January 27, 2010

Happiness is a Warm Puppy.

Happiness is A Warm Puppy
by Kathryn Budig

I’m feeling the effects of being a spoiled Southern California resident. We’ve had non-stop rain (in Los Angelenos speak, hell on earth) for the past 3 days and I’ve come down with a sore throat while my dog, Ashi, is getting cabin fever. When I say cabin fever, I mean that Ashi’s mug is leering over the edge of my laptop singing a lonesome melody as I write this article.  I try to comfort her by telling Ashi that she is my muse. She doesn’t seem even mildly concerned. In fact, she keeps eyeballing my matzo ball soup that was dropped off by a considerate friend in-between pushing her dinner bowl around. I admire the beauty of her simplicity. She knows what is important in life: good food, and lots of it. Getting excited about the smallest things like the phone ringing. It means someone interesting is on the other line. Most importantly, good love and the ability to give and recieve it all day long.

I snapped a shot of her peering out our window perched on a mountain of cushions just like, The Princess and the Pea. I forwarded the shot to a friend entitling it, ‘Ashi Contemplating God’. Her response to the email was so simple and strong:

Ashi is god.

Now, before I take that literally and give Ashi full reign of the refrigerator and ask her to miraculously cure my sore throat, I can’t help but laugh and agree. God is in all of us. We all have a slice of divine in our very own hands. Or paws. Animals are ruled by the right side of their brain. They live in the moment. They feel, experience, react and love without judgement. They don’t bother with lying or betrayal, there’s no need for that when they know they can get what they want through giving love and support.

It made me think of the brilliant Charles Schultz, the creator of Peanuts. The man who gave life to one of the most beloved dogs of all time: Snoopy. One of my favorite quotes comes directly from the Peanuts genius, “Happiness is a Warm Puppy”. So incredibly true. I have the luck of having a warm ball of goodness that curls up under my arm every night, but before I had Ashi in my life, I had my books.  In this case, comic books. You heard me! Straight from the English major’s mouth. I would read Peanuts and Mutts by Patrick McDonnell when I had gotten back from a long day. Without fail, these short panels focusing on the cats and dogs in our lives would melt me right back into contentment by the time the book would hit my bedside table. I’ve made a list below of some all time favorites. Enjoy and remember that dogs are not the only ones capable of such boundless love, that a good cookie can make an entire day better and that happiness is not only a warm puppy, but a warm and open heart.

by Charles M. Schulz

Happiness Is A Warm Puppy

Home is on Top of a Dog House

Suppertime! Suppertime!

You’re Something Special, Snoopy!

by Patrick McDonnel

Mutts: Yesh!

Mutts: A Little Look-See

Mutts: More Schtuff

Mutts: I Want to be the Kitty!

Kathryn is a lover and teacher of yoga by day, a wizard in the kitchen by dinner time and a professional dog snuggler at night.

Follow Kathryn @kathrynbudig or on Facebook


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