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Our 100lb Bernese Mountain Dog, Church, has a problem. Well, he doesn't really have a problem with anything now that I think about it. WE have a problem. Houston, we have a BIG problem. There is dog hair...everywhere. It's on our clothes. It's on the floor. It's in the truck. It's in the bed. It's on the counter. It's in our coffee cups. It's in my lunch (which by the way he was never even in the same room with since I was at a restaurant). We brush him daily. We use lint rollers. We sweep, we vacuum, we wash. It's still there, like we never did anything to combat it in the first place.

                                                            I guess this may be part of the problem...

                                                            I guess this may be part of the problem...

That's not the real problem though. I'm not telling you this so that you'll provide advice on how to rid my life of dog hair (but I'd take that too). It was something I actually signed up for, I think. My boyfriend, Tyler, on the other hand...did not sign up for dog hair. Our family has grown and changed and everything that I "signed up for" has now also been added to Tyler's life.

I didn't recognize the problem until this week. I wanted to ask Tyler some questions to make sure we were communicating appropriately. I asked him this one first...

"What concerns do you have that I do not seem interested in?"

"DOG HAIR!" he says.

I thought, 'wow, what a great and insightful response'. I was expecting something along the lines of balancing dual careers, or you know something way more complicated. Dog hair.

He was right though. This is something that does not bother me, it's part of my life. I accepted that in exchange for the love and joy that Church brings to my life on a daily basis. BUT that does not mean it is not an important issue, I need to be interested in dog hair.

This question opened my eyes to an opportunity to do better in my relationship, not because I care now about the excessive dog hair, but because I care excessively about Tyler.

Relating this question to your career is just as important. Does your manager have concerns that you're not interested in? Do you even know what they are? How can you find out? (hint: ask your manager the question!)

There are many tasks, both at work and home, that are not my favorite thing to do (see: clean up dog hair) that are essential to maintain the balance of the relationship. Showing my partner, boss or coworker that their concerns are very important to me builds a relationship that will open the door for more opportunities.

Find the JOY and LOVE in the 'dog hair' parts of your role...and clean it up so that your boss knows you DO care.