365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles
Day 31. April 25, 2011
It was 11 pm on Sunday. The Easter festivities from the day were over. I was going to pick up my workout clothes at home and head to the gym. (I spent entire day trying to figure out how I could do two workouts in one day since I skipped my Saturday run at the gym). So much for living in day-tight compartments.
There had been a severe storm with heavy winds and hail that evening. It cleared up but it was still very wet outside. As I reached the end of a street and stopped at the stop sign—I noticed a dog. It was circling a parked car. I looked around to see if there was an owner but the dog was by itself.
I parked my car at the stop sign and got out of the car. The dog came up to me immediately. I was a bit scared… is it a dog… is it a coyote… after composing myself I confirmed it was the same type of dog from the old TV program— “Lassie”. Ha! Certainly not a wild, fierce animal.
It started circling my car. The poor thing was scared. I started talking to it—“where are your parents? Do you know where you live? What’s your name?”
Since it was a dog—clearly it couldn’t answer. But it sure was friendly—it came up to me—and at one point I bravely stroked its fur. I wasn’t sure what to do with the dog. I couldn’t leave it alone. But it’s 11 pm. The neighborhood is asleep.
I said a prayer, “please God I don’t know what to do. I am afraid of big dogs—and there’s no way I’m going to pick it up.”
I decided to open the back passenger door of my car. If it’s meant that I get involved—the dog will enter the car without coaxing.
Well, the dog hopped right into my car.
I closed the door, walked around to the driver’s side and entered my precious car that now has a wet dog inside. I prayed the dog wasn’t waiting to bite me as I sat down.
Well, it sat there in the back seat, waiting for me to drive. So I did. I carried on a lengthy conversation with it as I drove. I did this mainly to keep my nerves down as I figured out what I was supposed to do with a wet dog at 11 pm on Easter Sunday. I was worried the dog was waiting for the right moment to jump on top of me and bite me or perhaps have an accident all over the interior of my car. But it didn’t. It just sat there.
I headed into another city nearby—where there’s an animal hospital that is open all night. I’m telling the dog about my own dog and some other dogs I know—and about the friendly animal hospital we are visiting. I assure the dog we will find his parents.
As I pull into the animal hospital I explain to the dog that I will be right back. I head into the hospital and open with: “I may have lost my mind…. I never do things like this… I was driving home… there was a bad storm… and there was a lost dog… I couldn’t leave it….”
They assured me I did the right thing. They gave me a leash and I returned to the car where the dog is waiting. The dog is scared. I am scared. I try to get the leash on—but the dog decided to move to the driver’s seat. I head to the front passenger’s seat—but am still scared of putting the leash around its neck. I’m also scared of getting bitten. And I’m scared of fleas and ticks. And what if it growls at me.
I decide to embrace the inevitable. I must get the dog out of my car with or without getting attacked. I decided to talk to the dog who is still sitting nervously in the driver’s seat of my car. With blind faith I picked him up. I carried the shivering, wet dog inside the animal hospital—still talking to it assuring him it will be ok. Oddly, between the dog and me—I think I was the braver, calmer one.
I set him down and the vet gave him a dry towel. It turned out the dog didn’t have a collar but he had a microchip embedded in him. The vet explained that it will take at least a day for the microchip center to research the owner—and hopefully the microchip has current information.
I gave the hospital all my contact information and they assured me they will do their best to find his owners. The dog kept looking at me—as if we had bonded—I felt so sad leaving him there. But the vet was very attentive and loving toward the dog. He was in good hands. They even mentioned they might take him home for the night. I took several photos of the dog and assured him I would find his owners.
By this time it’s midnight. I realize that the gym is out of the question. I decided that in the grand scheme of things—missing the gym for a second day in a row is not the end of the world. And for this dog’s sake and the dog owners’ sake it was a necessary sacrifice.
Sometimes events out of the norm give the right dose of perspective on what’s important. I spent the entire day devising creative ways I could get two gym workout sessions done on Easter Sunday—of all days. Despite all the planning and worrying—a new opportunity unfolded—as if to test my flexibility and to remind me to live in the moment and do what needs to be done.
The Dale Carnegie principles I used:
From How to Stop Worrying and Start Living:
– How to face trouble:
* As yourself, “What’s the worst that can possibly happen?”
* Prepare to accept the worst.
* Try to improve on the worst.
– Cooperate with the inevitable.
The Dale Carnegie principle that is a work in progress for me:
– Live in ‘day-tight compartments.’
This story is to be continued…