gentler times

I haven’t remembered many of my dreams lately so I thought I’d share a sweet story instead:

Quite possibly one of my favorite memories from living in Uptown Dallas; down the street from hoodlum-riddled clubs where pretentious, tipsy youths wandered about aimlessly, was Reverchon Park; just behind my apartment.

When I adopted Puff in 2018, we frequented this park daily. Puff instantly made friends with the retrievers, labs, huskies, and dalmatians; truly living his best life. While these encounters regularly boosted my mood, one situation continues to occupy my mind and fill my soul with sweet, simple joy.

On this particularly peaceful day, Puff and I happened to be the only souls occupying the park; a rare occurrence. While Puff meandered about, I embraced the cool weather of late fall and watched the leaves shiver on the tree – singular. Dallas is not very green and Reverchon park had exactly one seemingly relevant tree. Regardless, Puff and I were synchronously content.

Drifting in and out of reality, I mentally floated about, and physically took note of every detail surrounding me. Soon enough, a family of three gently broke my stream of serenity. Instantly intrigued, I stopped to study them. Wife, husband, and child; maybe around 11, had a very intricate looking walker that basically surrounded her whole body, clearly allowing her to stand and move about. She seemed unbothered by this device; evident from the blissful smile plastered across her face.

Meanwhile, curious Puff, who lacks any sense of boundaries, happily trotted over to the girl, so I followed close behind, ready to intervene should Puff try anything stupid. To my reprieve, Puff cautiously approached the girl, like he could sense her disability, and slowly went up to give her legs a puppy kiss (essentially he licked her legs).

When I reached the family and Puff, the girl was smiling ear to ear, holding her iPad, and pointing to Puff; clearly intrigued. I smiled and scooped Puff into my arms and asked if she would like a picture with him (I turned to both parents and asked if this would be okay; kind as they could be, they agreed). I held puff close to the eccentric girl so she could get the best picture with him. Puff could sense her joy and in turn gave her a lick on the check, which the girl absolutely loved; she smiled and giggled ferociously.

After a few pictures I had to set down Puff so the family could continue on their walk. The parents thanked me for sharing Puff; they told me it meant a lot that I treated their daughter with such kindness and empathy.

I thanked the parents for being so kind to let me, a stranger, come and share a happy moment with them. I could tell it meant a lot to the parents and their daughter; it meant a lot to me too. Such a happy and pure moment that does not happen as often as it once did.

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