Nancy Roman

Hours Of Free Entertainment!

Or minutes.


Would you really pooh-pooh a few minutes of fun because it doesn’t last longer?

Which reminds me of a story.

Thirty years ago I was in a relationship with a nice, but melancholy, man. One day we kept his 10-year-old son out of school, and we all played hookey together. We went skiing. We had a fantastic time. The weather was perfect We all skiied till we were exhausted – which for me was about seventeen minutes – but father and son skiied on and on joyously for hours. On the drive home, the young boy unbuckled his seatbelt and leaned forward and put his head on my shoulder. I never felt closer to a kid. I was so happy. When we returned home, we had hot dogs and hot chocolate, and the kid went right to bed. As I was getting my things together to return to my own place, I turned to see that my boyfriend was in tears.
“What in the world is wrong?” I asked.
‘It really kills me,” he said, “that we can’t have fun like this every day.”
The fun made you miserable because it wasn’t eternal?

Anyway…. enough of sad, ridiculous immature men…

Let’s not devalue a few minutes of sheer happiness.

And I know just the place you can get it.

The Pet Supply Store

There’s probably one in your town. PetSmart, PetcCo…. you know – those collosal kibble castles.


Whether you have pets or not, you need to stop by on a busy Saturday.

At the pet supplies superstore, their motto is: “Well-behaved pets on leashes are always welcome.”

That’s such a trip.

First, you’ve got folks who have these sweet little dogs who are trying on sweaters.  Dogs who all look like someone’s grandma. They really should be wearing pearls.

And then there’s the other group.

Pet parents who think maybe – just maybe – this time their dog will be well-behaved. The ultimate optimists. Whose dogs are peeing in the aisles and sniffing butts and dragging their owners down the hamster aisle.

I’m in the latter group.

I end up spending a lot of money there, because my Theo is a shoplifter. And once the chew toy is already in his mouth, it’s a little awkward to put it back all wet. And with a corner torn off.

If you are really lucky, they’ll be an obedience class going on. You will get to see a whole bunch of puppies with the attention span of the fleas their collars are supposed to repel. Puppies so wiggly they can’t possibly ‘Sit’. They excel at getting tangled in their leashes and at knocking each other over. They excel at adorable.

And then there’s cats. Occasionally you will see a cat on a leash, which is quite wonderfully weird. Mostly though, you will see the cats in the adoption center. The best moment is if you get to see one going home. Maybe with you.

The grooming salon is all windows so you can watch the dogs get their cute or unfortunate hairdos. Last week when I was walking by, there was a big tough guy watching the dogs grooming from outside on the sidewalk. He grinned when he noticed me, and said, “I can just watch these pups all day!” I agree. This is better than “Survivor.”

Spend a few minutes, too, with the fish, the iguanas, the hamsters and mice and gerbils, and the huge and tiny birds. If you take your well-behaved pet, though, you may want to wait for another time, as you really don’t want tragedy to ensue.

Years ago, a coworker told me that when she was broke she took her two-year-old to the pet store, and told her it was the zoo.

And you know what? Why not think of it as a little free zoo? Why not spend an hour being entertained by screeching parrots and dogs in tutus?

Every day does not have to be the perfect ski vacation. Sometimes an hour smiling at shy cats and berserck puppies is fine too.


My Theo at his hair appointment.

PS – You can still buy the kindle edition of my novel JUST WHAT I ALWAYS WANTED for just 99 cents until March 30.  Here’s the link:  JUST WHAT I ALWAYS WANTED.


  1. Reblogged this on ugiridharaprasad.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My dog, Rudy, is a shoplifter, too. It’s easy when the stores put beef-flavored chews in baskets at dog level. I have to estimate how many he’s taken because he swallows them so fast. There’s usually someone else in line, however, who is keeping track for me. So considerate.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Those chews are easily accessible for a reason!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. When I brought my 100 lb Ridgeback to the States (we were in a transfer season and he needed a medical second opinion – different story) I introduced him to PetSmart during a walk. It was probably one of the funnier dog culture shock moments of his life. He discovered the bullystick aisle on one of our turns through the store. You would have thought he discovered Santa’s workshop! My two year old big baby jumped into the bins and started rolling around as best he could like it was a ball pit. Luckily he just picked one that was in his mouth. He walked through the store with it in his mouth. He delivered it up to the register, in his mouth, and with lots of coaxing and a quick grab of more treats at the check out aisle, managed to give it up for a moment to have it rung through. He watched the whole payment transaction intently – not hard when he is eye-level with the counter. And when I handed him back the bullystick to go, he kept nudging the bag with the treats instead.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I No longer have a dog but occasionally visit the local pet shop Animates. They too have a sign welcoming well behaved dogs. A fun way to spend an afternoon, followed by coffee and sweet at the French cafe next door.PS the only reason I no longer have a dog is because I now live with my daughter and she is allergic to their dander.
    BTW the link to your book isn’t working. It’s showing only the paperback version.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Isn’t it fun though to just go and watch? Maybe you can look into the possibility of a hyperallernic dog – my Theo is a Lagotto Romagnolo and his brother was adopted by someone with severe allergies. The breeder had them come for a day and hang around his house.
      PS… I checked my link.. and it looks okay on my side. Are out outside the US?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t think we have stores like that here, I wish we did. What fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    • They are great fun… maybe you will get one soon!


  6. I firmly believe we have to grab those wonderful happy times wherever and whenever we can, sometimes they last a few minutes and sometimes a day but they all get stored away in the memory bank. Whenever I have a good time with my 93 year old father he always says, ‘That was a golden moment Jan, put it in the treasure chest, you can look at it again on cold, wet days or in sad times.’ Wise words.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Your father is a wise man. My mother is also 93. That is I think the golden age of wisdom.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Your share is heartwarming. All we have are short moments that make a life. We must hold onto each one of them, then let go to prepare for the next.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. daveyone1

    Reblogged this on World Peace Forum.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. We should all welcome happiness as it comes – in minutes or months. I invite you to post this article at the Senior Salon tomorrow for others to enjoy.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks! Just found your Senior Salon and I will!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Great.


      • Jumped over from the Senior Salon
        What a humorous and uplifting post. My little Shih Tzu TinkerToy is amazingly well behaved around ALL people, but barks at other dogs (not a fighter, but few people ever believe me about that). So I can’t take him anywhere there are likely to be other dogs except the dog park, where I can walk him away if I need to. We’re workin’ on it – but since most people snatch their dogs away at first bark, he doesn’t get much socialization practice.
        (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
        ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
        “It takes a village to educate a world!”


  9. Isn’t it odd how often our first thought when we’ve had a particularly wonderful time is, “why couldn’t it have lasted longer?” It would be so much better if we could just revel in the good times while they are here, instead of expecting our whole life to be that way. And your description of a Saturday at a pet store is spot on!

    Liked by 2 people

    • It is a shame that we are always thinking about the end of happiness while we are still having it. Children don’t feel that way.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Love the image of the “grandma dogs” wearing pearls!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. We have both stores here and I go to buy cat food. I go quickly in and out to avoid the snake area and seeing the cats up for adoption. I just downloaded your book. We should cherish the good times and live in the now.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Men sad even when happy
    The shot of Theo made me smile


  13. Now that I’ve gone through and starred everyone elses response (because they are all so great), a star for you too. Living in the moment is all we have. All we can do is love it and leave it and move on to the next great moment.


    • Thanks. I don’t think we should ignore the problems of the world, but we should also recognize small moments of joy wherever and whenever we can.

      Liked by 2 people

  14. I like your article, very inspiring and thank you for your post


  15. Christine

    Yesterday on the radio I heard of a scientific study showing that spending on experiences results in more happiness than spending on things, because experiences reward you over and over again whenever you remember them. And this doesn’t take into account that you can have good experiences — like trips to the pet store — for free.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Loved this – my sides didn’t … they now ache with laughter, my face doesn’t – the effort of laughing almost cracked it, but I loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. My son and I enjoy looking at the cats, fishes and hamsters!


  18. Such a delightful post. I love Theo.



  1. On happiness + pets | Bobbi's Blog
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