Life at Doglando: Challenges & A Follow-Up On Adversity

Victor here again, with more insights into daily life at Doglando. We’ve talked a bit about how children at Camp Doglando and elsewhere work through adversity.

Today, I’m going to tell you about some of the challenges us staff members face at Doglando. Our staff at Doglando face their fair share of adversity:

  • We’re completely exposed to the elements (and you know what that can mean in Central Florida!).
  • We’re constantly on the move in our workplace, too. In the heat of an Orlando summer simply being outside can be a challenge — try moving around all day!
  • We have to pay constant, close attention to the minute behaviors our dogs are showing us.
  • Time constraints can sometimes be a thing that rattles the team as well.

We all have to learn how to work with these challenges, and doing so ultimately makes us all better play professors.

Working with the great outdoors (frozen fingers & mud included)

When I think of the elements I think of all of the things in my environment that can come into contact with me.

While the weather plays a major role in this definition, elements also include things like mosquitos and dirt. Doglando has the luxury of being a mostly outdoor facility for our dogs. This luxury also means that our staff is outside with them no matter what time of year it is.

Winters at Doglando can be extremely difficult. Early in the mornings when the temperatures are still at their lowest, our staff begins to show up for work. Knowing that our days typically start pretty quickly we have to come in understanding that we’ll probably have frozen hands for a few hours.

Summers are a bit different for us. We have to be extremely intentional about cooling our dogs down. Temperatures continue to climb as we’re approaching mid-July. The dogs are definitely impacted, and the heat takes it’s toll on us staff, too. It’s common for me to get home after a day in the sun and feel as though my energy has been completely zapped.

“The elements” might not sound like a label for overcoming challenges, but there’s no doubt this environment adds a certain degree of adversity to what we do.

At Doglando, staff are always “on”

Being on our toes all day means there aren’t moments where we have the luxury of being “off”.

When we’re on break we’re still around our dogs. Even then there’s a degree of attention that has to be payed. This can be mentally taxing. By the end of a work week it becomes evident that we need a reset over the weekend (I’m sure you can relate!).

Our minds are running marathons and if we don’t learn how to rest between races it’s only a matter of time before the adversity gets to us and we crash.

Timelines, systems, and why we need them at Doglando

Looking at our days on a linear timeline would stress even the elite in time management.

There’s a lot to be done to keep our facilities safe and clean. Therefore, as staff we have to be intentional about sticking to systems and keeping up with the time.

Time isn’t always on our side, though!

I remember beginning my training with Doglando and just how difficult it was. Often, I would be scheduled to bathe the dogs and then directly following bath time I would load the dog bus for drop offs.

If I lost track of time in the grooming room it would throw the entire end of day routine off. At first I saw this time restraint as a stress, but over time I’ve learned to be able to make the most of every minute. If this isn’t an area of strength in our staff members initially, the challenges they face in our workplace help to grow this skill.

All of the hardships we see at Doglando ultimately help us to become the “perfect” play professors for our dogs. In order to see success, a level of growing pains must be endured. It’s through this pain and adversity that we overcome that we get to where we want to go.

It’s like a wise leader I have once said:

“If you’re not growing, you’re dying.” – Teena Patel

Until next time,

Victor

We all have challenges to overcome, so let’s talk about some of yours! Whether it’s at work, with your dog, with your children, or somewhere else, where have you had to learn to work with life’s challenges recently? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!