The Puppy Blues

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Photo Credit: Tara Fisher 2016

Bella stared at me with her big brown eyes as she anticipated her next move. She lunged toward the back of my head grabbing my hair. I covered my eyes hoping she would calm down or go away. Seconds later, she attacked the couch pillows making them her next victim.

My first thought, this dog is evil.

My second thought, did we make the right choice?

My final thought, can I handle this lifestyle?

My husband and I adopted Bella in 2013. As a little girl, I loved the movie “Milo and Otis.” I only wanted a pug in my life. I watched pug videos, learned about pug health issues and researched pug training tips. We were prepared for this new addition in our lives.

There was one big problem to this equation, I never owned a dog. My husband grew up with a farm of different animals, but I only understood cats. Cats were independent and clean. Dogs were dirty and smelly.

The day Bella entered our home; my husband had to work all day. I was left alone with Bella. Once the foster parent drove away, Bella immediately took control. She pooped upstairs, peed on the bed, and attacked the furniture. She earned her nickname Gremlin by the end of the day. When my husband came home from work, he found me locked in my room hiding from Bella. This little pug beagle mix had me terrified.

I cried for days about our decision to adopt Bella. I had no connection to her, and I didn’t want to understand her. My husband told me I had to learn how to be patient with her, but it was hard when she was interrupting “The Walking Dead.”

The days passed and I was overwhelmed, irritated and angry at Bella. It was her fault that my routine was different. It was her fault if I had to get out of bed early. I began to wonder if postpartum depression happened to people who adopted dogs. I worried if I was experiencing these symptoms with Bella, would this happen if I had children?  I decided to research post dog depression, but the technical term is Post Puppy Depression (PPD). It turns out that there are millions of people who adopt dogs who are not aware of PPD. After learning that I was not alone, I realized I needed to step back and try to understand this little Gremlin.

About a month later, my husband and I took Bella to see the in-laws. Bella was having a wonderful time playing with the other dogs. As she was chasing another dog, she fell into the pool. I immediately went into panic mood screaming for my husband. He didn’t hear me so I started coaching Bella how to swim. She naturally found the stairs and I pulled her out. My heart was racing, and I picked up that little Gremlin and hugged her for a long time.

It’s hard to imagine my life without Bella. She puts a smile on my face every day. She is my other half and I consider her my child. We adopted our second pug, Sookie, last year. I didn’t experience any PPD with Sookie. I knew what to expect the second time around, and I was open to learning how Sookie would be different from Bella.

My experience with PPD has not scared me away from having children. I know children are different from dogs, but at least I know that trust and patience takes time.

Copyright 2016 Tara Fisher 

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10 Reasons to Stop Stereotyping Retail Workers and Hire Them

You’ve tailored you resume. You’ve searched every outlet on the internet. You’ve networked with people in your industry. You’ve had interviews.  You have a degree, and you still cannot find a job outside of retail. You may be wondering if you are being stereotyped. Are recruiters looking at your resume saying “oh he or she works for blank? They have no experience in this field.”  It is unfortunate, but there are recruiters who will overlook your experience and immediately type cast you as the typical retail worker. Working in retail is hard work. Merchants have to run a business, deal with other workers and also maintain a sense of sanity by the end of the day.  Here’s why recruiters should look past where you work and read up on your experience.

1) We can multi task like no other

We can handle helping a customer, dealing with an associate issue and holding a box of product at the same time. We understand that we have to move with a sense of urgency to assist multiple customers in a short amount of time.

2) We make deadlines

We have sales goals to meet. We have to hire a certain amount of workers within a month. We have to move product around to increase business sales daily. We only have 11 hours in a typical work day to complete many deadlines. We do not procrastinate.

3) We can handle conflict like a champ

We handle customer situations daily, and know how to make it right. We deal with associates complaining about their schedules and that their feet hurt. We know how to set the record straight.

4) We train each other

Everyone completes a training program, but we are always coaching to each other. We know how to take criticism because we have to find ways to make our business better.

5) We are business savvy

We may sell shoes, clothes or underwear, but most of us run $8 million companies or higher. We have to handle overall store operations such as payroll, scheduling, daily sales goals, product placement and more.

6) We think outside of the box

We are quick thinkers and are creative. We have to change something if it is not working for our business. This may mean making a floor move, observing different associates to find new tactics or asking the team for new ideas.

7) We are not afraid of long hours

We work Black Friday, holidays, weekends and occasionally overnight.  We will not complain and will get our job done, even if we have to work overtime.

8) We work with diverse people

We understand diversity and have to adapt to different personalities. We learn how to change our leadership styles to match the different personalities we have working for us.

9) We are strong communicators

We have to communicate goals to other managers, associates and customers. It is extremely important to make sure we always follow up with our team.

10) We are quick learners

We are quick learners and are used to face pace environments. Many of us learn something once and can figure out the rest. It will not take long to train us for any type of job.

So, the next time you notice retail experience on a candidate’s resume, please take a second to look and remember we could be a great asset to your team.

Tara Fisher is a highly experienced leader in retail management. She has over 14 years of experience in the field. 

“Have I Gone Mad?”

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I have a slight  “Alice in Wonderland” obsession. I can relate to the story as I continue my own journey through life.  Alice taught me that its okay to be different.  It’s okay to not always know which road to take. Alice uses her curiosity to help her take different risks in her life. She doesn’t let road blocks get in her way.

As I was out shopping today, I picked up a few new items to add to my “Alice” collection. I have a small Cheshire Cat for my desk, along with a new top and hair bow for my next Disney adventure. I can always count on Hot Topic to have awesome Disney products.

The next time someone asks if you are mad, just reply with “all the best people are!”

Hello June!

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“The sea is strange, the path is long. For I can only follow the footprints ahead.” – Excerpt from my untitled work.

The month of June means the beginning of summer and beach days for many, but for me it is a chance to start over. I’m at the half way point in my 33rd year of life, and I still have a lot I need to accomplish. I look back at where I was last year at this time and I have improved, but I’m ready to start following my dreams. I was born to be a writer and that is what I intend to do, no matter how hard each day may become. I will find the time to accomplish what I was made to be. Thank you all for your continued support as I achieve my dreams.

Copyright 2016 Tara Fisher