It's become a bit of a routine of ours to frequent my favorite area of Lincoln, the Haymarket, during the evenings and enjoy the outside patios for a juicy burger at Brewsky's, a Spiced Chai at The Mill, or some delicious spicy cajun food at Buzzard Billy's.
What we really go down there for....are the people. Since I came back to Nebraska I've tried to finish with registering Bella as a Therapy dog so that we can do great work together and I've had little success. No response from the organization that we tested with out of state, and the 2 local places I contacted said that they won't be testing for months and that it may not be in Bella's best interest, due to her health. I understand where they're coming from, and it stings a bit that they don't think that I would have her best interests in mind. I'd bring her wagging butt in a wagon to the hospital to see some kiddos if that's what it took.
See, like people, her best therapy right now is to continue to Live, to get Out, and be Loved. While walking up P street, past Ivanna Cone (where she stops to lick the pavement,) I let her choose which way we were going to cross the street. North, across P, or East, across 8th. When she saw this crowd gathered across 8th...she made her decision. "Let's go meet these people!" She knows what she wants, and that is people. She was an instant hit and everyone Loved on her and treated her like a queen. When the young man in the wheelchair was petting her, he said: "Awwe...you're handicap, too!" I told him that when we took the stairs at the neighboring building, she chose the ramp instead: "I go this way now, daddy." -sorry for that, Bella girl.
"Cerebral Palsy?" - I asked. "Very Good!" - he replied, "The Sexiest of all the Palsies." I laughed quite loudly and explained that my friend Jon Seyster, who also has Cerebral Palsy, is usually surrounded by the ladies as well...so there is definitely a pattern.
I should've told him that having a beautiful 3 legged labrador can garner a crowd of some beautiful ladies as well, and as someone mentioned one night "I get your game, you're bringing your dog to pick up on the girls." Though that is definitely not the goal, it is some collateral damage that I'll begrudgingly deal with along the way.
All joking aside, the true "goal" or "purpose" of bringing Bella down to the Haymarket...can be seen on the faces in the picture. Of course, it's a posed pic, as it's a bit hard to get candid pictures of my own dog with people as I'm holding her leash in one hand, talking to them...and a camera in the other. The point is...they are smiling. They are smiling as they see the Love that Bella carries in her heart for everyone. I truly believe that she is everyone's joy to be shared, not just my own, and I am happy to share her any chance that I get as the love from others only fuels her happiness to be carried onward to the next group of young artists such as these, or the young boy near the ice cream shop who got to give her a treat, or the young homeless couple that Loved on her for 10 minutes. Her happiness and joy for life is not mine, it's the World's.