Advice from the Dogs

What can a dog do to help us with “getting organized?” More than you might think. Ours (Maggie) doesn’t have a “TO D0” list (at least on paper), but she does have a mental list that follows a routine, and we can learn a lot about getting organized from our furry, stick-chasing BFFs.maggie


Establish a routine that starts at sunrise.

Maggie’s alarm clock is the sun and although she hits the “snooze” button all day long, she starts her day with the excitement that it’s getting light outside.


As soon as the front door is open for her, she races down the walk, turns left to the steppingstones to the field beside our house, and carefully chooses the perfect place to squat and simultaneously smell what’s going on in the morning air.


Before she comes back in the house, she reads the current news, stopping several times to analyze the fine print, picking up secret messages left by nighttime tourists. When a note is especially fascinating to her, she pulls up a front paw the way pointers do when they’ve found the trail of a tasty bird. Maggie doesn’t point her tail to finish off a “professional” pointer pose, probably because her tail has a permanent curve in it, but her body language tells us she’s found some very juicy gossip.

Eat an early breakfast and give thanks.

Maggie eats her breakfast around 6:00 am. When she’s finished, she performs a ritual of thankfulness. She goes to a specific spot on the living room carpet, flops down and propels herself in a full circle before she rolls over and does it again on her other side. This is done every morning right after breakfast and when she’s finished, she sits up and has a wonderful look of joy on her face. 

Play every day.

Dogs love to play and we should too. It’s important to have a good reason to get organized. In 1977 when I got organized, my reason was so that I’d have more free time to play. Getting a routine and establishing habits within that routine gave me playtime, which for me was all about being creative. It took creativity to turn a program for getting organized into something fun and my sister and I were able to inject our program with a big dose of humor. It was great fun going on television across the country and watching people in the studio laugh at our stories. It was always a highlight to see a cameraman get the giggles while trying to handle a camera.

Trust a higher power.  


In Maggie’s case that higher power is Terry and me. She has faith that we’ll feed her, make sure she has water and give her love and attention. When we trust God, that faith lifts us up above our little world with its problems and guides us to solutions. That faith lets us feel God’s love and know that we’re always in His hands.

Go to bed early.

Maggie starts looking tired about 7:30 pm. She’d go in her bed then if she didn’t stay with us in the room where we watch movies. She sleeps through LA Law, re-runs of Fraser, Yellowstone and Blue Bloods, some of our favorites.

A good night’s sleep is a must for running a household.

Take it from the dogs and get organized just enough to please you.

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