Why Are Dogs So Happy?

by Kee Kee on September 5, 2015

in Authenticity,Family,Wisconsin,Yoda


Yoda Boat HappyOne of my happiest places on earth is at my parents’ lake house in rural Wisconsin. I can say without doubt that it is one of Yoda’s most beloved spots too, which is why I’m so lucky that we have been able to road trip here so I can work remotely for the month of August for the past five years in a row.

One of my favorite parts about road tripping are the lessons the road teaches me, often through people I meet. The night we arrived in Wisconsin, we were sitting outside having an evening sunset cocktail with my parents, when one of the neighbors wandered over to say hello. He had with him his visiting brother, Father Dan, a completely down-to-earth priest who has a wicked sense of humor which he often uses to disperse surprising nuggets of wisdom.

Yoda was wagging his tail as he bounced from person to person, nudging their hands to get each of us to pet him.

Smiling as he was prodded by Yoda, Father Dan looked from my dog to the rest of us and asked, “Do you know why dogs are so happy?”

“Why?” we all responded.

“Because they don’t want to be anything else except a dog,” he exclaimed while he scratched behind Yoda’s ears.

This was Father Dan’s way of making the observation that by trying to be someone else, or by trying to live someone else’s life, it’s pretty much impossible to feel content. Happiness can only come from living an authentic life by celebrating the individual quirks that are unique to each of us.

Yoda now serves as my daily reminder that, much like a dog doesn’t want to be anything else except a dog, I don’t want to be anyone else except for me. Thanks Father Dan for this lesson of the road!

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herman bennett September 5, 2015 at 8:51 am

If I may (or, I guess, even if I may not), I can stretch this to a meeting with Kee Kee. It was unlikely that a simple five minute flapper change (it’s a plumbing term, in case you don’t know) and we more or less instantly became friends and poured out thoughts and hearts and for another hour or more. Yoda was, of course, being Yoda the dog and complying with Kee Kee’s gentle command(s) to show me his yoga pose — yes, down dog — and warming up to me enough to nuzzle for a human hand to give him a little love. So here’s the point: me just being me and Kee Kee just being her and Yoda just being Yoda, all accepting of and nice to and real to each other, led to us parting ways as friends. It was nice. It’s still nice. Thanks, Father Dan and Yoda and Kee Kee.

Kee Kee September 5, 2015 at 10:08 am

Oh, I feel the exact same way about meeting you – thank you!

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