IMG00014-20110407-1501On Charlie’s fifth birthday, I thought I would share with you four rules he lives by because they’re also good career advice:

1.      Know your strengths: Charlie doesn’t hunt, gather, retrieve, guard, roll over … what was my point? Oh yeah, he doesn’t waste time on things he can’t do. He concentrates on doing a few things and doing them well. (See point No. 3. Yes, there are only two things listed rather than three because I didn’t think it would be appropriate or constructive to mention bodily functions in a blog.)


2.      Don’t overthink things: You can talk yourself out of any decision if you think about it too much. Do your research and think it through, then make a decision. Don’t succumb to analysis paralysis. When Charlie goes to day care, he is all in.

He bounds out of the house and hops in the car. When Jay opens the door to the kennel, Charlie runs in, goes behind the counter and checks himself in. He knows what he wants.


3.      Get plenty of food and sleep: Charlie doesn’t compromise on this one, and neither should you. There comes a point of diminishing returns when you work too hard and too long. You become less efficient and less effective.

The only time Charlie isn’t thinking about food is when he’s sleeping. The vet has him on a constant diet. We don’t think he looks too heavy, but I guess it’s not good when you come close to weighing the same as your owner. (Or, if you naively believe the weight I gave the DMV, then it’s much, much more than his owner. What started out as a small lie when I was 16-years-old has become a whopper now that I’m in my 40s.)

 4.      Remember to use your pokerface: Charlie has the same expression no matter what is happening. It’s a slightly bemused yet expressionless face, as if he wants to ask “What?” “Where?” “When?” That’s why we call him Vinnie Barbarino Blanton. When he gets a little older, it will probably morph more into an Admiral James Stockdale look. Not letting your emotions show on your face is a valuable talent in a game of cards or life.

 Happy Birthday, Charlie.