Like most pet owners, nothing brings us more joy then seeing our beloved four-legged children happy. And we go out of our way to bring them nothing but an abundance of happiness and comfort. We buy them special treats and toys, make sure they have soft cushiony pillows to sleep on, take’em on walks. We love’em, pet’em, provide for them.
Malcolm and I have found a simple scratch behind the ears and Dolce is in ecstasy. Eyes closed, you just know she is in heaven. Amore adores a rough love down. Rub her sides and back haunches like a deep massage and she is in bliss land. One of the few times she’ll stay still.
They go berserko when it’s time for their hikes, initiating a barking frenzy until loaded into the car. 365 days a year we take them out to the Galisteo basin for their daily walks. Through rain, snow, wind and cold, we suffer for their happiness. Our girls love the cold. Us, not so much. But we do it cuz we know how much joy it brings them.
“Man, Amore was one happy camper when she spotted a jack rabbit on our hike today!” Malcolm relayed to me when I got home from work. “She took off after it like a shotgun blast! Of course, she only ran about 40 yards before she tuckered out.” Malcolm chuckled over the memory. “She came back all shiney eyed and excited!” Amore is our scout, always on the look out for adventure.
Over the years, we have narrowed down Dolce and Amore’s happy list to three main activities. We are talking happy camper activities here. Total happiness. Total joy. Two of the three are seasonal. The third is daily. And just so you know, treats are a given so they aren’t on the list.
There are no two ways about it, Amore and Dolce love the snow. On occasion they even sleep in it, only to come inside covered with white and hop on the bed at four in the morning shaking off the wet debris. Snow days are happy camper days. The girls would live and breathe snow if it was available on a regular basis. So we bundle up like Ralphie in the Christmas Story movie and take them to play. We freeze our asses off, along with our noses and our toes to watch Dolce make snow angels and Amore run through the powder like a dolphin. Their joy brings us joy.
Then there is our harvest.
About every four or five years, if we are lucky enough, come late August through October, we get apples. Our girls love apples. No, you don’t understand, they loooove apples. Love to snap those shiney red orbs off of the low hanging limbs. Love to lay down in the cool shade of the branches and stock pile the fruit. And they love to eat’em.
The second she hears the portal door opens, Dolce is out, with Amore on her heels. They’ll beeline down to our lone fruit tree and burrow into the apple-laddened nirvana. I’m serious here, this tree is their heaven. You can see their eyes fold back as they tug an apple off it’s mooring. We watch as they each back up, apple in their mouth and drop the red fruit onto their growing pile of fruit. Like a kid in a candy store, Dolce and Amore don’t know which apple to chomp on first. The girls are in their element and they couldn’t be happier.
On a daily basis, Dolce and Amore bring happy to our hearts. And, on a daily basis, Dolce and Amore get their third happy. It’s their special time that has become a ritual.
I like to get up early, get ready for work, and then enjoy a cup of coffee before leaving to head into town. I feed the girls, grab a mug and read a bit on my iPad. One by one, Amore and then Dolce come by for their early morning snuggle. First Amore, always a bit restless, she’ll hop up on the couch lay her head down for a few minutes and then go search out her next adventure. A scratch on the belly, a rub behind the ears and she is off and running. Then it’s Dolce’s turn.
Dolce knows the drill. She positions herself on the sofa, backs up into the couch pocket and gives me the nod. She knows with a certainty, I’ll gently pull her back into my arms. It her cuddle time. They say dogs don’t like to cuddle. They lie. My Dolce could stay for hours nestled besides me. For the next 40 or so minutes, Dolce is in her happy place, content with nuzzles and hugs. And me…….
I really don’t get much reading done, but I am one happy camper!