I’ve worked for The Air Force for some 18 years, and the Army for a couple of more. You see the military is a higher calling for most, and it’s not to say that our brothers in arms don’t abide by the same core values, for they do in their own verbiage. It might be different words but the same goals.
The Air Force core values are: Integrity first, Service before self, and Excellence in all we do.
I suddenly realized that these core values are the same ones exhibited by dogs. Maybe that’s where the came from? I don’t know for sure, but they seem to exemplify dogs in general.
Integrity First: The bottom line is doing the right thing even when no one is looking. From saving Nome in the serum run of 1925 to detecting mines, finding victims of earthquakes, and avalanches to name a few they do the right thing.
Service before self: Service before self tells us that doing the right things take precedence over personal desires. From the front lines of the military, police officers, and service dogs in general they give their all regardless of the risks.
Excellence in all we do: Excellence in all we do directs us to develop a sustained passion for continuous improvement, and to be more than we ever thought possible. No matter the skill level a dog will do his best to please us. We may not be happy with the results but they give everything they have. You cannot ask for more from anyone or anything than their best.
So, what can we learn from dogs? Pretty much everything that is important. Try to emulate a dog, and you will do well.
An interesting thought. I have lately been thinking a lot about values and how important they are for building trust. Shared values are a foundation for trust which is difficult to build without them.
I am an active Finnish army reserves nco and I share basically the same foundation. But I never reflected that on the dogs, consciously. But perhaps that is why I find it so enjoyable to work with them.
Have you read Mike Ritland’s ‘Team Dog’? I thought it was an interesting glimpse into the world of service dogs. I wrote a brief review of it from musher perspective a while back: https://trailwinds.info/mushjukkis/book-review-team-dog-by-mike-ritland/