Facebook can be both a blessing and a curse. It’s “that thing’ we love to hate when we get locked out of our own account because some cyberspace gremlin decides to mess with our page or it’s that amazingly fast connection we can make with a true kindred spirit. In less than 48 hours, I’ve been blessed.
When I finished yesterday’s post about Susan Kottwitz’s amazing story and sat back and read it one last time before hitting the publish button, I was dumbfounded. There, in her own words, was her story of how she’d built a jewelry business around the love she had for her dogs – a business that she runs from home around the demands of farming and, more recently, some pretty challenging family health issues. If you’re feeling like your dream is slipping from your hands, read that post. If you want something bad enough, lean on her story on the days when you’re not sure if you can pull yours off.
Which is kind of what I went through today – feeling like I wasn’t entirely sure what it was that I was holding on to. So I did what any other self-respecting person would do: I got lost in a book. Not just any book. A book that I found through one of my amazingly powerful online communities: a group of passionate bloggers who hang out online. Here’s how that happened.
Yesterday, during one of my ten minute breaks from writing, I checked out the email threads from one of the Blog Paws forums I’m on. One of the bloggers who’d made a comment caught my attention and with a click, my computer screen blinked and I was looking at her web site. Over to the left side of the screen, was a book cover. The title (in pink font) was designed to whet my appetite: What The Dog Ate. Another click over to the sales page on Amazon followed by another click to peek inside and I’m greedily reading the first two sentences:
The vet handed Maggie Baxter a specimen bag containing a pair of size-tiny, lavender thong panties extracted from her dog, but they were not hers. Or rather, they were hers now since she’d just paid $734 to have Dr Carter surgically remove them from Kona’s gut. (excerpt from Chapter One of Jackie Bouchard’s first novel, What The Dog Ate.)
That was enough for me. One more click and I’d bought the book!
I read the first five chapters this morning when I was in my own creative funk and then, wrapping my “what the hell” attitude around my shoulders like a warm, hooded sweatshirt, I read the entire book. It was lovely. I met characters that I wanted to know in real life, and found myself rooting for Maggie to get her life together, which she did with the help of a goofy, loveable canine sidekick, two best friends and her family. But it’s not as easy as it
sounds writes. Guess you’ll just have to read the book to find out.
Without too much thought, I grabbed the link to her book from Amazon, and copy/pasted it onto my Happy Dog Tails fan page and left a message on Jackie Bouchard’s writer fan page that I’d “shared some luv.” Then, it dawned on me that in less than 48 hours, I’d featured two amazing women on HDT: two women who love dogs who were both able to figure out what they were good at and how to get paid for it. Not a bad gig, if you ask me. Wait. Didn’t I do that too?
Thinking of these two women reminded me of why I started Healing Rescue Dogs almost three years ago – that dogs really can change our lives … if we listen. This sounds easy enough but what it requires is a lot of personal growth: really digging into who you are to find out what you need to change so that you emerge from all of that work as a better human than you used to be. And that “aha” moment took me back over to my Happy Dog Tails fan page where I stared at the words that I’d written to describe it. Something was missing. My goal when I first created it was to make it be a “community” and naturally, a community of dog lovers came to mind. But after looking at how closely my post about Jackie’s book came right after Sue’s story, I decided that there might just be a larger purpose for this page.
And after much thought I tweaked the description of my page, coming up with what I believe describes the kind of community that I’d like to build. What do you think?
Happy Dog Tails!
Exploring the relationship between people and dogs; that powerful connection can change YOU into a better human if you know how to listen. Some folks call this “self development.” And it is … with a canine twist!
I wrote a book about this called Love Always Wags Its Tail. That book started so many conversations with readers that I decided to start a Facebook page where we could celebrate lots of other stories like the ones I was listening to. I can’t wait to hear yours.
So, welcome to Happy Dog Tails where we aim to inspire you to reach out, grab onto and hold fast to your dream, whatever it is.
I hope you like it and that you decide to join us. If you’ve already achieved your dream, we want and need to hear about it. If you’re still trying to figure your dream out, some of us know what that’s like. We might be able to help. If we can’t help, we can listen. Sometimes, that’s all it takes.