Sunday, March 22, 2009

our print debut - the link

Here is the link for our article running today. They didn't include the picture of Sophie and I online that they used in the print edition....but the entire article is there. :)


PS....My Sunday Stills challenge will be up later this morning as well.


Tom and Tama-Chan said...

Wonderful story, particularly appreciated by our #1 who went through something similar a number of years ago, and is also enjoying her first ever dog!

Ted Williams said...

As a former VP I can understand your story well. Congratulations!!
You have moved me and others as well I am sure. You have found what the whole world is a searching for " peace of mind".

I have a Daschound who is 13 now and can't wait for the Alpha weiner dog (me) to get home from carving. Have a great week and life, thank you for sharing.

Raising Addie said...

Congratulations on this wonderful article!

I wish we could see the picture of you and Sophie. If you have it maybe you could post it for your blogging friends to see?

You have found a truly wonderful place to be in your life. Doing a job that you love that involves dogs. For dog lovers like us, that is the dream!

Thank you very much for sharing this with us!

Lots of Luv & Kisses
Addie and Lucie

David said...

it's a great article- transparent in its humanity
i took was laid off from the perfect job last August, and am daily brought back to life by Willie the blessing daschund.
thanks also for the link to the Charlie Project, I've passed it on to friends and colleauges within minutes of feasting on it myself


Jeanne said...

Thank you so much for sharing this story. As you know, I was let go in November, in a story similar to yours. I now work at a free clinic for less than half what I was making and no benefits, but I'm pretty happy with my new life. I suspect ours is a story that is being told around the world these days.

Hilary said...

Wonderful article, Andrea. I'm so glad your story can be appreciated by all.

Pamela, Kira and Scampi said...

Wonderful story! You never know how such little things (we think) intrude on our lives and change them forever. How one heart changed another. You are blessed with Sirus!

Sharon said...

Dear Sophie: Thank you for saving Andrea in her time of need. I think she was definitely worth saving & you should think about keeping her:) Congratulations!!

Anonymous said...

I just read your Toronto Star article - and that's exactly how I feel about my job. Although I am still at my company - almost 400,000 employees still - the thing I look forward to the most every day is walking the dogs. And it's not something that ever upsets me- walking in the cold, or rinsing the sand out of his fur - unlike the mad rush for money at the office.

Thanks for sharing!

Eric said...

With all the gloom and doom news out there, your story was a most enjoyable read Andrea. We have an eight year old Golden Retriever that is an important part of our Family. The daily walks I have with her are precious as no two are ever alike. A great time to take in all the sights and sounds and cleanse from the daily rat race. Thanks for sharing your motivating story and best wishes in your future endeavors.

Sherri said...

I have been retired 5 and a half years now, living on 1/3 the income and happier than I have ever been. I was given a book, "Hope for the Flowers," written by Trina Paulus, by a friend a few years before I retired. My friend had observed my increasing unhappiness in my work, even though I professed to love my job.

That book changed my life...and instead of forging ahead, I started to prepare to live on much less. And the day I had simply had "enough" I was able to say, "No, I won't do it. It's not the right thing to do. I'm leaving."

I am a big believer of the psychological theory of "cognitive dissonance" -- that state of mind that develops when your personal values are in direct conflict with what you are required to do in your job. Sometimes one recognizes it for her(him)self, at other times, a concerned friend or loved one may be able to get through.

I highly recommend the book for anyone from teenager on up. This little allegory is a quick read and guaranteed to make you think about your life.

Congratulations on using a tough situation like the reduction in force to make the changes you have. Corporate success is not all it is cracked up to be and often can be detrimental to your soul.

Liz at Envision said...

This story brings back memories for me when I left a career on Bay Street in 1987. The times change, but the circumstances don't and we all do survive. I moved north at the time and took a minimum-wage paying job and adopted myself a beautiful Golden Retriever-mix who was known as Neala. She was by my side for the next 14 years and I too owe her for the obstacles I overcame, and the strength I acquired in "moving on" with my life. Thanks for letting me remember how important everything is in our life. Good Luck!

Scott Dickson said...

Great story Andrea... and clearly a universal one.

So many elements of your story mirror my own and my particular canine angel arrived in a package called "Winnie", an extraordinary bundle of love that routinely coaxes a smile out of every single humanoid she meets on the boardwalk or at doggy beach.

Everyone is curious about her breed, which I like to refer as a "pure-bred Shih Tzu - Lhasa Apso - Jack Russell" though many in-the-know dog owners exclaim "you have a Tibet Spaniel"! Low and behold, when I did a Google image search, page after page was filled with pictures of ... Winnie. I'm currently writing a recipe book called "Tibetan Spaniels - 3 basic ingredients and worth the wait". ;-)

Winnie literally saved my life. Like you, I too am a marketer however unlike you, I chose to leave a national organization a number of years back to begin my own boutique (aka me, myself and I) marketing and design company that initially was fairly successful. Over time, the work dried up, a long relationship ended and I found myself alone and despondent... allowing my little dream company to go fallow.

I dug such a black hole that I started avoiding contact with friends and family, stared blankly at my computer screen each day, and let too much time slip away. I guess a tiny corner of my brain called survival instinct drove me to seek companionship and I stumbled across Winnie, the last of a litter being flogged for $300 on Craigslist (she was clearly one of the pawns in a revenue generation project for the teenage couple who sold the puppies).

During our first day together, Winnie learned to poo outside, fetch the ball, sit, lie down, and even roll over... then stared at me as if to say "what else you got?". The first day on the boardwalk, it seemed every single person we met fell in love with Winnie but offered up the caveat "puppies... a lot work right?". Yeah right. It took at least half a day to teach her every trick and behavior I could think of.

It's hardly news, but the power of a vigorous life-force like a puppy can literally save a life. The walks, the play, the unconditional love... priceless foundation on which to start to rebuild.

I admit I'm envious that you found yourself in a work environment where you can use your marketing skills in the world of pets. I too have been looking for some kind of role in that milieu. I even investigated the possibility of working as a vet assistant for welfare-wages, but became convinced my atrophied brain wouldn't be able to manage the rather overwhelming learning curve. So I'm resigned to finding a way into that world on the back of my existing (marketing) skill sets.

I have a PET project scribbled on a scrap of paper that I hope to flesh out one day, inspired my client work (here in Canada and around the world) with the storage of cord blood stem cells (not the much-debated embryonic ones)... that would harness the healing potential of these canine and feline master cells for pet therapies.

Maybe you'd consider joining an informal brain-storming session one day. So far I've shared the idea with Winnie's rather brilliant young vet who is very interested in the concept.

Thanks again for sharing your story, I know it touched hundreds if not thousands of readers.


pebble said...

Dear Andrea,

With such a title at the front page of Star, I couldn't help but reading it! .. and after reading your article, I just couldn't help myself but rushed down to my computer to take a look at your blog! :)

Like many others, I'm deeply moved by what you wrote .. so comfortably showing your vulnerability, so eloquent to express yourself (both in writing and through your photography) .. somehow, by hearing your stories as told by your soul/inner child, it seems to help me, at least momentarily to heighten the awareness of this very moment of being .. to observe, to discover, to serve and to be grateful of being.

I'm going to read more of your blog. Very much looking forward to reading your book (if they have not been published already - I'm sure that they will! haha! You're destined to produce some best sellers - "It is written!" (said Peter O'Toole in Lawrence of Arabia :))!

Thank you for sharing .. I'm proud to be part of this human race because of people like you! :)

Roch (Scarborough, Ont., Canada)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Andrea. It is a wonderfully-written, heart-warming story of your life with Sophie. Perhaps you can share the photo of you two another time?

Emma Rose said...

We loved the newspaper article and hope to see the "other" picture soon. But, Sophie, now that you are famous will we still be friends? I would be terribly sad not to see you everyday!

Emma Rose

SamsMom said...

I have a Sophie, named Sam. He saved my life after being diagnosed with a aggressive form of cancer. He makes me laugh, gives me love and makes me smile every day.

Give Sophie a hug for me

Cindy - Culture Shock Coaching said...

I so appreciate when someone chooses a career path that is authentic to who they are and what we love. People so infrequently stop to consider what they want to do to fulfill themselves instead of to fill their wallets. What is so ironic is that if you are making great money doing what you hate, what are the possible financial gains doing something that you love?? Look at Guy Laliberty. He loved being a street entertainer and was passionate in the art. He is now one of the richest Canadians as the founders of Cirque du Soleil - a travelling group of street performers, taken to a new level. The only limitations to our success are the limitations we impose on ourselves.
My personal story is similar. I'm now doing work that resonates through my soul. I work with business and individuals to make Mondays the best day of the week. Check out my blog at
Best of luck with your new career path!!

I rock on said...

your article put a lump in my throat, I haven't been laid off from the corporate world (yet), but know that it is not my calling to be there, and need the courage to quit. Coming home to my dog, Marty, is the only thing that keeps me going.
thanks so much for the article, it made my day to know that it can be done.

gigi said...

I'm so happy for you! I know you must have been both scared and excited to open up to the world about what you have been thru and the steps you have taken to get to this point in your life today. We all need to take the path less taken sometimes. Finding the unexpected may just bring you more joy and happiness.
Loved the article!

Lose That Girl said...

Thanks for sharing your wonderful story in the Star. Your story is truly inspiring and as someone who was laid off last year in my industry, I can certainly relate. I, too have left my old field and am finding my way down a new path, one that means much more to me. I'm also awaiting the arrival of my puppy and am certainly most relishing my new role as puppy mum this summer. I'm thrilled to have been introduced to your blog and will visit often!

Tatersmama said...

Perfect, sweetheart. Just perfect!
*hugs for you*

Pam said...

What a great story! I love your picture. I applaud you.

dw said...

Andrea, your article is beautiful and it touched my heart. Hugs to you and Sophie.

Violet said...

I was reading that story and I wondered...
Great article (and photo)!

T said...

Very nice article! I am so glad your story can be shared with many.:)

The OP Pack said...

What a well-told story - we thoroughly enjoyed reading it. The love of a pet and its keeper is so heartwarming.

Woos, the OP Pack

MariesImages said...

thanks for posting the link to your article, I really enjoyed reading it. It is a great piece!

SassyDog said...

Good for you, Andrea! Some of the comments left on the newpaper were rather harsh. I just say what doesn't kill you just makes you stronger! I worked for GTE. Bell Atlantic merged with GTE and became Verizon in late 2000. Bell ran GTE into the ground and so many old GTE people have lost their jobs.

Butler and Bagman said...

Very well done article. Reading it in the midst of our ocean of blogs, it reminded me of the skill of polishing a piece of writing...nicely polished. Having been fired three times, I could identify with it alot!

Carolina said...

I just read your story Andrea and really enjoyed reading it as I always enjoy reading your blog and seeing your photos.

I've also read some of the comments on it. Don't let them bother you please. They say more about those people than about you. The obviously have different things in life that make them happy, if they ever are ;-)

Hugs to you and Sophie

Jan said...

That was wonderful. You should be very proud.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Andrea, I finally got a chance to read your article. It was very good, I am so glad Sophie showed you her path!! Sometimes we just get a fork in our road. I hope you have no what ifs, or woulda, shoulda, couldas.
Your new job sounds like a blast, working with people that love pets. My kind of people!
I believe that with your style of writing and your photography skills..we have only seen your beginning. I am going to say "I knew her back then!" HA! :)