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Let’s Say You’re a Dog. Are You So Competitive You’d Eat a Carrot?

 by: Susan Dunn, MA

Seems like a gal always learns something out on the farm! Yes, it’s a farm tale and I’m going to change the names of the animals to protect the guilty!

I spent last weekend down in Lower Alabama where my friend from high school owns a farm. On the neighboring property there lives a donkey we’ll call “Jake.” On my friend’s property there lives a dog – his dog – we’ll call “Spot.”

Okay, not too original, but it serves the purpose.

So as night falls, the evening ritual is to go out and feed the animals.

Out we go, 3 large carrots in hand – well, his hand. His wife and I are just watching. My friend calls to Jake who, having 5 acres to roam, is nowhere in sight. Spot is circling around my friend, jumping up, spinning around. I’m sure you’ve seen this. Spot has been trained not to bark, but he’s doing every other thing he can to attract attention, and acting ecstatic. Over a carrot??

“Jake’s so jealous, he’ll actually eat a carrot,” says my friend, as we walk along.

Now, I’ve owned a couple of dogs in my day. You probably have too. Never did I have one who would eat a carrot. In fact it was a family fun time to watch one dog called Shy Nell when we would put vegetable soup in her dog dish for a treat – Campbells, canned. She’d dive in and 2 seconds later walk away with nothing left in the bowl – I mean not even a lick of gravy – except for the carefully out-selected squares of carrot.

“Pretty discriminating tongue,” I’d tell my son. “Imagine being able to select out those bits of carrot without fingers!”

“I hate carrots too,” he would reply.

We can hear Jake making his way through the underbrush, and hear the breathing. Then my friend starts raising his voice, calling, and Jake starts his braying, to answer. When the three meet – my friend, Jake, and Spot, Jake gets his head and back rubbed, and lots and lots of marvelous attention. And there sits Jake, even willing to eat a carrot in order to be included.

Take home points for you?

  • Paired-conditioning is powerful

  • If you’re eating a “carrot” make sure what you’re doing it for is worth it

  • You’re a person, ask for what you want, don’t accept the substitute

  • Remain mindful, lest the “carrot” become the only reward, and something you don’t want, you just don’t want someone else to have it!

The Golden Handcuffs, of course – when you’re working for the money, but the rest of it just isn’t worth it.

Or when you’re competing for a girl, a job, a promotion, a house ... and get so lost in the competition, you aren’t mindful of whether the “catch” is what you really want. Don’t end up working for your ego, not your heart.

Be mindful!

About The Author

© Susan Dunn, MA, cEQc, The EQ Coach™, http://www.susandunn.cc. Bringing the power of Emotional Intelligence to YOUR life through coaching, eBooks, and distance learning. Midlife, retirement and transition coaching, career and relationships. Email for free EQ ezine. Want to be a certified EQ Coach? Email for information on this fast, affordable, comprehensive, no-residency program. Products available for licensing to build your practice. Visit the best ebook library on the Internet - http://www.webstrategies.cc/ebooklibrary.html.


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