Be more Scout: five suggestions about work (& life) from doggo of my heart

“You’re the best of us,” I often tell Scout as I scratch that velvety ear or rub her under the chest. (Ever met a hound who dislikes that?) Dog-niece looks back at me, modest and dignified.

While we were on the sofa recently, the idea for this blog came to me: five reminders about work (and beyond) inspired by the life and times of a family doggo. 

1) Be kind (not bland)

Listing all of Scout’s qualities? That would wear my fingers out. (As you may notice, I do have quite the doggo crush.)

Affectionate she is for sure: quick to wag a tail, give you a hug or just, well, remind you that you exist by padding in from another room on those prehistoric paws to say hello.

A la Scout: if you hear of others’ success, for instance a 10-year business anniversary, then join in and show that you too are pleased about their achievements.

Kind to the point of blandness, or giving the impression we’re a pushover? No thanks.

We’re allowed to have a personality and a backbone. Scout’s deep sighs at the end of an exhausting day, or using all ruses possible to gain preeminence on the couch (nice try), attest to her strong character. And a fine thing that is too.



2) Rest up

Dogs’ ability to snooze and slumber is, of course, legendary. Madam is no exception to the rule and, after a few years of dedicated practice, she has the power nap down to a fine art.

In our always-on, hurry-scurry culture (ever wonder why, exactly, we’re all so busy?), it can be easy to forget that getting enough sleep – as well as doing not much of anything, occasionally – is, well, productive. Not to mention essential for our well-being.

(Minds@Work, a charity on a mission to talk openly about mental health in the workplace, includes sleep as one of its event topics in the year ahead.)

Sleeping well won’t make you successful, but not sleeping enough will hold you back  — Atomic Habits author James Clear

3) Get outside

A life without screens? Even those off-gridders in Alaska (featured in a series of programmes on DMAX channel) use a screen to navigate the depths of a lake and make the odd satellite call from that refuelling station close to the Arctic circle.

(Are we soon to reach peak Alaska? If it happened for cupcakes…)

There’s life aplenty beyond these screens, however addicted we (probably) all are to the dopamine hit of that “like”, the lure of the WhatsApp group  or the pull of yet another email.

>>The outdoors as a winning habit: see #BMBeyondtheScreens

4) Enjoy yourself

Chasing a squirrel just enough not to catch it may not be your idea of a good time.

Whatever is – that slice of chocolate cake in a local cafe, perhaps, while you read a book for 10 minutes – how about a little indulgence, especially to mark a success at work or a business milestone.

>>Show your high street some love blog >>Books wish-list: take 10 minutes blog

Scout seems at her happiest in a small crowd of people who get together and enjoy each other’s company. For  the two-pawed that can be the enjoyment of a supportive and engaging networking event or the pleasure of meeting an associate to catch up and plan ahead.

Talking of community, generous and inclusive Scout would sigh her deepest sigh to know that canine cousins Joy (gone, never forgotten) and ever-friendly Dexter didn’t get a mention.

A long walk on the beach, as the cousins enjoyed? Perfect.

5) Curb (not) your enthusiasm

I once heard about a supply teacher, craft & design I think, telling students several times how pleased he was to be with them —  and what an enjoyable lesson they would spend together. Along with high-quality content, the right level of challenge and pace, a great lesson it became too. (>>Engaging, hands-on workshop blog)

So if you’re pleased to be doing some work for a new client, say so – at least once. Happy that a returning customer has chosen you (voting with feet can happen any time): pipe up.


I must check when the doggo’s diary and mine coincide. As we sit on the sofa, one of Scout’s victims lying prone in another room, I may just read her this blog. And remind her: “Scout, doggo of my heart, you’re the best of us.”

*What has the family hound, a neighour’s cat or your cousin’s tortoise have to teach the rest of us?
I will, of course, respond to your comments. I look forward to reading them; thanks!*

12 comments on “Be more Scout: five suggestions about work (& life) from doggo of my heart

  1. Damian McGee on

    Great blog, thank you. I think a similar one on cats sometime in the future would help us reflect on their way of feline fun. I say that as I enter week 2 of 6 looking after 3 moggies at a housesit in rural Norfolk.

    • Brian McGee on

      Grand to hear that you enjoyed the dog blog Damian. Thanks a lot for your comment. Yes, cats are great too. It’s fascinating (and very relaxing) to see how they move; I remember that from my own house-sitting in Folkestone. Rural Norfolk must be beautiful. Enjoy!

  2. Erica Steenkamp on

    If only doggo could be the leader of the free world. We would vote for treats, walkies and naps. Life would be just woof!

    • Brian McGee on

      Many thanks for your comment Erica. I’ll ask Scout if she’s available for that promotion. I suspect she may be too busy and is happy with her current career path, but it’s always gratifying to be asked…

  3. Millie on

    I think we should learn from our hounds too… the all important & never missed stretch as you get up from being in one position for a while .. such a good feeling.

    To greet everyone with a happy face and a waggy tail… (or the human equivalent, which pre COVID-19 was a handshake, so maybe an elbow or toe bump).

    Be open to walks in the rain, getting some fresh air at least twice a day, and saying hello to passersby – even if we don’t know them.

    • Brian McGee on

      Thanks a lot for your comment Millie. Yes, the doggos have plenty to teach us. Stretching, greeting, walking – all fine examples to follow 🙂

  4. Red on

    As the most chilled team member at Make Me Local, point 2 somewhat resonated with me – so much so that I had to have a nap before moving to point 3…

    • Brian McGee on

      It’s an honour and a privilege to have a comment from you, Red. Did you dogtate to one of your human assistants? Thanks a lot; I hope the pre-walk nap was restorative 🙂


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