Editors and Writers Are Different—As Are Dogs and Cats

Going through old Washingtonian correspondence I found a note from Ken DeCell, one of the magazine’s senior editors, about things we can learn from a dog. I wondered about the source—Googling it showed list after list of things a dog can teach you. Here are some attributes that might relate to journalists:

Stretch before rising.

Never pass up an opportunity to go for a walk.

Sniff out opportunities.

Quickly adapt to unexpected circumstances.

Don’t make fun of someone else’s misfortunes.

Never pretend to be something you’re not.

Let others know when they’ve invaded your territory.

Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

Sit and listen.

Learn new tricks.

When you fall down, get back up.

If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

On hot days, drink a lot of water.

Don’t overcomplicate your life with material possessions.

When it’s in your best interest, practice obedience.

When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.

Remember to listen.

Every day is a brand new day.
What about cats? Yes, Google has a lot on what you can learn from them. Some of a cat’s attributes also might apply to journalists.

Be independent.

Stretch regularly.

Teach people how to treat you.

If you don’t want to do something, don’t argue, just don’t do it.

Don’t be afraid to look at things from a different perspective. Sit high on a bookshelf or peek out from under a chair.

Be alert and listen.

Be nimble.

Look before you leap.

Enjoy the view from a nice window.

Make sure you have a curious spirit.

Focus on what you want and be relentless about getting it.

Don’t lose your playful energy.

Don’t always do what people want you to do.

Love those who feed you.

Don’t forget to show your appreciation.

I love you but I love me more.

Persistence pays off.

Respect is essential.

There’s always time for a nap.
We have a dog and a cat at our house and, yes, Cruiser the Golden Retriever does behave differently and wants to be treated differently than Sebastian the cat. Cruiser is a good listener and I’ll ask him about it when we go out for our evening walk. As for Sebastian, he’s like some writers I knew—hard to find except when it’s time to be fed.








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