Day 26.

Pet Your Dog, Not Your Date.

Yes, that title above is a real thing. It was written on a pro-abstinence, or perhaps ‘anti-kissing’ sign on the back wall of my middle school health classroom. If memory serves, it was an artist’s rendering of a boy and girl at play with a puppy running around somewhere in the picture. That part of my recall might be skewed, but I can assure you that the slogan is not. Some things in life just stick with you.

Today was full and fantastic. The morning and mid-afternoon were spent with an old friend I haven’t seen in over a decade. We caught up on essentially the last 20 years of life and were taken aback by the similarities we had both experienced. We reminisced about the days before Facebook, and we shared mutual admiration for each others’ life paths and current goals and dreams. He’s really an incredible role model for anyone who has the entrepreneurial spirit or the desire to be a family man alike. It was a refreshing and uplifting few hours of conversation, and more poignantly- in his words- great. I hope more of his story emerges the more he’s willing to tell it- it’s truly worth hearing.

A short sit-down with my parents followed before gearing up for my first podcast recording in over a year. Two of my other besties and I started a podcast nearly two years ago, managed to get four or so up and ready for a listen, and a sudden confluence of circumstance and willpower brought us back to really wanting to ramp it up again. Four hours of laughing later, I was spent.

I looked around and realized that there was something missing- I had spent virtually no time today with my dogs, and they weren’t okay with it.

Emerging from my recording lair and plopping down on the couch, both of them immediately pounced on me. Jefferson on my lap, sprawled out as far as he could stretch, ball in mouth, of course. Busty took the feet, half laying-half cramming his neck up for a chin scratch. My laptop was open near me, and I still intended to get a little work done so I was triple tasking until a voice in my head said, “Stop. Close the computer, and just enjoy what’s happening right now.”

So I did.

These dogs, man. You know if you’ve been reading what they meant to me through some darker times in the not so distant past, and it suddenly came into the clearest view how fortunate a human being I am to have these unconditionally loving creatures suffocating me with affection. Mr. Hambones grunts if you let off the neck scratch for two or more seconds, and Busty Bottoms has really gone for the top-of-the-nose squishings lately. I just sat and pet my dogs. Simple as that.

But of course this wouldn’t be a blog post without some moral realization that furthered the moment. I haven’t taken enough seconds to enjoy the time with my family and friends, either. It’s been a million miles a second of writing and planning and launching then writing again. Today was a good day to see what those moments, big or small, do to you when you just sit and enjoy being with another (human) being.

Oh, and I took that advice on the poster…money well spent, FMMS.