Friday, September 7, 2012

Julie Winkle Giulioni & Pixel

Who is in the photo at right?

That's me, Julie Winkle Giulioni, a learning and performance improvement expert. Through my company, DesignArounds, I consult with organizations to develop and deploy innovative instructional designs and training worldwide. My new book, Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go (co-authored with Beverly Kaye) is a practical quick-read for managers who’d like to figure out how to fit career development into their already-full dance cards.

Pixel is our six month old Black Labrador/Pitbull mix little girl. Except for the ‘girl’ part, the rest is a guess. My daughter fell in love with her at our local Humane Society and, as you can imagine, they didn’t know a lot more.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Pixel is enjoying her first summer vacation with us on Catalina Island. Catalina is 26 miles off the coast of Los Angeles. My family vacationed here when I was a kid... and my kids have grown up spending summers here. Pixel has come to love the morning ritual of coffee on the deck.

What's brewing?

Jone’s is a small local roaster in Pasadena, California. Madison Blend is a rich, dark brew and my personal favorite.... even just running through our little Mr. Coffee!

Any treats for you or your dog on this occasion?

We keep it pretty simple...just coffee.. and just for me...since we wouldn’t want anything to stunt Pixel’s growth.

How did your dog get her name? Any aliases?

Our 14 year old daughter (Jenna) got to pick Pixel out so she graciously deferred to our 21 year old son (Nick) to name her. At the time, she had just one hair’s width of white on her otherwise black forehead. Nick thought it looked like a pixel on a computer or TV screen... and the rest is history.

How were you and Pixel united?

I’ve had dogs for as long as I can remember. But, earlier this year we had to help our 14 year old Yellow Labrador transition from this life as a result of his deteriorating health. I thought it might be time to take a break... but that didn’t last long.

Our house just doesn’t feel right without a long-nosed kid around. My kids’ nagging just accelerated the inevitable and before long I was face-to-face in the Humane Society meeting room with our next family member.

Does Pixel make any contribution to your work?

I’m fortunate to work at home, so Pixel is with me all day long.

I just love looking over to see the sweet abandon with which she approaches sleep, devouring her chew toys... and just about everything she does. And, with her around, there’s no need to set a timer to get up and away from the computer... she announces that it’s time for a break with a ball in my lap, toy on the desk, or a friendly nudge of my arm away from the keyboard.

Who are Pixel's best pet-pals?

Pixel has really bonded with our daughter, Jenna. It’s so sweet. But she’s really friendly and anyone who happens upon that spot under her chin becomes a friend for life.

So far, we’ve been reluctant to introduce her to other dogs. After only 6 weeks of training, we’re not sure that we’re prepared for that. Although earlier this week, she did come face to face with a deer and let’s just say that I don’t think they’ll be ‘best pet-pals’ anytime soon.

What is Pixel's best quality?

There’s so much to love about Pixel but one thing that’s really charming is how she assumed her role as protector of our home.

Within days of joining us, she decided that protecting us (sometimes from the postman, contractors, etc.) was her job... and she assumes it with great dedication and commitment.

If Pixel could change one thing about you, what would it be?

Pixel likely wishes that I had more time to play... and a stronger grip for her favorite pastime, tug-of-war.

If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which your dog could speak, which actor should do her voice?

This is a hard one... and the family is split. My husband votes for Ellen DeGeneres but Jenna thinks Betty White would be a good casting decision.

If I got to make the final choice, Whoppi Goldberg would get the job.

If Pixel could answer only one question in English, what would you ask her?

What was life like before you joined us?

Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go: Career Conversations Employees Want launches September 18th, 2012. Learn more about Julie Winkle Giulioni’s consulting and speaking at her website and blog.

--Marshal Zeringue

1 comment: