Happiness is Dogs

Or cats. Or ferrets. Or goats in the streets. Birds. Bears who are not in my garbage. Pumas in crevasses. Nature cute in tooth and claw.

Hug something warm today. (Actually, it’s Hug an Australian Day today. We could do that. New Zealanders don’t need us, they already lucked out with Jacinda, but Australians have had a helluva year. Hug an Australian animal. We have several here on this blog . . .)

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98 thoughts on “Happiness is Dogs

  1. I spent a month in a small town in Australia (Cobden in Victoria) many years ago and Australians are just delightful people. Funny and very friendly and unpretentious. Also came away with a love for pumpkin soup and a fondness for Neighbours. 🙂 New Zealand is on the list. . . . Some day.
    Our cat is more ferocious hunter rather than petting type. She does deign to sit laps, but if you try to pet her, she bites. She also tends to like to leap out, kamikaze style at me at unfortunate moments. Especially when it’s early and then I scream the house awake. She’s not my favorite cat I’ve ever owned. But we have no mice, so she earns her keep. I would definitely hug an Australian before I would hug her.
    Happiness this week was a beautiful perfect spring afternoon and spotting the buttercups and roses making the whole front porch smell delicious.

    1. Jill, you must definitely get to New Zealand– they are the loveliest people, even friendlier than Australians, and generally very kindhearted.

  2. I would be very grateful for a hug. The last time I hugged anyone was six weeks ago at San Francisco airport, saying goodbye to my mother. We’re not supposed to touch anyone we don’t live with down here yet, and there’s no way I’m hugging one of the boys. Gross.

    I do get to hug my best friend’s temporary rescue greyhound though. Which is lovely. She’s such a nice dog. I really hope that they pass the trial period!

      1. I don’t know how I am going to go without it for years. I don’t have a pet either (i was never home before) and it’s way too late to get one now. But I don’t have a choice, so you have to deal with it.

          1. I think she means that they are projecting at least one year, possibly two until there is a viable vaccine and social touching will be discouraged.

      2. Yes, the hugs are what I miss most, the human contact. I’m lucky enough to have a very huggable cat, furry and friendly, and I wouldn’t be surviving this nearly as well without him.

  3. Lizzy (in my avatar) is a red Australian cattle dog. So I hugged her.

    Then we went back to planting flowers on a glorious Sunday morning.

    (Lizzy is an Austrian Aussie — we got her from a breeder in Linz, Austria. She was a “bargain dog” because she’s deaf in one ear and her tail is a bit stumpy. But I love her all the more!)

  4. I’m so jealous of New Zealand right now. My husband teleconferences with a number of Kiwis for work and we’re hearing how things are going there with a leader who communicates with clarity and compassion, and in the meantime we’re stuck with trying to figure out what the vague and contradictory rules of the day are. At least our state premier is holding the line a little.

    1. You’re in Australia, right, Emily? I think we are all jealous of New Zealand right now. But yes, the state premiers are doing a good job. And we may not have a leader who communicates with clarity and compassion, but we are doing well all the same, compared with most other countries.

      1. This is true – we are doing better than many other places. I’m just a bit dark on politics in general right now. I’m in Victoria, and thankful that most of the premiers acted in spite of the federal reluctance. And grateful for the kindness of many people in difficult times.

        1. Hi Emily! I live on Mt Dandenong – if we can’t have Jacinda, at least we have Daniel Andrews, and our excellent Chief Medical Officer who actually is experienced in epidemic control. I’m so glad they aren’t sending the kids back to school – it’s far too early.

          I have a lap-sitting cat, who actually belongs to my cat (long story); but as I’m stuck sharing the house with my ex, it’s a hug desert here 🙁

    2. Kiwi here and Australia’s numbers are also looking really positive. It looks like Australia has well and truly managed to flatten the curve.

  5. I would totally hug an Australian if I knew where to find one. Spent 10 days there in 2005 and they had to drag me onto the plane back to the US. Loved it.
    Stitching, gardening, reading, baking, and walking are filling up my days nicely. I’m well suited for quarantining apparently and glad for it. Would hate to be one of those ranting and unhappy about it.
    Tried to make my cats’ meows sound Australian but no joy.

  6. Our cat Mr. Fluffypants (who is a pale ginger longhaired tabby, i.e. Panguresque) got tired of being inside yesterday while the two of us were out in the quarantining backyard cutting up dead bamboo canes. He ponged at the screen door until we let him out, and then he wandered around trying to find something fun to do. The wind blew over a yard waste bag (think long and paper if they’re not the same everywhere) and that was it! A kingdom for a cat!

    He had so much fun lying in the mouth of it and batting at anything that ventured past the opening, like feet or fingers, that we kept offering things he could conquer. Finally we all went back inside and he found a nest to nap on and was out like a light for hours.

    This morning we opened another bag and laid it on its side in the kitchen and he was gloriously happy to discover it. Hugging dogs or Australians may be fun, but this was quarantine-level fun and we loved it.

  7. My 8-1/2 month puppy is very affectionate and loves to cuddle up with DH and me on the bed. She loves having her tummy rubbed. She needs lots of exercise and our daily walks are keeping me sane. Watching DS play outside with her with a soccer ball made me laugh.
    The orchid given to me by friends last year for my birthday is blooming – two weeks early.

  8. I’m keeping busy. I’m good at that.

    My birthday was on Friday and someone did throw a gaming party for me online and a few people even came, so that was good. I’ve spent the weekend at the online hippie conference, which I’m in right now, and I did a reading of a radio show yesterday and I may be in another play today if the person doing the stage directions doesn’t show again (I signed up to understudy). I watched Love Never Dies (plot still bad), Twelfth Night (the “cross garter” scene has to be seen to be believed) and am working on watching The Tempest since that’s the play for next week.

    I saw my first RISK! (storytelling show) and long-distance improv again last night, I’m watching something called “Un-Cabaret” tonight.

    I finished my pandemic mystery knitalong, my Baby Yoda cross stitch, and I made a bracelet that’s very flat to mail my mom for her birthday/Mother’s Day.

    Trying to look on the good side. Distraction is a girl’s best friend.

  9. I got my bees today – but they are not very huggable. I lent my bonnet to my friend who wanted to watch me decant them and got stung on the head. It’s very ouchy, but I got the stinger out so maybe it will stop hurting soon. I tried baking soda and water – but I think my hair is stopping it from getting to the site.

    That will teach me to handle bees without my bonnet. They were very attracted to my hair. Must be my smelly shampoo!

      1. I use apple cider vinegar for fire ant bites here in Florida and if it’s only one or two bites, it seems to work.

    1. Any bite above the neck can be dangerous. Keep a watch on yourself, please, or invite a visitor to stay with you for a bit. YES, wear the bonnet. Always.

    2. My mum uses a vacuum extraction kit to remove stingers, venom etc, after she’s been bitten, she’s allergic and a keen gardener, so it helps a lot with the itchiness

  10. My tuxedo cat keeps me happy, I even enjoy waking up because he’s come in and gone to sleep between my knees and I can’t roll over until I’m awake enough to know it.

    Would love a dog, but for now I’m good with Sylvester.

  11. Cats have been moderately affectionate today. I am sure they will both feel like interacting later today when I go back to working on my PDF project.

    Meantime, I virtuously swept and mopped my kitchen, dining room and bathroom floors yesterday, so everything feels particularly clean. Walked this morning. Emailed my MIL. first load of laundry in the drier, second in the washer. Now am going to start a pot of coffee and read my 1949 British murder mystery for a while.

  12. Weeded and trimmed garden in early morning hours, while sweating through my mask. Took my first swim of the season yesterday in daughter’s salt water pool. Heat wave on west coast, so it felt delightful. It’s a deep pool and thermometer registered water temp at 78 degrees. Much cooler in the deep end but invigorating.
    I’m an Aussie, so I gave myself a big hug. And Max got several hugs. He’s a very huggy dog. Sending virtual hugs to all.

      1. Whenever we are outside, even going for a walk, we have to wear a mask. The garden I worked on is in the front of the house. Back of the house I don’t bother, but it is a big walking neighborhood. So, protection, yep.

  13. I’ve had a three-day weekend, in which I managed to renew my car insurance for £100 less, following my brother’s advice, and clear and clean my kitchen, including the floor, which makes me happy every time I go in there.

    More seeds have sprouted; all my strawberries bar the late-season ones are flowering, and the potatoes are starting to poke through. Finally sowed my first salad and veg seeds direct – rather late, but hopefully they’ll do well because we’re at last getting some showers.

    Went for an 8 hour walk with my camera yesterday – well, probably five hours walking and the rest reading, watching the stream, having a picnic and taking pictures. I only met three people in the first seven hours, and then passed a few more on my way back into town. Spring was bursting out all over, and there were bluebell woods. I’m knackered, but feeling much better for a real change of scene.

    1. I ordered seeds, which will be here in ten days. Hoping the frosts will be over by then and I’ll have the beds ready. I know nothing about gardening, so this should be fun. I got only easy stuff–basil, parsley, tomatoes, peppers, bok choy, lettuce, marigolds–so I have high hopes they’ll defy my black thumb and flourish.

  14. Our next door neighbors have acquired an elegant white cat. When she sits in the upstairs window that overlooks our yard, my dogs thrash mindlessly at the fence below, barking maddeningly. Since I felt bad for the cat (and the neighbors), I have been going over and instructing my dogs to be quiet and find something better to do.

    Which is how I found out that as soon as my dogs are silent, and especially if they ignore her, the kitty leans out of the window and meows teasingly at them until they start barking again. She is just toying with them, and like the ding-dongs they are, they fall for it over and over.

    The neighbors have never said anything, so I am beginning to think that *I* am the only person who is being driven mad by this stupid interspecies game. Thinking of writing them a note, but worry that they will think I am weird if I accuse their new cat of being a manipulative mastermind.

    1. Don’t fall for it, it is part of the cat’s evil diabolical plan, She’s playing a deeper game, testing the waters, if you bring yourself to her attention, she will have to neutralise you first. Remember cats were worshipped as gods, some of them are still trying to reclaim their place 🙂

    2. Our neighbors had a beautiful and friendly collie that they would tie up on a line in their backyard when the weather was nice. Our cat would worm his way through the hedge that divided our yards, cross the neighbors’ yard and mosey over to the next yard to go hunting. Prince (the collie) would bark at Quaker (my cat) when he was in our yard, fall silent when Quaker crossed Prince’s yard and start barking again as soon as Quaker crossed into the yard on the other side. Now, Quaker could have gone through the alley or the front yard to get where he wanted to go, but he knew that Prince would get into trouble if he chased Quaker so he always chose the route where he could remind Prince that he was tied up and Quaker was not.
      All cats can be manipulative masterminds with sufficient practice.

  15. I hung out with two friends via Google hangouts. We’ve been friends since high school, though Ok I’ve the I’ve guy since primary school. I would have loved to hug them.

    I’ve been voice messaging a friend in NZ. She gives the best hugs I’ve had in my whole life. She emigrated there, so alas, I must do without.

    Happiness tho is my really funny dog. We’ve trained him ourselves to do a few things as I can’t afford pro training.

    He’s *very* smart. He’s now trying to train us to give him treats. He’ll go and sit where we’ve trained him to, “window”, “wall” without us asking. Then looks expectantly at us, waiting for someone to give him a treat! 😀

    1. When we were in the back bedroom, I used to put the treats on a shelf above my head, and the dogs would line up and stare at the treat jar until I stopped laughing and gave them something. Then we moved to the front bedroom for winter (warmer in there) and they still line up and look over my head for a treat, even though the treat jar is now on a shelf by my ear. Took them MONTHS to stop doing that, possibly because I still laughed like a loon and gave them a treat. Mona’s the only one who still does it. I think she figures if it works, it works.

  16. Yesterday I water-boarded and squeegeed the outside windows and atrium door. The side that looks nasty after a heavy rain. OK so I know it’s April and we get rained on alot, but I so wanted to look outside through a clean window even if it was only for a day.

  17. This is only a little off topic (because finding a better ebook retailer will make me very happy) but has anyone here bought ebooks from ebook.com or kobo? I want to buy ebooks that I can read on my computer or an e-reader or a tablet, depending on what I have with me at the moment. Also, I don’t want to find, someday when my e-reader dies, that I can no longer read my favorite books. This is why I won’t buy ebooks from Barnes and Noble or Amazon.

    1. While I don’t hold a brief for Amazon, I do know that when my first ebook reader died, all my purchases were still available for its replacement. I have the Kindle app on my iPad and phone, and can read across all three.

      I do realize that if Amazon were to go under I’d lose my ebook library, but I should think all ebooks are vulnerable to some extent, unless they’re free of copyright. And even then, the file formats won’t stay the same/be supported for ever.

      1. All my romances and mysteries and a few of my SF&F come either from Kindle or an old defunct source that B&N bought and disassembled. Up until last year, everything I bought went through Calibre to have the proprietary crap removed. I highly recommend Calibre.

        OTOH, well over a thousand of my ebooks come from Baen Books. No DRM, and you can download any or all of the ebook formats – Mobipocket/Kindle, Nook, Palm Reader, Microsoft Reader, HTML, Rich Text Format. Of course, Baen is SF&F. There’s at least 100 books about vampires and such that I’ll never read, but were part of a book bundle that contained something I wanted.

    2. I have Kobo ereader (indigo chapters in Canada) and a B&N Nook US. Always have access to my libraries even when the Nook died and I bought a Kobo w/light. Depending on the Cdn $ to the US $, I would buy whatever was better even with the exchange. Horrendous low value Cdn $.

      Trouble getting a reply to stick. Server problems. Too many on line?

      Virtually hugged Aussie shepherd today.

      1. Same problem as I’ve been having, Carol; though I’ve also been having problems with other web pages not loading. I’m assuming the network’s under strain at the moment – when I tested my internet speed it had dropped a couple of notches.

  18. I am hugging myself and my cat, as well as doing the occasional dance step, because last night my picture book ‘Ella and the Ocean’ WON the New South Wales Premier’s Award for Children’s Literature! It’s the nicest thing that has happened for weeks, and I can’t stop smiling.

    1. It’s been raining all day. So, my dog gets a rub-down with a towel everytime she comes inside. That makes Tantaka very happy. I wait until she’s fully dry before I hug her.

      It’s going to be a rainy, cloudy week here. So she’ll be very happy.

      Also, I will be running my vacuum cleaner on Monday. She will get to bark and attack it. She’ll have a good week.

    2. That is wonderful! For you, and for all the lucky kids (and lovers of children’s literature, like me!) who get to experience something excellent. Smiling for you here too.

    3. Lian. I am so pleased for you. You write great children’s book and deserve any awards you get and actually deserve them all.

    4. That is SO wonderful!!!!!! Your cat may or may not care, but I think it is fabulous!
      Congratulations, Lian! Consider yourself hugged.

  19. My dog does not like being hugged but misses.being able to cuddle on the couch. His arthritis won’t let him hop up anymore and I don’t have room for a ramp.

    My bean seeds have arrived so I am going to plant them tomorrow.

    We just found out that our daughter-in-law is being induced a month early (everyone is fine, the baby is just getting too big for Mom) so we are figuring out how to be helpful and supportive. We were going to take the other kids for a few weeks but who knows now-a-days.

  20. The Smothers Brothers! Yes.

    Happies here include a clean house. Long walks. And cute pictures of our daughter’s chihuahua – whom DH and I both imagine hugging.

      1. You could hug those guys I guess, maybe in August when they have bellies full of deer and berries!

  21. My kitty boys, Max and Lex, are hugged daily. Friends know that if we’re having a Zoom call, each of them will appear at some point, and I make them wave, and my friends have to have back.

    Talk about happiness!

  22. Another Australian here, appreciating the virtual hugs. Happiness is a tomato glut. Extra happy as it’s nearly over (I’m sick of covering the damn things every night because it’s feeling frosty).

    My mother snuck up behind my daughter, threw a sheet over her and hugged her from behind whilst crying. The no touching thing is getting to her. Stuff keeps coming up and my household people end up being compromised by town trips. We’re still having (socially distant) cups of tea in the garden with Mum, but until we’ve managed two weeks without leaving the farm that’s all it can be.

  23. The day you wrote this happened to be my dog’s 11th birthday! Emilio is our Miniature Pincher Chihuahua that we’ve had for 7 yrs and I put him in daycare for the weekend so he could get some exercise!

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