By Julia Williams
When you think about the term “working dog,” this usually brings to mind one or more of the various jobs that dogs do, such as herding, search & rescue, police work, assisting the disabled, sniffing out explosives, or offering a therapeutic paw to hospital patients and others who need one. Those are just some of the ways dogs help humans. Bella the Boxer is a different breed of working dog, but her help is just as invaluable!
Bella is a self-described “dogpreneur,” and she’s written a very insightful book called Secrets of a Working Dog: Unleash Your Potential and Create Success. I’ve just finished reading it, and I highly recommend it. This great book is for anyone who wants to be successful in business as well as in life – and doesn’t that pretty much describe all of us?
It’s a fun read for dog lovers too, because Bella presents ideas that show how we can incorporate desirable traits canines have to make our own lives better. Such as, “Dogs follow their own instincts. We don’t worry about being judged or criticized by others…be your own dog and don’t let what other people think keep you from taking risks and pursuing your dreams.”
I hesitate to call Secrets of a Working Dog a self-help book, because that genre tends to have negative connotations. It was very helpful, though. It’s filled with pearls of doggie wisdom, bite-sized juicy tidbits and chunks of food-for-thought on how to create success and live a meaningful life – no matter who you are, where you’re at now on your life journey, or where you want to be in the future!
Bella says that true success comes from “living an authentic and well balanced life.” Chapter by chapter, the wise and witty Bella explains how to go about that. She shows us how to “discover what makes you zoom,” sharpen our focus and manage our time more effectively, how to assemble our pack, be more appreciative of what we have and savor life with all of our senses. Each chapter concludes with “Bella’s Sound Bites,” a helpful little paragraph summarizing the important ideas presented in that section.
I particularly liked Bella’s chapter on attitude, as it resonates with how I try to live my life. She believes, as I do, that you can experience true happiness by choosing it, expecting it and setting your intention to be happy instead of leaving it to chance. She includes a quote I love by Abraham Lincoln, “Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” This chapter was a good reminder to me that despite whatever negative or unpleasant things might be occurring in my life, I can still shake them off and choose to focus on the positive things.
I also really enjoyed her perspective on play, and her thoughts on teaching humans to “play like a dog, where play is a full-body sensory experience that connects you to the real world and makes other people happy, too.” Bella says humans need to sniff out new and different ways to play and to always make time for play. One particularly great quote I loved was “Nobody goes to their deathbed wishing they had worked more and played less.” Isn’t that the truth!
Bella’s friend Zelda the Bulldog says that “All canines are guide dogs in one way or another, and they all have something valuable to teach the humans around them.” In Secrets of a Working Dog, Bella the Boxer aims to gently guide us towards the success we all want and are capable of achieving. I think she did a marvelous job!
Other than being provided with the book to read, I was not compensated in any way for this review.
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