Here’s one thing we all have in common. We wake up, everyday. What happens next is anyone’s guess and, quite frankly, nobody’s business.
The difference between any of us is how aware we are of how we act.
The Daily Dog Walk
I’ve had dogs since 1999. My first two dogs were siblings. I’m on my third, and she has a brother. He belongs to a friend of mine so, by proxy, there’s a fourth.
Throughout the past 20 years of my life, dog walks have been a constant.
Dog walks are woven into the fabric of my daily life.
Everyday, no matter what I do, I take my dog on two, 45-minute walks, mixed with some fetch.
There are rarely circumstances that prevent that from happening.
I wake up everyday around 7:30 a.m. I don’t set my alarm and lately I’ve been waking up earlier.
The first thing I do is make coffee, then I pop into my home office. I turn on the lights, open the blinds, and pick up where I left off the day before.
That’s how I “clock in.”
I still have my old desk from the et alia days so there’s a familiar comfort when I sit down to work. On the surface, it’s not a bad gig.
Fact is, anyone can work from home. The problem is making money from home.
Never under estimate your ability to impact the lives of others.
Then, I do whatever I do all day.
The Road to Writing
I’ve always talked about being a writer, but I never wrote – nothing personal at least. That was a huge obstacle for me in the beginning – deciding what to say, what opinions to share, which vulnerabilities to expose, and most importantly, why.
I’ve written corporate communications throughout my life, but that’s a little different.
At age 40, the right set of awkward situations left me no choice but to explore being a writer for myself.
The circumstances were hard, but the decision was easy.
I didn’t know where the road was, much less where it led. I’m still unsure where it leads.
The reasons why I write, constantly evolve. My enthusiasm for writing ebbs and flows, but my commitment never wanes. To me, that’s an indicator I’m on the right path.
The time was now and four years later, now is still the time.
Aside from writing, every other option felt like surrender, like I gave up on life. Giving up was never an option. Lord knows, I’ve spent plenty of time thinking about it.
Nothing clears your conscience like hitting rock bottom.
I always return to the same spot: No, dumbass, this is what you’re meant to do. Of course it’s hard work, what’d you expect?
Say what you want about hobbies, but this one’s extremely fulfilling, and fulfillment is one of my main motivators. My daily goals evolve with the weather, but my long term goals feel closer than ever.
I live in a desert. Mirages are a problem, or even worse, an oasis.
Nobody rolls their eyes harder at me than myself.
At some point, everything clicks. It can happen with or without a Bible.
Ladies and gentlemen, that’s how Devilish Smirk came to be.
By 9:00 a.m. my dog wants to eat. I turn on The Price is Right. That show takes me to a comfortable place I remember as a child.
I listen to it in the background and I’m usually walking my dog before the Showcase Showdown.
That part of the show always bored me.
That’s how I know I’m on track for the day.
The connection we have with our dogs feels like some sort of magic. Underneath the blue Arizona sky, I’m locked and loaded into the power of collective imagination.
The future I see is brighter than ever. The sky is the limit and, as far as I know, Earth doesn’t have a glass atmosphere.
Whether or not it happens is up to me. That doesn’t mean it’s colorful, bright, and pretty every damn day.
Dead or alive, you are guaranteed a legacy fully directed by the actions you choose.
This kid is reaching for the stars.
My grandparents already had a dog when I was born. When I was three, my dad brought Rusty home.
Spiro was my grandparent’s dog. He was always around, until he wasn’t. I was seven or eight when he died. I remember melting down.
It was one of my first experiences with death, next to my babysitter’s parakeet; something going away to a different place. In real life. And they had him cremated.
And this was supposed to happen to people too? It didn’t make sense. Not nearly as much sense as it makes today.
Still, it’s never a great topic.
Both Denver and Marco were cremated.
Rusty was a Chesapeake Bay Retriever. He loved to hunt; that was his purpose. My dad is a hunter and Rusty was his dog. Rusty was a big part of my childhood, but I outgrew my relationship with Rusty because I wasn’t a hunter.
It wasn’t until a “condolences” card arrived from the vet that I even knew he was gone.
Lumi’s story is a little more complicated. He was my grandparent’s dog at the end of their lives. My grandma died first, and my grandpa followed two years later. Lumi was by both their sides when they passed.
After grandma passed, grandpa slowly, yet all too quickly, lost his will to live.
What about Lumi?
As part of a deal to keep him out of assisted living, Grandpa agreed the family could make some upgrades to his living situation. So long as he could be home, with his dog, that’s the only thing that mattered to him.
My aunt moved in with him for his last year.
By now, Lumi’s out of control. Grandpa couldn’t adequately care for Lumi, much less himself. Lumi started acting out, and regularly peed inside.
Upon replacing the carpet, it was clear that Lumi pissed everywhere, at some point, all over the house.
Lumi was cute, he was a Dachshund. He was not well behaved and never listened. He wasn’t trained any more than two elderly folks can train a dog.
He wasn’t neutered. He had huge nuts and would bite the toes or hump the ankles of anyone seated at the dinner table.
During the process of preparing the house for sale, Lumi was adopted into a new forever home
I’ve written some things about the dogs I’ve had as an adult.
My Dog is My Co-Pirate
When is Surgery Right for a Dog?
Old as Dirt & Under the Knife
Pets and the Responsibility of Euthanasia
Marco’s Goodbye and Bella’s Hello
What Makes Cats so Great?
What I Didn’t Consider When Naming My Dog Marco
All I know is this; whenever I’m down I stare into my dog’s eyes and everything, for that moment, fades to black, and I feel loved.
There are two types of people in the world. Dogs and cats.
We sniff out shit, smelling and licking each others’ butts along the way. Eventually, we encounter people who send shivers down our spines. Then we react. Instinctually.
I kid you not. Three little girls just explained this to me on my walk this afternoon. Dogs like to lick each others' butts, but not before they lick their own. Oh Scottsdale.
I didn’t ask God for a butthole metaphor when I went on my walk this morning, but he gave me one anyway.
God does what God wants, and I’m not one to argue.
Inspiration can be found in anything – if you look for it.
Life’s an internal journey. Things always get worse before they get better. The “better” part takes forever. Regardless of how long it takes to feel better, everyone can be better than they were yesterday.
Humans could stand to learn something about unconditional love from dogs. Dogs can be as fucked up as people, have anxiety, PTSD, or been abused. Yet somehow, when they’re loved, dogs love back, unequivocally and tenfold.
Imagine what humanity could do with the power of love.
Do all dogs go to heaven? I believe they do. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say I believe dogs are heaven sent.
Shut up, hippie! Communist socialist liberal scumbag! You've gone off the deep end! Fraud!
Dogs 1, Humans 0
The only reason I don’t have a cat is that I’m allergic to them. Literally, I’m allergic to pussy.
Is it weird that Losing My Religion by R.E.M. just played randomly? I think we're done here.
Until next time, keep reaching for the stars.