Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Snow Days with Dog: How Happy Can You Get?

And, How can you get happy?

Little snow, but a sheet of black ice stranded Mia and me with nothing to entertain ourselves but a book, this screen, and her favorite toys.  As I learned from her, what else does anyone need?

Mia teaches me every day that it's the promise and the pursuit that are most rewarding.  She leaps and prances to her toy, throwing back at me a come-hither look over her tail.  The whole body wags.  She growls, tenses, and jumps at my hands, offering me a sporting chance to grab the toy out of her mouth.  When I catch it, I pull her around furniture, up in the air, across the carpet, until it's time to let her win.  She runs off to chew awhile, but soon comes back for another round. On a walk outside, she'll sometimes spring straight up, all four legs suspended in air, to look me full in the eyes. I'm so excited, this is so great, thank you!

Hard to believe it now, but there'll be a time when she can't do these things.  I'll want to remember the whites at the outer rim of her eyes that are looking back at me; the prance, the pounce, the pursuit from room to room; the contented yawn and stretch when the game is over; the quivery anticipation when she sits and stays a couple yards from the food bowl, looking at me for the signal to dig in.

[Photos, clockwise from top left:  At attention next to me on the divan, Mia scans the front yard for Jack the Cat.  Under the table, Mia enjoys seeing me watch her chewing the "Flappy" toy.  At my feet here where I stand at a lectern typing, Mia is warm and content.]

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