Oliver's Observations

What I like best about summer is Daylight Savings Time. The days are longer, it stays light out later, and we take walks in the sweet evening breeze after things have cooled down a bit from the summer heat.  That’s especially nice for me because I get hot and could get sunburned if I’m out in the middle of the day without sunscreen, and, in the evening, I can find lots of messages left earlier on trees and bushes from friends I know and friends I just haven’t met yet. What a blissful mix of scents there are!  And I leave messages in return, including some for the occasional coyote that stalks around here at night in search of food and water, poor things--I have empathy for the plight of the coyote since I used to have to stalk around the mean city streets of Torrance all night looking for food my own self when I was little. I do enjoy the occasional early morning walk, though. The air is crisp and just warming up; the sidewalk and grass and flowers are still cool and moist as they are all just waking up too. With my keen hearing, I sometimes hear some of them yawning.

See, for us dogs, being outside is something we never get tired of. Sure, being indoors has its perks, cozy couches for quiet naps, air conditioning for those sweltering summer days, endless bowls of refreshing water, but boy do we live for adventure. And exercise too (really, I call that “playing,” sounds much more exciting that way). Of course chomping on the chew-toy of the week or playing tug of war with the braided rope that is still somewhat attached is fun while being inside, but when you venture into the fresh air, onto the grassy park field, or warm sandy beach, you’ve really upped the notch on “fun.”

I think my people forget about how much fun it is to be outside. They get so caught up with that thing they do—they always call it “work.” That “work” gets in the way a lot! To be fair, it’s not always work’s fault. The “light box” is also a pretty big culprit in keeping my people occupied. You know the “light box,” it’s the big square screen that sits on the desk, usually has lots of words on it, pictures too, or the smaller one they hold in their hand and use their finger to maneuver. And wow, do they stare at those light boxes for HOURS. If you ask me, work and light boxes need a summer time-out! Sometimes I have to remind them to look away from the light and break the cycle! This dog ain’t gonna walk itself, ya know?

While technology is booming and work is paying the bills, you really cannot afford forgetting to spend time enjoying the precious moments of life. Don’t you remember how you spent your time before those light boxes came in all different sizes and without any of the pesky cords? Plus, the television now comes with a pause and record button, so you can’t use the “oh, my show just started” excuse anymore. And the internet isn’t going anywhere; you can hold off pinning those photos to your latest Pinterest board or updating your Facebook status a little while longer (but seriously, remember to upload those gorgeous modeling photos of me later).

So why not pencil in some time for the great outdoors (without the technology)? If you ask me, I would say it’s a no-brainer. First, take me to the park, and then scratch my back for a bit. Kick up your feet and relax (ya, relax. I do it all the time—I’ll teach you). Quality time does mean quality right? Sometimes it’s necessary to put work in the “off” position and turn off the light box for what I call real social interaction. Trust me about this. After all I am a dog, and they say a dog is man’s best friend. So, I know what I’m talking about.

Your pal,