Meet Frasier! Frasier is an eight year old German Shorthaired Pointer, a dual Canadian and American conformation champion, and a runner by trade. Two years ago, Frasier was overcome by joint disease. He was immobile and in significant pain. With the assistance of our friends at the University of Guelph Veterinary College, Frasier was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Arthritis. His issues stem from a serious injury he sustained as a puppy during an encounter with a deer in the bush. Frasier’s spinal column is inflamed and, without management, leads to swelling that impinges his nerves and makes for a level of pain that would break your heart. Thankfully, we have been able to get Frasier back on his feet and are happy to share a little of what has helped him in his recovery.
Green lipped mussels are a superfood! When GLM are harvested at their peak, the powdered extract contains high concentrations of omega-3’s, and a powerful combination of additional fatty acids that, working together with naturally occurring glucosamine and chondroitin, provide a level of joint and cartilage support. Reduction in inflammation and swelling and the natural rebuilding of joint components leads to less pain and increased mobility in pets suffering from degenerative joint disease. It works!
BioJoint provides an additional source of both glucosamine and chondroitin, as well as a series of ingredients that promote the absorption of nutrients to assist in building a natural anti-inflammatory response in the body. When inflammation is reduced, your pet’s body can begin to rebuild healthy cartilage and connective tissue.
Combined with good fats like high quality fish oil, these two products have delivered for Frasier! With meaningful rest between activities, Frasier still runs like a boss and is a joy to watch in the field. We would love to hear about your joint support regimen. Let’s keep our pets active and living the lifestyle they love.
What do we know of January?
It’s damp. Sometimes bitter. It’s saying goodbye to Christmas decorations that always seem to take much longer to put away than to bring out. It’s financial stretching, perhaps at home and certainly in most small businesses. It’s true winter, with all of the darkness that season can bring up for those of us who thrive in warmth and sunshine. To compensate, it’s hot tea and holiday pjs and wood fires and knitted socks. If we’re lucky, maybe it’s vacation, a chance to fool ourselves for a week or so, returning to hide our flip flops away for another few months.
It's also renewal. It’s a natural and literal turning of the page in our cosmos. I always feel some pressure here. Let’s do something, try something, say something, something new that will get me and others excited in the drudgery of the dark month. I feel that all over, and certainly in my thoughts about our little shop. What can we do to bring people in when they would rather be hibernating at home? Which new items can we add to get people shopping with us even when they might be feeling shopped out? I know I’m not the only one. Health goals, self improvement plans, bucket lists, newly crafted schedules and routines - you hear me. Fighting against ourselves to keep up with the markers we set and then disappointing ourselves when reality comes calling and we realize … oh yes, I really don’t have time for that, I don’t actually even enjoy that, and, also, that green drink tastes quite awful. Then, in the face of that letting go of the resolution, January kicks in, twice as dark as before, because now we feel like we have failed and, oh wait, the year has just begun. Sigh, right?
I have hatched chicks under a broody hen twice now. Both times, I have been a bad hobby farmer, candling the eggs well past the recommended “lock down” period, poking at the eggs checking for pips, picking up the eggs listening for peeping and generally just being a nuisance to the broody and the poor developing chick working to just grow. Not only is my interference no doubt annoying, it is also likely entirely counterproductive, creating danger and complication where there need not be any, introducing resistance that, were it not for my meddling, could have been avoided. And, the result, is the same. Chicks. Hatched. Despite my urge to know and control.
Eggs have been on my mind lately. They have been coming up here and there, not only in the coop or basket on my counter. Eggs are timing. And, timing, such that I don’t direct it, is difficult for me. I want to force the things. The mantra, “all in good time”, is just not my speed. So, I practice. Am practicing. Am recognizing and learning.
This one helps: “The egg is the trust that what is ours can never be taken from us, so there’s no need to answer the ego’s push to rush the process, to impress others, or to complete something on someone else’s timeline. The egg is faith that our process is sacred. That even in the midst of what looks like chaos, or delay, or even death, there a tendril of new life that needs only our trust to eventually take form. And the egg is the knowing that life begins again, after death, from within.”
Does this mean you can think about an egg instead of going to the gym three days a week at 6 a.m. like you promised yourself this January? Nice try, no. We all need resolve. We all need to look forward to something new. We all need discipline. And, January is as good a time as any to focus ourselves on how these things reasonably fit into our lives. But, truly, newness for the sake of, speeding up the process to get to the goal, pushing ourselves and others beyond boundaries to cheat the natural and necessary unfolding of time, is not going to get you the result you are due. Practice with me. Bundle up and let January happen.
*Our helpful excerpt above is from a lovely little discussion by author and meditation teacher, Meggan Watterson.
No matter how old you are, if you celebrate Christmas, you woke up this morning and felt it. It’s Christmas Day! Maybe it’s excited children, meals to prepare, gifts to open, all there. For some, maybe its memories, good and not so lovely, trying to reach family or just missing them, at a distance or lost. It’s all the things, bundled up in one day, wonderful and overwhelming at the same time, a race to the big moment and then a quiet melting away, while you do the dishes, tidy up the wrapping, reflect on what did and didn’t show up for you this year. Christmas, we love you and we celebrate, but we also struggle, perhaps looking inward, thinking about what the new year holds.
We at HDM don’t have the answers, but we can offer that we are just like you. We have our own families, with all of the magnificent complications families bring. We have our own issues - health, finances, relationships. All of it. We are real people, feeling all of the real things that Christmas stirs up, both looking forward to and anxious about where 2019 is taking us in our efforts to be happy in our small corner of the world.
It was quite a year for us, as it was for you. The stories we all wrote this year continue, the good and the not so much, propelling us forward into 2019 whether we like it or not! We understand. Those things you are feeling today, we feel them too, the thrills and the daunting bits, they are there for us as they are for you, even today.
But, hello, Christmas! We hear you telling us to bring it back, just for today, to the pause. Listen. In that private mini time-out in the middle of it, maybe while you are reading this very thing, the spirit of today is telling you to thank yourself for your good work, as a parent, as an employee, as a beautiful friend and caring person in the world, doing your best. Try. As you would for a friend, give yourself that gift. Then, at your own speed, go about your day with your thanks in your pocket, and smile to yourself, big or small. Didn’t we keep saying you got this?
That is our wish for you and all of your people this season. Pause. Take that in. And, with that, Happy Christmas, from us to you and onward. 💫
I like gifting. All of its aspects. I like finding something that I know will be enjoyed. I like the surprise. I like the wrapping, with all those edges and corners and adornments. When these elements come together to make a perfect collection of gifts under the tree, it's magical for littles and grown-ups alike.
But, indeed, the shopping. At this time of year, in particular, the act of shopping can be stressful. Patience only goes so far when attempting to navigate the traffic, crowds and line-ups in the city or fussing with online orders that might or might not arrive in time for your festivities. This year, we have prescribed a no stress shopping experience for all and have done our best to hold our own shop to that standard. We have created a Christmas Countdown Look Book with our suggestions for checking off that shopping list. The full photo gallery is available on both our Facebook and Instagram to click from home. If you see something you like, send us a note or give us a call and we will set it aside for you. We know you've got this!
Because real life doesn't stop during the holidays, we will be out and about in the van on Monday to help you with last minute free delivery in the Lucan area. We don't want anyone worrying about running out of pet and livestock feed or supplies over the holidays, so we are putting our reindeer antlers on and making the rounds. It's no secret that competing with big box stores on price is a struggle for small businesses, but we can always do better than the big guys on customer service. We consistently ask ourselves what would we want as a customer, and then we do it! Free last minute deliveries are our way of taking some of the sting out of the holiday rush and we truly hope you keep us moving all day long in our HDM delivery mobile!
Happy shopping, friends! Be merry in your retail travels!
Sometimes in life, there's space and time to tread casually. The choice to open a small business does not live there. Running your own shop can lift you high and it can cut you deep (often, in the same day). It's grippy. It's hold on you doesn't sleep and, many nights, nor do you.
You want to please. You want to succeed. But, these loaded concepts get confused, muddled, distorted, sometimes beyond definition, and almost always at the expense of the other parts of your life. At the end of the day, there are only so many hours you can stretch to get to where you want to be and limited postures you can assume to accomplish your goal of running things "well". The victories can feel like a dandelion in the wind and the failures, mountainous.
I grew up in a small town and have only affection for this way of living, especially today. But, oh the double-edged sword of it all! Our town doesn't keep secrets and, when things go sideways, it's obvious and public. Enter, social media. These tools allow for remarkable reach and growth, but the spotlight on your mistakes as a small business owner is unforgiving. Going off grid is not an option. The need to navigate this soup of reaction made up of "likes" and un-filtered feedback with grace is the way of it and you best learn quickly. One star, five stars. There's not much in between that matters when it's your creation on the line.
Do I still get excited when one of us sells a new product, something we believe in and are trying out or perhaps something we just really want you to love as much as we do? Yes, ma'am, I do, and so does the rest of the staff. I see it and it makes me smile every single time. That enthusiasm is my preferred definition of success when I am looking to measure. Not the profit margin, not the volume. Just that one item carefully selected by us and taken with trust from our shelves into your home. That's big.
Offerings of services vibrate at an even higher current. When our groomers work on your dog, they do so with their hands and heart. They are passing on to you their professional skills, their fundamental love for dogs, and their sense of where that meets in the art of giving expression to what you want for your pet. Every groom, on every given day, is created from these principles. It is why our reputation sits where it does and is to be enjoyed. But, when your heart is on your sleeve, it is also the place where ill-considered criticism, lack of respect from clients, and sharp practise by your competitors leaves an ache.
Nobody goes into small business thinking they have a mediocre idea that they are going to come at off-handedly. We all think we have the best concepts, the best designs, the best products, and the most solid plan of execution to bring ourselves to the next level, whatever that might look like. But, like any wave, there's ebb and there's flow, and real life intervenes. When your business plan takes on air and is populated by real people, with real strengths and weakness, and very real self-interest and agendas, what then? When the last ninety-nine people who left your shop did so with a smile, but the hundredth is unhappy, was it a good day? Taking it macro, when more money, more locations, more clients, more "follows" don't equal "success", where does that leave you? Two and half years in, looking back, I sit with more questions than conclusions. More noise than quiet. More service than sleep. Momma never said this would be easy. Thankfully, we're made of stronger stuff than the curve balls we endure.
As for tomorrow? Take your lessons with humility and a spoonful of organic sugar. Take your people into your circle and give them your best self so that they can be empowered to offer their own. Thank every customer who appreciates your efforts and, with dignity, continue to try to coax a little love out of those who don't. Work hard. Work smart. Work some more. Breathe.
We're still here. More resolve than defeat. #houndlife2019