Best Day Ever

There are lots of jokes and stories that capitalize on the idea that dogs, in their seemingly endless optimism and enthusiastic belief that practically every moment of their existence is the best of its kind. I’ve never lived with a dog as my consistent companion, but I’ve been around other people’s dogs, and seen the people owned by some additional dogs, and it all tends to confirm that quality of canine character. And frankly, that seems to me to be a perfect attitude to emulate, whether you belong to a dog or not.digital illustration

I may not have the sort of tail that lends itself to wagging with happiness at life’s goodness and I certainly am not the kind to show my appreciation for such things by jumping up to lick anybody on the ear, but I should at the very least state my admiration for what is fine and good and pleasing so that they can know how highly I esteem such gifts. Life, no matter how a dog might enthuse over it, isn’t perfect, and it has its flaws and less than ideal moments. So when the great and admirable happens, I should jolly well share the happiness and let others in on it. Short of barking and running around in circles dizzily, I think that can be appropriately expressed in ways that let other humans in on the secret.digital illustration

Happiness, whether doggy or human, is best shared, after all. And from what I’ve seen, when dogs and humans can be happy all together, that can be quite the extravaganza of joy indeed. If you feel like it, go ahead and lean back and let out a nice little howl or two of celebration right along with me, and I’ll race you to the sidewalk and back!

Amusement is No Respecter of Persons

For a universe where we’re all so hung up on our status, image and importance, the world as we know it is also the locus of a truly great leveler: fun. Very rare is the person, however high or low in the hierarchy of social or political or religious or educational import, who doesn’t relish laughter. Fun, and the love of it, are boundary-resistant. Childlike happiness should know no limits.

I know the little tale attributing to Queen Victoria the remark that ‘We are not amused’–a condition she can easily be forgiven for bemoaning, even if it was ostensibly because of someone else’s attempts to convince her of his own divergent sort of hilarity. Throughout history, contentment has been best enjoyed when it’s pushed to its jovial limits by gently encouraging frolic and humor, curiosity and amazement and amusement that can be shared. The current culture oughtn’t to hold anyone back from being pleased and entertained any more than these should be constrained by one’s politics, nationality, gender, tastes, age or any other facet of personal identity. Joy is joy, no matter what your nature or your preferred brand.

So I, for one, think it’s a good idea to cultivate smiles and laughter and playfulness as assiduously as I can. If I can share it with others, even better. If others can contribute some fun to the cause as well, we might be able among us to create a contagious stream of happiness that can expand further and further yet. Doesn’t that sound worthwhile, now, really?graphite drawing

Wag if You Know What I Mean

photoA Whiff of Happiness

While all you two-legs types are mired

And wallowing in wintry fear,

I see spring’s hints and am inspired

To smell the happiness from here

What gain or merit mankind finds

In only frigid, dormant joy,

When you could wag those sad behinds,

Dance forward, every girl and boy—

Hold on to sorrow if you must,

While I lap up those thrills made dear

By breaking through the frozen dust:

I smell the happiness from here!