Making a Dog Happy

It is so easy to make a dog happy. I thought that just now as I followed my excited, happy dog to the place where her bowl is kept. I’d put some fresh dry dog food into a clean dish for her and topped it off with one of those small Beneful cans of dog food. Such happiness! You would have had to see it to believe it.

She’d been equally happy a few minutes earlier when I handed her a bite of the sausage I was having with my pancakes for breakfast. Food. Food makes a dog happy, especially if it’s a little different from their ordinary fare.

Earlier she was happy as we walked around the neighborhood. Who knew such a simple thing could bring such joy? We stop when she wants to stop. We go where she wants to go. It is her walk, not mine, and she does as she pleases on her walk. We’ve seen a rabbit, squirrels, birds, children, runners, butterflies . . . many interesting things to encounter on our walk. I take a bag to scoop up her poop and off we go to that glorious time when the world is hers and she gets to experience it.

Another thing of joy is going for a ride in the car. She knows exactly what those words mean, “Do you want to go for a ride in the car?” Why, yes, she does! Now? Do you mean now????? she seems to ask as she wags her tail and heads for the door. She looks expectantly behind her to be sure I am following. Yes! And then another little leap for joy as YES! the leash is attached. She can no longer jump into the car because of her arthritis, but she’s a small dog and I can lift her. She likes to go through drive thrus and since I’ve convinced her not to jump out the window when I roll it down to order and not to bark at the speaker, it is a pleasant experience for both of us.

The happiest I’ve ever seen her was when I left and came back. It could be my being gone to work all day, or it could be my going out for five minutes to check the mailbox. Either way, her tail wags furiously and she springs up from where she’s lying and runs to me in glee! Yes. I came back. That’s what makes her happiest.

But it’s very easy to make a dog happy, joyful even. Spend a few minutes today rubbing your dog behind his/her ears and see what I mean. Attention. Food. Companionship. Fresh Air. Sunshine. If only we humans could be as happy with the simple things in life.

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