Hugs at the Warm Puppy Cafe

Hank Mattimore
December 29, 2016
Reproduced with Permission

I find myself at the legendary Warm Puppy Cafe at the Charles Schulze Ice Arena here in Santa Rosa watching folks hugging one another. No kidding. For the holiday season at least, hugs have replaced handshakes and polite bows,( not to mention texting), as the normal form of communication here. Maybe we can put a label on it and call it "trending." I can't think of a more appropriate place for a hugging trend to start than at a cafe with a name like the "Warm Puppy."

The welcoming atmosphere of the Warm Puppy, with its cozy fireplace and large windows overlooking the ice arena encourages folks to be, well, more folksy. But I, for one, hope for the day when hugging goes beyond the friendly walls of this cafe. How about more hugs in our relationships with one another?

It is hard to believe that flesh and blood human beings can go hours, days or even weeks without any physical contact in our lives. Is that weird or what? Oh, we verbally communicate with one another but all our cell phone messaging is a cold substitute for the warmth of human touch.

We don't touch; we text. It's easier to text our regrets for having to turn down that invitation to an event that we really did not want to attend anyway. No explanation required. Teens tell me that even close relationships with a boy or girl friend are broken with a text. Ouch! The "dear John" letters of my generation are now texted? Good grief Charlie Brown. Even Lucy wasn't that heartless.

Hugs are good for the soul. Little puppies lick our face, kitty cats purr and do their rubbing thing against our legs, giant elephants cuddle their young, preschool buddies hold hands. And what do we adult humans do to show we care for one another? We TEXT . And to make up for all that affection we didn't receive and didn't give, we schlep drugs like candy and encourage academic studies on why an increasing number of us feel isolated and lonely. Crazy? Well, yea.