Life Lessons From My Dog, Jojo

Life Lessons From My Dog, Jojo


I wanted to share with you that my amazing French Bulldog, Jojo, passed peacefully on January 11, 2017 at 12.5 years old. I knew it was coming but still so hard to deal with.


I got her in the summer of 2004, at 8 weeks old, and she’s been there with me as I’ve tried to figure things out and by my side for all kinds of ups and downs as well as 2 cross-country moves. She was my rock.


When I first got Jojo, I lived in New York City. And as I am sure you know, you don’t just go around talking to strangers in New York because, come on, it’s New York. But when I’d take Jojo out for a walk, she was enthusiastic about greeting everyone, from the wealthy people to the homeless people. Through Jojo, I got to know people who lived in my building and my neighborhood — pretty much none of whom I would have talked to if it weren’t for her. You know, people are quick to judge others based on their appearances, but dogs aren’t.


The older both she and I got, the more I realize that I’ve learned so much from her. I truly believe that animals are teaching us lessons and helping us evolve into better humans.


So, I wanted to share with you the life lessons that I’ve learned from my dog Jojo. These lessons confirm why I love what I do:


1. Dogs teach us acceptance and that everyone has potential. Do you think dogs are thinking…I don’t want you because you have brown hair, or a big nose or too short?  No way!  This is what I practice and preach everyday in my SharQui classes. No matter your age, gender, sexual orientation or race. Everyone is included and accepted!


2. Being part of a “pack” is essential for success. We can learn from a dog’s pack mentality when it comes to achieving fitness goals. Being in a group fitness class can up lift your self-esteem and push you to where you want to be. It takes a community to succeed. It takes a village!


3. Shimmy it off and move forward. Notice that dogs don’t stay upset? If they don’t get that treat they just continue to love, play and be happy. Thank god I have SharQui because if I weren’t able to dance and shimmy all the crap that I deal with, I’d be a mess! On a side note, Jojo would truly shimmy sometimes. In case you don’t know, the body of a Frenchie is an odd one where the chest is much more voluptuous than the derriere. So when she’d shake off water or a blanket when we’d play peek-a-boo, the upper body would twist and lower body ended up shimmying. Gosh, it was so friggin cute!


4. Be confident. Jojo was considered very small for a Frenchie, yet she had kick-ass, spunk! My hubby would say, “She has spunk just like her mama!” (he meant me) Anyway, she’d walk the New York City streets like she owned them and stand her own in every fight at the NYC dog runs. Despite her size, she knew who she was and she owned it! I was so proud of her. Well folks, we all can learn from her. This is why I love SharQui so much because ALL bodies can do it. It’s not how your body looks. The “beauty” is knowing how the body serves you! If we can just change our perspective on what our bodies can actually do, this world would be a much more confident, kick-ass, spunky place.


So let’s give our animals some extra love today and thank them for teaching us beautiful lessons. I would love to hear some of the lessons you’ve learned from your animals or anything else you feel you want to share. 


Thank you Jojo, I love you more than you can imagine. See you at Rainbow Bridge.

Stay Passionate,


8 thoughts on “Life Lessons From My Dog, Jojo”

  1. Sounds like you are healing. Jojo was a lucky dog to have you for her mama.

    P.s. Practicing figure 8s on a beach is so rewarding ’cause you can see the 8 — though my friend said it was an infinity sign.

  2. Thank you for this lovely tribute to JoJo — a bright, joyful light! I’m so sorry to hear she has passed, but glad to hear her transition was peaceful. Sending love!

  3. Hi Oreet,

    Very sorry for your loss. Jojo was not only a special friend for you and your family, but, also, a very special dog breed that few people really know a lot about. My brother had bulldog (not French though) and his dog helped him during cancer, and was always by his side to the very end. I credit his dog with helping him live 4 years with bone cancer, as it’s very unusual. Really enjoyed reading Jojo’s lessons. Very true!


  4. Danita,

    Thank you so much and yes bulldogs are so special. My Jojo would talk to me through her snorts! So funny. So glad that you’re brother was able to experience a beautiful gift from his fur baby.

  5. My little stud muffin man Gizmo (#gizmoderwunderhund) taught me a lot about accepting what I could and could not do, but also what it would and would not stop me from doing! We both had/have seizures, subluxating knees, and a desire for the spotlight. Not many people have a shih tzu that acts just like a Labrador and retrieves, ducks none the less! He showed me tenacity, stubbornness, and unyielding love. Not to bad for 7.5 lbs of best friend!

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