Be More Dog!



Last Friday our blog featured a wonderful video called “Be More Dog.” My dad had introduced it to me a couple weeks ago.

As I watched it, I realized what great advice this is for us as writers. In your writing, in your career, be more dog! How, you ask? Simple…


Meet each day—and each challenge—with abandon. Jump at the day, ready to take on whatever comes. Live in the moment. Embrace the joys and challenges. And remember, each new day is a gift.

Delight in the simple things. For the cat/dog, it’s chasing its tail. For writers, how about:

A phrase well crafted

A hot cup of coffee

A kudo from your editor or agent

A funny video someone shares with you

A neat pen or pencil

And on and on the list goes!

Write—and Revise!–with passion. Do you see how that cat tears into the paper? Pure passion! That should be us! Tearing into our stories or messages. Getting it down on paper and then ripping it apart where it needs to be ripped apart. Forming, reforming, crafting, recrafting, until every word on the page is the very best word it can be.

Dig for truth! Talk about focus and determination! Dogs—and this cat—are masters at digging. I swear one dog could tunnel all the way through the earth. We need to develop that kind of determination when it comes to finding the core of God’s truth in what we’re writing. Don’t stop digging. Keep seeking God’s guidance and counsel. Don’t be upset if you realize the real story or message lies hidden beneath the layers of what you think you’re writing. Instead, rejoice in the discover, and then get down to the work of putting that on the page.

Look at the world! Amazing! The joy in the “cat’s” voice is contagious. Is yours? Do you realize how many wonders are around you? Do you look for wonder each day? Do you know how lucky you are to be called to write? This is a great way to share God’s truths. Never lose your sense of wonder.

2Grab the Frisbee! Seize the opportunities that comes your way. Did an editor at a writers’ conference ask you to send your proposal? Did an agent email and ask you for the full manuscript? You’d be amazed how many people don’t jump on those opportunities. Remember the to be more dog, and carpe diem!

Enjoy your pack! Always remember, you’re not alone. There are other writers, family, friends, your agent, your editors…they’re all rooting for you. Let them encourage and uplift you, let them guide and challenge you. God designed us for fellowship. The pack is a gift!

So give it a go. Be more dog. You—and your readers—will benefit from it!


17 Responses to Be More Dog!

  1. Ron Estrada August 7, 2013 at 4:14 am #

    So it’s okay that a 46 year old man still stops to watch a flock of geese fly over? I feel sorry for people, and it seems to be a majority, who don’t still find wonder in their world. Whether it’s my freedom in Christ or my writer’s brain, I am still in awe of God’s creation. In applying my “Dog” to writing, though, I take it to mean opening up, not being restrained by the high school English teacher in my head. Lately I’ve been reading books that normally wouldn’t interest me. Cold Sassy Tree is the one I’m reading now. That author (who passed away much too soon after the book’s publication) definitely knew how to be more dog. Writer’s like that make me want to be more dog, too!

  2. Shannon Kuzmich August 7, 2013 at 6:00 am #

    I LOVE THIS POST. It applies to me and my oldest daughter who starts 7th grade at a new school today.

  3. Michelle Massaro August 7, 2013 at 7:41 am #

    Fantastic! This reminds me of a book I picked up to use when I homeschool my 8th grader this year. It’s called Cat & Dog Theology. In this analogy the cat is in a negative light, so sorry to you cat lovers (I own two myself). But it’s really a cool book. Here’s what the back says:

    There’s a joke about cats and dogs that conveys their differences perfectly–
    A dog says, “You pet me, you feed me, you shelter me, you love me, you must be God.”
    A cat says, “You pet me, you feed me, you shelter me, you love me, I must be God.”

    It uses this idea to really dig in to some profound thinking about how we approach the Lord and our spiritual lives. For some reason, I think you’d like it, Karen. 😉

    • Peter DeHaan August 7, 2013 at 6:27 pm #

      Michelle, I love that summary of dogs and cats. I’ve had both (many times over) and agree that it’s quite accurate!

  4. Tanara McCauley August 7, 2013 at 8:13 am #

    Great analogy, sound advice, and GORGEOUS dog!

  5. Dena Netherton August 7, 2013 at 8:18 am #

    My dogs taught me how to chill. Even after a scolding, the next minute they’re cavorting, racing, tumbling, and barking for me to come and join the fun. Even after a setback in my writing, life’s too short and too precious to waste moping.

  6. Cristine Eastin August 7, 2013 at 8:31 am #

    I loved this video! And I passed on the fun in my blog. Carpe diem—grab the frisbee! Reminds me of a psychotherapy client who said, “Thinking plus thinking equals nothing!” I don’t want to do that math—the Walter Mitty Syndrome. Speaking of frisbees, boy, does my Australian shepherd love her frisbee!

  7. Nancy Farrier August 7, 2013 at 8:55 am #

    I loved that video. Great post. I’ve always been such a cat person, but now I’m going to the dogs. 🙂

  8. Patti Jo Moore August 7, 2013 at 9:01 am #

    LOVED this, Karen–thank you! And I’m especially happy to see that you also used CATS 😉 in your examples too. A PURR-fect post! 🙂

  9. Meghan Carver August 7, 2013 at 9:25 am #

    Last week, I found packages of colored pens on a back-to-school sale. It made my day! What a fun post, Karen! Loved everything about it.

  10. Erin Unger August 7, 2013 at 11:15 am #

    Wow, I love this post. It’s such a great reminder for us to seize the day by the horns. As writers we can be more susceptible to discouragement. We need to keep these thoughts in the forefront of our minds to protect against it.

  11. Janetta Messmer August 7, 2013 at 1:59 pm #

    Write with abandonment? What a concept! Can’t wait to take this sound advice and run with it. Thanks.

  12. Jeanne Takenaka August 7, 2013 at 3:07 pm #

    Karen, what a great post! (Loved the video too). It’s easy for me to be the cat, to miss out on life’s—and writing’s—adventures. Thanks for the encouragements to be more dog in my writing. I’m going to focus on digging for truth, making I have a clear understanding of the truth God wants to reveal through my story. Loved this!!

  13. Jillian Kent August 7, 2013 at 7:45 pm #

    The hero in my last novel has the same colored eyes as that handsome dog. The heroine can’t keep her eyes off his. Lot’s of fun. Just like your post, Karen. Be more dog is great advice and I plan to have lots of fun practicing if I could just get away from all these animals in the house. Oh great, here comes cat block again.

  14. karen Ball August 7, 2013 at 9:01 pm #

    Thanks, you guys. And just FYI, that crazy-eyed Siberian in the picture at the top of the blog is my doggie, Dasha. We lost her just before she turned 4 to a brain tumor, but boy howdy! She filled those four years with joy! And lots and lots of PLAY!

    • Cynthia T. Toney August 9, 2013 at 1:03 pm #

      Gorgeous dog. The Siberian Husky is a magnificent breed. I’m so sorry for your loss, especially at her young age. My 14-year-old female Lab mix has a heart tumor that will take her soon. We hardly remember her not being part of our family, so it will be difficult to adjust to her not being with us. Dogs do have a lot to teach us about expressing ourselves and enjoying life while we can.

  15. Pat Jaeger August 7, 2013 at 9:20 pm #

    Wonderful post, Karen. Our dogs have all been strays and turned out to be the best! They can teach us so much if we let them. We just lost our Molly. She showed us how to forgive and let yourself be loved.

    I like the idea of writing with abandon! Thanks for sharing.

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