Monday, May 16, 2011


A few months ago, I stepped into a big, brown, round, smelly piece of fluffy goodness. His name is Dunkin, yes like Dunkin Donuts (ssshhh...don't tell Starbucks!). Dunkin is just how his name sounds, a goofy, dunce-like, happy-go-lucky, slightly lazy, chocolate labradoodle. He's also the best teacher I've ever had.

Ever see the bumper sticker, Wag More, Bark Less? That's Dunkin. He's a wag more; bark less kind of a dog, as most dogs are. And he's a prime example of how we should all be walking through life.

Here are the Top 10 lessons Dunkin has taught me:

1. Unconditional love - Pets are amazing at how freely they give you love. They love you in the morning, afternoon, and night. They love you regardless of your flaws, your imperfections, the way you dress, or the way you talk. They are beautiful creatures that love you and never hesitate to show it. How unconditional is your love?

2. Pure happiness - Dunkin is a happy dog. He is always smiling, yes he smiles. He displays a spirit of pure happiness no matter who, or what, is around him. His happiness is contagious. Is your happiness contagious?

3. To prance - Dunkin doesn't just walk; he prances. When he retrieves, he hops, you know, like a bunny does. He lives in this world with full excitement and isn't afraid to show it. Do you prance?

4. Play hard - When its play time, Dunkin goes all out. There isn't one ounce of him that isn't 100% committed to the task at hand, whether it's retrieving his favorite stuffed monkey or chasing after the neighbors cat, Kramer. He puts it all out there and he has fun while he's doing it. How much effort are you leaving on the table?

5. Eat only when hungry - Go ahead and chuckle, but it's true. In a country of over-indulgence, it's easy to consume more than we need. Hey, where did those extra 10lbs come from? With Dunkin, I can put a bowl of food in front of him and if he's hungry, he eats, if he's not, he leaves it there. He has self-control, something many of us struggle with, not just with food but also in life. How over-indulgent are you?

6. No prejudice - Dunkin loves everyone equally. Maybe it's because dogs are colorblind, but he jumps, licks and mulls over everyone equally with his excitement to see them. He doesn't care about size, gender, race, or hair-cut and he greets everyone as a friend. Judgmental or friendly, where do you stand?

7. Never give up - When Dunkin wants something, he doesn't stop until he gets it. Maybe it's his toy that's stuck under the couch, or his constant placing of a toy in my hand so I'll throw it for him, regardless of what he wants, he's not stopping until he gets his way. How many times do you give up?

8. Wag more - There's no lack of wagging with this dog. The epitome of a positive attitude, we can all stand to learn the lesson from Dunkin. He chooses to wag more often than not. He chooses to see the good in everything and rarely takes notice of the negative, if ever. How's your tail wagging these days?

9. Bark less - It's a rare occasion to hear Dunkin bark. Usually when he is warning us of what he assumes is danger - the UPS woman coming to the door is his favorite. Dunkin's instinct of something dangerous is a good reason to bark - but that's the only time. How often are you yelling, screaming, or being negative when it's not necessary?

10. Give more than you take - Probably the most profound of the lessons I've learned is about how Dunkin gives much more than he takes. He gives more love, more energy, more cuddles, more licks, more wags, more burps (yes, he burps!), more everything and expects nothing in return. He takes nothing from me. Are you a giver or a taker?

Dunkin has been a great example and teacher of common lessons worth a good reminder every now and then. He's currently applying for a Ph.D. in Barktitude. You can follow him on his Dogbook page.

I'm your Double-Tall, Non-Fat, No-Whip Sales Barista. How may I help you help yourself?

Stephanie Melish, one of the few, hand-selected, Gitomer-Certified Speakers is the ONLY Double-Tall, Non-Fat, No-Whip Sales Barista in the world! Stephanie trains, sells, and speaks to companies and associations all over the country. To book Stephanie for your next event, visit or contact the friendly folks at Buy Gitomer via email or by calling 704-333-1112.


  1. I love this (and dogs) Stephanie. If we could just remember and practice this daily. I am working on spreading the message of CARE: Communicate, Appreciate, Respect, Encourage. Thanks again and continued success.

    Al Smith

  2. Remember, Dunkin is totally taken care of by his owner, who wouldn't be happy having that kind of a life? My dog is very happy too, but if he had to go to work every day, look after the family and a million other things, I don't think his tail would be wagging as much!

  3. Loved this article, Stephanie. Are you by chance related to Paul Melich from Tampa, FL? He is originally from Mobile, AL. Your article is a breath of fresh air and certainly a great lesson that we can learn from our pets.

  4. Great words to live by AND to share with fellow employees who see the cup half empty! Thank you for helping to keep our attitude and both work and personal life in check! Cindy - Ames

  5. Funny how I was thinking I would love to be more like my dog who is always happy! Wakes up ready to play! Hopefully someday I can live that way!

  6. Great Article !!!!!
    SD He would be wagging away if he made his mind up ahead of time to do so and not let work,family,bills or any other neutral things effect his additude. As he is in charge of his own mind all those other things are only perception. Nothing can get in the way of his tail wagging unless he lets it.