Just Talkin' (Holly Schindler)

Gus is the absolute friendliest little dog I've ever had.

He's actually almost friendly to a fault. He never sees a stranger--that includes humans, old and young and kids, and cats, and other dogs, and birds...

You get the point. 

But the thing is, he can't be friendly all on his own. I mean, he can't exactly open the front door and go hang out at a friend's house. His visiting takes place during our walks. So if he wants to go say hi, suddenly I'm saying hi too.

With Gus, I've gotten to know all my neighbors. I mean all of them. Especially during the months of the pandemic, when so many were working from home. We waved from curbs, we put on our masks and introduced ourselves. 

(Funny, isn't it? The idea of having to introduce yourself in a place you have literally lived your whole life?)

We chatted. We laughed. We told stories. I found out who I was living near. These days, when I'm in the front yard, neighbors walk right up and start chatting. They honk and wave when they drive by. 

It's really, really nice. 

My recommendation? Just start talking. Say hello. Tell someone their flowers are looking pretty as you pass by their mailbox. Ask how they are. What's been keeping you from it? The same thing that used to keep me from it, I assume--thinking it would seem stupid or silly. 

Trust me and Gus--it never comes across as stupid. It just comes across as friendly and kind. It sure makes the world seem a whole lot bigger. And a whole lot friendlier in return.