“what about lying quietly while your owner is in the midst of an important business call? This is, as every dog owner quickly learns, where dog biscuits enter the picture.”
Why did I read this book?
I actually listened to this book. It popped up as included in my Audible subscription, and since dog people these days talk a whole lot about management, I found the title itself hilarious and added it to my library. So much that I barely paid attention to the subtitle: The Real Story of Angel, a Rescued Golden Retriever, Who Inspired the New Four Golden Rules of Management. Regardless, it has been a decision I have not regretted.
What does this book do?
This book, as I was soon to discover, is not actually a dog book. Wait. What? Yep. This book is not an actual dog book. In fact, Martin was not even an actual dog person. Or, well, he had a dog. Sweet Angel the Golden Retriever mix he rescued at the SPCA after the passing of his wife.
But, if this book isn’t a dog book, then why am I writing this review? And what is the book even about?
I’m going to answer that in reverse order. The book is, as I learned, not centered about managing your dog in the sense that is currently recommended in the dog world. It is overall a book about business management and successful leadership. And this is where the book translates into dog guardianship. And why I have decided to review it despite it not being a dog book directly.
The book goes over the 4 golden rules of management, inspired and told through his journey with Angel, which on its own is a really adorable story. This alone makes the book a feel-good read for any dog owner.
The golden rules themselves, are rather simple concepts that are applicable to life as a senior manager at businesses of any size (this is hugely relevant for dog professionals too, btw), but also to the life as the human companion of a dog. I have decided to include them below for reference because I understand that it can seem a bit abstract how business management and dogs are connected:
Rule 1: Trust and Leadership
Rule 2: Communication
Rule 3: Problem Solving and Decision Making
Rule 4: Perseverance
In short, it’s about meeting the needs, not only of yourself, but also of the individuals you work with, to establish trust, and to communicate to succeed in your life and goals together. Just as with our canine companions.
What does this book not do?
As mentioned above, Martin was not a dog person in the occupational manner of speaking. He was a legendary management guru (according to the book presentation), Harward educated lawyer at the age of 65 and 25 years later he wrote this book, in the spirit of never to stop learning. So if you’re looking for training books, this really, seriously is not it. But it is a true feel-good story, told through the journey with a dog, inspiring the reader to never stop learning. And I do believe we can all benefit from that.
Where do I get this book?
Audible subscription included, or Amazon. The printed version is also super cheap, so if you’re into paper, it will set you back approx $7+shipping for a hardcover version.