How to Make It a Doggone Great New Year

The following is a guest post from Bella the Boxer.  Bella is a dog author, and today she provides us with some tips on making the upcoming new year the best, ever.  Thanks, Bella!

Bella the Boxer provides tips on how to make this new year the best, ever!

Greetings! My name is Bella, and I’m a connoisseur of cheese, a chaser of squirrels, and an expert on helping humans work smarter and be happier. I’m also a dog, and one of the greatest things about being a dog is having a free pass to give people the kind of straightforward advice that they don’t often hear from each other. (I guess there’s just something about a dog’s soulful eyes and happy, wagging tail that gets humans to sit up and pay attention.)

Since it’s the time of the year when humans start to think about New Year’s resolutions, I thought I’d share some of the wisdom that comes naturally to dogs of all shapes, sizes and pedigrees—and which everyone (even cat people!) can use to unleash their potential and create success:

Keep your eyes on the ball.

Stop multitasking and practice the art of concentration.  When I play with my little red rubber ball, I give it my full attention, energy and talent. Nothing else gives me the same sense of satisfaction!

Make happiness happen.

Focus on the positive and look for the humor in every situation. Aside from dogs, who are the happiest creatures on Earth? Those who make it their business to be happy!

Sit, stay and listen.

Talk less and listen more. When I wag my tail more than my tongue, people know that I’m listening. And after a while, I get to know something.

Shake off setbacks.

Don’t let the word “no” dissuade you. If you don’t fail, you don’t learn. Dogs aren’t perfect. We take risks and we make mistakes, but we shake off setbacks and take off running again.

Build your pack.

Surround yourself with colleagues, coaches, mentors and friends. Humans like to say that it’s ‘every man for himself.’ That’s silly. We all need a pack of supporters to succeed.

Show genuine appreciation.

Don’t just be grateful—show it! Kick up your paws and celebrate. Appreciation is gratitude in action. It’s something you feel from the tip of your tongue to the end of your tail—and it makes everyone feel good.

Get out and play!

Put down the gadgets and gizmos, step away from the computer, and learn how to play. Play is a dog’s way of connecting with real people, real dogs and real tennis balls. You know—the things in life that are most important.

How Will YOU Tap Into Your Inner Dog in the New Year?!

Secrets of a Working Dog from Bella the Boxer

Leave your comment below and we will give away a free autographed copy of Bella’s book to one lucky commenter!


Adapted from Secrets of a Working Dog: Unleash Your Potential and Create Success by Bella The Boxer with co-authors Ellen Galvin and Patrick Galvin. Available at, and

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  1. I love how this is related in a way that is fun but relative in every day encounters! Bella you have a fabulous perspective on life and the way we humans can get wrapped up in things that don’t matter as much encouraging the loved ones surrounding us. I am going to share this (and your book after I obtain a copy) with my entire staff. I am the lead technician at a veterinarian clinic, and I am always trying to encourage my associates and doctors to relate to each and every family that comes in to our hospital. And I am also loved and guided by a boxer! Rico is my super special rescued boxer—not sure who rescued who. Thanks Bella for all you are doing!

  2. This is a great way to see the world. I often ask my dog, Chloe, what she is thinking. In her own way she always answers me. Chloe is our 2nd boxer. She is a rescue. Nobody wanted her because she is deaf and she was about to be put down when we brought her home. She has helped me work through living with the terrible life long disease of Lupus. She has helped me find humor in my clumsiness. She has been my warmth and comfort on days I cannot get out of bed. She picks up the things I drop on the floor and encourages me to walk when I really don’t want to move. Our dogs are smarter than many of us give them credit. Thanks for bringing light to the importance to the value of our family members, our dogs.

  3. Love LOVE love this blog and Bella! Every single one of Bella’s points were sensational and absolutely true. Humans can learn so much from dogs…..we simply need to love them and inturn they will teach us. We own three yellow labs and I have to tell ya………I am wise beyond belief thanks to them! Our oldest lab, Libby Lou, gave birth to 12 yellow lab pups a few years ago. Do you have any idea how much love is felt when a human opens the dog door and 12 pups race to hug, lick and adore you? SIMPLY AMAZING!

  4. I love Bella. I do not know what we would do without our 4 legged friends. We have 2 adopted babies and one was a gift from our daughter. They have taught us so much. My Lilly can do every thing but say the words. If she wants something I say “show me” and she leads me to what she wants. I would love to read your book.
    Thank you for all that you do.

  5. I wish I was as good at following these guidelines as my boy Shadow is. Thanks to him I at least keep in touch with some of them.

  6. Bella is so inspirational! I definitely need to put this ideas into practice!

  7. Great ideas and a fabulous attitude Bella! I’ll share them with my Kosmo since he can’t read 🙂

  8. Woof! Woof! Slobbery boxer kisses to Rico from me.

  9. “…we simply need to love them and in turn they will teach us.” I couldn’t have said it better myself! ~Bella

  10. Chloe, what a priceless gem you are!

  11. Smart girl, Lillly!! ~ Bella

  12. Shadow is the perfect name, since it’s our job to “shadow” our people and help them tap into their inner dog. Woofs and wags ~ Bella

  13. Thanks, 1-800-PetMeds (and especially Daisy the cat!) for letting me share my tips for making it a doggone great New Year. Woofs and wags ~ Bella

  14. Thanks, Amanda, for the kind words. Hope your 2012 is doggone great! ~ Bella

  15. I’ve got attitude, alright! Say “hello” to Kosmo for me, please. Woof! ~ Bella

  16. Thank YOU, Bella! You are an inspiration to us all. Today I am practicing making happiness happen!

  17. This should be an good book to read. I like reading about dogs and this seems to be more from the perspective of Bella.

  18. Shirley, you were selected as the winner of an autographed copy of Bella the Boxer’s book! We are having trouble reaching you by email; please contact us so we can send your prize!

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