Saturday, August 17, 2013

Dog Days

Today's good things are dogs playing joyfully together and Trixie Koontz's book "Life is Good."

This morning when I let the dogs out, our neighbor's dog Ginger was in the front yard.  She's a large reddish dog -- maybe a golden or setter mix -- and I wasn't sure how the dogs would react to this stranger.  After some cautious investigation (and sniffing), Pepper and Ginger began to play and it was such a treat to watch.  Tiny Pepper would jump at Ginger saying "chase me!" and then run at top speed in a big circle around the front yard.  To Pepper's delight, Ginger was just as excited about the game as she was.  Poor Sam hasn't been much of a playmate for her -- although, once they got going, even Sam joined in to the chase game for a few rounds.  Ginger chased Pepper and Pepper chased Ginger and they had such fun.  They ran and jumped and Pepper would lap Ginger and come up behind her.  I wish I could have filmed it, but I was afraid they'd stop if I went to get the camera.

One interesting thing happpened -- and I don't think I was over-interpreting their behavior -- but Pepper got a little tired on one of the rounds and took refuge behind me.  When Ginger pursued, Sam gently moved between the two dogs as if he were protecting Pepper.  Maybe he was protecting me, but it seemed like he was protecting Pepper -- which is very interesting since he generally seems to regard her as a bratty little sister.  Pepper has recently taken to gently licking his face and ears and paws and I think it may have formed a bond between them.

The second good dog thing is that my copy of "Life is Good" by Trixie Koontz arrived.  Trixie was a golden retriever who lived with the writer Dean Koontz.  She wrote this book because, as she described it, she is unhappy for about a minute and a half each day -- for thirty seconds after her food bowl is emptied three times a day.  Humans, she observed, seem to be unhappy for a much larger portion of the day.  So, she shares her doggy wisdom about joyful living.  I haven't read it all the way through yet, but here's a representative sampling:

"The poet Homer (not a dog) wrote 'Sleep is the twin of death.'  Get me a blue doodoo bag.  That Homer stuff is a pile of poop.  Sleep is just life slowed down.  So you can rest.  So you can dream about bacon.  And chicken.  And sausage.  And cantalope.  And peanut butter.  And about buying a fancy convertible and driving around the U.S.A., pee-marking territory till it's all mine."

"Water is restful.  Swim in water. Play in water.  Never pee in water.  Only fish pee in water.  Fish have excuse, are never out of water and are very dumb.  No offense to fish, but is true.  No fish ever wrote book like this.  Lassie saved Timmy every time he fall down well.  No fish ever saved Timmy or ever could."

Life with dogs is good.  

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