Happy’s Dance is a merry little poem that was inspired by the day when everything was twisted upside down and instead of going shopping for the things on our list, we walked out of the door with our little dog Happy. That Sunday morning we left our house with a long list of places that we needed to go and quite a few things we needed to get, such as supplies for the garden and groceries. Our first stop was going to be Home Depot, but at the light my Father, forgetting that it was Sunday therefore Best Buy would not open for another hour, he made a left instead of the needed right.
As he pulled into the parking lot I could not help but notice that Pet Smart was having one of their pet adoptions, which was a natural draw. As we left the car my Mother was animate, no dog, as she hurried the opposite way. Knowing my Mother’s strong opinion I steeled my heart and headed over like a nail drawn to a magnet only planing to look, and not fall in love with one of the many adorable faces begging for a home.
My resolve did not last long as one pitiful face quickly stood out of the crowd. One look at those mournful eyes and my heart was lost. But there was one problem, and it was not figuring out how to get my Father and sister to fall for that sweet face, as it only took a gentle press of Happy’s head against their chest and they were won. But what about my Mother? She had firmly declared in no uncertain terms, we were not going to get a dog, but what was I to do, one look and I knew that this dog was meant for us?
As I looked into those big, brooding eyes and noticed how in the less than five minutes the deep emptiness, so perfect for a depression commercial, had begun to fade and a look of joy was already taking its place, I knew that we had to try. With a look of grave resolve my Mother slowly walked over, took one look at Happy, and to my delight as she turned to rush away, declared that she was not going to take care of the dog. In that moment Happy’s spot in the home was assured, and I gladly forked over the 40 for his adoption fee.
But the part of the day that became the strongest inspiration for this post, was a very intelligent maneuver by Happy. We were walking Happy through the isles of Pet Smart looking over the supplies that we would need to get for the newest member of our family, when looking ahead he noticed that my Mother was coming our way. Now Happy had only seen my Mother for a few brief seconds, when she gave her unique seal of approval to his adoption. Upon reaching my Mother, Happy immediately laid down on his back. This little maneuver worked like a charm, as my Mother did her best to act as if she had a heart of stone, that he was a smart little pup for seeking to melt her heart.
It might not have been obvious to an outside observer, but from that moment on, I knew that Happy had won. Though it would be a few months before my Mother dropped her hard heart routine, I knew from that moment that her heart had begun to melt and it would not be long before she was doting over Happy.
As I reflected upon that day, and how artfully Happy melted each heart, I was amazed at how talented dogs were at figuring out each of our soft spots, aiming their arrow, and making our hearts their. It was this reflection that inspired the following poem, Happy’s Dance.