Being the Bad-Ass Cop

When I

decided to transition from a job at the law firm into a business owner of Food On Our Table, my husband Andy had one condition that he insisted I agree to: I had to take responsibility for training Sadie, our dog.

It really had to be me. I am the bad cop in our family. You know the good cop/bad cop routine we see played out in TV dramas? Yeah, playing the bad one, that’s my role.

Around here, I’m the enforcer, the rule maker and I hold everyone accountable.

What I soon realized after I agreed to train Sadie was that she had been acting like a bad cop for the past seven years. What she wanted was rules and accountability, but instead, all we offered her was pure love. No limits, no rules. Just love. The result was that she took on the Alpha Female role in the house – barking, jumping, demanding. She has spent years trying to corral us like wayward sheep.

We had two bad cops living under one roof, which is never a good idea. Like female mud wrestling, when two Alphas butt heads, no one earns respect but a lot of dirt gets thrown around.

When we travel, Sadie usually stays at the Hightail Hotel. Rebecca, who works there, noticed Sadie’s bad

cop ways and offered to help us

train her. It seemed that Sadie didn’t always listen at the Hightail either.

The dog is eight years old. Can a bad cop learn new tricks?

Armed with determination and a water bottle, I was ready to take back the bad cop title in our home. People who know Sadie didn’t believe that she was trainable. I wasn’t sure myself, but I knew I had to try.

It took commitment and perseverance, but, I’m happy to report, she is changing. She no longer barks and demands food at the dinner table. She no longer high jumps our guests. She still growls a bit, but she no longer accosts us every time we walk through the door.

How did I get her to change her behavior? I changed my behavior. Regardless of whether it was inconvenient or required more work, I stuck to my training. My discipline and determination paid off. I’ve been deputized with a new title: I’m now the Bad-Ass cop in town.

The Bad-Ass Cop role has three distinct characteristics:

In spite of a little fear, Bad-Ass Cops grab their courage with both hands and do it anyway.

Bad-Ass cops never quit, even if quitting would be an easy way out.

Bad-Ass Cops set rules for themselves first, and they always follow through.

Why don’t you try a week as the Bad-Ass Cop, either at home or at work? Take the lead, and do what you say you will do. And refuse to quit, because that’s simply not an option. Hold yourself accountable and do what needs to be done.

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