Stan's World - Dog Gonnit! (Act 2)
Stan’s World has gotten more interesting of late but in a good way. Before sharing more, let’s recap - in one word - the singular highlight from the last Stan’s World: Puppy!
As mentioned, John drove to Maine on March 3 to pick up two English Cream golden retrievers. (English Cream means they’re white in color.) Keeping John company on his ride back to New Jersey were two quivering brothers, each weighing about 9 lbs.
Over the past couple of months, as measured by weight gain, New Jersey has agreed with these two guys, as Sully (our puppy) is already up about 8 lbs. and on the way to 70 to 90 lbs. Of some significance is that I’ve picked up Sully about 3,500 times over the past month, and kneeled and bent about 2 million times. Suffice it to say that yoga, Pilates, an elliptical, and a NordicTrak bike only modestly prepared me for endless squatting and lifting. (I truly mean endless…)
Aside from my new, extraordinarily buff appearance (admittedly, an assessment made only by me), Sully has provided that which every dog owner knows: affection and unconditional love. (The unconditional love is most prominent when you’re holding his dog bowl filled with food. I’m also counting thousands of bite marks as affection.)
Having a puppy is hard work, and I’m not sure I would recommend it to all seniors. (I might recommend a dog, but not necessarily a puppy.) Sully gets walked in the rain. He gets walked in the dark. In the sun. In the snow. In the cold. Sometimes late at night, other times early in the morning. My free time has dwindled to zero. By 9 pm, I’m so tired I can’t spell S-T-A-N. (We once had three kids, two cats, and a big dog, all simultaneously. Now, there are two of us, and one of him, and he’s winning!)
Suffice it to say that, like new parents, Sully dominates the conversation. To have room for pictures of Sully, I’ve deleted all the pictures of my grandchildren on my iPhone. (I’m sorry, but I need space for Sully’s photos, Sully’s videos, and videos of Sully with his brother, Teddy.) If you have children, you may remember conversations from when they were little, focusing on certain, um, bodily functions. Yep, that’s us now.
Aside from the physical workouts and unconditional love, I may be benefiting in another way from having Sully around. Recently, I spoke to my doctor about whether I might need some sort of medication to lengthen my sleep pattern, as the evidence is becoming more and more convincing that we all need a certain amount of REM sleep to function at our peak self. While I can’t confirm if I’ve ever been at my peak self, I can confirm that I haven’t slept this much in decades. (If I sound crisper during our next call, thank Sully.)
If you’re wondering how this relates to personal finance, let me assure you it doesn’t. Except it does. In my eyes, personal finance has always meant so much more than money. It includes good health, a sound mind, and improving your odds for increased longevity. If buying a puppy contributes to any of those goals, then I win. What’s the point of working for decades, saving money, and attempting to grow your portfolio, if you won’t enjoy the fruits of your labor? If you’re not going to buy a puppy to bring you joy, what is your plan?