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Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Dog days

This year I’m going to become more like my dog. I don’t mean that I’m going to start hoovering up rabbit poo like Maltesers, scoffing twelve crumpets raw out of the wrapper or growing a black beard (I hope). Or God forbid, become like one of our doggy guests over Christmas and find everything from the fridge to the furry bean bag a source of titillation.
But I am going to take a leaf out of her joyful living book. I was watching her on the hill yesterday. Finding delight in simple things - chasing the pigeons and lying in a muddy puddle. Bounding up to her three little canine friends, all different shapes and sizes, without judgment or reserve. Smiling off up to complete strangers, greeting them as though she only expects good things. And then whirling off round the garden with the furry slipper when we got home as though it was simply the most fun she’d had all year. 
Admittedly, in terms of responsibility, she carries very little, which must count for something in the load-lightening stakes. Her tasks  – snuggling up to the son and making him feel that someone in the world is on his side when I’m on the rampage, volunteering to help the daughter finish off her dinner, making sure I don’t let my bum get too big by allowing me a mere four inches of sofa, rushing out to greet the husband when the kids can’t look up from their computers – are not very daunting. But even so, she does them with such aplomb that you can’t help thinking she’s busier than she is.
So, to translate this into human terms, I’m going to make a point of going out to look at my pots on the patio every day and note the exact morning that the first hyacinth bursts through. I’m going to spot the first snowdrop, choose my favourite daffodil in the whole garden when April comes instead of looking out when they’re all over and wishing I’d paid more attention to the signs of spring. I’m going to foster a firm belief that all new experiences will be positive ones and that the people I meet will like me or, at least, tolerate me, as long as I don’t make off with their chicken sandwiches and chocolate mini-rolls. I’m going to find fun in small things – such as discovering the teenage son has downloaded the songs onto his i-Pod that I loved on vinyl. Even my children can’t bicker when we’re all rocking to American Pie or Livin’ on a Prayer.

Yep. It’s going to be a dog’s life this year. And I’m gonna love it.

Nothing like eating a bag of flour to turn the kitchen into Winter Wonderland

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