So. Ok. I have been in Italy for too long. I can't even blame Italy for my negligence towards my blog. I am just a lazy mistress no two ways about it. I come up with all sorts of things to blog about but never quite get around to actually putting my fingers on the keyboard. I have many things to share about Italy and I am confident when I get back to the States I will blog uncontrollably about my experiences in this lovely country. Pictures included. But as my time here comes to a close I can reflect on a few things. I wrote a blog recently about youth and how age changes you. Heavy. Right? Very Heavy. Italy makes my heart heavy at times. I will get to that in a later blog. But. I want to write about something that I have noticed here that most likely escapes the eyes of all those around me. You would expect me to want to discuss the history, beauty, food, wine, or people right? Wrong... Not at all. These are things that all people here see and appreciate. Things that are not overlooked by the untrained eye. I have noticed the dogs here. There are lots of random little dogs roaming the streets, train stations, and subways. These dogs look like they are the happiest creatures on the face of this planet. At first I was thinking these poor little dogs. No homes. No owners to love them. No three hots and a cot. Then I looked more closely at the dogs. They were all smiling. To people who do not own or have never owned a dog they do not understand what a dog smile is. But to those of us whose hearts have been open to canine kind, we know what a dog smile is. These stray dogs are walking the streets delighted with life. I am convinced they are the happiest creatures in the universe. They come and go as they please. Socialize with other random doggie friends. Take naps when they are tired, eat when they are hungry. The wander the streets just as carefree as the wind. And they all have that dog smile on their face. The more I paid attention to these packs of dogs the more I was astounded they all were so happy. I made it my mission to find a dog that looked unhappy. Well it has been two weeks of dog watching and ya know what? No sad random dogs have been spotted. I HAVE noticed the dogs that are on leashes and the ones behind gates or fenced in were the uptight unhappy dogs. They were the ones who barked at every passerby and are just generally tense. The kept dogs in theory should be the happiest dogs but they are not. They seem to be the most miserable. I will take from Italy the lesson of the random stray dog. I think they are on to something. These little dogs are free, happy, and their basic needs are more than met. So they smile. Breaking out of my confinement is going to be difficult, however to reach the level of contentment these little Italian dogs have is more than worth the effort. I encourage more of us to live life like little random stray Italian dogs.

Comments (1)

On June 1, 2009 at 3:58 PM , jenniferw said...

Interesting post. I know how dogs smile and I love it. I have often thought we should all live the trusting and worry-free life of a dog who knows instinctively that his needs will be met. Thanks for posting such a beautiful and evocative essay.