Monthly Archives: December 2015

Three More Wishes for the Holidays!

DSC_6149Last year at this time, I published my Five Wishes for the Holiday Season.  When I give them a fresh look, I feel they still reflect what is in my heart for all of you. So I am republishing them with this blog.  Yet I wanted to add three more wishes this year. Here they are, short and sweet.

1.  Put First Things First.   You know what I am talking about!  If you don’t know what the first things in your life are, I suggest you make it a “first thing” to think about that!

A gift that wows or the perfect appetizer[1] are nice to have, but if you are going to this much trouble for such incidentals, it is probably because there is a first thing out there that is important to you.  Be sure the first things are not taking second place.

2.  Give the gift of yourself.  At this time of year, the way you use your time says a lot about what is important to you.   Spending a little time with the people you care about is the greatest gift you can give.

I would like to share a recent personal experience in this regard.  A member of my human family recently had a major surgery and was incapacitated for a brief period of time.  Human medicine does not tolerate much direct canine involvement in treatment[2].  All I could do was be there.  24/7.  We spent hours together in silence, side-by-side, with me performing an occasional “drive by” sniff to be sure she was okay.  Her scratch behind my ears told me that she appreciated the company.  I sensed I made her more comfortable which promoted  her healing.

Sometimes Just being there is the best thing you can do for a person.  I know what you are thinking:  Isn’t this just putting first things first?   Yes!

3.  Remember the Reason for the Season.  At this time of year many religions and cultures observe important holidays and traditions.  Whatever your faith or beliefs, keep them at the center of your celebration.  This is hard to do!  But dig deeper this year.  Perhaps you can incorporate a new tradition of prayer or reflection into your holiday gathering to strengthen the spiritual connection.

My human team observes the Christmas season.  For my readers celebrating Christmas, let me remind you that the Twelve Days of Christmas starts today.  There is still much time to share with family, friends, and of course, your faithful canine companion.

Your Best Friend,


[1] I am second to none in my delight over a tasty appetizer, especially a juicy meaty beauty that slips off the tray into my field of operation.

[2] For example, our wound care techniques are summarily rejected.

Harley’s Five Wishes for the Holiday Season

Harley in christmas tie

During the holidays, I am focusing on home life rather than the workplace, and you should too! We dogs love the holiday season. We hope for more quality time with our people and there are lots of interesting smells and sounds all around us.

These are my five holiday wishes for my people.

1. While you are away from the workplace, TURN THE CELL PHONE OFF! (even just for a few hours each day). Please do not stare at, or talk into, this thing while you are walking with me. This is OUR time. I am sure your children or other loved ones feel the same way. (This does not apply to emergency veterinarians.)

2. Greet strangers with genuine warmth. It’s contagious! If you feel awkward doing this, pretend you are in a Charles Dickens movie. ( Helpful hint: An admiring comment about a canine companion is a great conversation starter any time of year.)

3. If you eat something you should not have eaten, or simply eat too much, don’t make a big deal about it. You don’t have to tell everyone what a chow hound you are. In all candor, no one wants to hear about it. If you can’t stand the guilt, don’t do it again.

Similarly, if your family dog eats something he shouldn’t have, say hypothetically a juicy slice of tenderloin left too close to the table’s edge or a fallen cocktail sausage that was not retrieved with sufficient speed (my eyes are tearing up at the thought) LET IT GO! (Unless, of course, it is toxic or dangerous.) We dogs like a little holiday cheer too.

CAUTION: Drinking too much is a different matter entirely and can lead to irreversible damage to your personal and professional life. While this is no laughing matter, I offer a light illustration of the potential for making a career limiting mistake at the office party.

Office party

What was I thinking?

4. Practice patience. During the holiday season you may feel constantly pressed for time. Any delay may be a source of enormous frustration, but practice seeing the humanity in the frustrating situation. If the person checking out in front of you is having a problem with a credit card, imagine how embarrassing this must be for her and what it is like to live with financial problems, especially at the holiday season. Be thankful that you do not have to worry about this. You can also pull out your smart phone and play an entertaining game while you wait, unless of course you are with your trusty canine companion, in which case you should pass the time lavishing affection on him, which will also calm you down.

5. Do one good thing a day. Just one good thing! Here are some suggestions: Call someone who could use a lift, even if you know you will be on the phone too long. Pet your dog lovingly while you are on the phone and the time will pass. Hold a door open for someone, even if you have to wait a few extra seconds. This is also a good time to greet a stranger with genuine warmth, see #2 above. Drop a donation in a Red Kettle, no matter the amount. Even coins make a cheerful sound to our canine ears, and this organization helps those in need get back on their paws. Another very worthy cause is my pet charity, the Grosse Pointe Animal Adoption Society, which gave me a second chance.

I would love to hear your holiday wishes! Please leave a comment to share.

Your best friend,


National Mutt Day



I just learned that yesterday, December 2, was National Mutt Day.  I am very sorry for overlooking this important day for my mixed breed colleagues.  Please see the National Mutt Day website to learn more about the contribution that a “hybrid” can make to your team.

I would like to pay special tribute to my predecessor and role model, Rocky.  He was also rescued by the Grosse Pointe Animal Adoption Society.  He was a highly valued member of my humans’ organization for twelve years.  Although he was of mixed heritage, all who knew him say he was 100% pure of canine heart and a gentleman of dog.  I am honored to follow in his paw steps.

Your Best Friend,


A Dog for All Seasons

Rocky: A Dog for All Seasons