I have this theory about the people my people love. I inherently love them too because they love my people. I’m not ashamed to say so, and I would be lying if I said anyone who comes to visit the Schmidt home leaves without a good deal of my fur on their clothes as a reminder of how much I loved them while they were here. One too many times, I’ve heard dad say I would be the perfect dog if not for my shedding, but I have accepted it as part of who I am.
That’s a pretty powerful thing, I find, in terms of sharing one’s charm with others: living with what we are and what we have. I know it’s not always easy. I do occasionally wish I had fur like my hypoallergenic pal Buddy who doesn’t shed at all. But I have embraced my inner beauty which (unfortunately) does not decrease my shedding. However, I would say my outlook on my authentic self definitely makes my happiness more contagious than if I was down on myself all the time. I wish I could encourage my people and all of their people to see it that way.
“Simplicity plays a part in striking the right chord of self,” Sarah Ban Breathnach writes in Simple Abundance. “This occurs naturally as we begin to rethink how to put together our best authentic look.” A daily decision to see the best in all people and things begins in seeing the best in myself.
It’s not always easy (as you can see by the awful picture of me below), and I can’t imagine what its like for my people and their people. With all the pressures of the media, not to mention financial constraints that don’t allow for the grooming, air-brushing and wardrobe labels forced on them by society, it’s no wonder they struggle to get to know their authentic selves.
I know shedding is a small problem compared to the much bigger self-image problems in the hearts of my favorite people. But I choose to embrace it as part of who I am and I think I am generally happier because of that. If I can’t find a way to tell all the people I love they are beautiful, at least I can overwhelm them with my love every chance I get. And if they leave covered in evidence of my love for them, so be it. If anything, it is my way of showing them to love themselves as much as I love them and I can’t say I regret sending them away with that reminder.