This is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send your blog post to us here.
I was watching Riddick for the 100th time on HBO last weekend, and it got me thinking…
"My freelancing existence makes me kinda like Vin Diesel's crafty character. I'm a creative warrior. A strategic hero. Hear me roar!"
"Damn it, I need a dingo!"
Ok, not really. But it does help a lot of freelancers --most especially, the workaholic ones cooped up in their home offices-- to have dogs.
Yeah, yeah, that iguana in your fish tank gives you so much character, but nothing says support system quite like man's best friend.
How so, you ask?
1. A DOG KEEPS YOU ON SCHEDULE
When you've got flexibility, it's so difficult to discipline yourself into getting work started at the proper time.
Snuggling in that lovely bed without thinking of a timesheet is glorious!
But… it's just your luck that your dog doesn't come with a snooze button.
So after a series of noisy yaps, sloppy licks, and unrelenting blanket-pulling, you're up and raring to go. Real professional-like.
Throw that alarm clock away, why don't you?
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2. A DOG IS A MOOD SETTER
Dogs have that contagious joy-joy attitude.
When they're perky (and they almost always are), you find yourself getting perky.
Yes, that huge mug of coffee in your hands help with the perk meter.
But all those positive vibes running through your system on a Monday morning, that's all dog-induced.
3. A DOG IS AN ICE BREAKER
Speaking of contagious joy-joy, have you ever had a Skype meeting with your dog popping its adorable head into the frame making your client go "Aww… what a cutie!"?
No? Give it a try. It lightens up the mood fast.
Taking your dog to your casual coffee shop business meetings has the same positive effect.
4. A DOG RESPECTS YOUR PRIVACY
With acute sensitivity, a dog can also tell when you're in the zone and would want some serious me time.
He won't bug you about that squeaky garage door you need to fix or last night's dishes you need to wash.
Instead, he'll get out of your way, go out into the yard, and chase birds until it's feeding time.
5. A DOG NEVER JUDGES WHEN YOU BOTCH UP
Had a hard day out? Your dog won't mouth off about how you've just jeopardised your whole career with your bad judgment.
On the contrary, he will happily woof your welcome and tackle-hug you to the ground --giddily implying that you're still awesome and that everything will be okay.
Instant ego booster! Your dog is an in-house pep rally you cannot do without.
6. A DOG CELEBRATES YOUR WINS
Of course, when you've done great, your dog is also there for that well-meaning hug and that tub of Haagen Dazs you have saved up in your freezer.
Extreme enthusiasm guaranteed!
7. A DOG GIVES YOU THAT MUCH-NEEDED BREAK
If you've been sitting in front of your laptop far too long, your dog will let you know, too.
He will slobber it up on your lap with a ball or his leash between his teeth, telling you in not so many words that you need to stretch those legs and experience the beauty of fresh, clean air at the park.
And this time, he's not taking no for an answer.
* 8. A DOG BURNS THE MIDNIGHT OIL WITH YOU*
And when it's time to go back to the grind, your dog will stay curled up at your feet way beyond bedtime.
Telling you with his calm breathing that he won't leave you despite your irrational masochistic ways.
I know what you're thinking. You can get the same kind of companionship from a quality human being, right?
True. But in a barren wasteland that is your home office with nothing but dunes of deadlines outlining the horizon, a dog is what you need.
You need that raw, unshakeable, crazy-primal loyalty.
To quote Riddick, "Gotta find that animal side again."
A dog, Freelancer. Fetch one.
Karen is RaketChick at raketchick.blogspot.com, a Freelancing Survival Champion who’s also an independent Advertising/Web/Magazine Writer, a Strategic Creative Consultant, and a Fiction Author specializing in erotica. Uhm, yeah.