The Story of Goldie


The other day I came home from a week away, having done events all over the country.

Walking in the house, no one got up from their phones, casually, barely acknowledging my return, as I tiptoed confused into my humble abode, surprised by such a glib reaction from my children.

I asked if anyone had seen our dog, Goldie, and no one could actually recall the last time they’d either heard from her or even held her…and they went back to looking at their phones.

I wandered the house in search of my little dog.

She was nowhere to be found.

Finally, in the basement, I could hear a faint breathing behind the couch in a dark corner.

Horrified, I found Goldie, our sweet dog, her eyes crusted over, her back covered in sores, her hair matted and greasy.

Gently picking her up off the floor, I held her frail body and put her close to my face.  Her nose was dry, and I kissed her to see if she would realize it was me.

Her left eye barely opened, as she licked my nose to kiss me back, and a small tear fell from her eye.

Suddenly she breathed out a sigh and…tragically, passed away in my arms.

Collapsing, I sobbed on the floor as I held our precious dog, and the next thing I knew, I woke up, crying in my hotel bed.

Shocked by the vivid detail of the dream, I returned home later that day and told this story to my children. They cried. I cried. It was not the kind of thing you want to tell your kids.

I asked them why I would have this dream?

They each confessed that, as of late, none of them had fought over having Goldie sleep in their rooms with them and she had slept alone on the couch downstairs. They hadn’t taken her outside, played with her, or even really noticed her.

I asked if they felt Goldie might miss having her siblings want her near them, and they each said of course, that they really love her.  I also committed to being more attentive to our little dog.

Over the past few days since my dream, Goldie has been fawned over, cared for, played with, snuggled, talked with, and had a child’s bed to sleep in.  They fight over her again.



I feel bad sharing this sad dream story with you, my reader, but it showed me the power of a well placed story to change behavior for the better.

I didn’t know it would actually be that effective, as I just shared a sad dream with my kids, but it truly changed our whole family due to the harshness of the crafting of the story, and the thought of losing our dog.

In some cases, sharing a nightmare with children would be advised against, but I felt there was a reason this dream should be retold and it has improved our home and Goldie’s life immediately.

The Promise to Communicate with those we love, where a story, parable, or analogy may give us more reason to love, care, give, or show respect, service, and tolerance, is of the utmost importance.  The recognition of time, the clock running out, and what we can’t get back, may often be the greatest motivator to manufacture improved behavior in any life.

I could have told the kids to get off their phones and play with the dog, or demand they care for her like they used to, and make sure she is in their rooms at night.

That probably would have only made them not want to do anything even more.

Or I could tell them a really sad story and horribly tragic detailed dream.

Somehow the story stuck, and now things are better.

What story do you need to tell, or dream relayed, in order to inspire those you love to love even more?



~ Jason Hewlett

Husband, Father, Writer, Mentor, Hiker

  • Speaker Hall of Fame * Award-Winning Entertainer * Promise Legacy Project Coach
  • World’s Only Keynote Speaker utilizing entertainment, musical impressions, and comedy to Create Legendary Leadership through the Power of Commitment
  • Author of “The Promise To The One”

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15 thoughts on “The Story of Goldie”

  1. Man, this freaked me out! I was about to wish condolences. I read the first part of this in church and decided to put it away and focus. You see……our dog is named Goldie too and she weighs 5 lbs. We have had her for about 5 years and we all love he to death. It saddens me to think she might already be half way through her life. Good reminder to take care of the things and people that are close to you and to let them know how important they are. Thanks for sharing! I am glad both of our Goldie’s are ok.

    1. I am sorry for the scare, especially during church. But yes, you weren’t the only one who has messaged me about that, most have sent private DM’s saying I ruined their day…and sadly they hadn’t clicked the link to read the rest of the story. May our Goldie’s always remind us of what is most important!

  2. This morning I read the first part of this post and have been absolutely heartbroken all day long. I wanted to call with my most sincere condolences or even bring by food for your family. I am just now reading it in its entirety. What a way to grab the heartstrings! Also, what a great way to share a valuable message. Thank you for sharing and our sweet Isabel (14 yrs old) thanks you too. The video of Goldie talking is priceless, such a sweet girl.

    1. Heidi, I’m sorry for the way its worded, it certainly messed with many people today. It’s a powerful example. And yes, sweet Isabel is my buddy and grateful she’s hanging in there! Have an amazing week, I’m thinking of you and what is ahead on Thursday.

  3. I loved this story. It is so important to be reminded of what you care about before the opportunity to show & express that love is taken away. My father passed away suddenly and I have mixed feelings about that. Overall, I am happy he went quickly and didn’t have to be under the care of medical professionals (a thing he despised) however, not truly getting to say goodbye made us feel sad. However, my family & I were able to realize & appreciate those around us more which is a beautiful thing.

    1. I’m so sorry about your Father’s passing. These reminders keep us in a state of extreme gratitude when often nothing else will. My thoughts are with you.

  4. So glad that was a dream! Wow, the power of a story is amazing at motivating behavior. Much more effective than commands. Stories draw us in and make things personal and very meaningful. Thanks for sharing this and for reposting it.

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