life lessons learned from harry

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I have another great perspective to share from a MML reader and guest writer, Heidi, of To Be Luminous. She has gained some simple but important wisdom from her constant companion, Harry. Reading her story, I am even more excited to get my own puppy… one day.

Enjoy!

(post written by Heidi of To Be Luminous)

Harry, my almost 3 year old shichon, has been part of my little family since January 2008.  We’ve had over two wonderful years together and to celebrate his third birthday next week, I thought I’d share with you fabulous readers a few things Harry has taught me.

  1. Everyone is a friend waiting to be met– Harry loves everyone and races up to them expectantly.  Initially I, being a shy girl, was embarrassed by his bum-rush friend making style.  Quickly I realized that people generally love his big smile and sweet affection.  Slowly I began to realize that people gravitate to the same thing in other people.  I would sit back at a party and watch the happy, outgoing person who genuinely believes everyone is a friend waiting to be made . . . and more often than not, they were!  My little shy self has always feared the rejection of strangers and quietly waits for someone to approach.  Little Harry and my subsequent observations has blown my approach out of the water.  I’ve met some pretty incredible and surprising people by being open to everyone that comes across my path.
  2. Service makes the heart grow stronger– I’m not a mother yet and so Harry is my first chance to realize how much love comes from serving someone else.  This love has been tested time and time again- particularly when Harry had to be walked in -10 degree weather when I had bronchitis.  Ugh.  That was painful.  I actually followed him around the snowy park praying that God would make him poop so we could go back inside.  But I’d do it again and again for him.  I rearrange my schedule for him on a regular basis and it doesn’t faze me anymore.  I love him more and more each year and I know that a huge part of it is a direct result of the service and personal sacrifice that goes into our relationship.
  3. Exercise is vital– When I first adopted Harry I was overweight.    As I did my due diligence as a first time dog mom I learned that he needed exercise first and foremost in order to be a happy, well-behaved dog.  I was perfect with making sure he got his daily dose of exercise and not only did it get me up and moving again (after a rough car accident), but I realized that I was perfect with his diet and exercise, but not so much with mine.  I kept thinking that if I had a user manual, similar to all the dog books I was reading it would absolutely include guidelines specific to my diet and a daily amount of exercise.  I began modifying my own exercise and eating and weight started to drop off.  I’m much healthier two years later than I was when I adopted him.
  4. Regular snuggles feel amazing– I grew up in a home without a lot of touching.  We love each other, but don’t feel the need to hug, snuggle and be close on a regular basis.  After a few days together Harry found his favorite snuggle spots.  He likes to curl up behind my knees when I sleep or lay on the couch.  If I’m sitting up he forms a soft ball on my feet.  When I first moved to Prague the weather turned cold, the people felt cold and I don’t know if I’ve ever felt quite so lost and alone.  Snuggles from my little Harry increased the love I felt exponentially.  His sweet smile and warm fuzzy body brightened my world during those dark moments.

I know these lessons seem obvious, but I learned them through a fuzzy little dog named Harry. What have your pets taught you?

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  1. I’ve learned that taking naps is always a good thing! As is greeting people with enthusiasm!

  2. Niki

    I sooo want a dog for all these reasons! Hoping my finances will improve enough to afford one soon 😉

  3. cailen

    what wonderful (and important) lessons! enjoyed this post : )

    (i’m a dog mommy too)

  4. Kelsey

    Oh Heidi,
    You read my mind every post! Nothing is more fulfilling then understanding how happy your dog is just because they love you.
    Great post!

    Kelsey

  5. Thaís

    although i’m really scared of dogs (even the small ones), i couldn’t agree more with everything you said you’ve learned, it really makes sense, we have a lot to learn with animals xoxo

  6. what a sweet post. from our two dogs (both rescue dogs) i’ve learned to be more aware of being appreciative & to greet my husband happily every day…our two furry kids are ALWAYS happy to see us. can you imagine how much brighter the world would be if everyone greeted each other with the same joy as our dogs do?

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