JANUARY 1, 2020

Journal Entry #1:

You want to know the most boring thing about a normal job?… Being there.  My goodness!  You park your car, walk into a building, and stay there for hours until it’s time to go home.  Office politics, gossip, taking tally of people’s patterns, or even staring at the clock (I named each minute on a clock on multiple occasions… that’s pretty sad).  There came a point where I started playing my own games to see who would catch on.  Just like in the movie “Super Troopers”, I was seeing how many times I could say, “Meow” before someone would notice.  You really find out who’s listening playing that game. 

The only thing that is keeping my sanity intact from my office job is having my cubicle next to the window.  “Wanna get away?”  Southwest Airlines really knew what they were talking about in their commercials.  As everyone’s discussing their daily problems or trying to sell me crap for their kid’s schools, I’m watching the animals outside as they do their thing.  I get front row seats to Nature’s Comedy Show.  Check this out… There was this bird, a robin, sitting on a branch towards the top of this magnolia tree in front of the building’s entrance.  Whatever this little guy was going through, he looked exhausted.  He could not keep his eyes open or even sustain his balance.  Suddenly, this bird just conked out and did a nosedive disappearing into the tree.  I could not see if he woke up throughout his fall, but I knew where he was going.  The branches shook in descending order, like something you would see in Looney Tunes.  He was heading down!  The bird landed on his butt – a perfect score of 10.0… if we were judging.  I was the only one in my office who saw this, and I ROLLED OVER LAUGHING!  No one can come up with this stuff!  Animals are funny in their own right!  By the way, the bird flew away minutes later perfectly fine.

I decided to save my saneness and stimulate my wicked sense of humor by dog walking on the side.  You know, why not?  You get paid to help people out in times of need and gain some good stories while you’re there.  My girlfriend, Janice – yes, her name is “Janice”, but, luckily, she does not give off that horrific laugh like the one from “Friends” does – was the one who suggested that I dog walk.  So, I got hired by DiOGi Pet Services, and it has been fun so far.  Janice also advised me to write journal entries, like this, for remembrance.  Not a bad idea to say the least.

There is this one dog, an Alaskan Husky, whose owners are die hard Chicago Cubs fans.  They named the dog Rizzo after their favorite player, Anthony Rizzo.  Not a bad choice.  If I were to name my dog after an Atlanta Braves player, it would be after the TRUE homerun king… Hank Aaron.  Anyway, I digress.  I do respect those who love their sports and want to bring a little love of it back into the household.  When I started walking Rizzo, I noticed the true reason why he was named after that player.  The dog has charm!  The very same one Anthony Rizzo has that attracts the ladies while playing first base.  With his icy blue eyes, he has a look that cuts right through you in such a tender, dominate way.  Plus, he has a lean, muscular look to him.  Yep, chicks dig it.

Aside from all of the charisma the dog possesses that I don’t, walking with Rizzo happened to create a heartfelt story on this New Year’s Day.  With the weather a bit on the warm side, the best idea for a place to walk was at the park just down the street from Rizzo’s house.  As we were walking along the path, Rizzo and I encountered a few people.  The one that stood out was a group of three young ladies (college age) coming up to us, asking if they could pet him.  I obliged.  Two of the young ladies smothered Rizzo, but the third one (let’s call her “Jasmine”) was terrified.  Her body started to tremble, and her forehead broke out in sweat.  While Jasmine’s friends were being all lovey-dovey, Rizzo’s focus was more on Jasmine.  The two of them locked eyes, and Rizzo took a gentle step forward.  Jasmine took a big step back while vigorously shaking her head.  I did not want to invoke any more fear into this poor girl, so I tugged on the leash to bring Rizzo closer to me.  The two girls turned to Jasmine and encouraged her to at least touch Rizzo.  She was not having it.  Then, one of the friends reminded Jasmine that her new year’s resolution was to face her fears, which happened to involve dogs.  I decided to show her how sweet the dog really was by dropping to my knees and allowing Rizzo to kiss all over my face.  Timidly sticking her hand out, Jasmine started to move towards the dog.  I laid my arm down on Rizzo’s back and advised her to put her hand on top of it.  She did while keeping a watchful eye on Rizzo’s reaction.  He was patiently waiting for her to pet him.  I then told Jasmine, whenever she’s ready, to slide a finger off my arm and touch his fur.  Taking a deep breath of confidence, she slid a finger off my arm. Shortly after, another finger slid off, then her entire hand.  Jasmine did it!  She was petting Rizzo, and he was loving it!  Just thinking about it right now, I can’t help but smile.  I was sad when I realized my time with Rizzo for the day was coming to a close.  I let him say goodbye to the young ladies one last time, and we turned to head home.  Jasmine called out to me wanting a final moment with him.  Who am I to deny that?  She came running up to him and dropped to her knees.  Seizing the opportunity, Rizzo provided all of the kisses he could manage as quickly as possible.  Talk about a real Kodak moment.

So, there you have it.  The first entry of the new year.  Not a bad start so far.  Whatever uncertainties we face in the future, Rizzo and Jasmine bring a reminder that… everything will, somehow, be okay.

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