Sports Afield columnist Gene Hill often wrote about his dog: ” He is my other eyes that can see above the clouds; my other ears that hear above the winds;…He has told me a thousand times over that I am his reason for being…He is loyalty itself…He has taught me the meaning of devotion…With him, I know a secret comfort and a private peace…His prescence by my side is protection of my fears of dark and unknown things. He has promised to wait for me…whenever…wherever – in case I need him. And I expect I will, as I always have.” Although this is paraphrased from a much longer quote by Hill, it is a true reflection of how many people fee about the bond they have with their dogs. I know I do.
No matter what has happened in my life, my dogs have never left my side.These gentle souls have comforted me through illness, death, lost jobs, dreams and even a pandemic. Somehow, they always knew when my day caused me stress and they were ready to cheer me up. Dogs have a way of making me laugh through their silly antics. Pushing their head up under my hand forced me to run my fingers through their soft fur. Soon, I’d be massaging their ears, face and under their chin. Their eyes would close and they would be so relaxed. The gentle strokes of my hands across their body relaxed me as much as it did my dog. It sent me the message ‘let me share that stress and anxiety with you and together we will get through this’. Shortly, my stress would disappear. I could always count on the loyal, devoted companionships of my dogs.
Sadly, I am down to one boy now; Thor. The rest have passed on, taking a small part of my heart with them, but leaving me more compassionate, understanding and patient. They have also taught me how to love unconditionally and to be grateful for the company of loved ones. For this, I will be forever thankful that they shared their lives with me and they will never be forgotten. Like Gene Hill said, I expect I will always need my dogs. They make life manageable and remind me every day that life is to be enjoyed, family is first, love unconditionally and when you are responsible for the care of another, whether it is an animal or human, you have their full trust to make those hard decisions. Never ever break that trust.
Why did I start my first blog post about dogs? It’s simple. The way I dealt with my dogs over the years is the same philosophy as I use with all business transactions. Be grateful for the little things. Always acknowledge a good job and if a mistake is made, learn from it and move one. My dogs trusted me fully to see to their needs and to always make the right decisions in their care. That same trust needs to be with a client when helping them build a business. With my dogs, I always did the research so I could provide them the best care; sought input from others when needed and always watched my dogs so I could speak their ‘language’. My dogs would let me know when enough was enough and trusted me fully to do what was best for them, not for me. They were my responsibility. With clients, research must be done to present them at their best and communication must be open and honest. I need to speak my clients language, but also listen closely to them so I fully understand their needs so I can convey a message for them. Every business wants to trust those they work with to be their ‘WINGMAN’ just as my dogs trusted me.