Monday, August 19, 2013


Today wasn't Christmas, but try telling that to my dogs.

Each morning we have a routine.  The alarm goes off; Seamus sings with it then demands that someone pet him.  Maggie runs to the bedroom door and waits expectantly.  Misha keeps sleeping.

I slip out, leaving the dogs, and make coffee, study, and eat breakfast.  Then I slip back in.  Seamus is still by the door, but lying down so I usually have to push him a bit to get back in.  Maggie is back by her bed, Misha hasn't moved.

I prep for work with Seamus at my feet but and this took a while to teach him - not ON my feet.  Then, when he gets up to follow me around, Maggie moves to his now vacant spot by the door.  This is also new, she didn't used to pay quite that much attention.

Once I'm ready for a day of crime fighting, I head to the door.  There is a mass shifting of dog at that point as I usually have to move at least one to get to the door, get it open, and get through it.

When it was just Misha and Maggie there wasn't much of a problem but when Seamus came, his energy sort of got Maggie excited and if you weren't careful, you might be trampled and then rolled down the stairs.  I've taught them to wait, sitting impatiently inside the room, while I make sure there is nobody on the stairs or even at the bottom, before giving the command.

The command released something akin to the Warner Brother’s Tasmanian Devil.  They bump and push to be the first out of the room, sometimes running near full speed into the wall or edge of the door.  They make the tight 90 degree turn and dive down the stairs - rolling on occasion - before smashing into the bench at the bottom and bouncing off each other.  Then there is the scramble of toenails on hardwood as they each try to be first to the outside door.  As I work my way down the stairs (about half way by the time the toenail scramble is over) I hear jumping and the odd “wrarrhhwa”.  I've given up on training at the sliding door to the outside - when it's open, they dart out no matter how long they've been sitting.

That's exuberance.  And it's every day.  My kids only run downstairs like that when it's Christmas.  Are you the sort of person who needs Christmas to be excited or have you found the daily joy in getting to go outside for a big bowl of dog food?

You can laugh at the dogs, but really, they've got it figured out - what's important in life is a place to lay your head, companionship, and something to eat.  If you've got all that, every day is like Christmas.

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