when too much focus is a bad thing

Wanting something so badly that you can taste it on the tip of your tongue is a feeling that most of us can relate to. Whether it be pursuing publication, longing for that special someone, or even trying to drop a few pounds, the level of focus required to achieve any major goal is intense. That said, sometimes too much focus can be a bad thing.

Case-in-point, Pickle.

Our Yorkie, Mr. Pickle-pants, has always been fascinated with squirrels (read: chased constantly) but in our new house, that obsession has been taken to the next level. Why? Because our new property has chipmunks and apparently, chipmunks are the greatest thing of all time.

So, naturally, Pickle can hardly function.

Every morning, he scampers from the back door towards the bird feeder, where his formerly-loved squirrels feast on the bird seed that's fallen to the ground. Only now, instead of running into the trees, trying to chase them down, he goes past the bird feeder and takes a spot in the rocky waterfall, where he's convinced Mr. Chippy and his family live. 

The waterfall's not on, obviously. Ha!

Without fail, he goes to the same spot every time, CONVINCED that if he waits long enough, Mr. Chippy et al will appear. 

Spoiler Alert: This has never happened. 

No matter how hard Pickle stares, The Chippy Family remains hidden in the depths of the rocks. Pickle hardly even notices my laughter, or continuous photo taking, because he's so focused on the chipmunk-occupied hole that the rest of the world melts away. Now obviously, it's important that Pickle stays vigilant in his staring because chipmunks are fast and if he blinks too much he may miss them, but there's a significant downside to such intense concentration.

No, it's not severe neck cramps or escalating anticipatory anxiety, although both are most definitely present, but the greater problem is that extreme focus on one thing can prevent you from seeing the bigger picture. Sure, that may not seem like a big deal because, after all, you need to keep your eye on the prize, but consider poor Pickle-pants as a cautionary tale, because if he had taken just a little break to look around, he probably would have noticed that the very thing he'd been waiting to emerge from the rocks had also been staring at him...

If only my little Pickle-pants had looked slightly to his right, all of his dreams would have come true. Haha!

Lesson learned?

Although intense focus is required to achieve any major goal, sometimes, a slight shift in perspective can make a world of difference.

(ps. If you're wondering, yes, Pickle was again out at the waterfall this morning. Waiting…)


  1. Our beloved RottieX,Banjo, is the same. All day, he waits by the back door, staring out, looking for 'ninja squirrels'. All we have to do is say, 'where are the squirrels, Banjo?' and he's at the door, staring, hoping, waiting... and if we taunt him enough, whining. Whining in anticipation of the sneaky ninja squirrels. We're horrible, horrible people! lol.

  2. What a lesson!! HAHA love this story Jennie!

  3. so adorable! I love that your dog's name is Pickle!

  4. I totally expected this to somehow end with Pickle in the pond LOL So funny though, having little furbabies is the best :)


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