Thursday, April 1, 2010

Stepping Away From The Madness For Awhile

I’m so burnt out on politics and hearing all about the latest dumbass actions and intelligence-insulting claims by the right that I am taking a hiatus from that world and instead giving my psyche a much-needed rest from all the bickering and back-stabbing. In short, I’ve decided to focus, at least for now, on subjects that have a much more soothing and relaxing effect on my soul.

There’s something I’ve discovered recently that has the amazing ability to make me temporarily forget all my troubles and sorrow and lift me to another, higher place where all is happy and good and there are no angry people waiting around the next corner to ambush me and cause me pain. No, it doesn’t come in a bottle and it doesn’t come in a pill and it’s not something I even have to smoke or inject. In fact it’s not a drug at all.

It’s puppies.

Last weekend we had a barbecue at my house and invited the family to come and meet the new baby (known affectionately as David 3.0). His dad, David Jr., brought with him their new puppy, Chloe, an eight-week old Pomeranian and Chihuahua mix (or a PomChi, as some dog hybrid people call it.)   She was a big hit.  Take a look at her and you can see why.

My stepdad, Clay, and Chloe, the cutest puppy of all time.

While babies are okay, sort of, and little children are sweet, in measured doses, a puppy is always a joy to behold. Just watching their cute, innocent faces boppin’ and jumpin’ all over the yard and the way they hop in your lap and lap at your face like you were covered in ribs (which I wasn’t…that came later) is undeniably one of the best feelings ever.

You just can’t feel depressed or down when there’s a puppy around. And Chloe was no exception. The playful way she interacted with my two dogs and the way she turned tail and took off like a rocket into the house yelping all the while when one of them (probably annoyed at her constant jumping on his head) barked at her, was certainly a sight to see.

Maybe it’s their cute innocent faces, those expressive eyes or those little tilts of the head and wags of the tail that say so much about the joy they feel at being with you without uttering a sound. Of course we can’t forget those funny chirps and barks that have us all laughing and doing that “AWWWW” thing. In that way, I think a lot of us feel about puppies like others view babies.

Both are full of wonder and are greedy for affection and attention. And neither are shy about letting us know when their needs are not being met. But to me, puppies are a natural mood enhancer, brightening up my day when the clouds have covered the sky like a thick layer of oatmeal, blotting out the sun.

While my two dogs are small and puppy-ish, they have since traded away that youthful wonder in their eyes and that spirit of adventure so innate in puppies for a dog brain that now knows all the clever tricks and manipulations it needs to get them that extra piece of cheese or that extra long skritch on their lower back.

Nonetheless, older dogs are far from lacking in inducing a type of quiet serenity as puppies do. Ask anyone with an older dog that cuddles up with them on the couch or in bed and they will tell you that their dogs are the most adoring and devoted critters you can ever imagine. Treated correctly, puppies and dogs will grow to become selfless fountains of love and affection.

There are good reasons why dogs, and not cats or birds or some other animal, are used as therapy animals to cheer up the sick, injured and elderly in hospitals and nursing homes.  Therapy dogs are sweet and good-tempered and respond to strangers hugging and cuddling with them and giving them something to pet and hold. 

Medical studies have shown that petting a dog will not only lower your blood pressure and calm your heart rate, but can actually block pain because it releases endorphins into your system.  There are many other benefits to having a dog, but the greatest one is that it will improve the quality of your life in so many ways.

I can't tell you how tempted I was, after visiting with Chloe, to start looking for a new puppy to bring home and enjoy.  But then I decided against it.  For now, anyway.  We have some wonderful dogs already, so loving and fun and with such great personalities, that I don't want to upset the dynamic we have going now by introducing another dog.  But boy was I tempted.

Ah well.  I suppose if I want to see someone chase his tail I can always flip on the Fox News Channel!

Ahh, serenity at last!


  1. That video is so cute. The puppy and the ferret seem to be having a great time--but ferrets are not appealing to me. Look too much like rats. sorry.
    BTW, Obama's helicopter flew over my roof today. I ran outside and waved! My husband laughed at me because I thought it was exciting!

  2. Tom, this could be one of my favorite of your posts..and that is saying a lot!! Wonderful photos, and I loved the video too. Puppies are as helpless as children but as aware of you as your best friend. The love of a puppy is as complete and pure as anything one will ever know. Thanks for shifting your focus for a while and sharing this wonderful and personal anecdote. Come visit soon and see a line of Bassett Puppies! (March 30)

  3. This is the are so right. Puppies release feelings of unending happiness...way more so than babies!

  4. Oooh, I was bitten by a ferret once, they NEVER let go until you virtually drill out their teeth (shudder).. Such a wonderful post this (ferret aside), and so true. All my kids know our Golden Retriever is my fifth and most favoured child! He's laid at my elbow as I type this. That little puppy up there is enough to melt a heart of stone, he is sooooooooo cute.

  5. The video is tops! Thanks for sharing it. :)
    Yes, puppies are just so... innocent and eager. Just what we'd like to be if we could turn back the time. :)

  6. See that's the thing. Babies are pink and all look the same and they don't DO anything, but puppies are adorable. Everyone loves puppies. I heard that the FBI, when trying to decide if someone's a serial killer puts them in a room with a puppy and if much gooing and gaaing doesn't occur then they're caught. Or if they disembowel the puppy... which is just horrible. Horrible!

    However, I did get a fright for a moment when you said you had a barbecue because I thought it was leading to you barbecuing puppies and I'd already gotten PETA's number out, but phew! False alarm.

    P.S. I love kittens equally. And you elephants (belephants).

  7. Puppy wins over child every damn time in my book.


  8. Lil' Babies and Puppies do it for me.

  9. I like puppies, if I don't have to take them out all the time, LOL. They are so sweet and cuddly. The only thing I like better is a kitten.

    And I really only like my babies. Mean, aren't I?? LOL

  10. I just love puppies!

    Be sure to stop by The Screaming Me-Me!!! for some really big news!

  11. I came over from Margo's blog and I'm so glad I did. You now have a new follower. Me. I couldn't agree with you more about a puppy being a great mood enhancer. There's nothing sweeter than a puppy. Thanks for cheering me up with your photos and the puppy video. I'll be back often. :)

    PS Congratulations on winning the caption contest.

  12. nice. got a chuckle out of that last line...politics is kind like the circus, depending on which ring you look at you get a little different show. puppies on the other hand are fun. took a kid today to a program where you read to was pretty amazing. thanks or popping in today...

  13. Congrats of winning the Golden Phallus this week... I just came over from Me-Me's place and I'm glad I did! What's not to love with a puppy? The video reminded me of my golden (Hickory the Wonder Dog) when he was a puppy. At almost 13 years old, he's just as loving and loved as when he was a puppy... if somewhat slower. Can't think of a better dog! So much better than a cat could ever be! (Says the CatLadyWithoutCats.)

  14. I love watching little puppies!! They sure are cute and it does make me want one!!

  15. Very cute puppy. I like what your mom said.

    Congratulations for winning the best caption at The Screaming Me Me!!

  16. What a great post. I feel calmer already. Chloe is an angel. And if someone could bottle puppy breath, they'd make a fortune. I have a 3-year-old Chihuahua named Dixie who is my heart and soul. I've posted about her before -- in between political rants and other madness. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. I'm now a follower of yours as well. Pleasure to make your acquaintance!

  17. too bad they pee and poop and chew things. in the end they still beat out babies, children, and definitely politics!

  18. Tom, I'm not sure if I should congratulate you or apologize for this, but YOU HAVE AN AWARD AT MY BLOG.
    :) Cheers,

  19. Hi Tom. Great post! It's nice sometimes to just let your brain de-frag and enjoy puppies or babies or hunting Easter Eggs to the chagrin of your family!

    Glad you found some mental down-time.

    Really sweet pictures, too!

  20. I'd choose puppies over politics any day. Good choice.

  21. Awesome blog! As soon as I saw John Stewart on the side of your page, I knew I was home.

    The fact that your step dad has by far the coolest mustache I have ever seen coupled with the adorable puppy makes that picture perhaps the coolest thing of all time.

    Thanks for following. I certainly will be following you (from afar).

  22. I know what you mean.
    It's the wicked game.

  23. I'm a sucker for puppies, I admit it. Whenever I deliver pizzas to a dog owner, I always pet their dog. Is that silly?

  24. These dogs are so awesome in the simplest way possible.

    I'd say take the dogs to the snow but Rufus would freeze and Ringo would just curl in a ball to afraid to move.

  25. Dog sledding. What could be better?

  26. Love the video! We have five dogs. They are like potato chips...totally addicting.


Please share your comments with me!

Blogs I Am In Awe Of