Thursday, October 15, 2009

golden day

after three years, it's good to have a golden retriever in the house.

she's here, on the couch, next to me.

actually, the previous goldens weren't allowed on the couch. they were too big, and too covered with dog hair. if you can imagine such a thing.

kate is still relatively small, and not shedding too voluminously. she fits here at my elbow without any imposition at all.

other dogs have their charms, i know, and their adamant advocates. but if you can sit and watch a young golden retriever without laughing out loud, then no dog would ever suit you.

kate's just a puppy, and mrs. spaceneedl's dogs are two-year veterans in this house. but already kate knows she's bigger than both of them. she lords it over them in matters of bones, rawhide chewies, tennis balls and random play.

the best part is, the lording is done with an actual, unanthropomorphized good nature. no, really, it's statistically quantifiable. i'm almost sure. "let's play tug of war!" she says. "let me whack you in the head with my paw! let me use your leg as a chew toy! c'mon, it's fun!"

and always with the exclamation points.

if there's something she wants from the little dogs, kate simply happies them into submission. they don't always see it that way...but i do.

and it makes me laugh. my smiles-per-day average has gone up by an order of magnitude, and my overall mood has improved proportionately. the timing of which is fortuitous, as recently i have not set a particularly good example, disposition-wise.

mind you, not everything kate does is all fluffy bunnies and rainbows. the chewing of the window sill, for example. or the tearing up of the new dog bed. or the occasional peeing on the kitchen floor.

a more complete list of examples is available on request.

but the good obscures the bad like a huge thundercloud blots out the sun. which makes no sense at all in this context, but you get the idea.

i'm beginning to see why service and therapy dogs are so valuable for so many people.

i don't need therapy, yet (yes, you do. no, i don't. yes, you do. shut up, people are looking. i don't care. well, i do, so knock it off...)

...but i'm not averse to the kind of mood-altering substance that licks my face and sits on command and wags its tail so hard that its whole being shakes with joy.

no, i don't mind that at all.

it's good to have a golden in the house again.

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