Gratitude is easy. When you’re a dog, that is.

Being grateful every single day can be exhausting. Here I am, on post, what, 7? 8? And today I just hit a wall. What was so interesting about my ungrateful dilemma was the fact that today was actually a very nice day, just not one with any obvious light bulb moment to gush about. So I dug a little deeper and my eyes landed on my dog.

There he was, digging for a stick as though that stick was going to bring him all the happiness in the world. He finally loosed it from the snow, picked it up in his mouth, and showed me that the stick did bring him all the happiness in the world. He ran ahead of me on the trail, then back, then ahead, then back, grinning at me the whole time–no really, Bailey smiles when he’s happy–carrying the stick, showing it off.

Here he is, posing with his trophy for the camera:



He was so proud of himself that I started laughing. My laughter got him all excited, and pretty soon he was jumping up trying to lick my face. I sat down on a nearby log to keep him from knocking me over, and he put both paws in my lap and howled with excitement. He was so obviously thankful for this chance to play and to be with his human, that he was more than willing to make a complete fool of himself. It made me grateful just to witness his tail-wagging happiness.

From now on, I think I’ll be taking gratitude lessons from my dog.