Wednesday, June 25, 2008

for the love of dog

Studies have shown that pet-owners live longer, happier lives. Apparently, the joy one experiences from petting a dog, snuggling with a cat, or caressing a ferret (?) triggers the "happiness" chemical, which in turn reduces stress, which in turn contributes to one's longevity. And I get this, I do: what's better than consistently being greeted by a panting, exuberant, ridiculously jiggly pup? And black labs, in my experience, make great running partners.

So here's how my dog brought me joy yesterday: I arrived home from strawberry picking to find chewed-up foil packets scattered about the floors. It took me a moment to discern what they had once been. A quick investigation proved that they were packets of sweet, sugary, sticky (this being the operative word here) flavoring for coffee, accessories for the Flavia instant coffee machine we received as a gift a couple of years ago. These packets were stashed in a box underneath three other boxes in our extra bedroom. They've been stacked there for at least a year, and we generally leave this door open.

Let me backtrack a bit to tell you how I had spent the previous day. While Alexa napped and Dylan read books on the couch, I put on the gloves (well, not really) and did a relatively thorough cleaning (for me) of the extra bedroom in preparation for some guests who will be arriving on Saturday. I moved bags and boxes to the basement, washed and vacuumed the carpets, rearranged furniture. At the end of the day, I proudly displayed my work for Bryan, who was visibly impressed with the room.

Back to our life-enriching pet. Something must have been in the air on Tuesday, something that smelled enticingly like vanilla and chocolate and Snickers. And what was in the air ended up in Sasha's teeth, and then, of course, all over the carpet, so that walking in the extra bedroom was like wading through a marvelous sticky morass. And oh, how I expressed my joy in that moment!

To many more years of dog-owning bliss!

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