What Pet Should I Get?


It’s the year of completely unexpected book releases. First there was the news a couple of weeks ago about Harper Lee’s sequel to “To Kill a Mockingbird.” And just today it was announced that a new Dr. Seuss book will be available this summer

Here’s a brief description of the book from Amazon, where it is currently in the top 20 of all books for sale.

This never-ever-before-seen picture book by Dr. Seuss about making up one’s mind is the literary equivalent of buried treasure! What happens when a brother and sister visit a pet store to pick a pet? Naturally, they can’t choose just one! The tale captures a classic childhood moment—choosing a pet—and uses it to illuminate a life lesson: that it is hard to make up your mind, but sometimes you just have to do it!

It sounds like a life lesson that applies to all of us, not just children.

It is hard to make up our mind, to make a decision and be willing to face the consequences. It’s hard to make a change, even when we know it’s for the better. It’s hard to make a commitment that we need to honor everyday.

But as the book points out, sometimes you just have to do it. We can’t spend all of our time researching our decisions, the result is what is known as paralysis by analysis. It’s easy to get caught up in doing the research, because it allows you to avoid making a decision.

I remember when I was thinking about opening a personal training studio; I called almost every franchise owner I could, asking them a series of questions designed to help me make the right decision. This went on for several weeks, and while I may have gathered some useful info, I probably had every answer I needed after a couple of days. But making the phone calls and gathering the data was allowing me to postpone making the decision.

But it all came to a head when I made a phone call to a studio owner in California. The young woman, who was probably about half my age and had been running her studio for a couple of years, kindly answered all of my questions, but then she finally said, “Jim, it’s important to get the info you need, but at some point you have to stop making phone calls, and just make a decision.”

She was right, and a day or so later I made the decision to open a studio. And just like leaving a pet store with a new family member, once you make a decision, that’s when the fun (and the hard work) begins.

And while I am sure Dr. Seuss’ book will have a happier ending than my business, the lessons I learned were invaluable. And those lessons were made possible thanks to a stranger on the other end of a phone call.

4 thoughts on “What Pet Should I Get?

  1. For me it was a sermon. By January of last year, I had been researching and praying about wellness programs and had found one I really liked. I had even been in touch with the founders. But it wasn’t until my pastor talked about just DOING a thing instead of dreaming about it that I finally got off the fence. The next day I signed up for the certification program. I launched my coaching business this month. I don’t remember the specific sermon topic, but I’ll always remember what finally spurred me to take action.

    I can research something into the ground, and you’re right – it’s usually a delaying tactic. I don’t trust myself. But even mistakes can teach us if we’re willing to learn.

    As for what kind of pet? One from a shelter. They need us the most. 🙂


      1. The coaching is going along fine. I have one individual client so far and have been asked to speak to a group. I’ve been working so much overtime the past four months that I had even questioned the wisdom of starting the business right now, but as of yesterday my overtime is finished until the end of the year, when I start over again with my annual submission (I review loans under a particular regulation and have to report them to the FDIC each year by March 1).

        Our dogs, Salsa and Pepper (aka the Spice Dogs – part of inspiration for my blog’s name), keep us busy and entertained. Salsa is from a shelter, and we are Pepper’s third family (at 10 years old she’s still not potty trained).

        One of my favorite books from childhood was “A Dog for Susie.” Susie has to choose which dog she wants from a pet store, and she ends up with a stray, whom she names Rufus.

        I’ve blogged about the Spice Dogs many times, and I’ve written about that book a couple of times. Both inspirations to me. 🙂


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