It’s with a heavy heart I write this blog. Laura and I had to make the hardest decision of our lives this week. Our beautiful dog, Mr Big, had been unwell and declining rapidly since we returned from Italy. A visit to the vet and some blood tests showed serious kidney and liver issues. He had lost a lot of weight, was not eating or drinking and was in a lot of discomfort. It broke both of our hearts, but on the vet’s recommendation and with his best interests in mind, we chose to peacefully end his suffering. This blog is written, with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat, as a dedication to a little man who changed our lives, and one who made the most of every second of and every opportunity in his sixteen years on this planet. It’s my hope as you read this, you will stop procrastinating and get up to make the most of every opportunity that comes your way.

Laura got Mr Big, before we had met, and for much of our early marriage, he lived with Laura’s parents. I became his adopted father only about six years ago, and, very quickly fell in love with this lovable, quirky and cheeky little dog. I have written about him in earlier blogs and his obsession with food. He loved eating and he would do anything to get his next meal. He would never waste a second of his life, nor one opportunity to look for, find and get more food into his body.

Our other dog Joia, who suffered from the gastrointestinal disease Parvo as a puppy, was and still is consequently more cautious about eating. It takes her a while to sniff around and get in the mood to eat. Well, to Mr Big this meant nothing but opportunity. He would firstly gulp down his own food and then wait patiently for his chance to swoop. He would watch Joia sniff around her food and when she turned her back, he would check to make sure Laura and I weren’t watching. Then, within a split second, he would pounce and before we would see him or could do anything to stop him, he had polished off her plate of food as well.

I eat protein bars regularly and buy them by the box. Whenever I made the mistake of leaving the bag of unopened protein bar boxes in striking distance, Mr Big would make me pay the price for my carelessness. One day, I was sitting at the table doing some writing while Mr Big was pottering outside. All of a sudden, he started scratching on the class door to get in, with something in his mouth. What is that? I thought. Upon closer inspection, it was a protein bar. He had ripped into a box, stolen it, was outside looking for a place to hide it when he decided to bring it back inside to eat.

Rip into the box, if that’s what it takes!

Then one day, I got home from appointments to find torn cardboard all over the floor and Mr Big with a guilty, yet satisfied look on his face. Yes, he had chewed his way through a thick cardboard box to see what he could find. Well, as you can see from the first picture, he found plenty. A lot of the evidence is not there because it was residing happily in Mr Big’s stomach! He never ever, in all of his sixteen years, missed an opportunity to find and enjoy food. That is what I love about him and will miss about him the most. So, my question to you is this; what are you prepared to rip into today to take the opportunities that are there waiting for you?

Mr Big never waited for an opportunity to come knocking at the door, he always went out and made it happen. There is so much I have learned and can share from the life of this remarkable little dog. It’s a pretty simple message for you this week, and one that comes at a time when many people are reflecting on the year gone by, and the start of a new year. How has your 2018 been? Did you go out and make things happen, or, did you sit and wait for things to come to you? Are you happy with what you have achieved, or, are you a little disappointed because of what you didn’t do? Well, you can’t change the past, but you can control your future by what you choose to do today. It is with my strongest encouragement that you take a leaf out of the book of Mr Big and… sniff out, find and make the most of every single opportunity.

Firstly, forgive yourself now, and, learn from and let go of the past you are not happy with. It was Oprah Winfrey who said, ‘Forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the past can be changed.’ Secondly, make a vow that you will not wait until the new year, you will not even wait till tomorrow, but, that you will find and make the most of every opportunity starting… right now. Is it a deal?

If you have let your health and well-being slide, it’s okay, you can’t change the past. You can, however, stop the slide now, and take the opportunity to do something, anything, today. Waiting till after Christmas and New Year is a recipe for ongoing disaster and frustration. Is there an important relationship you have neglected, and keep procrastinating to resolve the conflict? Can I suggest that the longer you leave it, the harder it will be, and so, rip into the box and make the call… now! Are you putting off expanding your business or furthering your career until the new year? Again, this is a big mistake. What can you do today? What can you make happen? Who could you call? Why not get something happening now that will set up 2019 for success?

How long do you want to wait for your book to be written and the amazing benefits to start? How long do you need to over-analyse before you act on opportunities to diversify your income and change your financial future? Do you think your dream will just come and knock on your door, or, maybe you should take any opportunity, right now, to start doing what you need to do to make it happen?

There’s no doubt about it, Laura and I are mourning the loss of our son, our friend and our beautiful boy, Mr Big. What we will love and remember about him the most is what I hope you will take from this blog and apply in your life, today… he made the most of every opportunity!