Shannon Ingram's Place

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Location: Orange County/CA

Musings of a woman who left her corporate career to become a caregiver for elderly parents, wrote a book and found her way back to corporate - with love, instead of fear, leading the way. Now working at my Alma Mater, UC Irvine, as Marketing and Communications Director for the School of Biological Sciences.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Get a Dog

My office assistant's name is Vanna. She's blonde and she was named after Vanna White because we know of two Vanna Whites - one who turns letters on "Wheel of Fortune," and the other a friend in Denver who worked for IBM. Both of those Vanna's have beautiful smiles and so does my assistant. The only difference is, my assistant is a 45-lb. German Shepherd-Yellow Lab-"Something Smaller" mix who has a penchant for grinning when she's happy. I know the other two Vanna's are happy they do not share her other trait - snorting - which accompanies the grinning. My Vanna Dog sits by my desk all day, alerts me when someone is coming to the front door by barking up a storm (especially during conference calls), and follows me from room to room in case I need her support, even to the point of pushing open the bathroom door, which was not in her job description.
Last week I had the pleasure of hearing the remarkable Dr. Jean Houston speak at The Inside Edge meeting at UC Irvine. I seize any opportunity to hear Jean because she never ceases to enchant and entertain. Her web site says "She is the founder of the Mystery School - a program of cross-cultural mythic and spiritual studies - dedicated to teaching history, philosophy, the new physics, psychology, anthropology, myth, and the many dimensions of human potential." Her mentors were Bucky Fuller, Joseph Campbell and Margaret Meade. Wow. So I was tuned into Jean when she asked the question, "Do you know the secret to a happy life?" She paused and I wondered what profound knowledge she would share with us? She then said, "Get a dog." I think that's probably the best secret I've ever heard, and thanks to my assistant, Vanna, every day at my office is a happy one.