Day Two: the Joy of a Puppy Pile

The Author

E. Alana James

E. Alana James

Dr E Alana James is reinventing herself again! Coming full circle to the first love of her life - art - and bringing back to her images all the lessons of her life as author, researcher, academic and wife. Concerned mostly with the idea of images as vehicles for expression of the truth of our inner and outer life experience.

My parents and Margie’s parents would never have allowed dogs on the bed.

I was taught that dogs have to know their place in life or things run amok. While ours were “inside” dogs, as opposed to “outside” dogs, those which never, or hardly ever, came in the house, they still lived (and I can still hear my Dad’s voice say this) on the floor. Contrast this with our friends Lynne and Patrick would never have had a dog before they had Monty and so learned the ins and outs of that relationship much on their own, as adults, in tandem with Monty, who of course believed that he should sit on the furniture in the bed.

Monty’s personality was given more influence in their relationship than perhaps it would have been if they had been living under a prescribed set of rules adopted from their parents in early childhood.

For whatever reason, when Lynn and Patrick first allowed Monty on the bed, the joys of dogs on the bed were discussed while walking on the hill with other dog owners and, to our amazement, we learned it was much more the norm than we would’ve ever thought possible. Perhaps it’s an Irish thing, or perhaps families in middle-class America also have enjoyed this pleasure and I just grew up in a place that was much more uptight than the norm. Whatever the reason, we gave in and now enjoy our dogs on the bed.

The joy that I am celebrating this morning is that of coming back to bed after a quick morning pee and pushing Peter out of the way, while jumping in to a puppy pile at the bottom of the bed. Have you ever experienced the amazing comfort of a suddenly warm spot? That is what it is like to sit anywhere Peter has been previously curled up. This moment of sensory experience and pleasure involves a complete relaxation of my shoulder muscles due to the warmth of that spot on the bed, a huge smile on my face as I drink in the comforting warm puppy smells of dogs in the morning, and the tactile pleasures of human and dog flesh all around me. Sheer bliss!

I don’t know how you wake up in the morning, and I know for myself that waking up and being ready to get out of bed is a different experience in the winter than it is in the summer. Ever since moving to Ireland, where the winter is most markedly noted by the very short days, I find that early mornings, in the dark, allow for a certain lax attitude when it comes to getting up. These little 15 or 20 minute lie in, surrounded by dogs, chatting with Margie about how our days will run, are pure unadulterated joy and I am glad to share them.

Looking forward, I have a short list for future blog posts as I pull apart experiencing more joy in my life, I’ll start with loving and experiencing the small joys that are already there. How about you?  What funny little moments come to your mind that if and when you shared them would expand your feeling of their pleasure?

Who knows? Perhaps someone reading this will be provoked to write a comment and share back an equally small but meaningful moment. I hope so.