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Phillip the smiling dog

Joy to the World

Creative Commons LicensePhoto credit: BotheredByBees

This post is part of the Pet Writer’s Blog Carnival.

Joy is not in things; it is in us.

— Richard Wagner

Today, Wonder Dog (WD) and I walked to the local grocery store.  We were going there because I have recently discovered Redbox (  If you’re not familiar with Redbox, it’s the magic machine in most local grocery stores that lets you rent a relatively recent movie for just $1.00.  What a deal, when you go out to the website you can watch trailers and reserve a movie at a particular location.  Then you go pick it up and it’s due by 9:00 the next evening or, horror of horrors, you owe them… another dollar.  This I can afford.

But Redbox isn’t why I’m writing this post.  I’m writing because I have discovered the secret of creation.  I know this sounds a bit egotistical.  But I’m not claiming that I’m the first or even the only one to figure it out.  It’s just that I finally got it today.

Dogs and Cats Have Very Different Views of Life

All my life until a little over eight years ago, I was a cat person.  Getting a cat to settle down with me and purr was my little version of heaven.  I’ve had cats that greeted me at the door – like a dog.  I’ve had cats that came in and lectured me about whatever it was that they were talking about.  I never was quite sure but they definitely had an opinion about whatever it was.  The idea that I would live in a house without a cat was unthinkable.

Then, I decided that for my own good I should get a dog.  Otherwise, I’d probably just sit there and gradually come to look like Jabba the Hutt.  Cats hypnotize you into thinking that just sitting there is why you exist.  The dog gets you off your butt.  I needed that.

Dogs Are Here to Remind Us of Joy

Happy Face Kentucky Dog hundeglueck

The movie needed to be returned and the dog and I could both use a walk, so we set off for the grocery store.  When we walk, we often take the same path over and over.  It’s boring but the timing is predictable and when you’re trying to make sure that you get back by a certain time, predictability is a good thing.

Today, we were taking a different route.  There were unfamiliar places and unfamiliar people and it was doggy heaven.

Everywhere she looked, WD found something else that was wonderful.  We met a lady we’d never met before and she thought that WD was BEAUTIFUL.  Now, I love my dog and she’s got a great personality but compared to the Sheltie who looks and acts like royalty, she’ just a mutt.  For these two (WD and her admirer), it was love at first sight.  WD was on her best behavior and sat on command.  (The odds of that are about 1 in 10.)

There were lots of places that needed to be thoroughly checked out.  Through it all, she smiled and wagged her tail enthusiastically.  She looked at everyone who passed by and checked whether they wanted to be friends.  There was a little boy who wanted to take her home because he wanted a dog – no, not just one dog… two dogs.  His mother was not amused.

Listen to the Dog

More than anything else, WD personified joy.  Nothing bothered her.  Everything and everyone enchanted her.  She would “sit” and do her best imitation of “stay” and all the while, her tail wagged as fast as she could make it go.

While we were waiting in line to return our DVD, we stayed outside the door to the grocery store.  We could keep an eye on the magical Redbox machines and watch all the people who came in and out and/or walked anywhere near us.  WD could barely contain herself.  Someone would walk out and she’d get up to greet them.  I’d tell her “sit” and she’d plant her butt, look over her shoulder, spot another person and jump up.  I’d tell her “sit” and the cycle would start all over again.  She never got tired of it.

At the same time, I’m wondering if that guy in there at the machine is EVER going to finish and worrying about getting home.


Good question.  It’s just a habit.  Get the task done as quickly as possible and move on to the next one.

After a while, I finally got it.  Wonder Dog was telling me…  Be here, now.  Enjoy.  Live a joyful life.

What else could I possibly need?

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