Curated Leadership for Today's World

How I finally became the most popular kid in school

Posted on 02 November 2012

183I confess I wasn’t very hip when I was in school. Part nerd, part band geek, and part quasi-athlete, I mixed with a wide range of kids and never made it to the top of any particular group. But that all changed when my dog wrote a book: at 49 years old, I catapulted beyond Justin Bieber status, all because of my dog, Mr. Blue.

I had no idea that a dog in a tie walking onto an elementary school campus could cause such mayhem. He’s made so many appearances that his reputation precedes him. At every event, at least one youngster has already seen him and anxiously stokes the flames of what’s to come. And when we walk through the halls, its pandemonium.

I hear growing squeals and packs of footsteps behind me as we move to the auditorium. Kids stream out of their classrooms, unable to be restrained any longer. It’s reminiscent of Beatlemania, where hoards of screaming fans just can’t contain their enthusiasm. Yes, my dog truly is a rock star minus the ego and self-destructive tendencies.

I didn’t realize that dogs are verboten on school property in today’s world. There are signs everywhere. Hence, seeing a creature of the canine persuasion enter your facility is a little like seeing a unicorn. You think you’re seeing what you’re seeing, but you can’t actually believe it.

Mr. Blue met with 1,200 of the most pawsome K through 5th graders on the planet over the last two weeks. He gave an average of 10 kisses per student which puts him well into the six-figure range. He shared his leadership principles in the way that only a dog can do, with sweetness, unconditional acceptance, and hound wisdom.

I never know who’s more excited about the whole affair; the dog, the students, or me. It’s seems to be the trifecta of learning and sharing together. But then again, with a dog at the center of the universe for the day, how could it be anything else? When I see the group photos of us all posing together I laugh. When I read the letters they send to me and Mr. Blue about what they learned I cry. When I realize how blessed I am to be sharing with this age group the timeless principles that make life tremendous with my best friend by my side, I think I’ve died and gone to heaven.

It feels great to be the most popular kid in school but I’m glad it took me this long to achieve it. Now I know that being popular amongst the youngsters is all about making them feel valued and inspired. And I’ve got just the sidekick to help me out.

If you would like to schedule an appearance by Mr. Blue, but you live outside of the Central Pennsylvania area, please be sure to send your private jet to pick him up. Rock stars don’t fly in the cargo hold!

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2 comments

  • traceyjones: February 20, 2016

    Thanks so much Mark. When you put that comment on our facebook page about how Blue and I are doing the most important work of all, even I felt like a rock star!! Thank you for being an endless source of encouragement to me. Have a blessed Thanksgiving!! All the best from the entire team hear at Tremendous Life Books!!!

  • Mark Armstrong: February 20, 2016

    Aw, man. This has to be the feel good post of the year… : )

    I know I’m repeating myself, as my old parrot used to say, but I can’t imagine any better, finer, more important, or more needed work than what you and Mr. B. are doing when you visit schools and inspire kids and show them just how Tremendous life and the future can be.

    I loved the line about Blue being a rock star “minus the ego and self-destructive tendencies.” Why can’t stoopid rock stars learned that trick??

    I also loved the line about Blue sharing leadership principles “with sweetness, unconditional acceptance, and hound wisdom.” It’s worth thinking long and hard that leadership principles can’t be shared— shared, and really communicated— any other way.

    Finally: OK, Blue’s a genius, but he hadda learn all that stuff from someone, and I think I know who that someone is. Tracey, it’s a pleasure to know you. Wishing you and the gang a very Happy Thanksgiving!!

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