With Jeff my German-Shepherd having passed away two months ago, it’s my daughter’s dog who comes up with my daughter and son-in-law nearly every night for dinner and keeps us company. Not yet completely out of puppyhood, he’s given some toy or other with which like a little child he plays with, while we grown-ups chat and later have dinner.
But, every once in a while, his toy is forgotten and he looks forlornly around the room, whining for his plaything. But last night he didn’t, it seems he’d made up his mind to keep himself entertained and he suddenly ran to where an empty plastic bottle had fallen on the ground, picked it up and started scampering with it, squeezing it in his powerful mouth, enjoying the sounds it made, throwing it down, then picking it up, running, stopping and acting like the craziest dog I’d seen. This he did for a full half an hour giving himself all the excitement and exercise he needed for the day.
There was no doubt also that he was enjoying himself.
I thought of him today as I saw a car leaving my colony headed for the beach. “Taking my kids to the beach, hope they’ll enjoy themselves there!” shouted my glum neighbour as he drove off.
I hoped also they would enjoy themselves at the beach, but as I looked at the back of the retreating car, I wondered whether it was always necessary to go out and look for fun: I thought of Noah, my daughter’s dog, squeezing as much enjoyment out of that plastic bottle as it had got in the toys she’d forgotten to bring.
Instead of looking for his fun, he had tried to make whatever he had in hand into fun, and there was no doubt he’d enjoyed every moment.
I like the word “enjoy” because it has “joy” inside of it. So does the sound of the word “rejoice.” And rejoicing is a way to find enjoyment in life wherever we are, isn’t it?
A four- legged creature told me last night that we need to learn to be happy even in difficult and trying times. We need to look for some fun even as sometimes fun seems far, far away especially during these days of lockdowns! We need to create ‘plastic bottle’ fun from things around us. Word games, Scrabble, or just conversation can be the ‘plastic bottle’ fun we need, instead of a holiday at a hill station or beach.
It was just a dog who sprang all over with a plastic bottle, scampering with it, squeezing it in his powerful mouth, enjoying the sounds it made, throwing it down, then picking it up, running, stopping and acting like the craziest dog in the world, but last night he taught me to have fun in whatever I was doing..!
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