Meet my Dogs….

This is the 4th blog in the series on having more joy.   One thing you may not know about me is that we have two dogs.  A Rottweiler named Athena, whom we rescued, and a Basset Hound named Xander.  They are quite a pair together.  Athena was 2 years old when we got Xander as a puppy.  One thing you may have noticed about dogs when one dog barks the other one does too, Athena & Xander will too even when they don’t know why.  It must be some kind of instinct.  

We were not created like that, but we sometimes act the same way.  If someone barks at us, then we bark back. If someone pushes our buttons, then we push back.  I remember one time at a 4-way stop, I went out of turn.  As I pulled through the intersection I realized what I had done but it was too late.  One of the drives made a hand gesture to me that wasn’t a wave.  As he drove behind me he continued to behave to show me he was irritated.  It doesn’t need to be this way.  

Today, I want to highlight two types of thinking or mindsets.  The first is reactive.  The reactive mindset is much like my dogs and the offended driver.  If you think reactively, no prep work is required.  You just show up and react to your circumstances in whatever comes naturally to you.  It might work out some of the time and you may have thought, it’s just the way I am.  The second is proactive thinking or mindset.  Proactive thinking requires being intentional about your thoughts and actions.  Being proactive with your thoughts is choosing no matter what is going on around you, you are not going to allow it to change what is going on inside of you.  You chose not to let someone else’s bad day become yours.  Being reactive actually gives control away to circumstances or people.  

Here is an interesting exercise:  Think about 3 recurring stressful or negative circumstances.  On a separate sheet of paper copy the columns below.  Write in the space three potential responses to each scenario.  The first is reactive or not the best response, 2nd is better and the 3rd is optimal.

Scenario #1

Scenario #2

Scenario #3

Not the best

Not the best Not the best




Best Best


When you think about events that happen regularly before they happen you can choose how you want to respond.  As you do that, begin to focus more on my favorite verse, that I shared in the first of this series of blogs, Philippians 4:8, “Whatever things are true, whatever things are pure, whatever things lovely, whatever things are of good report if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” 

I would love to hear your comments.  What has been your experience?  


I believe in you! 

I am glad you are here!



Helping you rise above a painful past to live the life of your dreams confidently with ease!

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Donna Tashjian





  1. Jean Hopkins on July 7, 2021 at 11:05 am

    When I grew up in Greenwich we had Basset Hounds, a Beagle and. Beagle-Basset. My maiden name was Bassett. My Dad wore Basset belts and bow ties. He even made a Basset hound head with antlers wth lights for the front door at Christmas time. Jean

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