How many people can say that they had a dream, pursued it and actually achieved it? In the past three months, I’ve had two dreams come true.  It hasn’t been easy – it’s been downright scary and difficult – but definitely worth it. Do many people die with their dreams unfulfilled because they’re afraid of the trade-offs?

As I stood in front of the audience on Tuesday night at my first reading and signing at a book store, I was living a dream I had had for many years. When I attended other people’s book signings – Lisa Scottoline, Monty Roberts, John O’Hurley and others – I told myself that one day that would be me. And it happened! With a much smaller audience, however! But that’s another dream for another day, a packed house. My other dream was fulfilled, as you know, when Puppy Mill Dogs SPEAK! was published in July, and I’m still riding the high from that accomplishment. 

Going after our dreams may require a good deal of sacrifice.  But it may also be an amazing learning experience and growth opportunity.  The destination of the fulfilled dream isn’t nearly as important as what you may learn along the journey. One thing I learned is that I needed to depend on and trust others; I couldn’t and still can’t do it alone. So many times I wanted to give up but the encouragement of family and friends kept me going.  And two other things helped as well: my love for the animals and desire to help them, and a quote that I read about 15 years ago which I will never forget:

Twenty years from now you’ll probably be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the things you did do.

–Mark Twain

I still have a big dream I’d like to see fulfilled and I’m hoping that you will help: The realization by the public that buying dogs who come from puppy mills needs to stop, and by that recognition we put puppy mills out of business.

What are your dreams and if you aren’t pursuing them, what’s stopping you?