Dexter – my very spoiled and much loved Schnauzer – has just celebrated his first birthday. Over the last twelve months he has taught me some important lessons about building great relationships...
1. An enthusiastic welcome can make even the grumpiest person smile.
2. Assume everyone is a friend – unless they prove to be otherwise, in which case get out of their way fast.
3. Life's too short to bear a grudge – the other person probably didn’t mean to offend you anyway.
4. Wagging your tail (or a warm smile if you’re human) is a winning move, particularly when you are wet, grubby or a bit messy.
5. Everybody is interesting if you simply pay them some attention.
6. Paying someone attention also makes it much more likely they will pay attention to you.
7. Making eye contact – especially with your ears pricked and your head cocked slightly to one side – definitely helps to show you are listening.
8. Positive energy is infectious – it helps other people feel good too.
9. Boundaries are good and if someone steps on your patch it does no harm to give a little growl to let them know you’ve noticed.