Happiness is a Warm Doggy

My pal.
My pal.

A few years ago, on a scorching hot workday in August, I visited a Princeton area farm. I was there to oversee a photo shoot for The Lawrentian, and, while the place was idyllic and lovely, I would’ve rather been doing almost anything else — as long as that “anything else” included air-conditioning.

It was one of those days where it felt like I was being assaulted by the sun. A few minutes after we had begun to work, I was soaked through, exhausted, and crabby beyond words.

During a break in the action, I wandered over to the farm store to buy a frozen cider slushie and an apple donut. As I sat there on the store’s covered porch and ate, an old yellow dog lying in the sun in front of me raised her sleepy head, glanced in my direction and decided that I was the type of fellow she’d like to get to know better. She toddled over and flopped down next to me as if we belonged together.

I was sort of honored.

I pet her belly with my left hand and continued to eat with my right.

“This,” I remember thinking, “is what I want my heaven to be like.”

This moment of bliss was quite a turnaround for me. Ten minutes before I met that dog, I was grumbling about the heat. Five minutes after that, I was filled with exhausted relief, thanking God for creating a world that included the cider slushie. And five minutes after that, my heart was full of peace and joy.

I never wanted that moment to end. And, in a way, it didn’t; every time I recall it, I relive it, and I can’t help but smile.

That’s pretty much the way happiness works, I think. At least it’s the way it works for me. It is at once elusive and right in front of my face.

Wanna share a small, happy moment? Please do! Write me a comment!


There’s more evidence that I have a book coming out!

Even though Sarah Gives Thanks will not be available until September 1, the fine folks at Albert Whitman and Company have added a Sarah page to their website. It doesn’t provide any more information than what I’ve already written here on this blog, but it makes me happy to know such a page exists.

On that page, by the way, is a link to the illustrator’s website. I recommend you check it out because David Gardner is friendly and talented and if he ever decides to visit the East Coast from his home in New Mexico, I will buy him the coffee beverage of his choice.  A grande. You heard me right, David. I’ll pick you up at Newark International first thing tomorrow.

And just because my book isn’t out yet, it doesn’t mean you can’t pre-order it at a discountI would recommend doing so. And, even though you and I both know you’re going to love Sarah’s inspiring story, please be aware that it is bad form to write a glowing review before the book is published. Your heart is in the right place, and I love you for it, but do wait until the fall, okay?

Last but not least, I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a shout-out to a fellow blogger, Writerlious. (Please note the spelling; I, for one, keep wanting to say “Writerlicious,” which is incorrect. So instead, I say “Erin,” which is fine as it is Writerlious’ real name and much, much easier to pronounce.) A few weeks ago, Erin gave me a Sunshine Award for my entry in a flash fiction contest, which is pretty amazing considering that the week before a few weeks ago I had never heard of a Sunshine Award or, for that matter, “flash fiction.” But I was one of the winners and that delights me. Then, a few days ago, Erin honored me again, this time with a Versatile Blogger Award, which I got without having to write any fiction – flashy or otherwise.

Once you get one of these awards you are supposed honor other bloggers with it, which I will do in the near future. In the meantime, you should visit Erin’s blog because she is good people (and a good blogger, too)!