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Posts Tagged ‘pets’

The Joy of Looking

It’s hard to believe that there’s anything left to say about the joy of owning a dog. There are literally thousands of articles, dozens of books, and countless Internet sites on which owners wax rhapsodic about their canine friends. I do it myself with a piece called “Sit/Stay” elsewhere on the site. Between the slightly precious and precocious best-seller “Marley and Me” (now available in a children’s version) and a set of heart-tugging essays in the August issue of “O” Magazine, we should have completely exhausted the subject. Dogs=unconditional love=antidote to loneliness=happiness=improved quality of life for dog and owner. Or: Americans= self-indulgent=multi-billion dollar pet-care business=preference for pets over people=indifference to world suffering. Okay, we get it. And yet, my inner cynic keeps getting seduced by the sight of my silly little dog romping through her life and mine. Stupid, I say to myself, to feel so strongly about something that will live maybe fifteen years, something that is not human. And yet…and yet…watching her run free in the spacious backyard of the tiny house I rented for a month, watching her explore and test herself and yes, learn, watching her fall deeply asleep every night, exhausted after a day spent as near to her owner as she needs to be yet as far as she wants to be – it’s making me happier, healthier, calmer, nicer around humans as well as animals. So here’s my equation: Indulging your dog with spa days or customized outfits, especially when it busts your budget=foolish. Enjoying moments with one creature who gets the concept of happiness and knowing you’ve contributed to that=priceless.

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