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Doggy business

I have seen dozens of action movies. No, not dozens, hundreds. Hundreds of action movies with a main character hardened by misfortune and more talented than all the bad guys. He kills them almost with a thought and his movements are like those of a cat. He shoots up the ass. He walks as if nothing is happening with explosions behind him, decapitates villains, falls in love with women and enjoys a good drink while he fixes the world with his gun. Or with his saber or with his fists. He is cunning, cruel and with a face of little friends. Angry because his past haunts him and his pain makes him strong and he says that he doesn’t need anyone or anything but in truth he is like everyone else, looking for relief. But I have never, not once, seen any of those action characters make a violent gesture to a dog. Yes, to a dog. When his dog arrives they smile and play with him, they say “Hey buddy!” or some other nickname overflowing with tenderness and in a fraternal embrace they tier down all their antihero barriers, their ugly faces and their smoking guns.

But why?

Why the collective culture of television never makes these tough-as-marble characters behave badly towards a dog. And I’m talking about a dog, not a cat. Cats are assholes. But dogs are faithful and lick you and wag their tails when they see you and run to hug you when you’ve been away from home for a long time. Yes yes, people can do that too, but then what makes a dog different? What did all those who write those action-packed stories collectively see in canines without realizing it? What things did everyone project at the same time without knowing it into the same four-legged being?

We recently closed a great deal with a client. There are very few things that are as exhilarating as closing a new business, and even more so if it is a big business. The metallic taste of money is felt on the palate when you feel a closure close, the conquest, the electricity throughout your body when the client asks you “When could we start?” It’s intoxicating. And yes, that’s what the client told us, he sent us the contract, we signed it and we drank the victory whiskey. But then, nothing. The client did not sign it on his end, and we asked him when should we start but he answered us with euphemisms or a machine answered us (as assholes as cats) that told us “I’m out of the office, go to hell.” Yes, like that, without explanations. And after much cornering, he retracted. Yes, he retracted, also without explanation. He disguised it with “it’s just that we are restructuring the department” or that “ the partners have another vision” but the thing is that he retracted. No thanks, not right now.

And then I realized, that’s what dogs don’t do: retract.

A dog would never ever say to you “woof woof hey you know what woof woof I don’t love you anymore woof woof go to hell”. No, never, not even to those action characters who cut off the bad guys’ heads and take justice into their own hands. Not to children or flowers or villains or anyone. Once they decide to follow you or love you, they will do so forever. And they are dogs, they stink and they drool and they sniff each other’s tails and they eat garbage. But they don’t take it back, never. Humans smell good (some) and don’t drool (some) and don’t sniff each other’s tails (some) and don’t eat garbage (some). But they do retract. They are assholes. Like cats.

I wish we could do more business with dogs, but they don’t have money. That’s how this business is. Meanwhile, I look for “dogginess” in people so that it is a little safer to do business with them, and if I meet people who are not so doggy, I better let them pass. In spanish we say “esta perro” (it’s doggy) for something difficult, but from now on I will say “esta perro” if something or someone doesn’t retract.

I will continue looking for businesses with doggy people. I won’t take it back.

Those cats are not going to change me.

“Esta perro”.

Software Engineer and psychologist, founder and CEO of Inflexion Software.

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