Today was an absolutely beautiful day. Sunshine, a cool breeze, 82*F - a lot cooler than it has been in the past few weeks. I was on call this weekend, so I couldn't really venture too far from my house and chance getting paged without a computer nearby. That meant that, apart from walks, Claire and I had to spend the majority of the weekend hanging out inside. It turned out to be better for Claire, however, because her allergies were really acting up - bloodshot eyes, sneezes, and itchiness abounded. Around noon, she was feeling a little better and was ready for a walk. Instead of powering along to get ourselves some exercise, I decided that it was a perfect day for a leisurely stroll. Claire's nose was hard at work due to the innumerable scents carried along by the breeze, and she stopped every few feet to smell something new - the grass, the pavement, the dirt, the flowers, the fire hydrants, the mailboxes, and so on. At one point, when we sat down in the shade under a neighbor's tree, I watched as Claire closed her eyes, wiggled her nose to gather up new smells, and started wagging her tail. Utter contentment. She was so happy just to be with me, spending time outside, enjoying the moment.
Dogs spend most of their time living in the moment, focusing on now. And because they do so, they rejoice in the blessings of the simple things. As humans, our lives get so busy and so hectic that we often forget to do the same. We are more focused on tomorrow and on the big picture of everything. I know that I fall victim to that, anyway. But on our walk today, I was reminded that I really need to be more like Claire in this aspect - I need to stop more often and take a good look around so that I too can enjoy the beauty of life's little details. And I think, in this day in age, we all do.