The Simple Joy of Dogs

My dog was due for a physical and vaccinations today so we headed to the vet.  I’ve been going to the same vet clinic for 25 years, and I have had a couple special needs dogs so I’ve spent lots of time there.

My dog Edison is,  in my unbiased opinion, one of the cutest dogs ever. He’s large and goofy with white fur and black spots. He has deep soulful eyes. He also has the funniest ears, very expressive, and usually one is laying on his head while the other is popped out like an old antenna searching for a signal.  Sadly those ears don’t actually work, so we’ve taught Edison doggy sign language.  Everywhere I go people comment on how cute and sweet he is (more than any other dog I’ve had).   He even has his own blog, ghostwritten by my sister Margaret, at

Edison is very exuberant and finds joy in everything we do.  We get into the car and, oh my god, we’re going for a ride, it’s the best thing ever.  Then we get to the vet and people are oohing and ahhing and petting him and it’s the best thing ever. Every new person he meets is his best friend. The vet tech gave him a treat of liver spread on a pretzel, and it was the best thing ever. We came home and….well, you get the idea.

It made me reflect on how dogs find joy in everything. A pet, a treat, seeing a family member who’s been at work, a walk, it’s all very joyful for Edison. As humans we don’t pay attention to these little things. I might be happy to see  someone come every day, but I don’t take the time to feel joy that they are here and safe and choosing to spend time with me. But Edison does.

If I have a treat I might think, this is good, but I don’t take the time or the effort to take joy in the taste of the treat or how it makes me feel.  And I never stick my head out the window to feel the breeze when I’m in the car.

What if we found joy in the mundane? What if we were joyous for everything we were given? How would our attitude change if we looked for the joy in everyday life?

Today I resolve to be more joyful.  To take pleasure in the simple things. To be in the moment and embrace the experience. Today I resolve to experience joy like a dog named Edison.

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