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A Matter of Perspective

July 26, 2012

A friend from college visited me yesterday. It was the first time I have seen her in 15 years, but it was like no time had passed at all (always the sign of a true friendship).

Since I haven’t seen her in so long, it was the first time that she had the chance to meet my beasties. Zoey, of course, met her at the door. Lilly greeted her when she walked into the kitchen in typical Lilly style — by jumping on the dining room table, sauntering over to her and calmly sniffing her. Izzy slowly stalked her, playing coy before finally letting her get in a couple of strokes along Izzy’s chocolate back. Gus … well … the big boy is a scaredy cat when it comes to visitors and he hid away until hunger drove him to seek me out and plaintively beg for food.

But the real surprise was Cooper.

Not that Cooper really did anything other than he usually does. He was bouncy and excited and begged for attention and brought her his toy and jumped in her lap and cuddled with her and sniffed her ear and …

Well, you get the idea. He was Cooper.

“I love your dog,” my friend said to me.

Yeah, I’ve heard that one before.

“He’s so happy,” she continued.

Now, that was a new one.

She repeated the comment several times over the course of the evening and the next morning (even after Cooper decided to bark like the house was on fire because he heard her walking around upstairs at 6 a.m. and thought it was an intruder).

I, on the other hand, have never thought of Cooper as a happy puppy.

I don’t really think of him that way because I often get the pensive pup. The one who thinks too much and tries to keep track of his pack at all times. The one who barks at every little noise that occurs around the house and acts a little insane around other dogs and other people. The one who talks back when I try to give him commands. The one who eats slugs and deer poop and worms and bark and then has stomach problems. The one who prefers to sleep with his head buried under a blanket.

After my friend departed, I thought about her words.

My dog? Happy?

During a break between conference calls, I let Cooper out for a run in the backyard. He immediately trotted across the lawn and flopped down in the grass, clearly happy to be out in the sunshine.

Deciding I had a few short minutes to spare, I walked over and stretched out on the grass beside him, smiling as he rolled over on his side so that I could rub his belly. After a few seconds, he pushed to his feet, wandered around me before he flopped on the grass again, this time making sure that he was snuggled as close to me as possible with his head and front legs resting on my arm.

As he relaxed against me and let out a contented sigh, I knew my friend was right. My dog is happy. All of his funky little quirks — while grating at times — are his way of expressing just how much joy he finds in life.

I guess I did something right.

From → Animals, Cooper

  1. Meaue permalink

    You sure did! 🙂

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