Shannon Ingram's Place

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Location: So 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.

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.