Monday, February 14, 2011

A Happy Valentine's Day

Saturday was crazy.  I only had two appointments, and I wasn't going to adoption stand, so I figured the day would be light.  When I look back, it really wasn't too busy, but time seemed to slip away and before I knew it short tasks were taking hours.  I got a lot accomplished, but when all was said and done, I looked at the clock and realized that I had not been home for more than 13 hours (minus the ten minutes I stopped by to let the dogs out midday).  I was exhausted, and I had eaten terribly...adding to my exhaustion.  Bed was more than welcome.

Sunday I felt groggy and sluggish.  I hadn't been running in two days and I knew I had to do it, but oh how my legs ached.  I got through it...barely, and then Hans presented me with a Valentine's Day treat.  You see, we both have to work today, and we knew we wouldn't see much of each other, so we decided to do the V-day thing yesterday.  Anyway, Hans made me waffles.  Yummy, yummy waffles.  We then got ready for the day and went to church.
Since we were celebrating V-day, we decided to make it really fun.  Up in MN there's this bakery called Great Harvest Bread Company.  The closest one to us here is in D.C., so we decided to make a day of it.  The plan was to go to Great Harvest and then to take Cody to one of the multiple dog parks in the city.  That was the plan.

There was only one Great Harvest open on Sunday, and it closed at two.  I suggested we merely change our plans, maybe stay in the area, but Hans figured we could make it if we hurried.  So, he did some quick research on a dog park, found one that looked perfect (lots of open space, room to run, rocks to climb, etc.) and we were off.  Two hours later, we were ten minutes too late.  Great Harvest had closed.  To make matters worse, this beautiful, sunny, 60 degree day had turned cloudy and a little chilly as we headed north.  Oh well, it's not to cold for Cody, so off we went to the dog park.

If you know Hans, you know his true calling was as a doctor.  Well, at least that's what his hand writing would lead you to believe.  An hour later, we were nowhere near the dog park.  Why?  When reading the address Hans had written down, he and I both believed the number was 20115.  Instead, it was 2011 S, as in south.  Luckily, we had my phone to discover the mistake and we headed back from whence we came...closer to the dog park.

As we approached the dog park, I could tell immediately tell that it was nothing like what I wanted.  I wanted acres upon acres of land.  It didn't have to be fenced in, it just had to be big.  I wanted a place where Cody could run and splash and really wear himself out.  This park was not that.  I was a little peeved and became seriously ticked-off we realized that this park, while long, was also extremely narrow, and that instead of acres of grass it was more like a walkway of dirt.  Looking in, it looked littered and over-crowded and plain-old disappointing.  Honestly, I could have done better here in town.  There wasn't even enough space to throw a frisbee.  How could Hans have done so poorly?  I wanted this day to be wonderful, magical, full of memories to last a lifetime.  Instead, I was faced with disappointment followed by let down.  Great!  Happy V-Day to me!

We thought about chucking it and heading home, but we had fought all the NOVA traffic and we were going into the dog park, dog gone it!  And you know what?  As we entered the dog park, and passed the smelly trash cans full of bags from responsible pet owners, my bad mood went away.  Cody was soooo happy.  He ran around from dog to dog, sniffing butts, looking for some sort of toy.  Cody obviously didn't care that there wasn't tons of acreage.  He didn't care that the bread shop had been closed.  He didn't care that NOVA traffic is scarier than I'm used to.  And he didn't care that the temperature had dropped 10 degrees since the sun disappeared.  All Cody cared about was that he was in a new, exciting place, and that he got to share it with his two favorite people in the whole wide world.

Hans' and my lives are so busy right now, and we try to do as much as possible with Cody and with all the other dogs in our house, but the fact is we rarely get to do these things together.  Cody and I will go to the dog park.  Hans and Cody will go for a walk.  Hans will run the dogs on the treadmill, while I train the dogs in the other room.  Most of our time spent together is brief or is spent decompressing after a long day before giving in to much needed sleep.  I guess that's why I wanted yesterday to be so magical.  The thing is, I was trying so hard to make everything perfect I couldn't see what Cody saw...that everything already was perfect.  It was perfect because we were together...oh and because Cody got to play with a tennis ball.  :)

So, on Valentine's Day I encourage you all to look for the small perfections in your life.  Share that time with that special someone, be it husband, wife, dog, cat, brother, sister, mom, or dad, and let them know how great you think they are.  


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