Prompt: Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year?

Animals consistently bring me joy.   I’m on writing retreat, dogsitting one of my favorite canines, Lucy, at her home. She can’t look at me without beating her tail.  Ah, the joy of doggie devotion. What ever did I do to deserve it? Dogs love unconditionally and I have much to learn from their example.

I’ve always been an animal lover and my love has always been reciprocated. I mentioned in an earlier post that starting in childhood I found homes for strays and orphans and Lucy sort of falls into that category. My son Carter once lived in an apartment with a bunch of emerging adults and they decided that getting a puppy would make their lives complete. That puppy was Lucy, who now lives with friends and from whose house I write this post. Carter’s back at home while attending community college.

The bitter with the sweet

RIP my beloved Denbeigh,1997-2010.

The only moment of sorrow I experienced during my 43 days on the road this year was when I got the news that my beloved Corgi died. Denbeigh had a growth of some sort and had been experiencing seizures for several months. I think he knew when to die so that it would disrupt me least — I was in Bend, Oregon for a week and my spouse, Matt, was with me.  It was an Old Yeller moment of sorts for Carter, who had to dig Denbeigh’s grave and call me with the news. I’m proud of the way he handled a devastating situation.

My cat took it hardest. She and Denbeigh were best friends and she was the alpha dog of their relationship. For months she holed up, either in my office or in hiding places I’ve never discovered. Sometimes she would lie in her catbox and pee and poop in the house. She’s fine now.

But this post isn’t about sorrow, it’s about joy. I include the sorrowful because sorrow provides the benchmark for joy.