Have you ever had that feeling of being at the end of your rope? As if all your hard work has been for nothing?
I certainly have.
As regular readers will know, I’ve been on a recent quest to understand and resolve the issues related to Grace’s diet. I’ve read books, blogs, informational websites, talked to friends and experts on the topic. There is a lot of data out there, much of it consistent.
The research and facts point out that most commercially produced dog foods aren’t that nutritious, but you certainly can find ones that are healthy for Fido. It’s also clear that homemade food and raw meat diets are excellent choices for canines, but like anything, they have pros and cons.
We tried three high-quality commercial kibbles that made Grace sick. So I thought moving to a homemade diet would solve those problems, even if it meant extra work. As we moved forward, she had occasional upsets, but I persevered, thinking that I just needed to figure out the ratios between proteins and grains. Truth be told, I longed for the simple days when I opened a lid on the container and scooped out a portion of dry kibble, dropped it in her dish, and meal time was done. No prep, no mess, no clean-up. You have to keep in mind that I don’t like spending any more time in the kitchen than I need to.
Making homemade meals for dogs is cumbersome. In addition to the recipe searches, planning, grocery shopping, and cooking times, it includes the daily processes of thawing and warming food. It’s not as simple as microwaving (that’s a no-no as it destroys important enzymes). Dog food prep was becoming a constant activity.
To make matters worse, the time and energy I was spending on food education and preparation wasn’t helping at all. Instead of enjoying a healthy dog, we were busy cleaning furniture and bedding caused from upset stomachs, not to mention being awaken two nights in a row on frigid cold nights for emergency bathroom runs.
All these bumps in the road were, quite frankly, leaving me frustrated. At my wit’s end, I called a holistic vet in our area. Our primary vet had recommended a holistic approach when we had been discussing vaccination protocols, so I decided to explore this as well. Lucky for me, he could see us right away, because I wasn’t sure what to feed Grace next.
After leaving his office on Tuesday morning, I was armed with new data that I never knew I could get, and I immediately became thankful for those bumps in the road. Every mishap creates the opportunity to learn more.
I couldn’t explain his process and methodology intelligently, so I won’t try. He confirmed much of what I had learned from other sources, added his own opinion on topics, and provided a whole new approach I had never even heard of. He was able to test different food types specifically to Grace’s system and determine which ones she could tolerate and which ones she couldn’t. I left with a long list of ‘yes’ and ‘no’ options: she can tolerate beef and bison, but not corn or chicken. Turns out that my yummy-looking rice-filled muffins were contributing to digestive distress.
As I left, I had an enormous sense of relief because I had specific information about Grace. That’s exactly the same type of benefit that scientifically developed assessments can offer to managers. When we have customized information about a person and a situation, it not only eliminates the guesswork, it dramatically improves the quality of our decisions.
So often, management and leadership theories make complete sense when we hear about them in general terms. For example, all managers know they need to delegate tasks to the team in order to accomplish more. And the idea of delegating seems straight-forward. Yet the way in which you delegate to two different people depends on who you are delegating to.
I thought making homemade food would solve the problem. Yet I unintentionally served her foods that were not at all good for her system. What are you doing unintentionally that isn’t serving your team well?
Look at the bumps in the road as opportunities for further exploration. You might be surprised at what you discover.