There Are Two Sides to Every Harry

We have five dogs. Which I realize make us crazy dog people. We’re fine with that. In fact I can’t think of a description that would mean more.

Yesterday afternoon we found out that soon we’ll only have four. Our eldest dog, Harry, is 16 and has bone cancer. Depending on how fast it spreads he has somewhere between a couple of weeks and a few months.

We adopted Harry from a rescue organization in Chicago one year after we got together as a couple, and one day after we moved into our house. Now we can’t remember what it was like when he wasn't around.

He came to work with us every day and took us through all the highs and lows of owning our own business. He calmed us when we were anxious, and barked a lot when we we got loud, which always brought us back to earth - a good place to run a business from we realized.

He saved us from a guy who broke into our house one morning while we were asleep, literally chasing him down the stairs and out the door. We made some changes to the locks at home, and then changed all of our network passwords at work. Neither made us feel as safe as Harry’s bark.

He isn’t a perfect dog. The day we brought him home he bit me. Two days later he bit Chris. We found out that he’d been picked up on the South Side of Chicago as an eight month old stray. Someone had tried to turn him into a guard dog and then dumped him on the street when they realized he didn’t have the heart for it.

But their work left an indelible scar on his psyche, and to this day, he fights with his fear that no one is to be trusted - even after fifteen years. Early scars run deep. But the remorse in his eyes whenever that fear gets the better of him is that of a soul who wants only to love and be loved.

I have loved Harry, night and day. Even when he has snapped at me and I’ve been infuriated by his apparent ingratitude for having saved his life.

But I have come to realize that the greatest lesson he has taught me is that how he acts is not always who he wants to be.

I’ve tried to remember that in business and in life. That sometimes fear makes us say and do things that are the exact opposite of what we feel in our heart.

It’s a thought worth remembering the next time something infuriates you.

Because, as I've been shown, there are always two sides to every story.