Are they happy?

This is one of my all time favorite photos.  I took it while I was in Connecticut last year.  At first glance it may seem like a vacant photo, void of much information.  But for me it holds a great deal of emotion and each time I look at it I love it more.   I remember the day like it was yesterday.  There were very few people on the beach that day; it was quiet and still.  We were all there for one thing, to enjoy our dogs.  

Nothing makes me happier than an off leash walk with my dogs.  It has always been one of my absolute favorite things to do.  When I had my very first dog Mandy, an Airedale; we use to walk for miles and miles without ever seeing anyone else.  We would often stop at the edge of a huge canyon and just sit, enjoying each other's company.  Enjoying dogs enjoying their life is pretty amazing and just like us different things make different dogs happy.  So what makes your dog happy?

One of Luke's favorite things in the world is watching television in the evening.  It's not the T.V. part that he cares about; but the fact that we sit in one place with him.  He has his spot on the couch, the spot that is known by everyone as his and I sit beside him 95% of the time.  He loves it so much that after dinner he stands waiting in the kitchen door way for a sign.  A sign that I am heading down to the family room and once I take that first step he charges to the top of the stairs.  He circles several times with excitement and then races down to his spot.  I get his spot ready with his special pillow and then we sit and chill.  It is just as enjoyable for me as I watch him huff happily with his open mouth; a true sign of happiness for Luke.

Dogs love to be with us and it can be mutually beneficial; that is if you take the time to enjoy just being with your dog.  Far too often I see people walking down the street or park with their dog while they chat or text on their phone.   Being on the end of the leash is far different than being with your dog.  If you don't participate in the walk then you are missing so, so much.  Watching that wonderful dog on the end of the leash can brighten your day if you allow it to.

All of my dogs have loved different activities but they each and everyone of them have loved going for a walk.  Off leash they walk by your side; enjoying the simple act of being with you.  It doesn't take much to have fun with a dog, just time.  Finding out what your dog loves to do and doing it with them; sharing their love is joy itself.  Tilley loved nothing more than catching, it was without a doubt her favorite activity.  Throwing for her and watching her soar made me just as happy as she was doing the catching.

There are so many ways to make a happy dog.  Sometimes it is just sitting beside them and sharing a moment.  Yesterday I was enjoying the warm sun on a cool morning out in the yard.  Both Luke and Elsa were outside with me and watching to see what I was going to do.  When I sat on the double lounge they both came wagging over and hopped up.  We sat enjoying the sun for about 20 minutes and then moved onto something else.

Nothing is a more precious to give than your time.  When you give your time you receive so much more in return.  When you are with your dog, be with your dog.  Put the phone away and think "dog."  Take those few moments to share your dog's life; it can only improve yours.


  1. Sherri - I think we have parallel lives. You describe so eloquently my life with my dogs, from the off leash walking, ball & frisbee games, to the relaxing in front of the TV at night. My almost 14 year old still lets me know her displeasure if I try to deviate from the routine. Each of my 3 has their special place in the living room - and they each enrich my life in so many ways.
    One of my biggest wishes is that more could understand about the benefits of off leash walks. As the city I love grows and becomes more populated, the challenge is to find places that I can legally give them, and myself this pleasure.


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