THE SILVER LINING To Your Life & Health
P int -S ize P rotector and G ood L uck C harm Our Yorkie Reminds Me of How Far I’ve Come
Sometimes people refer to August as “the dog days of summer.” Well, at my house, it feels like every day is a dog day with Winter around. Winter is our family’s Yorkie, and over the 10 or so years we’ve had her, she’s become a vital part of our household. She’s older than my youngest daughter, and if we use dog years, she’s the oldest member of our family! Though she may be small, she is our family’s good luck charm and faithful protector. I got Winter as a Christmas present for my family in 2008. As it was for many hardworking Americans, 2008 was stressful financially for me and my family. I was working in the mortgage industry at the time, and I only earned a quarter of my 2007 salary that year. To make up the difference, I had to get creative on how to support my family. I decided to go to bartending school. For five days a week, eight hours a day, I learned how to be a bartender until I earned my certification. I got a job immediately, and thankfully I made enough money to make up for the losses to my salary. I still made less money in 2008 than I did in 2007, but I was able to pay for everything. I bought all my birthday and Christmas
gifts with my tip money — including Winter. Bartending while holding an MBA may have been a blow to my pride, but it was a necessary step back toward financial security. Winter is a reminder of that season of my life and of how far I’ve come since then.
“WINTER IS BOUNDLESS ENERGY AND JOY STUFFED INTO A TINY, 14-POUND BODY.”
Winter is boundless energy and joy stuffed into a tiny, 14-pound body. The first thing my wife does when she gets home from work is pet Winter and give her attention. She will literally drop everything at the door for our dog! It’s like watching Dino tackle Fred or Wilma in the Flintstones — she’s just so happy her people are home. Winter is also our family’s pint-size protector. She yaps anytime someone is near our property, letting me know with just enough time to grab my gun if necessary. Thankfully, it’s never come to that, but it’s nice to know our dog can help me protect my family. Finally, Winter is incredibly obedient. I only had to discipline her once, albeit a bit forcefully, so she would come inside when I called her, and she’s almost never needed potty training. Her breath might smell like a dog’s, and she might sometimes eat things that she shouldn’t, but she’s our dog, and we love her. Every night,
she curls up in my gym bag at the foot of our bed and goes to sleep. If you’ve heard of the Apollo Theater in New York City, you’ll know that there’s a certain stump right outside that many rising stars have rubbed for good luck before their singing careers have taken off. Similarly, every time I leave my house in the morning, I pet Winter for good luck and remember how blessed I am to be able to provide for my family.
–Duane Hamilton 1 770-744-1855
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