I am a true animal lover. Partial to dogs but pretty much any heartwarming animal video or commercial gets me emotional. I am obsessed with The Dodo videos on Facebook – do you follow them? Stories from all over the world about animal rescues and amazing animal tales.
One of my joys working from home is my now 11-year-old chocolate lab. He is the best office mate. Mostly he patiently lies three feet away and waits for a sign that it’s time for our daily lunch walk. Occasionally he gets an inkling to try to squeeze his 75 pounds at my feet under my desk which never goes all that well, and he is definitely quick to let me know if a package has been delivered.
We rescued him in a roundabout way when he was 2. We know that he was never in a bad situation prior to joining our family, but due to various reasons out of his control, we were actually his fifth home in 5 years. He was with someone my husband worked with for a couple of months prior to coming home with us. Mosby was a bit of a wild child with lots of energy and a stubborn streak. He was just too much for their family with three small daughters. We went to meet him right before Christmas and we like to think that our lab, who passed four months prior, was sending us a Christmas gift for healing. We were still so sad, and until Mosby came into our lives, I didn’t realize that the only way to fill that kind of loss was by bringing another animal into your life to love – at least that was my experience.
Mosby had some training before we got him. Interestingly he had participated in metro transit bomb dog training for a brief stint. He performed very well, but when it got real and it was time to be tested, he decided that wasn’t the life for him. That was just one of his stops along the way to find us. So, we had some basic training to work with, but it was still challenging for all of us to get him to a point of being a more calm dog who willingly listened and followed the rules. He was only 55 pounds when we brought him home, and petrified of the car. Who wouldn’t be when practically every time you got in a car you found yourself dropped off in a new place? So through love, discipline and patience, we brought out his perfect family dog side. He gained weight and I took him to training and consistently practiced which was like fun and games to earn treats for him. He still has his quirks and anxieties, and at eleven years old he now has a stubborn old man side, but he also still leads the way on our short trail hikes, keeps an eye on his two boys, and follows mom (me) everywhere. Even to the yoga mat😊
After we brought him home all those years ago, I made a goal for myself to someday volunteer at an animal shelter. At the time, my boys were still small and raising a family while running my virtual assistant business around my husband’s very long hours did not leave room for volunteer work. However, about 4 years later, I found a nearby shelter to volunteer as a dog walker. Working from home gives me the flexibility to take an extended lunch on Friday once or twice a month and spend some time with the shelter dogs. Honestly, it is like therapy and there is no question they give me more than I give them. It’s an incredibly joyful experience and I highly recommend it if you have a love of animals and can find an organization near you.
If you are an animal lover like I am, I’m positive you understand the joy they bring to life. Either way, I hope that you have something that brings you joy every day!
Katie Bauer started Effective Virtual Assistance, LLC, in 2008. Based out of Northern Virginia, Effective Virtual Assistance, LLC partners with small businesses locally and nationally to give business owners the time they need to focus on core business and revenue generating activities. With a firm belief that when a client is successful, that reflects on her success, Katie’s goal is to go above and beyond with each and every client task and project.
Over the years Katie has been contacted by aspiring VAs through clients or directly via her website, asking for insight and advice. She realized writing a short eBook to share her experience along with offering some of the documents and tools could benefit other Virtual Assistants. Visit her Etsy shop to find these great resources.
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