HARLEY’S ACHILLES HEEL…

Do you have one? I can’t think of anyone who hasn’t used the popular phrase “Achilles Heel” at least once in a conversation. Here’s my personal all time favorite: “I’m trying to lose weight but french fries are my achilles heel.”

The actual definition for this phrase means “weakness – in spite of overall strength, that can potentially lead to a downfall.”

Today I wanted to tell you that even Harley – one of the “baddest” doodles alive, has an Achilles Heel.

Harley is so courageous – over the last four years this doodle has shown me how he “stares” back at danger…
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He has been known to stand next to dogs three times his weight…
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He’s even willing to risk his safety and ride “shot gun” with Leo…
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He barks at heights…
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Growls at large bodies of water…
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Yet there is one “man made” object that will bring him to his paws and render him helpless every time!

According to Wikipedia: “in Greek mythology, when Achilles was a baby, it was foretold that he would die young. To prevent his death, his mother Theis took Achilles to the River Styx, which was supposed to offer powers of invulnerability, and dipped his body into the water. But as Thetis held Achilles by the heel, his heel was not washed over by the water of the magical river. Achilles grew up to be a man of war who survived many great battles. But one day, a poisonous arrow shot at him was lodged in his heel, killing him shortly after. Still, Achilles is remembered as one of the greatest fighters who ever lived.”

Like Achilles I find Harley to be one of the bravest doodles I know. When it comes to overcoming challenging situations, this lionhearted dog handles it so well.

Harley is…
Unflinching with medical exams, he romances his doodle doc…
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Willing to “throw-down” and wrestle in a VA minute – regardless of his opponents size…
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He is “dauntless.” He’ll “tip-toe” through DH’s tulips (now that’s a brave move honey)…
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AND unruffled in his “doodle-hood” to even wear a snowsuit…
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But what my Harley-Darley can’t do – won’t do, not even for me OR his favorite treat, is walk by one of these…
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OR walk over one of these…
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As a puppy, I thought he was frightened because he was small, and to him a storm drain was so large. But at four years of age I now know it’s become a “phobia.”

When I looked into DO DOGS HAVE PHOBIAS?, I felt better realizing I am not alone. Articles suggested all sorts of training methods to “correct” behavior patterns, but I’m not so sure I want to make this a training lesson. Isn’t it “ok” to be cautious without someone thinking they need to fix you?

Listen, I have spent my entire life running from squirrels – go ahead laugh, get it out… I can’t tell you why, and I don’t remember any “significant emotional experience” occurring during my childhood. I just don’t like them – they creep me out! Their movements are sporadic and to this day I hate walking on the sidewalk because squirrels like to “jet” out from behind tree stumps and make you wet your pants! Yeah I said it!

I have tripped, fallen, and crawled trying to get out of their way. My parents knew I had this phobia, they never sent me anywhere to talk to anyone and I believe I’m just as sane as the rest of the world – I just don’t like squirrels! Truth be told we all have something we know will take us down!

So I guess, on our daily walks Harley and I will just keep on walking in the street, away from the tree stumps and storm drains, and we’ll be just fine!
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Thanks for reading, and “embrace” your Achilles Heel…

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