Go ahead, break the rules a little

Jennifer McCammon with BroadwayThese are some strange days. In times like these I think it’s vital we reach beyond SOP. First do no harm, of course, but by all means, buck tradition!

A recent adventure of this nature brought the coolest outcome — our Best in the Northwest series that starts this issue, and this month’s cover.

Here’s what happened.

Like everyone these days, we at Spot are working triple-time, on a pretty short leash.

One recent fast-paced day I was returning from errands when, idling at a red light, my wandering gaze landed on a something that s-l-o-w-l-y came into focus:

Pure beauty. Poetry in motion.

I took in the sight of a man and two dogs in full rain gear moving beautifully together in broad circles and figure eights in an empty parking area. I was captivated as the grand animals broke from quickstep to languid lope. The vision was simply . . . gorgeous.

“Darn it! No camera!” I thought of approaching them anyway when my inner voice butted in: “You have GOT to get back to work. Go.”

So I did . . . for about a half-mile . . . when I heard: Go. Get. That. Guy.

So, yep, I doubled back, finding the lot . . . empty. They can’t be far, I thought, slowly cruising the roads bordering the complex.

Just as I was beginning (in disgust) to concede I’d lost them, scolding myself to ‘follow when led’ in the future, I rounded the final corner, and . . . here they came, straight at me.

I lowered the window, calling, “Excuse me!” The day was gray, cold, and pissing rain. “This guy’s gonna think I’m a stalker,” I thought. Worse, when I asked if he knew Spot (thousands of pet guardians around here do), he said, “No.”

Natch. The best proof that I wasn’t a stalker was worthless.

I introduced myself, and Spot, chatted a bit (everyone very politely putting up with the cold and wet), and voila — I had Rey’s number. Because the cover is a tricky, persnickety thing, I told him only that I’d love a shot of him and his babies in their Northwest gear for Spot. Only after arrangements were certain did I let him know my real desire: to shoot them for a cover.

And here we are! Just a little adventure in the life of Spot.

I love little vignettes like this. Sweet everyday life for sure, but also because they underscore something that helps me weather times like these — times that strain people’s creativity, spontaneity, and joy. It can be daunting sometimes just to maintain a relaxed professional groove.

I hope it helps you a little, too. I encourage you to color outside the lines. To not just think, but Bust outside the box. To live out loud. To let go of assumptions. To go ahead, stalk a little dream!

Sure we’ll bump into walls, even miss the mark now and then. But go heart-first, and I’ll bet you’ll discover, as we have, that shedding outmoded ideas and taking little risks can truly make way for amazing, gratifying adventure.

Take your best tool — your heart — and put it to work. You might just be amazed at the outcome. Give it a try . . . and let me know how it goes! Sharing is a great part of the joy. Just like you let me do here (thanks!).

And don’t you agree that Che, Pedro and Rey strike a gorgeous pose that is quintessential Pacific Northwest? Just right for kicking off a series called “Best in the Northwest.”

What fun!

Yours in everything pet,