Self-aware. Self conscious. Self induced.

Happiness is a Warm Puppy

With all due respect to Charles M. Schulz.

It’s hard to think about anything other than the funeral. We took a moment of respite to go to Sea Salt for lunch, on the banks of Minnehaha Falls. We had the dog with us, and tired as she was, she was exceptionally well-behaved. This earned us many oohs and aahs from a neighboring table whose occupants we decided in advance of our interaction that we would have liked just fine, thank you, as they plowed through their fish tacos and second round of drinks (him: beer; her: wine) with gusto. “Have a great day!” they cheerfully wished us as we left.

I did not say, “we’re going to a funeral tomorrow,” because that would have been unkind, a slap in the face to their honest good wishes on this sunniest and mildest of late October days. We drove back up Highway 55 listening to Talking Heads, with the dog’s head draped out the rear window.

I helped move furniture this morning with Steph’s dad and Andrew, Anthony’s brother. Lisa came by later with the dog, and we took the kids out for a walk with our dog and theirs. We ran through the park, had our dog jump at sticks, climbed the odd tree. They told us how they stalk their dog. We told them how we stalk ours.

For a little while, it was the most normal of days – except that Lisa and I were hanging out with two kids under 10, which is an aberration. No one got wound up. No one got overstimulated. Except our dog, who got exhausted and could really have stopped jumping at the sticks they held up for her about 15 minutes before we said she should probably be done. Nearly an hour of no grief, no dwelling, just reveling in two dogs rolling around in the sunny grass.

Because it’s really hard to be in a bad mood – any kind of bad mood – with a happy dog in sunny grass.


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