A day in the life of a dog is pretty simple. Generally we wake, eat, go outside, sleep, go for a weather-permitting walk or run, eat, sleep, play, sleep. Such is life. But every once in a while, the routine is uprooted into utter madness that results in nothing but pure joy. That was today for me.
It started like a normal Saturday, with a little extra sleep with my forever mom and dad in the morning, followed by my usual breakfast of health food (it’s supposedly “better for me” than the really yummy stuff) and my morning date with my backyard. The chill in the air kept my parents from doing the planting and yard work they slated for the day, so they got ready to go somewhere and I assumed I was staying behind like I usually do when they run “errands” (which is all right with me since it sounds exhausting).
But mom surprised dad and I both when she grabbed my walking harness and beloved leash and declared I was accompanying them to the farmer’s market. I’d only been a few times prior and oh dog, was I excited! When we got there, I instantly made friends with a couple of little people named Jillian and Max. They reached down to pet me and Jillian hugged me goodbye when her mom said it was time to go.
It was all downhill from there. I know this isn’t my first farmer’s market rodeo, but it sure felt like it. I was overwhelmed by all the sights, sounds and smells of everything. So many little people and adults and dogs and birds and booths filled with yummy-smelling things! My senses were on overload, and I can’t say I particularly enjoyed myself. It didn’t make sense to me. I love everything I encountered at the market – why couldn’t I enjoy it?
I encountered a similar sense of self-doubt when we made a subsequent surprise stop at the local dog park on the way home. Mom said she wanted me to “wear off some steam.” (Yet another instance I wish I could invent the next technological revolution: a dog-to-human translation device). I didn’t need to let off steam, I wanted to tell her, I just needed to think. The dog park, a place where I usually find bliss in running free with my fellow four-legged friends, was lost on me today. It was teaming with triple the dogs as usual, and again I felt overwhelmed by it all. It didn’t make sense to me. I love running around like a ninny at the dog park – why couldn’t I enjoy it today?
I finally got my answer when I was back at home and my parents were doing some of the yard work they vowed earlier in the day not to do “in the cold.” They took a break to snack on peanuts and watermelon and they shared some with me (a rare occasion in the Schmidt house). And there the three of us sat, soaking in the albeit chilly fresh air. That’s when it hit me.
Today was a day filled with so much joy, but I had to stop and acknowledge the small pieces of the puzzle in order to make sense of the chaos around me. What’s that the great and infamous “they” say about eating an elephant one bite at a time? Well, today was an elephant of joy, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Next time I just need to take it all in, one small piece at a time, and I will be better enabled to feel the joy the big ole world has to offer me.
A day in the life of a dog is pretty simple. Generally we wake, eat, go outside, sleep, go for a weather-permitting walk or run, eat, sleep, play, sleep. Such is life. But every once in a while, the routine is uprooted into utter madness that results in nothing but pure joy. We need these days every now and then, where we are so overwhelmed with emotion that we feel like we’re going to burst. Mom calls these moments “bursts of love,” and I suppose that’s what today was for me. A big ole overwhelming burst of love for all the people, places and things in my life.