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Walking the dog

With a family, working a full-time job, running side projects, and having an internal desire to create new things, it takes all my time. For better or worse, to get all this done I’m constantly connected.

My dog is a big reason I’m able to have time every day to think, reflect, and to meditate on everything going on in life.

Eleven years ago I had the bright idea to get a dog. I was single, lived by myself, and people claimed a dog would be a great companion. Growing up I had several Labrador Retrievers and those dogs are brilliant. Very large, very smart. I wanted a small lap dog instead. One that could sit on the couch and just always be by my side.

My mom found an ad in the paper for small dogs for sale. She decided to get one as well and we took a trip to see what they had.

We went way back in the country to this old ladies home. It was weird. An old car sat out in a field with bags of dog food inside. Several fences sectioned off different areas, and off in the distance was a large barn. The lady meet us and had to go back to the barn to get the litter of dogs to show us.

Mom and I bought two dogs this day. Mine was a little brown guy that looked to me a lot like Gizmo from the Gremlins.

Three days later this old lady was the feature story on the 6 o’clock news. She had been running a puppy mill and video from the news helicopter showed just how horrible the living conditions of these dogs had been. The barn itself was littered with over 400 dogs, many more in her home, and even more in a trailer on the property.

I had inadvertently saved Gizmo.


Gizmo is always by my side. While I’m working he is in a bed beside my desk. If I get up, he follows, if I move to the coach, he wants on it. He is my shadow.

Every day at noon Gizmo whimpers. Ready to go out for our daily walk. This walk is typically 30 to 40 minutes of going around the neighborhood and I’ve been taking this same walk for 11 years now. It’s routine. It’s my time.

In the past, I’ve thought really hard about buying a fence so I wouldn’t have this burden, but its really not. It’s my tranquility.

If you enjoyed this you can find my other writing on my personal site — Eric Barnes. I also run Laravel News where I write about the Laravel PHP framework.