Content Dam Diq Print Articles Volume 3 Issue 2 1601apxedn P01

The dogs are lying (now's your chance)

March 22, 2016
Apex360 Chief Editor Zac Kulsrud muses about the maxim, "Let sleeping dogs lie," enacting changes, and the New Year. He also announces some important changes for Apex360.

Apex360 Chief Editor Zac Kulsrud muses about the maxim, "Let sleeping dogs lie," and the New Year. He also announces some important changes for Apex360.

There is a maxim that warns, "Let sleeping dogs lie." It means you should refrain from stirring up trouble, pressing your luck, or fixing something that ain't broken. However, I believe I understand this on a literal level. Let me explain . . .

In the summer of 2014, my wife and I were driving back from a friend's house one evening. We had just watched the United States defeat Ghana in the opening game of the World Cup, and the mood was light. When we were approximately three miles from our house, a stray dog walked onto the country highway in front of our car. We live in an area that is relatively rural, so we're used to seeing dogs on the road. But this one looked like a stray in trouble. It was emaciated—a white-blonde Australian shepherd with only a flicker of life in its sapphire-blue eyes. "Please take me; you're my only hope," those eyes seemed to say. So we did. We decided to shelter it overnight, giving it food, water, and a fluffy bed in a large, open crate in our backyard. I remember saying, optimistically, "If the United States can beat Ghana, we can find this dog a home!"

The next morning, my wife woke me up. "Zac," she said. "I think you need to see this." I asked her what in the world she meant. She said, "That dog had puppies."

And, holy moly, did it ever. It had puppies, all right-nine of them!

Over the next eight weeks, we had one of the greatest "adventures" of our lives, raising a litter of mixed-breed puppies in our garage. We eventually found forever homes for all of them, including the mom dog. We had no idea what we were doing when we started, but we had a ton of help, persevered through our mistakes, and learned a little bit about life—including the origins of the phrase "let sleeping dogs lie." That's because, at one point that summer, we had not 10 dogs but 14 dogs: the mom dog, the puppies, three of our own, and another stray that we took in. (It's a long story.)

I can say from experience that it takes a joint act of God, Buddha, Allah, Zeus, and quantum physics to get 14 dogs to lie. But when it happens, you'd best take advantage of it. Otherwise, your time will be lost to 14 nudging snouts, a cacophony of deafening barks echoing through your garage and through your ears, and 52 romping feet, signaling, "The lying is over."

That brings me to 2016. It's the beginning of the year, and for most of us, the proverbial dogs are lying in our work lives. The holiday crunch is over, January is slow for business, winter is bearing down, and everyone is regrouping. While the business world takes a breather, I would advise that now is the time to implement a change. Whether it's learning something new, changing something significant about your practice workflow, or implementing a critical change that can help you in the long run, the time is now. Those dogs won't be asleep for long.

We've implemented changes to Apex360 that I am proud to present in our first issue of the year. We're debuting four new columnists: Naomi Cooper; Reese Harper, CFP; Jessica Lalau; and Rachel Mele. Prepare to have your mind blown. They will be writing regularly on finances, selling, and marketing. We're also debuting articles from members of our still "fresh-out-of-the-box" Apex360 Editorial Advisory Board, starting with a piece by embezzlement guru Jean Patterson, CPA, CFP. You'll also want to check out new perspectives on practice transitions by Rusty Holcombe, CFP, and insightful opinion on what #CeciltheLion can teach dentists about social media and themselves.

We're excited to share the expertise of these individuals with you. It's been the culmination of many, many months of work in developing a brain trust for our magazine. It's the kind of critical mass of talent we set out to build last year, which I wrote about in January 2015 and hoped you would build in your professional lives to help your talents shine.

One last note: Next month, look for our special issue with the working title of "Corporate dentistry 2.0." Until then, enjoy this issue and remember—let those dogs lie.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in the January–February 2016 issue of Apex360.