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puppy-753588__180A few days ago it was very hot here in Tampa, very early in the day. For those of you who are familiar with Tampa’s weather, you know it can be extremely humid—none of this dry heat like they have out West. Instead, our air is completely saturated with water which makes it feel pretty warm, almost year round. And so on this particular hot and humid day, the local fire department was out performing maintenance flushes of the water system by opening fire hydrants and letting them spew a lot of water out onto the sidewalks and streets. This created a lot of puddles. There was water everywhere.

Out for my usual morning walk, I found myself avoiding the puddles as I followed a dog with its owner. There are many dogs in our neighborhood, including my own, so I didn’t think too much about following along behind one. But this time, because of the many puddles created by the water spewing hydrants, I had to do some navigating. Ahead of me a large puddle loomed. As I changed course to avoid it, I noticed the dog in front of me gearing up to take the plunge. Diving in, he landed smack dab in the middle of the puddle. I swear I could see a smile on the dog’s face as it looked up at its human companion and me. I do not think I’ve ever seen a happier dog! As I burst out laughing, the dog’s owner looked over at me and said the dog never passes a puddle without diving in when it is hot. I love that; nothing like enjoying life to the fullest.

Now, I’m not suggesting I should dive into a puddle on my walk when I get hot. I can only imagine the look on my husband’s face if he drove by and saw me wallowing around in a puddle on the side of the road (that look alone might make it worth it), but I was once again reminded by my four-legged puddle loving friend how important it is to live in and enjoy the moment; to look for things in my day that make me smile. And it’s not so hard, for it really is the little things in life that can add joy and bring a smile to most people’s faces.

About Cindy Coney: Ambassador of hope and author of The Wild Woman’s Guide to Living with Chronic Illness, Cindy Coney is a nationally acclaimed speaker, trainer, human resilience expert, and philanthropic force. Dedicated to helping both children and adults achieve optimal health and success, Cindy has taught thousands of people to move beyond coping with limitations to recapturing joy and fulfillment in their lives.

Diagnosed with lupus in 1980, Cindy has since driven a race car 124 miles per hour; completed the Chicago Marathon; championed countless nonprofit organizations; presented to the World Lupus Congress as a keynote speaker; and shared her inspiring, empowering story from Belize to Baltimore.

Follow Cindy’s Blog at www.cindyconey.com