Sometimes joy is a small dog, coming in my direction as I’m walking somewhere. I may be happy, or peaceful, or stressed, or sad, but when I see such a dog, something happens.

Maybe it’s merely anatomy, but that dog, striding alongside its owner — bouncing, even, if it’s a spring-footed breed like a Jack Russell — seems to smile. The little lady or fellow exudes such exhilaration about being out and about and able to walk and see the world.

When a dog like that crosses my path, I can’t help but smile back.

He or she reminds me, “We’re moving, we’re happy, in this moment, we’re free.”

Even after we’ve passed each other by, the feeling lingers for a while: A dogged optimism, no matter what lies ahead.


This piece was originally posted on my Open Salon (RIP) blog. It was inspired by an open call by fellow OSer Torman.

What I loved about the open call was that it forced you to think of something small that was currently in your life and made you happy. Man, can that be therapeutic! So, what’s your small joy?

is a writer & worrier. She lives in Paris with an eccentric Frenchman, a clever toddler, & a charming cat. Besides them, she loves books, travel, & cookies.

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