Loyalty is at an all-time low. People jump ship from a favorite brand just because another brand has more likes on social media. After all, we do so much online today, so who would know? It’s not like we have to sit across the desk from a sales rep and explain why we are switching companies. This lack of loyalty gave me PAWS recently as I considered my favorite rescue pup Louie.
It was a beautiful early-spring day, and Louie and I took several walks to enjoy the outdoors. I was working in my office and noticed the time was 5:20 p.m. I wondered where my little watchdog, who usually keeps track of his feeding times, was. He always makes an appearance wherever I am in the house and lets me know it is 5:00 p.m. and his dinner time! He was late today. I continued working but knew he’d show up soon.
Sure enough, about ten minutes later, he came bustling down the stairs, zoomed around the family room a few times, and then sat in front of me, panting and smiling with a look that said, “Well, whaddya waiting for? Let’s eat!” I laughed, closed my computer, and headed upstairs to our kitchen.
As we neared the top of our stairs, I sensed something was a bit off. I could hear birds singing loudly and cars passing by. Louie ran up ahead of me and sat down as I stepped into my living room and gasped. My front door was wide open. It must have blown open after our last walk, which occasionally happens if I don’t bolt it. My first concern was that Louie would run out the door, and I could not catch him. But something twinkled in his eyes as I ran to close the door. He sat quietly, waiting. “It’s about time you closed that door,” his little smirk seemed to say.
And then it hit me. He must have taken full advantage of the “open-door” and headed out for an adventure. That little stinker had a field day running around the neighborhood, smelling all the smells, making sure everyone knew he had visited all the spots, and having a grand ole time. But after he was done, he came back home. He walked back through the door and announced that he was back, safe and sound. He had come home just in time because I would have been frantic if I had walked upstairs, saw the door open, and realized Louie was nowhere in sight. I know this happens so often to many lost pups. But this little guy knew I’d miss him, and he came home.
What is Louie’s loyalty based on? TRUST. We’ve worked on that for years and now reap the benefits and are seeing the fruit of a trusting relationship. It takes work; it does not happen overnight; and both parties have to be committed. Whether you’re a parent, organizational leader, friend, neighbor, or coworker, you have to work at building trust and loyalty.
As for Louie, I’m not going anywhere, little buddy. We’re in this together for the long haul.