This book is dedicated to my animal mentors: Piggy the Cow, Classy the Horse and Nellie the Dog. From them, I learned that the true secrets of power and influence do not lie in fighting or force.
Piggy, Classy and Nellie all got exactly what they wanted in life. They earned the respect of their peers and influenced the behavior of others while avoiding confrontation or aggression. They were my teachers of a Great Truth— that as women and human animals, our greatest power lies not in our physical strength or bravado, but in our ability to achieve our goals through calm and unwavering focus, leadership and clever influence.
I am excited to share the secrets of natural power and leadership to help women (and men) get what they want from their dogs…and their lives!
The Story of Piggy the Cow
One of my earliest childhood memories growing up on our dairy farm was that of Piggy—one of my father’s Jersey cows. Piggy was fat, hence the name. She was so calm, letting me pet her and brush her—even ride her! But most importantly, Piggy was the undisputed Queen of the Herd.
I spent countless hours around and on Piggy—what else do you do when you grow up on a ranch and have to pick your playmates from an assortment of farm animals? We were buds. At feeding time, the tractor would pull up to the feeding trough, and our ranch hand would throw the hay in for the entire herd. All the young heifers and other cows would come running, crowd around the hay and start eating.
Piggy would not run to the hay. She sauntered. Why rush? She was calm, cool and confident—almost presidential in a bovine way. As she drew near the hay, the other cows would scatter—making way for Queen Piggy. If they lingered a bit too long, Piggy would drop her head and neck, give a low, throaty “MOO,” and the girls would obediently back off. If they didn’t, she’d give a subtle but well-placed bump of her substantial shoulder and send one or two of them flying. Then Piggy ate her fill.
Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t. —Margaret Thatcher
I did not realize until recently the incredible lessons I learned from Piggy about power and influence! Piggy was, without question, the most powerful cow in our herd, but she achieved that rank and position quietly—without being loud or aggressive. She did not rattle her horns, get in anyone’s face, or engage in daily fights with her pasture mates. She did not use physical brutality to intimidate. Instead, she used quiet confidence and clever control. And every time I think back to Piggy and her ways, I realize something new. Now I know why I could ride Piggy and not the others. Piggy was too confident to be skittish! She was, as they say in the South, “as cool as the otha’ side o’ the pilla.” What a role model. I use her story today, as I teach dog owners the secrets of quiet power and control over their dogs, and she is always in my thoughts.
Lessons from My Mother
I love being a strong woman. I come from a long line of them… In many ways, my mother taught me more than anyone about training dogs, even though she never trained one herself… My mother knew how to control my dad, too. Now that was an art form! The dogs I train today remind me a lot of my father: charismatic, charming and full of fun, but smart and strong-willed and used to getting their way. My father was handsome, successful and driven toward his goals. He was a tough customer. Mom knew what good dog trainers know… Read more about it in LIPSTICK and the LEASH!
Without being sexist, I believe there are some special skills that we as women possess, which enable us to effectively control and influence others—including our dogs!
A Woman’s Kryptonite®—Stay Away From It!
Do you remember the comic strip and TV hero Superman? He could soar like a bird, stop a charging locomotive, leap tall buildings in a single bound, and was the larger-than-life defender of truth, justice and The American Way. He was invincible. Unless…he was exposed to a mysterious element known only as “Kryptonite.” Kryptonite rendered the superhero weak and helpless. Superman had his Kryptonite, and we Superwomen have ours…see my list in LIPSTICK and the LEASH!
I am passionate about helping women and saving dogs. If you have a dog that seems beyond control, don’t give up! Read this book. Your dog is not impossible; he’s just confused because you are not communicating in his language. He ignores your frustration and yelling because he sees it as weakness, not strength. Learn the secrets of calm, effective power and leadership in this book, and you will be amazed at the turnaround in your dog. Try it on your kids, your husband and your coworkers while you’re at it!
Dog training becomes a metaphor for life!