Carlie and I step out of the car and meet up with the other ‘friends’ on this dreary Sunday afternoon for a good ‘puppy romp’. As it was our third time attending this puppy class walk, Carlie walked forward more confidently and checked out to see which new friends had come out this week. We waited for the trainer and then without much ado, we released the puppies and began our stroll along the lake. Carlie had zeroed in on Zoe, a ‘deer bouncing’ mix breed. ‘Boy can she run,’ I heard Carlie exclaim. ‘Perfect. Now I can really give a good Aussie Shepherd chase.’
“Woo wee,” I heard Zoe, “look at me go!”
The chase began. Fast and swift-footed. Carlie’s herding instincts of running the lines to cut Zoe off activated and the chase became filled with displays of intelligence mixed with raw delight. Soon, other puppies couldn’t help but join in the party. Everywhere there was racing and chasing and by-passes – soon even those who normally don’t play with other dogs got caught in the unadulterated pleasure of a good puppy game. “Come on!” Carlie called out to Shamrock the Wheaton Terrier, “I can make you run and then we can play herding. It’s the best game.”
Cautiously, Shamrock joined Zoe and Carlie. Zoe’s infectious bouncing convinced Shamrock a good puppy game was much more adventuresome than strolling alongside his person. Suddenly, SPLASH! Shamrock had lept off the edge and was in the water. “Did you see that?” exclaimed Zoe, “Now that was a deer leap! Wow, I would love to do that.”
“Now what?, I heard Shamrock ask the other pups as he began to splash about.
“Just do a doggie paddle” Carlie called out with a cheering bark. “I saw other pups last week just somehow learn it. You can do it!”
Shamrock made his way to the shore where Carlie greeted him with a quick cue to say “I really like to chase a wet dog!” Off they went again, and this time over a little bridge into a little wooded trail. Just as we had rounded the corner, we hear the footsteps of a loose dog behind us. We turn around and Carlie and I call out, “it’s Wally! Wally’s here”. The puppies gathered around and very quickly Wally is herded into this great game of chase. Barks of glee and calls of ‘tag, you’re it’ echo throughout this very quiet park on this once dreary day! Just enough time to practise a game of ‘recall’ in a big circle. Oh what fun! Then off to the games which only puppies in perfect harmony can play. Chase and race, to the water’s edge, around trees and stumps, up the path and back, weaving around people who would occasionally practise ‘gotcha’ and give a treat.
Without notice, we arrive back at the beginning. Every pup is still panting with glee and complete fulfillment. Carlie and I say our good-byes and walk to our car. As Carlie hops in, I hear her say, “Oh boy, that was sheer glee, joyfully the best.” She immediately sits down in her seat and dreams it all over again on the ride home. I too cannot stop smiling in glee. Pure energy of glee had filled all our hearts, just because we showed up, even on a dreary day.
When was the last time you felt such glee and played full out on a Sunday afternoon? Surprise yourself, just show up to an ordinary day with young spirits and Nature! It’s a whole lot of powerful energy to help you focus on what is best in your life and world. And you never know what can happen when committed people show up to play even when it’s dreary. A moment of perfect glee may just manifest.
If you are wondering how to ignite that spark within which knows how to live with glee, then call me or send an email and let’s do just that!!
©Shirley Lynn Martin
April 1, 2012