Sunday, February 15, 2009

Excessive joy injures the heart...

is the title of a novel by Elisabeth Harvor (I picked it up used but haven't read it yet; I think I just really liked the title). Anyway, yesterday (Valentine's Day) I was meeting my friend De at on Queen St. E. for a light lunch. Finishing my smoke standing near their fair-weather deck. A red-white spaniel-type dog was crouched there looking into the windows where I could see his/her "owners" finishing their leisurely meal (couple and baby). Poor dog was quivering in anticipation (not barking or whining) (or else he was shivering in the -5C temp), little stub of tail zigzagging almost to a blur. This behaviour escalated when his "owners" started getting up, putting on their coats, and strapping the baby to the tall male.

They came out, lounged up to the deck, and DIDN'T EVEN SAY HELLO TO THE DOG, let alone pat him and thank him for so patiently waiting for them out in the cold. The dog was going quietly crazy with joy, while the female leaned down to undo his leash (one-handed so she could hold onto his collar) and the male stood there like a lump (well, he did have an infant strapped conveniently to his chest). The only words spoken were, "Hang on." No acknowledgment that this little member of their ideal family group was so happy to see them and be near them that he was nearly going insane.

Can dogs get broken hearts?

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