A Bright New Day: The Joys of Dog Ownership

A Bright New Day: The Joys of Dog Ownership

“One of the pleasures of dog ownership for me,” said Kate this morning, “is waking up to a creature who is so exuberantly enthusiastic about starting the day.”

Dogs never wake up thinking, “Oh, no, I gotta, I oughta, I shoulda . . . ”

In his younger days, Joey would stay curled up in a ball until I stirred. Then he would bound up, tail wagging, a gleam in his eyes. “Come on! Let’s go! Let’s check out the ‘hood.”

These days, he’s a little more indolent on rising. He rolls over in his basket for a belly rub. He stretches into a yoga-like bow. Joey stands, then stretches one hind leg high behind him, then the other. This dog’s ready for the world now.

This morning, the pack — Vera, Kate, Red, Joey and me — ended up at Starbucks. While Kate and I chewed on the headlines from the New York Times we hadn’t bought, Vera fed bites of sausage sandwich to Red and Joey.

A young couple walked across the parking lot. She carried a tabby cat in a red harness. They stopped at the first table by the wall. She put the cat on the table top. He took the leash and sat down. She left to join the line inside.

The cat briefly focused its light green eyes on Red. Showing its beautiful leopard spots, the cat rolled over on the table. It rubbed its head along the edge of the table. Butt to the brick wall, it ignored the dogs. In an unusual display of civility and sophistication, the dogs chose not to plow through the cafe furniture to greet the cat.

You just never know what a new day will bring . . .