Here is a story I received about a dog's zest for life, I thought it was really cute and has a great moral. > > Zest for Life (author unknown, except for his > insight and love of his > > dog) > > Don't take this the wrong way, but for the > longest time now, I have > > been trying to imitate my > dog. Not his look, which is furry and chestnut > > brown. > Not his walk, which, as with most Golden Retrievers, > is more of a > > waddle. And not his tail. I don't need a > tail. I have enough trouble > > buckling my pants as it > is. > > Also, I can live without his bathroom > habits, > > which can be summed up this way: "Tree or > bush? Tree or bush? Aw, how about > > right here on the > grass..." > > No, what I admire about my dog is > > his > fascination with the simple routine of life. Every day > for him is like > > boarding the space shuttle. > > For example, in the morning, I tumble out of > > bed, > grumble, yawn, open the door, and ta-da! There he is, > the canine answer > > to Richard Simmons. He is so worked > up, he doesn't know which way to go, > > toward me or away > from me. So he does both. "Oh boy-oh boy-oh boy!" he > seems > > to pant. > > "It's morning and I'm gonna eat!" Never > mind that he has eaten > > every morning since he was > born. Or that he's had the same food every > > morning > since he was born - and that was 11 years ago. Never > mind. He pulls > > me downstairs and waits breathlessly as > I scoop yet another helping of > > boring brown nuggets > into his bowl. "Oh boy-oh boy-oh boy! Food! > > Food! > Food!" I yawn. > > Three minutes later, he is off the food thing and > > into > a new obsession: going out. Again, he runs forward and backward. "I'm > > going out! I'm going out! Is this great > or what?" Never mind that going out > > has not changed > one bit since we've lived here. He is so thrilled by > the > > notion of "exit" that he almost bites that > doorknob off. He bolts into the > > backyard as if heading > for Tomorrow-land with a sack full of "E" tickets. > > I > slouch and yawn again. The great outdoors. > > Then comes the "bathroom" > > routine, which I > already have described. Humans deal with these > functions > > begrudgingly. Not my dog. It's a real thrill > for him. He scouts for the > > perfect spot as if looking > for beach-front real estate. "Tree or bush? Tree > > or > bush?" And I don't have that many trees. > > Then, once his business is > > taken care of - > and I make a mental note where we're going to have to > shovel > > come summer - he is off the going out obsession > and onto a new one: going > > back in. It doesn't matter > that he was in just two minutes ago. "Things > > have > changed! Things have changed!" he seems to pant. "I > gotta get in there! > > I gotta check it out! Hurry up, > hurry up!" When I open the door, he bolts > > in, races > back and forth - looking for space aliens, I suppose - > and when he > > doesn't find any, he isn't disappointed. > Instead, he snarls at some ratty > > toy he's played with > for months, throws it into the air with his teeth, > > and > watches it land. "Look at that!" he seems to say. "It > goes up, it comes > > down!" > > As I make a cup of coffee, he jumps up to > watch. "Watcha doin? > > Watcha doin? Coffee, huh? That's > amazing!" > When I disappear behind a door, > > he lies > down outside and waits for me to come out again. If it > is only 30 > > seconds later, he will still react as if I > were a hostage released after ten > > years. > > Now, my dog does not work. He does not pay taxes. He > does not create > > anything new (unless you consider what > is in the bushes outside). But he > > also doesn't need > clothes, doesn't covet cars or jewelry, and doesn't > care > > about houses, as long as he can find a sunny spot > on the floor to lie there > > for a few hours. > > Meanwhile, I am bored with my same > routine. Getting up is > > a drag. I can't get excited > about breakfast. And going out, then coming back > > in > only makes me wonder how many flies I've let in. > So I'm trying to imitate > > my dog. I'm trying to find > wonder in the everyday. After all, when you > > think > about it, it is pretty remarkable that you open your > eyes each > > morning. And since every few hours you get > to quench your hunger, well, > > that's a thrill, when you > consider the alternative. So while I don't want > > to > match my dog's drool, I am trying to match his zeal. > And you know, come > > to think of it, that sunny spot on > the floor looks pretty > > tempting.