Posted by: jude49 | October 14, 2012

Life Lessons from a Toy Poodle

Hello Everyone!

On Sunday, the day before Canadian Thanksgiving, my sister, her toy poodle, KoKo, and I drove down to Centennial Park in Tsawwassen, B.C.  It was one of those lovely fall days, and we had great fun watching Koko play in the water.  On our way back from the beach, we encountered sandy and rocky terrain.  It was here KoKo spotted a stick.  Not unusual. But this stick was unusual.  It was at least 4 or 5 times the width of Koko.  She picked it up and held it tenaciously in her teeth.  Although she wobbled carrying the stick, she carried on.  It was a 10 minute walk to the car, and both my sister and I believed she would eventually give up, drop the stick and move on.  We were wrong.  On a few occasions, she did put the stick down, but a few moments later, she fastened her teeth into the bark and carried on.  It must have been hard for her to see where she was going, and she started to veer away from the direction of the car lot.  Both my sister and I, walking in back of her, would call out words of direction and encouragement.  “KoKo, keep to your right.”  Good girl.”  Even though her gait started to waver, she had a mission, and she was determined to complete it.  A few times I thought it might be advantageous to take the stick from her and relieve her from what I thought was the stress of carrying it.  I am glad I didn’t make that choice.  Finally, she came to the car-park and laid her stick down.  We both tried to encourage her to pick it up again and carry it to the car, but I believe she reached the goal she had set for herself.  Mission completed.  Job well-done!

What meaning do I take from this?  I don’t know what was going through KoKo’s mind as she so tenaciously carried that stick from the beach to the car lot.  I do know that she was undeterred in meeting her goal.  Even though she started to falter as she walked, she kept on going.  No quitting for this toy poodle.

The meaning I take for myself from this experience is that reaching goals is not always a straight path.  And it’s not always easy.  Sometimes we can’t see the exact path because of obstacles we can’t control.  We may believe we are carrying a load far heavier than we can manage.  We need family, friends, and colleagues to cheer us on from the sidelines and keep us going when we falter.  Most of all, we need ourselves to internally cheer us on.  That day, a little dog taught me much about courage, setting and reaching goals and perseverance and tenacity.

What is a goal you are trying to reach right now?  How is your journey progressing?  Do you have fans cheering you on as you press forward towards your goals?  Are you your biggest fan?  If you are faltering in your journey, I hope that KoKo’s story will help you re-group and press forward with renewed energy and hope.  We’re cheering for you!





  1. Thanks for this post and to little Koko for the lesson. We can learn a lot from our pets! Our Scottie has been hiding her new chew bone in the oddest places. She watches us carefully to see if we are looking and when she thinks we are not, she sneaks to the hiding place. Normally she will stop doing everything for a belly rub but if I approach when she has her bone, she hangs on to it tightly with both paws, sticks her head in the air and stares right at me, not in a menacingly way, but telling me she needs her time with her bone and not even Mom or a belly rub is going to get in the way of this enjoyment. Maybe it’s just instinct and I am anthropomorphisizing too much, but I am taking away from it that there are some things we need for ourselves that shouldn’t be interrupted no matter what!

    Love your posts and your lessons, Judith!

  2. Scottie, like KoKo and other pets, have their own unique way of communicating. It is fascinating to witness how each one finds ways of getting us, their owners, to meet their needs. Thanks again for you comments, Iris.

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