Ahhhhh, Zoe. I try to learn life lessons from my gentle beast. One is to enjoy the simple things. Like getting splashed like a ten year old until you think you're drowning.
She enjoys every day. She wakes up and if there's water in the bowl and food in the dish, it's a fantastic day. If somebody plays a game with you, it's a terrific day. Zoe rejoices in the small things like a tiny flick of water.
You can barely see it, but she knows it's there and catches it mid-air.
Her quality of life is one of the things I envy my daintiest daughter. She's the type of soul that you could set on a deserted island and she would make a good life for herself. Her life is never lived in deficit. She has enough.
I had a Dalmatian named Howard once like that.
Howard was never bored. I can remember one fine spring morning twenty years ago. The windows were open and I could hear Howard growling at something in the backyard. I was afraid that someone's dog had gotten in the fence, so I went out to investigate. As I turned the corner from the patio to the yard, past the screen of bamboo, I saw him. Howard was standing in the middle of the grass with a very long branch that had fallen from the oak tree. It was propped on his back. As he slowly walked forward, the limb would slip down his spotted hide and he would snap back at it, grimacing and growling, but on he crawled. The further it slid, the more intense his attacks, until it slipped completely off of his body and crashed to the grass. He jumped on it, ferociously biting and barking at the inert branch. Howard suddenly stooped down and lifted his enemy, running like a mad dog around and around the oak tree. Just when I thought he might turn into butter, he dropped to the ground, exhausted. He looked up at me with a broad grin, happily having defeated the stick. I shook my head and returned to my laundry. He spent the rest of the afternoon, placing the limb on his back and repeating the fight scene over and over with his imaginary friend.
No, that's not one of those stinky Asian fruits that is supposed to taste like pudding if you can get it past your nose without gagging. It's Zoe's fur after a hard day of splashing by the pool. It's marvelous the way it forms tiny points to wick away the moisture. She's dry very quickly.
It's something small, but I really appreciate that her body can do that.
See? I'm learning already.