The first three stops on our Joy Tour Across America with Glee were in Cleveland, Chicago & St. Louis. In each city, we've been situating ourselves with Glee in populated areas in order to maximize encounters with residents of the cities. When someone spots Glee (or our poster asking whether someone wants to cuddle with a Golden Retriever), they come over and we start to talk about Glee and dogs generally. In each conversation, we try to ask people "How Do Dogs Help Us Live Our Best Lives?”
What has stuck out from each encounter is the openness that dogs inevitably bring out in people. How often does an encounter with someone you've never met turn into a heartfelt conversation about deep emotions? The answer, for us, is rarely if ever. But with dogs as the focal point of our interactions, we were able to have conversations with strangers about deep and personal issues, such as how dogs have helped people live through trauma and pain. Whether it was outside Progressive Field in Cleveland, Daley Plaza in Chicago or the Arch in St. Louis, what bound people together regardless of where they were from was their shared love of and connection with dogs. It was a special realization that helped affirm one of the core reasons for setting out on our tour: that dogs can unite us.