The Need To End Well

Rachel Royer Designs made the best Christmas gifts ever!

Ahhh, we made it to the last Monday of 2020. I don’t know about you, but I am very reflective this time of year. It is especially true as we finish a difficult year. I had to hit PAWS as I reflect on finishing this year well.

Despite the amount of time and work I’ve invested in training Louie, he has one consistently bad behavior. Once someone enters my home (beware!) and is settled at the table or on the couch, he will charge after them if they make a move to stand, much less walk. Obviously, this is unacceptable behavior! No one believes Louie does this until they see it happen.

Louie and I have discussed this problem: we have asked neighbors to practice with us; I have been extremely firm with him when he goes after guests; and finally, I’ve removed him from the situation. Yet this behavior persists.

I know he is territorial, which I attribute to the fact he has it so good in my home he doesn’t want to share. But at this point, if Louie were my employee, I would fire him!

That seems harsh, doesn’t it? Yet, we do that in relationships all the time. If he were my friend who had a different perspective, would I “unfriend” him, disengage with him, or talk about him behind his back? The worst year ever is coming to an end. Will I crawl into bed on December 31, pull the covers over my head, and hope we’ll magically move into a better year?

Not many of us care about ending this year well—we just want it to end. We may recognize that an ending is imminent, but instead of doing the hard work to end things well, we lapse into fear, insecurity, and pride, which leads to reactionary responses. Often, we want to eliminate the “poison” as quickly as possible and find an easy solution. I am reminded of the saying, “All’s well that ends well.” Endings are necessary, and a “good” ending is essential. Even if things have not gone well, ending a chapter in our lives in a positive and growth-promoting way can be the best soul-care we can provide for ourselves and others.

What does it look like to end well?

  • Do your best to be kind for starters. We could all use a bit of kindness right now. I love the verse in the Bible that says, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:18. Good advice which is challenging to follow.
  • Oswald Chambers said it best in his devotional, My Utmost for His Highest: “There is always at least one more fact, which we know nothing about, in every person’s situation. The first thing God does is to give us a thorough spiritual cleaning. After that, there is no possibility of pride remaining in us. I have never met a person I could despair of, or lose all hope for, after discerning what lies in me apart from the grace of God.”
  • Before judging others, take time to look within ourselves and see what can be changed.
  • Don’t burn bridges and try to avoid bitterness and regret when relationships evolve.
  • Think of who you can be kind to this week.

As for Louie, of course, I will not unfriend him and will continue to work with him, quirks and all. What is impressive is how Louie behaves when he visits with children and shares the message of kindness. And he certainly has missed being around school children. As we end this year well, Louie and I look forward to visiting schools once again very soon! In the meantime, Zoom calls and brief outside visits will have to do. Happy New Year, everyone, and end this year well!

 

Holiday Relationship Help!

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We love the holidays with all the celebrations between Thanksgiving and New Years! But have you noticed that one little relationship that just gets on your nerves? Why? Could it be…well, I won’t ruin the fun. I’ll let Louie share a little tip on how to improve relationships!
READ MORE…
We hope you have a very blessed Hanukkah and a Merry Christmas!

Does Your Team Have The Same Goals As You?

I’ve noticed lately I no longer enjoy my walks with my rescue pup, Louie. It saddens me to share that publicly, but it is the truth—a truth I had to take time to explore and understand.

I love to walk because I enjoy the outdoors and because it’s an excellent way for me to exercise. I also enjoy seeing my neighbors and getting a chance to catch up with them.

But apparently, Louie takes walks for a different reason.

Click the link below to read more…

 

Does Your Team Have the Same Goals as You?

Love Like Louie Book Clubs…
Has your child and their friends read Love Like Louie, or are a group of you interested in reading the book together?

Louie and I would LOVE to speak to your little book club about the book and the lessons learned 🐶

For more information on how to schedule a session with Louie and Danise, email us at danise@di-advisors.com #lovelikelouie #kidsbookclub

Missed our previous blogs? Check out our leadership blogs here:

 

How Could One Word Be So Disruptive?

“I hope you have a good lawyer,” said the CEO as he leaned back in his chair. He meant no malice by that comment. He was just confused about the use of this one little word.

Read more about this four-legged, I mean letter, word!

 

 

As always, Louie sends his pawsome love!

    

 

Did you know the book, Love Like Louie, has a discussion guide to help middle-school children form book clubs and talk about how they’re being treated and how they treat others? The questions are easy to answer and allow children to not only share their feelings but the guide provides action steps to make a change in their behavior!

Love Like Louie is endorsed by Ken Blanchard, coauthor of The New One Minute Manager® and Servant Leadership in Action:  

“I love this book because it’s all about the power of love–the love between a little girl and a skinny stray dog named Louie. Love Like Louie is a wonderful book with lessons for kids, for adults, for everybody who believes that love really can conquer all.”

Click here to order a copy (or two) for your middle-grade child…they’ll love the story!

 

Contact us:

Info@louiveloves.me

 

 

Look Beyond Failure and Rejection

 

Well, we certainly had an interesting adventure. Louie failed miserably during a hospital visitation assessment. As we drove home, I observed him in the back seat of the car. Looking at that little face, I had to ask myself…which one of us truly failed?

Read More…

 

 

 

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Stop bullying 🚫 Start talking 🗣

Did you know the book, Love Like Louie, has a discussion guide to help middle-school children form book clubs and talk about how they’re being treated and how they treat others? The questions are easy to answer and allow children to not only share their feelings but the guide provides action steps to make a change in their behavior!

Love Like Louie is endorsed by Ken Blanchard, coauthor of The New One Minute Manager® and Servant Leadership in Action:  

“I love this book because it’s all about the power of love–the love between a little girl and a skinny stray dog named Louie. Love Like Louie is a wonderful book with lessons for kids, for adults, for everybody who believes that love really can conquer all.”                          

Click here to order a copy (or two) for your middle-grade child…they’ll love the story!

We’re Back With Something New!

New Year, New Lou!

We hope this year is off to a great start. We’re excited to share our 2019 news with you.

First, we’ve changed the name of our blog to Lead Like Louie, which coincides with our books, Love Like Louie and soon-to-be released, Lead Like Louie.

Also, we’re pleased to announce that Louie has gone big-time. Not to worry-he’s still the same lovable pup with lots of “character.” But we’ve joined forces with The LeadChange Group. Lead Change is a leadership media destination with a unique editorial focus on driving change within organizations, teams, and individuals.

This month, Lead Like Louie discusses how leaders send mixed signals (of course that never happens here). Click here to read our new blog.

Let us know what you think. And stay tuned for more exciting news about our new soon-to-be released book, Lead Like Louie!

As always, Louie sends his love!

 

 

COMING SOON…

A Very Special Goodbye

I knew this day would come. I had been dreading it for some time, yet I knew it was near. Louie’s sweet little friend, Ellie, recently passed. Those who loved her, especially her mom, Lynne Ruhl, are devastated.

I met Ellie some time ago when she was just a pup while visiting with Lynne at her home. Ellie needed to be in my lap, next to me, by my feet, sitting right next to my chair—anywhere in close proximity. I wanted to believe I was special but as I grew to know Ellie, I realized she treated everyone pretty much the same. She just loved humans.

When my dear friend Lynne moved into my neighborhood, I was thrilled. Not only to have a close friend nearby, but also because of Ellie. I was able to spend more time with Ellie, walking her, having her visit with us. Louie loved her and often sought her advice, very much like I do with Lynne. [Blog Post; Addressing Conflict; with Ellie Ruhl]

When her little face would pop up in the door window, I knew Lynne wasn’t home. That gave me an opportunity to steal my little Ellie away and spend time with her doing our favorite pastime—walking. She was such a joy to walk. She pranced, like the princess she was. But the funniest part of walking her was when she would see a human. She was convinced that the person needed to see her, and she pranced right over to them. The person would light up when they saw Ellie, whether or not they were a dog person.

When she saw a dog, she would react the same way, convinced the dog was very much interested in making her acquaintance. When the dog showed signs of not wanting her near, she was shocked and unconvinced. I had to laugh at her desire to know everyone. She knew if she loved all created beings, then all created beings would love her.

Oh, my sweet Ellie, if only that were true. If only our world loved as easily as you did.

Ellie broke her foot shortly after moving into their condo. She was running in the backyard and her foot caught in a grate. I thought she would lose her prance, but she seemed to spring right back. There were many long walks and fun times with that precious girl.

And then over the last year or so, I noticed her decline. She slowly stopped jumping high in the air when she saw people, her pranced slowed — a little at first, and then a lot– and her long hesitation before hopping onto a step was noticeable. My heart was sad, and I looked for any sign of the precious little Ellie that I knew and loved. I usually witnessed an ever so slight indication, which thoroughly convinced me she was fine.

That was until I took her outside for the very last time. In fact, I knew it would be the last time I’d see her. I helped her up the step into the house. As she oriented herself, I knelt beside her. Not wanting to upset her with my display of emotion, I quietly whispered, “Ellie, you are loved. Thank you for loving me and Louie and everyone you came in contact with.” That was all I could get out. The sadness was overwhelming.

I saw Lynne when she arrived home from Ellie’s last visit with the vet. My heart broke for her because I know that pain all too well. Losing our pets is very difficult. Losing Ellie was heartbreaking for Lynne.

Honestly, I doubt I will ever meet another created being who could make someone—anyone—feel as loved as Ellie did. She exuded love and never cared who you were, what you did, or how you looked. If you were breathing, she loved you. Imagine our world if we treated others as Ellie did. And as much as I know many people love Louie, I’m being truthful when I say he is a bit more reserved about showing love to others.

To our little Ellie; thank you for bringing such love into our world. You are sorely missed, little one. And you will always be loved.

“You, LORD, preserve both people and animals.” Ps: 36:6

 

 

NOTE: Louie and I will resume our blog in September. We are feverishly working on our newest project, Love Like Louie.

The Remnants of Bad Behavior

My granddaughter always corrects me when I say Louie is a bad dog. She says he is not a bad dog; he just has a few bad behaviors.

OK, I understand the change in wording. But honestly, Louie is making my life somewhat difficult.

Louie is a superstar when we walk around the neighborhood, when I take him to visit clients, or when he accompanies me to speeches and workshops. And those of you who have had him visit your business will be shocked by what I am about to say.

Louie still reacts strongly when people come into my home. Even though he is only 40 pounds, he is all muscle, and he has a huge mouth. His bark is very deep, and his growl is deeper, and he acts like he wants to kill you. Let’s be clear: Louie does not want you in my house. Don’t bring a dog into my house or even onto my driveway, because the hackles go up and the teeth come out. Yes, I am describing Louie, the same dog many of you believe is so sweet, the one with big brown eyes and an adorable face.

Now I know Louie well enough to know he’s not being mean but has some misguided notions that I need protection from friends of mine who come to visit. I appreciate that, but it can be quite a hassle to make him settle when I have company. And it would not be helpful to let his bad behavior continue and just ignore him.

Those friends brave enough to risk Louie’s wrath have learned to allow the time and needed discipline, knowing eventually he will settle down.

His bad behavior was front and center this past weekend when my sister-in-law came to Cincinnati for a reunion and stayed with us in our home. She came in Friday evening, texted me to let me know she had arrived, then knocked softly on the door. Complete mayhem broke out. I kept Louie in the kitchen behind a gate and paid little to no attention to him while we said our hellos. I did my usual routine of discipline and he settled pretty quickly. Then we let him join us. He sat right at my feet as Agnes and I visited, but the minute she moved, the loud barking began, and he tried to make her stay in her place. He must have some basset hound in him because his bark is so deep. His Corgi side tries to herd everyone in my house. And the beagle side? Well, let’s just say thank goodness for that silly funny beagle side of him.

By the next morning, he was sitting by her door, waiting patiently for her to come out. They had become fast friends, and by the time she left on Monday, he was very sad to see her go. I reflected on their relationship as compared to a human relationship.

Most people would write off Louie as a nuisance or would be fearful of him. They wouldn’t give him much hope of ever developing a relationship because, well, he’s just a bit abrasive. And when he startles my company with a very quick reaction to them, he is stepping out of line, and who needs that?

But Agnes persevered and overlooked Louie’s many quirky behaviors. She talked sweetly to him, and his low growls and loud basset barks subsided. The rest of my family has learned to love on him as well, making it a bit easier to have an Italian family who loves to get together—crazy dog and all.

How many people do we write off as a nuisance or are we fearful of because of their “bark”? Many times people may have a quirky behavior that’s different than what we’re used to, and yet, given time and love, they may be as warm and loving as Louie under his tough bravado act.

Is it easy to love people who seem unlovable at first? No, of course not. It’s hard to do and it takes time. But if someone is in your life, they have come across your path for a reason. Don’t waste time judging their quirkiness. Loving others is not an option; it is why you are on this
earth.

Now that Louie and Ag are BFFs, maybe he’ll be nicer to people coming into my home. I won’t count on it, though!

 

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Louie and I are taking a break over the summer to finish our work on a very special project. Click on the link below for a sneak peek and let us know what you think!

 

For more information on Love Like Louie email us at info@louieloves.me

 

 

Walk with Confidence

I’ve noticed something a bit different lately about Louie, my rescue pup. He really enjoys it when we walk side by side during our walks. What’s different about that, you might ask?

He’s always enjoyed our time together and is usually all over the place when we walk. To get him to walk right next to me (as we’ve been taught during dog training), I usually have to make him heel. What’s different now is that he heels without me giving the command. Now he walks right next to me, many times for the entire walk, enjoying every step. It’s like we’re BFFs just hanging out. Well, maybe we are, but this change in our walks together gives me paws to think about leadership.

Louie walks next to me with confidence and joy because I, his leader, am walking with confidence and joy. This time last year I was still recuperating from a terrible accident. And, needless to say, this winter, though I was out walking, I walked with extreme caution. Now that the weather is turning warmer, there’s a bit more spring in my step and I am back to walking confidently and fast. And Louie is reaping the benefits.

When I say, “Leader, you must walk with confidence,” it may conjure up a lot of different thoughts and feelings about leadership. Many leaders walk with confidence because of pride issues, others put on airs and act like they’re confident. I believe the leaders who truly are confident provide a safe place for employees to flourish. Those leaders are confident not in their own abilities but in the abilities and strengths of those they lead. They can walk with confidence because they have a team around them they believe in, one they have encouraged and affirmed, and they work well together.

Walking with confidence is not about you, it is about those you lead, those you’ve empowered to be who they were created to be. It’s not about you puffing yourself up, it’s about those who choose to follow you and the confidence they have in you to be an excellent leader. Take the challenge and walk with confidence, but be sure it is because of the outward focus you have on the strengths and skills of others on your team.

As for Louie, well, I’m pretty sure if he were writing this it would be all about his confidence and how he walks next to me to make sure I am protected. Way to go, Louie! Such a good boy!

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Louie had to say goodbye to his cousin, Perry, a couple of weeks ago. We’re so glad we had time to cuddle that sweet boy the week before. Mark, Agnes, Bernadette and Christian and all the DiStasi kids will miss him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONTACT: danise@di-advisors.com

 

The Cone of Shame and the Need to Adapt

In the last Louie’s Leadership blog, I shared the episode of Louie, my adopted pup, having surgery to remove a growth on his paw. It was a pretty quick decision, with some uncertainty about what the growth was and how he would handle the recuperation period.

He survived the surgery well, and the growth was a papilloma, a wart. The biggest issue we had was keeping him away from the stitches. Louie is like Houdini; he can get out of any bandage or covering that I put on him to prevent him from chewing on his paw. I was amazed at how many times I found his bandage on the floor somewhere.

LIFE’S ADJUSTMENTS

We came home with a very nice, pliable, see-through cone that was to be placed over his head to keep him from chewing his stitches. I was hesitant to use it because of the look he gave me when I tried to put it on him. First, it was a look of defiance (gee, I’ve never seen that one before), and then he’d look as though I was trying to kill him. And finally, I’d get the puppy dog big brown eyes that captured my heart the very first time I met him.

I attached his collar and slid the cone over his head, stating in a serious, parental tone, “This is for your own good, buddy.” He hated it! And he was mad at me. He decided the best thing he could do was trot out of the room and go to his happy place to look out the window and be away from me. Except he ran into the doorframe and stopped. He looked back at me with a look of “Are you kidding me?” Then he set himself back on track, maneuvered the cone to clear the doorframe, and walked out of the room.

Next, he hit the doorframe going into the room with a view. Again, he stopped, looked back at me, and shook his head. Again, he set himself back on track and maneuvered the cone so he could walk into the room, clearing the doorframe. I could hear him trying to jump up on the seat to look out the window, but because the cone got in the way, he fell back down. He tried again, missed again, and fell back down.

I resisted the urge to jump in and help. I knew he could do it; he just needed to adjust himself a bit to clear the seat. And so he did, finally, and then positioned himself as close to the window as possible so that everyone could see him and would feel sorry for him. And they did.

LESSONS LEARNED

I learned a few valuable leadership lessons thanks to the cone of shame:

  • As tough as it was for him to wear, it helped in the healing process.
  • In order to achieve a goal (look out the window), he had to make several adjustments and think outside the “cone.”
  • As a leader, you can’t always jump in to rescue someone. They have to learn things for themselves, as tough as it is to watch them fall.
  • Louie learned a few new things; like how to eat his food with the cone, even though he looked like a vacuum cleaner as he leaned over his bowl and inhaled.
  • He figured out pretty quickly that he was good at tipping the water bowl over.
  • There was no need for me to walk around calling the contraption on his head the cone of shame. Well, actually, that’s a lie—he hated it and no doubt, was ashamed to wear it!
  • The less opportunity he had to bother his stitches, the faster he healed and the longer the cone stayed off. For Louie, this meant that he felt better, and was back to taking walks and playing with his pals.

Louie soaked in the attention for as long as he could. As time passed and his stitches were removed, I realized the overarching lesson of this entire experience. While we must take time to heal from some of life’s tough lessons, deep down inside, we know we can adjust and adapt. And in that perseverance, we may actually learn to enjoy life more.

 

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Thank you, Eastside Rotary, for inviting us to speak to your fabulous members!

 

Every year, March 20, we celebrate Louie! While we’re not sure of his actual birthday, we decided the first day of spring was a perfect day to celebrate his new life! Louie is somewhere between 5-6 years of age. Celebrate with us and wish this little guy a happy birthday! Thank you!