Ten Leadership Lessons I’ve Learned From Sissy!

Our dog’s name is Sissy and she’s a wire-hair/dachshund mix. We acquired her at a local Humane Shelter some years ago, when she was about three years old. She’d been abandoned and to some extent abused and, as a result, had some pretty quirky characteristics. She would wet at the slightest provocation; if you raised your voice, moved too suddenly, had something in your hand and moved it toward her, all of which she still does to some extent. She would hardly ever bark when she wanted anything; rather she’d start howling at the top of her lungs, which she still does to this day. It used to just drive me nuts!

Over the years, she’s struggled with a few challenges. Her type of breed is prone to joint weakness in the hindquarters so she’s had a couple of operations on one of her hips. She’s starting to get cataracts a little bit and when we pull up in the driveway, she’ll sit right there in front of the car until one of us gets out, which also drives me nuts. We just recently discovered that she has diabetes; so twice a day, at her feeding, we give her an insulin shot.

I didn’t have much to do with taking care of Sissy and our kids, as you might suspect, never really did either. Not that we don’t love her by any stretch. I can always get involved in work and our kids are like all kids; they want a pet around but Mom usually has to do the feeding, bathing, etc. She loves my wife dearly and my wife loves her back the same.

With the onset of the diabetes, I’ve found myself taking on the primary responsibility for feeding Sissy and giving her shots, mainly because my wife just hates anything having to do with needles or medical things. In the process, I’ve come to notice some amazing things about Sissy. I’ve come to realize that she has all of the primary characteristics that I would want from those I depend upon for support and leadership.

Sissy consistently does the following:

  1. When loved ones come home, she always runs to greet them.
  2. When it’s in her best interest, she always obeys directions.
  3. She always let others know when they’ve invaded her territory, no matter who.
  4. She takes a lot of naps and always stretches before taking off.
  5. She runs, romps and plays daily, especially chasing or playing with kids.
  6. She eats with gusto and enthusiasm, as if to show her appreciation and thanks.
  7. She’s always loyal to everyone in the family and never meets a stranger.
  8. When you’re having a bad day, she silently sits close by and nuzzles you gently.
  9. When she’s happy, she dances around and wags her entire body.
  10. No matter how often she’s scolded, she runs right back and makes friends again.

As a result of interacting more with Sissy, I’ve found myself appreciating the fact that she does what we should all do, which is live it out by treating others as we would want to be treated.

Truth be told, I’ve always loved Sissy. I appreciate her so much more because of how she models the way for me and everyone else, even though she still drives me nuts sometimes.

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