Thursday, August 17, 2006

Small Joys

Other dog people might understand this sentiment. Especially since Sparkey has been ailing, I find great pleasure in very small things regarding the old guy.

The other day, he and I were coming back from a walk with Tina and he pulled his usual stunt of sitting down at the driveway (which is about 200 feet from our house), making it obvious that he wanted to hang out for a while. If I was on my way to work, this would be inconvenient, but since it was a day off, I tied him to the lamp-post and walked back to the house with Tina, who is always eager to come home just in case a treat might manifest itself.

After about 30 minutes, I took a few treats, a small container of water, and my current novel down to the driveway, taking advantage of the fact that I had nowhere to go and nothing to do. Sparks didn't hear me coming as I sat down beside him on the ground. Feeding him treats and then offering him the bowl of water, I kept my face quite close to his and reveled in the sounds of his munching and slurping and swallowing, licking his chops (and my nose) after he had had his fill.

Although we have always taken great pleasure from the small antics and habits of our canine companions, at this particular moment---perhaps because it was my birthday and I was relaxingly spending the day alone with the dogs---this moment of connecting with Sparkey over snacks and water was memorable and remarkable. Just the sensual experience of hearing and watching him imbibe some nourishment was enough to give me some worthy moments of simple pleasure.

Is this strange to a non-dog person who sees dogs as simply animals? Perhaps. But to a person who loves dogs or any animals, these simple moments can be almost transcendent.

Treats, anyone?


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