The Loop

Dog-tested lessons

This week’s column will include a bit of self-indulgence, more than the usual amount, so please bear with us.

Last week we said goodbye to an infrequent contributor to the Loop. Lucy, managing editor Mike Dickinson’s dog, had appeloop-lucy-photoared anonymously to illustrate various canine-related pieces over the last decade or so in the RBJ.

Lucy, a 13-year-old rescued Dalmatian, never met a man, woman or other animal she didn’t like. Well, except for a couple bears, a bird-snatching cooper hawk and one cocker spaniel—for some unknown reason. Even her attempts to play with a couple skunks showed no evidence of malice—at least on her part.

We mention this because a few days before Lucy passed away, we received an email from Tom Ziglar, son of the late Zig Ziglar, president of Ziglar Inc., titled, “I want to be more like my dog.” It contained a few lessons for business and life.

The Ziglar family’s little white fluffy dog, Max, had ended its 15-year journey the previous day. Tom offered some reasons he was so grateful the family had Max:

“Whenever Max would meet someone new, his tail would be going nuts, and if he could talk he would have been saying, ‘Wow! Look at you! You are amazing! I can’t wait to get to know YOU!’

“I want to be more like Max when I meet new people.

“Whenever I would come home from an overnight trip, Max would go crazy, running around the kitchen, yelping and barking with glee, circling my legs and rubbing up against me like I had just saved his life and given him a huge steak bone.

“I want to be more like Max when I see friends and family after a few days apart.

“After particularly good dinners, he would celebrate by rubbing his body all over the furniture, barking, and getting his little toy stuffed animal and carrying it around the house. This was his ‘thank you’ dance, and it was something to behold.

“I want to be more like Max in showing gratitude for the simple things, like a good meal.”

Tom concluded that in honor of Max: “I am going to get excited when I meet someone new. I am going to hug and high-five friends and family that I have not seen in a few days. I am going to show my gratitude for the simple things. Join me.”

Lucy and Max were a lot alike. They had a lot to teach us about how to treat friends and family, as well as new acquaintances, and about enjoying the simple things.

Thanks for the memories and the lessons.

Send tips, rumors, inside information or strange tales for the Loop to Managing Editor Mike Dickinson at

(c) 2017 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-363-7269 or e-mail

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