Saturday, February 23, 2008

A Time for a Happy Heart

Today is one of those gray days, where the mountains are covered in a smoke-like haze. It’s neither raining nor snowing, and everything looks drab and dull. It is also my little dog’s birthday. Yes, Happy Dog is ten years old today. There should be noise makers and balloons, and a wonderful liver pate´ cake, for that lovable little dachshund of mine.

Happy Dog has had a challenging life. At a year old he was struck with demodectic mange, an auto-immune system disease that can often cause an early, lingering death. It felt like my life was over. Yet, Happy survived. At six years old, Happy had to undergo spinal surgery, very common in dachshunds. A month later he had to have surgery again. Yet, still my little weenie dog triumphed. His surgeon was stunned. He had never seen a dog so resilient and stubborn to live and grow well. And well, little Happy Dog is. He is unstoppable.

Happy is getting older, but so am I. You might say that he is in his senior years, as I am. I keep him slim and muscled. A dachshund will eat until it explodes, so it is imperative to stick to a strict feeding schedule. Yet, there is still room for a treat or two, if you figure it into the equation.

Happy is slowing down, as I am. No continuous playtime for him. He wants his morning nap, under the electric blanket, and he does not want to be disturbed. He does love to play ball in the early evening, when everyone gets home. And he still loves me best.

I don’t want Happy to grow old. It’s as though a part of my heart belongs to him, as with no other dog I have ever owned. Today we will have a party for a little dog who has never done anything except ruin what can easily be replaced, love me with all of his heart, and make himself irresistible in my heart.

Happy Dog has helped me to understand what truly matters, and it isn’t cars, furniture, fashion, or any of the world’s treasures. I would not trade this dog for all the money in the world. It’s an easy choice. After all, Happy Dog has been by my side through heartache and illness; through sorrow and joy. In fact, Happy Dog has shown me how to have a happy heart. I don’t always pass that particular test, but because of Happy Dog, I know what happiness is.

Happiness is the face, heart, laugh, and warmth of the one you love. Happiness is laughter to the ear and music to the soul. Happiness is the lifetime companionship of a noisy, funny, faithful little clown of a dog, who loves you with a heart that will never tire of you. Happiness is in my heart every time I need a sloppy kiss to tell me just how wonderful I am. Happiness is the joy I feel every day this dog has been in my life.

Today is Happy Dog’s birthday, and I am going to celebrate his life, just as he has always celebrated mine. I hope that this day, there is a Happy Dog in your life, and I hope that he or she has given you a happy heart.

With love,
Jaye Lewis

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