Jennifer Williams is the Web editor for the Catholic Review.


April 2015
March 2015

Email Subscription

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Recent Comments

I like the "never give up philosophy." Gavin is a great example for today's youth.


Great to hear about the generous volunteer effort by Candace Gold. Have always enjoyed her on TV and it is nice to know she is so nice when she is off camera as well as on.


How judging a dog show taught me some new tricks

Sometimes your career can carry you into unexpected territory. That’s what happened to me Oct. 25 when I served as a judge for the Oak Crest Canine Cup III as the Oak Crest retirement community in Parkville.

Although I have a love for our canine friends, I don’t actually own a dog, and I suspect it was my blog on the death of my cat and getting back on track after the loss that inspired Public Affairs Manager Jeff Getek to invite me to this warm and fuzzy opportunity.

My fellow esteemed judges, Gary Hibbs, executive director of Oak Crest, and Danielle Singley, home team program manager for the Baltimore Department of Aging, and I used a four-paw scoring system in the contest, with four paws being the highest mark.

As I returned to the office after this less than two-hour event, it occurred to me that I give “four paws” to shaking things up at work. Here are the “tricks” I learned from judging a dog show.

  • 1.       It’s fun. It was so enjoyable to get out of the office on a beautiful morning and to see the joy of the employees and senior residents as they interacted with their dogs.
  • 2.       It’s a wonderful networking opportunity. In addition to my fellow judges, I also met Chris Giesler, sales director at Erickson, and several lovely residents of Oak Crest.
  • 3.       It’s refreshing and energizing to try new opportunities. The room was filled with so much laughter as we judged for best-dressed, best kiss, best trick and best in show. Watching dogs such as “Raven” flip a dog treat from his nose to his mouth was so lighthearted, it made me momentarily forget about any stress or pressure in my life.
  • 4.       An opportunity such as a judging a dog show really reminds you of the simpler things in life. The connection between a human and his or her pet is so basic – filled with love, commitment and trust. Knowing some dogs such as a poodle, “Suzie,” also serve as therapy dogs for the senior residents is humbling and touching. “This little doggie can really put a smile on their faces,” said her owner, Flo Trimble.
  • 5.       Witnessing the enthusiasm in that room affected my mood and even followed me back to the workplace as I continued my day. It’s even still present today, as I write this blog post.
Catherine Cohen and her dog, "Zoey," won for Best Kiss in the Oak Crest Canine Cup III Oct. 25. 

So I encourage you, every so often, shake things up at work. Whether you go volunteer in the community, take some time to work a trade show, switch roles with someone at work, or even go to a different zip code for a working lunch, step outside the box every so often.

To close, I’ll leave you with this video of German shepherd “Zoey,” also a volunteer dog, and her owner, Catherine.

Cuteness alert*** The pair won for best kiss.



10/28/2013 2:19:00 PM
By Jennifer Williams