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  • Writer's pictureDave Griffith


Updated: Mar 17

Clover is our third dog, first female and second Westie, although our first was a Cairn/Westie mix. She was born on April 21, 2019 and landed in Solebury in July of that year. She shares a birthday with my son and his daughter and our anniversary. She loves to walk, swim, and hang with her dog buddies and is a champ when she travels. Early on, she decided that the best place to sleep was under my wife’s desk, where she had a heat vent and dog bed, and at night, the end of our bed, which she discovered as a puppy. She never had an accident and had no trouble telling me when she needed to go out.

Westies were first bred in the Highlands of West Scotland by farmers who needed a white dog, small enough to go down vermin burrows and tough enough to handle them quickly. White so they wouldn’t be mistaken for a groundhog and not get shot, and with short, muscular tails, they could be pulled out if they needed any help. Please make no mistake: they were bred to be working dogs. Clover patrols our three acres and handles the deer, rabbits, squirrels, and the occasional woodchucks, aka groundhogs, who underestimate her speed and jaw strength. I have seen her handle them, which does not go long into the first round.

Her other job is to be, on occasion, my work buddy. Both when I was working at ECS and now with the Delaware Valley Family Business Center as a senior advisor. At ECS, I would unleash her, and she would make the rounds. Having a bad day, she could change a mood quickly with a wag of the tail and letting you give her a belly rub. If she stayed in someone’s office, I knew I needed to check in and see why Clover was concerned. She rarely had a misread. At DV, when we meet with a client, she breaks the ice better than anyone I know; she sleeps under the meeting table, bringing a sense of calm and friendliness into the meeting. I have seen her when someone needs comfort and has the sense to spend time with them. All I know is people feel better.

We can learn a lot about life from our dogs. We would do well to follow their lead. Check-in with people to see whether they have dog treats or not.  There is more to business than business; it is about relationships, checking in, being present, and listening to their challenges. Therein lies the ability to coach and help bring solutions. To ease pain, you first must find it. I am convinced that Clover listens; sometimes, that is all people need.

That and someone to keep the rabbits out of the garden and sometimes other places.

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