The past several months, Max and I have gone on occasional outings to see friends. We don’t get out much together, so I’ve been trying to make more time for little adventures and for him to meet my friends.
The first time we headed out to the Big D with plans just for him. He’d been to Dallas once, but this trip was different. I had done my research and had several dog friendly parks we could go to and even a dog friendly coffee shop.
I was excited. And once I told him and started getting things ready, so was he.
So off we went. We had an exciting time and though I think he prefers the country, he fit in pretty nicely.
Then, plans started going awry. The park was fun, but we stayed a little too long with consequences. The dog-friendly coffee shop I was so excited to try wound up closing earlier than I expected and we got there just in time to watch them start to close down.
My planning continued to fail me and I couldn’t come up with another inside, dog friendly place at which to grab some food and drink.
I started stressing out, and still being a new dog owner at this time began worrying about what to do with Max. Then I finally really paid attention to him.
Sitting in the cold with plans in shambles didn’t really rock him at all. He was still having the time of his life – seeing new sights, smelling new smells, and above all spending time with new friends.
In that moment, he taught me something valuable. As important as plans are to making an outing run smoothly, the plans themselves don’t make anything fantastic. Only the people one is with and the shared experiences can do that.
We did not make many specific plans the next major trip we took to see friends. We went and played lots of games outside and enjoyed the company of good people. And it was wonderful.
Max would have been as happy spending all day in a plain room with loving friends as he would traveling through any of the most well constructed dog parks in the world. Because what really matters is the loving community with which one is surrounded.
So thank you Max, for teaching me that friends are jewels, and much more precious than the setting in which they are cast. Thank you for teaching me that despite our good or bad plans, we can always enjoy the company that surrounds us.