lessons from larry

Larry in his bath robe, no wonder he’s such a wuss. For the record I’m not the one who put Lar in that outfit.

I admire and respect people who demonstrate confidence and are willing to work and endure to get better at whatever they’re endeavoring to accomplish. I believe that drive or makeup of an individual is what eventually propels them toward leadership.

It’s rare to find any individuals who excel at anything that like to sit back, be passive, and let others do the work, take the risks, and make the calls for them. To be sure, I’m not referring to insecure micro-managers who aren’t big picture people.

With that said, I’m also convinced that all the desire, passion, and perseverance, can’t always determine an outcome and almost never the first time. All of us have limitations to one degree or another.

Our dog Larry is a pretty good dog, he barks when he hears strange noises, he also barks at strangers in the back yard if they don’t belong there. I’ve also learned some lessons from Larry. His desire is to be a good watchdog. The only problem is that he’s smaller than average and isn’t the bravest dog in the world, at least not yet. Lar wants to be and he acts like he is, but he and I both know he’s not.

About four years back I was working in the yard in the middle of summer, I had an old even more beat up than usual sweatshirt on with old worn out shoes. It was hot enough for me to wear my shade hat, you know the ones as big as a sombrero without the pointed top or fringes around the brim.

As I entered the backyard through the side gate I heard Lar bark and it got louder as he was headed toward me, he thought I was an intruder that he’d scare with his barking. Before he got around the side of the house I pulled my sweatshirt collar up over my nose leaving just my shades exposed under the strange hat Larry wouldn’t be familiar with.

I started to jog almost in a gallop with my left leg leading, swaying my arms like an orangutan and imitating gorilla sounds. My brave watchdog? As soon as he spotted me moving toward him he stopped barking, turned and ran with his tail between his legs, howling in spurts while running to the other side of the yard.

Larry’s crying was so loud it brought my wife out of the closed up house assuming that something was killing or maiming him.¬†Although Lar doesn’t talk, it seemed pretty obvious that he was embarrassed. I called him, “It’s OK Lar, it’s me”! – “C’mon you little pansy”! – “I’m sorry”! He came with his head down licking his lips…

I’ve failed at many tasks in my life like my best friend Lar. Larry had passion and desire, he just came up a little short of perseverance that day. We all come up short sometimes. Those failings when used as motivation help us be a little stronger the next time an opportunity arises to test us.

A little over a year ago my oldest brother was visiting with his dog Teddy. Teddy was a Catahoula Heeler, a big strong physically intimidating dog, especially if you’re the size of Larry.

My wife had three roast bones for the dogs, Teddy got the biggest and Larry and Lola got the two smaller ones. Teddy decided he wanted Lar’s bone as well as his own. When Teddy attacked little Lar, he didn’t realize he was trying to bite into a dog who failed enough times to understand what it took to succeed; Fight back…

Larry didn’t win the fight with the big dog, but he didn’t lose his bone or his pride and dignity this time.

We don’t always get to pick the obstacles that fall into our paths in life, we do get to choose how we respond to them… In the end, that is the real test…

For the younger readers and as a reminder to all of us, life is a little like those video games that are so popular now. We don’t get to advance to the next level until you conquer the one you’re on now…

Take a lesson from Larry…