I suppose that most of us would agree that a dog bounding through a group of mourners at a cemetery is inappropriate. Yet that happened just last week. The coffin was being lowered into the ground when the dog ran over and started jumping on the mourners. The funeral home representative, embarrassed, said the dog belonged to a nearby house but couldn’t resist the siren call of people.
“It’s a problem,” she said. “Some people feel that it ruins the solemnity. Others don’t want a dog jumping on their good clothes. And others,” she looked at me, “don’t mind at all.”
Yes, my friends, I was petting the dog, letting it jump on me, and basically soaking up as much doggie love as I could. And, yes, my clothes were covered with dog hair.
In her book The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin came up with her own personal commandments that primed her for happiness. I haven’t formally done that, but one would definitely be, “Never worry about your clothes.” So if there’s a dog or a cat to be petted, I’m going to pet it, with little worry about cat hair or doggie smell on my dress. If there’s a child with a lollipop and sticky fingers, you can be sure I’ll have clothes that need washing the next day. And if there’s an ice cream that’s melting too fast, I’ll end up with several splotches on my shirt.
As we are so often reminded, there is a great deal of suffering in the world. So when a moment of joy presents itself, grab it. Even if you do come home covered in dog hair.