Jackie Bouchard Guest Post: Four Lessons From Three Dogs

Four Lessons from Three Dogs

In “What the Dog Ate,” Maggie Baxter, a practical, rule-follower uses her Lab, Kona, as her guru to find tail-wagging joy. Just like Kona helps Maggie in both her career and her life, the three pups my husband and I have owned have taught me valuable lessons about my work—and about life.

1. It’s okay to be scared, but you still have to put yourself out there.
Our current rescue pup, Rita, was found on a Mexican beach. Whatever she went through as a stray made her a bit leery of new dogs and people. But that doesn’t stop her! We often visit an off-leash beach, and even though visibly trepidatious, she still approaches every dog looking for some playtime. Even though shaking in her furry boots, she bravely marches on.

I’m pretty shy myself. But writing means putting yourself out there, whether on the page or through marketing efforts. Rita reminds me to be brave.

Do fears hold you back? Rita says: Don’t let ’em! Just drag them along while going for your goals.

2. Determination is key!
Our previous rescue, Abby, got bone cancer at 15-months old and her front leg had to be amputated. There were so many things I thought she’d never do again: use the doggy door, dig (well, I’d kinda hoped…), sit up and shake (she lost her shaking paw!). But she did them all—with grace and gusto.

For me, writing is hard. I don’t sit at the desk and the words flow like water from a faucet. I’m more like a shriveled sponge, and I wring out each word. Abby reminds me to keep wringing.

Do you have a goal? Abby says: What are you waiting for? Go for it!

3. If you need help getting what you want, ask.
Bailey, our first pup, was a stubborn, funny beagle. Although lacking words, she excelled at communication. If she wanted something she couldn’t reach, she would demand ask that you get it for her.

Writing is mostly solitary work, but sometimes you need to ask for help—you need readers to give feedback, and when the book’s done, you need help marketing it. I tend to be a DIY girl, so it’s hard for me to seek help. Bailey reminds me it’s okay to ask. (I just try not to sound whiney…)

Do you need help with something? Bailey says: It never hurts to ask!

4. Make it fun!
Bailey, Abby, Rita and Kona were/are all about the fun. Yes, life’s not always a picnic (there are vet visits! And baths!), but dogs don’t dwell on the negative. They see potential for fun everywhere.

To me, selling books isn’t fun. Sometimes even writing them isn’t! But making people laugh is. I’m still working on this lesson, but I try not to dwell on the negative and focus on the fun.

Dogs remind us that the potential for fun is all around. All the dogs say: Stop and let a breeze ruffle your hair, chase a butterfly, romp!

Have you romped a little today?

About the book
“What the Dog Ate” is "Must Love Dogs" meets "Marley & Me." When Maggie Baxter, a practical, rule-following accountant, finds out what her chocolate Lab ate, her world turns upside down. Maggie thought she had the rest of her life meticulously planned out, but now she needs to figure out Plan B. With her dog, Kona, as her guru, Maggie embarks on a funny, heartwarming quest to find tail-wagging joy.

It is available via the following:
Print and e-book: Amazon
Print only: CreateSpace
E-book only: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble and iTunes

Connect with Jackie at:
Her site: www.jackiebouchard.com
Her blog: http://poochsmooches.blogspot.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/JackieBouchardWriter
Twitter: www.twitter.com/jackiebouchard
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/5781094.Jackie_Bouchard


  1. Jackie, thank you for stopping by today. I think there are a lot we can learn from dogs. Love the pictures too!

  2. Thanks so much Marcie for having me! I love to talk about my dogs! :)

  3. Great guest post. I agree that we have much to learn from our dogs... If only we can learn to listen.

  4. Great post! Funny, but I am reading your book and it doesn't feel like you had to wring every word put of you. It flows.
    Love this guest post. I hope more people but your book! :)

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