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I Keep Digging but Where is My Treat?


I admit it.

I have prematurely anticipated the payoff for my hard work in business, relationships and life in general.

Let’s face it, who doesn’t want to be recognized for their effort, talent and patience?

However, I have noticed that victory marches are scheduled for days when you least expect them.

Procuring of Treats

My dogs bury some of the treats that I give them in various spots around our yard.

The unearthing of these treasures is not an everyday affair. In fact, it seems to occur randomly and for reasons which I don’t fully understand. 

The dogs don’t have any control over when I give them treats but they know exactly when it is time to dig up one of the many scrumptious rewards that have been stowed away.

Is It My Turn Yet?

As a kid and young adult, I was a competitive tennis player. At that time in my life, tennis was my passion and a source of validation.

After two successful years of high school tennis, including an undefeated season, I entered my junior year sensing that the top spot on the team was mine. I had done everything the coach asked of me while gracefully waiting for the upperclassmen to close out their brilliant careers

It was my turn.



I got so swept up in believing that I deserved the number one spot on the team that I forgot of go out and execute on the tennis court.

Let the Excavating Begin

Devastated and embarrassed, I accepted the number two spot on the team for my junior year.

As I sat on the court, exhausted with tears welling up in my eyes, I had no idea that I was merely just starting to excavate my “treat” from the soil.

The bitter taste of disappointment stuck with me for the next 12 months. It resulted in me improving my skills, running extra miles for stamina on the court and affirming to myself that when on the court nothing else mattered but the fuzzy yellow round thing coming towards me.

I was digging for my treat. I wasn’t sure when I would be able to get my paws on it but I was getting closer.

Keep Digging

The first practice of my senior year arrived and it was time to prove myself. Visions of last year’s disappoint came over me but I just kept working at my goal.

My focus was solely on winning the top spot and sinking my teeth into my long awaited treat.

Paydirt At Last!

After a week of practice and gut-wrenching competition, I did it.

My coach bestowed the number one spot on the team to me.

To my surprise that year, I also led our wonderful team to the State Finals and captured my school’s Most Outstanding Athlete Award.

It turned out that my digging led me to three treats instead of just one.

In hindsight, I now realize that had I found a way to get these treats any earlier than I did, the reward wouldn’t have been as tasty.

Although your paws may be sore from digging, there is a treat for you. It just may not surface exactly when you think it will.

By Margot Ahlquist, creator of Paws to Talk, professional life coach and blogger. Join the pack of hundreds living happier lives at


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