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LESSONS FROM OUR PANDEMIC PUPPY


Since finding Oola in 2015, the 7 Oola Accelerators have empowered me in challenging times and boosted the pursuit of my OolaLife. The Accelerators are:

  • Gratitude

  • Love

  • Discipline

  • Integrity

  • Passion

  • Humility

  • Wisdom

I never imagined some of the greatest lessons in Oola Accelerators I would learn could come from our pandemic puppy.

International Dog Day, is August 26th. This year my hope is that we can all learn a little something from our rescue pup, Abbey.

We brought Abbey home on March 7, 2020. We had been searching for a new rescue dog for some time and were instantly smitten with this two-month-old German Shepherd mix. Little did we know that Abbey would soon become much more than just a new pet. Over the next few months, as the world shut down and the unthinkable began to unfold, this cute little rescue mutt emerged as the unlikely hero in our quarantine battle.

In her first week home, Abbey taught us humility. We quickly learned the value in putting another’s needs above our own. Speaking from experience, there may be nothing more humbling than a grown woman standing barefoot in a bathrobe at 2 am in the rain, pleading desperately in the highest-pitched voice possible, “Go Potty, Abbey, Go Potty.”

Next, Abbey taught us discipline, proving that anything left within five feet of the ground was no longer ours - it was Abbey’s for the taking. We began a daily clean up routine, throwing out the junk, and treating our valuable things with care, since Abbey was always lurking and looking for her next toy. From shoes to purses, we learned this lesson the hard way. But, we are much neater now in our quarantine home, thanks to Abbey.

In the second month, Abbey taught us gratitude, as stores, parks and beaches closed up, we looked to Abbey and her never-ending energy as our source of entertainment even as we isolated from the rest of the world. For just a few moments each day, the kids forgot about the friends they missed, the cancelled trips, and instead filled the house with loud belly laughs as they watched their new canine comedian.

In the third month, Abbey taught us wisdom, showing us that a long hike out in the sunshine, with a giant smile on her face and tongue flapping in the wind, is perhaps the best way to beat the COVID blues.

In the fourth month, Abbey taught us integrity, hounding us to go on her daily walk the moment she saw any sign of running shoes. On the days where the shoes would be out, but laziness kept us on the couch too long, there was Abbey pacing at our feet and chewing on our socks, reminding us of our daily commitment.

One day, Abbey even taught us passion, when Grandma stopped by to bring the kids on a long walk to the beach. Now, early on we knew this German Shepherd puppy had a true passion for her pack, constantly keeping tabs on my son and daughter wherever they went. And that day was no different. Abbey would let nothing stand between her and her kids, even our five-foot high iron gate. In one leap, this lanky puppy sailed over the gate, ran four blocks, made three right turns and caught up to our kids, who were nearly a half-mile down the road already.

And perhaps the greatest lesson of all, Abbey taught us love. Dogs are the best at love. Early in this journey, I got terribly sick, with what we still don’t know and I won’t waste time to speculate. But I’ll never forget it - Abbey’s little puppy body laid right next to mine, trying to burrow under me as the fever and cough made my whole body shake. I laid my hand on her side, trying to force my own breath by matching hers. She never moved.

If Abbey has taught us anything, it is that Oola Accelerators can be found pretty much everywhere you look - even in a puppy in the middle of a pandemic. Abbey brought these Accelerators into our lives, creating more joy and balance in these tough and scary times. And just like Abbey, Oola continues to help our family see the endless good in this world, through the lens of Gratitude, Love, Discipline, Integrity, Passion, Humility, and Wisdom.

Oola Accelerators can be found in the most unexpected places and in the most challenging of times. We just need to look.

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