Never thought I’d see the day when our dog Lucky would find himself dressed like a Sno-Cone, but here we are.
Some holidays were made for lethargy.
After a busy Christmas weekend and a restless year in general, I determined New Year’s Day would be an oasis of peace and inaction. No working, no running errands, no visiting relatives, no spending hours on home improvement or inessential chores, no new projects even if they’re fun ones, no heavy lifting, no hard thinking, and no activities that resemble my day-job responsibilities.
Good news: complete lack-of-mission accomplished. My concentration levels are rising. My worries are muted. My nerves are steady. How our dog Lucky spent New Year’s Eve (pictured above) is how I spent today. I love it when a plan comes together.
Some of this re-energizing trance will be wasted because I’m denied the luxury of a four-day weekend and will be reporting to work Friday. Chores and home activities will likely be Saturday’s themes. For now, I’m taking what I can get, enjoying the moment, and living for a short while longer like a spoiled house dog. If you haven’t tried it I highly recommend it, but only in moderation. If too many of us choose to live this way 24/7, our society crumbles and all the older citizens will write indulgent thinkpieces shaming us all. So today only, the rest; tomorrow, back to the stress.
Too much typing. Stopping now.
That’s right, kids! Friday, June 20, 2014, sees the return of Take Your Dog to Work Day, that annual festivity in which lovers of pets and pet-shaped things invite their trusty companions into the workplace and spend eight to ten more hours with them than usual. It can be a wondrous bonding experience, a welcome break in your routine, and a fun opportunity to talk about the joys of pet ownership to other lonely souls who have neither pets nor joy. I’m sure Take Your Dog to Work Day is already marked on your Garfield calendar and my gentle reminder is superfluous, but I’d hate to see anyone miss out and waking up kicking themselves on the 21st.
…wait, no, actually, I’ve never heard of it.
Seven years ago after moving into a new home, our family was joined by a dog named Lucky. Last year when the Avenger known as Hawkeye moved into his own solo series, he was joined by a dog named Lucky. I like to pretend this means something significant in the grand scheme. What are the odds of our dogs having the same name? Sure, it could be wild coincidence, and probably is.
Our Lucky’s previous owners were relatives who found that raising three kids was all the daily stress test they could handle. Due to a combination of the newborn’s safety issues and the oldest child’s apathy onset, Lucky had been spending most of his days caged and ignored, with nothing to occupy his time except storing energy so that every time he was released, he became a furry little whirling dervish. My wife’s previous dog had passed away several months before, leaving a dog-shaped hole in our hearts. We proposed a win-win exchange: we would accept Lucky into our home, and they would be free to replace him with a pocket-sized rodent more in line with the oldest child’s pet preferences. We decided not to change his name since he was already used to it.
At first glance, Lucky’s feisty demeanor seemed harmless.
Hawkeye’s Lucky was owned by tracksuit-wearing gangsters from eastern Europe who had called him Arrow for reasons unknown, possibly because they were fans of American weapons terminology. Lucky was abused, surely taken for granted, and probably fed the nastiest, mealiest dog food around. Something with bits of vermin added for flavor, I’d bet. During a fracas between Hawkeye and the dogs, “Arrow” ended up on the losing side of a car collision. After sending the goons packing, Hawkeye rushed the dog in for emergency treatment, effectively took custody, and eventually renamed him Lucky. He’s sometimes referred to by the affectionate nickname “Pizza Dog” because the cast keeps giving him people food.
At first sight, Lucky’s grievous bodily harm appeared alarming.