Every day entrepreneurs have incredible opportunities open up, but often we are so focused on the way we think things should unfold, we completely miss what’s in front of us.

When you design your life in a way that you are open to what’s put in front of you, amazing things happen.

A Blessing in Disguise

Such was the case nearly three years ago on an unusually cold and rainy April day. On days like this most people tend to stay inside. On this particular day, our handyman was working at my mother-in-law’s place, cleaning up after a huge ice storm that left some damage in its wake.

Because Nettie lives on the back of our property she is always close by.

“Is that yours?” Nettie asked John.

“No, I thought it was yours,” John replied.

“What is it?” was the next question out of Nettie’s mouth.

“Haven’t a clue. It’s some kind of dog,” was all John could say as Nettie picked up the creature who stank to high Heaven and lay limp in her arms.

Nettie immediately brought the near-dead dog to our home. “Karen, this dog showed up in my yard,” Nettie said to her daughter, tears filling her eyes.

Within minutes, Karen called me about the dog. Karen had called our vet and they told her to bring the dog in at no cost. They couldn’t see the dog for an hour which gave Karen time to take the dog to Molly, our groomer.

The Breed is Revealed

Within minutes of Molly working on the nameless dog, she realized it was a purebred Shih Tzu.

“She has tumors all over her belly. Probably a breeder dog. She’s in really bad shape. She can’t stand up on her own,” Molly told us.

When Karen took her to the vet, they agreed with the assessment of this being a breeder dog. The vet said she was between 8 – 10 years old, almost all her teeth were rotted out, she was blind in one eye, flat on one side (likely from being caged all her life) and had a terrible cataract on the other eye and likely had very little time left.

The fact she had not been spayed was a good indication she had been a breeder dog. It’s likely she had been completely used up, thus the reason she was found wandering our property.

“Let’s do some blood work to determine exactly where she’s at,” our vet suggested.

Later that day we found out that, all things considered, she was in relatively good health. They had done x-rays and found she had a hip that at one point in her life had been dislocated. Without any vet care, it had healed in a way that she limped quite a bit.

“If you have the tumors removed, some dental work done and keep her groomed, she’s likely to have some quality living in her,” our vet said.

“Are you sure she will survive the surgery?” was the obvious question both Karen and I had.

“Yes, I really believe she will.”

Without hesitation, we decided to move ahead with the surgery. As it turns out, there were so many tumors it would require more than one surgery. At over $2,000 per surgery, I knew this was going to take a bite in our finances.

I thought there had to be a way to offset the costs. That’s when I came up with the idea of creating an information product I could sell to pay for as much of the surgery as possible.

What I didn’t realize is how much my community would rally around what I fondly refer to as the “Delaney project.” Our vet tech came up with a very fitting name for our newest family member; Delaney.

With the info product launch, not only did I more than pay for both surgeries, I had unexpected blessings I had no way of anticipating. I was also able to create other fundraising opportunities like Hoofing It For Horses and Dogs.

One such blessing was when I was asked to present at BlogPaws. Yvonne DiVita had been on my subscriber list for quite some time. Until I promoted the program to pay for our newest family member’s surgery, she had no idea how much I loved animals.

“I’m not in the animal space,” was my response to Yvonne when she presented the idea of me doing a breakout session.

“Yes, but you know so much about online marketing and that’s exactly what we are looking for,” she responded. “Our members will love you.”

It didn’t take more than that for me to say yes.

Since that time, I’ve not only spoken at some of the top conference in the animal niche like WIPIN (Women in the Pet Industry) and IBPSA (The International Boarding & Pet Services Association), I’ve also worked one-on-one with clients in the animal space. Clients who were ready to grow their businesses. Everything from service providers, bloggers, facility owners, consultants and lots in between.

I’ve also managed to raise tens of thousands of dollars for worthy causes in the animal space because of adopting Delaney. If anyone would have told me three years ago, I would now be surrounded by professionals in the animal space, I wouldn’t have had any idea to what degree.

http://blogpaws.com/events/2017-conference/As I prepare for BlogPaws2017, taking place in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in May, I can’t help but recognize how truly blessed I am.

Not only will Karen and I both be in attendance, I am the Friday Keynote speaker. I’ll be sharing lots of insights on how to create and recognize opportunities.

If you’re an animal blogger or want to learn what it takes to be one, join hundreds of other animal enthusiasts AND animals in Myrtle Beach. And be sure to attend my keynote presentation.

For more information and to register… go to http://blogpaws.com/events/2017-conference/

If you’re wondering how Delaney is doing today, she’s a rock star. She is healthy, happy and very entitled. Along with her two brothers, she lives a life of leisure.