vets too, see that they’re fat and therefore living with more health risks than necessary. But the fat dogs continue to be fat. Here's the big question: can someone who’s not a fat dog’s owner or vet step in and say something about the dog's condition? If Y, what and how?

Second, there’s the dog as management trainer – or at least as the inspirer of important management principles. That’s the claim in All I Know About Management I Learned from my Dog: The Real Life Story of Angel, A Rescued Golden Retriever, Who Inspired the New Four Golden Rules of Management, by Martin P. Levin.

After a long, successful career in publishing and then as a lawyer, Levin adopted an aging shelter dog. He came to recognize surprising parallels between owning a dog and effective leadership. These include (1) You sometimes have to earn trust, and (2) Clear communication is essential.

The press release doesn’t say whether these examples are two of the four golden rules. You’ll have to buy the book next month ( Skyhorse Publishing) and see.

N.B. Yes, the image here shows a fat CAT. But s/he's so cute. Which must be what owners of fat dogs say too.

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