I didn’t want to return my adopted dog to the pound.

Cookie-kissing-Laura
When I adopted Cookie, she was snarky and anxious.
Today she is a Master Snuggler.

When the world shut down in March 2020, off I went to the local humane society and found Cookie, a cute 5 year old mixed breed, in need of a good home.

“We can’t understand why no one will adopt her. said Liz, the dog pound coordinator. “Cookie’s a staff favorite. She is housebroken, super friendly, doesn’t bark, chew or have separation anxiety. She loves people, riding in the car, and was never abused” Liz said.

Cookie was adorable. She checked off all the boxes, all the requirements I wanted in a dog. I wrote out a check, loaded her into the car, and home we went.

Fort Lauderdale, FL. March 27, 2020

The next day Cookie showed signs of not being the adorable, “all boxes checked” dog I was looking for. She snapped at me whenever I tried to snuggle with her, was snarky to other dogs when on her leash, and wanted to tree every cat she saw. Maybe even kill one. She was nervous around little kids. Yikes! Would she be aggressive around my grandchildren?

How could this have happened? She seemed so happy the day before. I was devastated. I spent many sleepless nights worried that I’d have to send her back to the pound. I finally realized that maybe Cookie wasn’t a total wreck. All she needed was a fresh start. She needed help “reinventing herself” so she could be her authentic, friendly, loving self.

Sometimes I feel just like Cookie. Over the years challenges happen. Then slowly some of my boxes become unchecked. I become “leash reactive”, get stressed, feel snarky and feel like tree-ing a few cats myself!

Do you feel this way? Is your life basically going well, but over time life happens and a few boxes become unchecked? Today you are feeling burnt out, stressed, feeling a loss of confidence and maybe lack of fulfillment in your job?

When this happens it’s crucial to take a giant pause, and reinvent yourself. Get clear on who you truly are; what you truly care about, what your values are, and then determine if your life is congruent with them.

It’s fun to do this. But it’s not easy. Reinventing ourselves is some of the most important work a woman can do to ensure she is living a happy, fulfilling life on her terms.

 

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